23 January 2016

Winter Happenings at Arrowhead

Daphne cuttings, seed germination, winter grumbling, and much more

Also -- winter specials ending January 31st (click for links):

Winter -- the best time for propagating Daphnes!

For once, extreme winter weather is in the news and it ISN'T in Michigan! All you East Coasters getting buried under massive amounts of snow… welcome to our life. We did that the last two winters. This year we're enjoying moderate snow and reasonably average temperatures. Hopefully if the trend continues, we'll soon be able to enjoy our new ocean front property in mid-Michigan.

Global warming won't stop our Daphne propagation, anyways.

As much as we all love to complain about winter, it is an important part of Arrowhead's schedule. For one, if we had to be watering and weeding 12 months a year, we'd probably go insane. A little winter break when everything is dormant and frozen solid isn't a bad thing.

Winter is also our key time for propagating Daphnes. We cut them at various times, but one of the best is early January. Cuttings brought in from the cold and stuck in a warm, bottom-heated cutting frame come out of their winter dormancy and start growing roots in a hurry.

Some of our prized D. calcicola cuttings, growing in a bottom-heated frame

Well, in a hurry for a Daphne. There is a reason we're about the only nursery that grows many of these things. They're a pain in the ass pretty much from the moment you take a cutting until the time you plant them in the garden. But they're OUR pain in the ass, and once they do get put in the ground, provided they've got excellent drainage, they are so ridiculously beautiful and non fussy that it is impossible not to love them.

Daphnes, as hopefully you know, transplant best when they are tiny, so every year we're sticking big batches of all of our favorites so that come spring we'll have the best, most vigorous plants to ship out to our customers. After those cuttings are a couple years old, they may look bigger and fuller, but they simply don't transplant well -- to the chagrin of everyone involved.

Warning: big, cool looking Daphne photos incoming:

D. calcicola in bloom
D. calcicola in bloom, close up

In addition to all our usual offerings, we've been working on taking cuttings of some of the very rarely available yellow flowered Daphnes, D. calcicola (seen above) and Daphne gemmata (aka Wikstroemia gemmata). These guys are never easy to produce, but fingers crossed we'll get enough rooting that we'll be able to list them this spring!

Some of our cuttings of Daphne gemmata, also known as Wikstroemia gemmata
The impressive cream-yellow flowers of D. gemmata

If any of this Daphne-talk has piqued your interest, head on over to our shopping cart here and take a look at some of the new offerings we've been adding over the winter. And of course you can find many of our wonderful selection of Daphnes on tap at this link here. Don't forget you have until the end of January to use our winter coupons:
  • Either enter the code ‘SNOW’ at checkout and receive 20% off your entire order (excluding our collections, grafted conifers, and bulk wildflowers)
  • Or enter the code ‘ICE’ at checkout to get free shipping.
As always, we will hold your orders placed now until spring when the weather has thawed and planting may begin.