Profitable Plants To Grow

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Here are some plants you can grow and sell for great profits:

Anthericum

The spider plant, Anthericum, sends out long stolons (runners ) with new plants on the tips. The little white blossoms are not showy. Anthericum grows from a tuberous root similar to an icicle radish. Propagate by plant division or by cutting off and rooting the runners. It will grow in almost any kind of soil, in a temperature range from 55 to 75 degrees, shade or sun, and needs little fertilizing.

Asarina

Ceropegia thrives in a porous soil of loam, leafmold, peatmoss, and sand. By no means temperamental, it seems to grow rapidly in any temperature above 60 degrees.When propagating, you can save yourself work by plantingtwo tubers and a length of stem and leaves to a 2-inch pot. Pot up in late February for 6- to 8-inch vines by May.

Cacti

If your time is limited (perhaps only week-ends), cacti may be just the ticket for you. Many cacti need only once-a-week watering during November to April, with twice-a-week watering the rest of the year. Succulents are equally worth your consideration.

Propagate cacti through seed or cuttings. Unique forms can be produced by grafting one on another. Cacti thrive in a dry, sunny, 65-degree greenhouse. They grow well in sandy soil, low in nutrients. A good mixture for potting is equal parts of sand, loam, and broken brick, with a generous sprinkling of charcoal. Perhaps the worst enemy of cacti is ove rwatering, and yet for best growth, they need a lot more water than is popularly believed.

Grow cacti from seed by filling the pot 1/3 with drainage material and the balance with the soil mixture. Moisten the mixture, plant the seeds, and cover with a sprinkling of soil. Place a pane of glass over the planting and set it in a 65- to 75-degree house. Germination will vary, depending on variety, but from a mixed pack of seeds you should see sprouts within 10 days to 2 weeks. Germination may continue for 6 or 8 weeks.

Growth is slow; you won't have to prick out seedlings for 3 to 6 months. When you do, gradually remove the larger, stronger ones and pot into well-drained thumb pots of the same soil mixture.

Take cacti cuttings during the summer; be sure to use a sharp knife. Letting them dry in the air for a couple of days will remove most of the excess moisture and speed the formation of a callus (a "growth" over the cut area essential to root formation). Plant the cuttings in pots of sandy soil.

Within 2 to 3 months, you will find them well rooted and ready for a shift to pots of soil. You will produce a really fine crop of cacti if you remember to (1) use the smallest pot that will comfortably hold the cactus; (2) stake tall plants; (3) water them twice a week when in active growth, once a week when resting and be sure of good drainage; (4) give good ventilation during warm weather.

Grafting for newer or more rapid-growing forms is fascinating. It should be carried out during the growing season. Select for the stock plant a species such as opuntia, acanthocereus, or pereskia. (The stock is the bottom or rooted part of a grafted plant.) Intriguing forms result when the rattail cactus is cut and grafted on one of these stocks.

The Christmas cactus is another excellent grafting subject. Use a sharp knife to cut the scion (the stem or bud that you graft to the stock). Make a slit in the top of the stock and place the scion in it; spines from cacti can be used as pins to fasten the two in place.

Succulents; many of which belong to the cactus family, are of easy culture and make good material for small pots.
Epiphyllums such as rhipsalis and schlumbergera are still another division of this large plant family. They are the plants with the fabulous flowers sometimes called Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving cactus. These require richer soil and more humid conditions and therefore require larger pots than the slow-growing cacti.

Ceropegia

A little vine of many names, Ceropegia is called rosary vine, lace vine, or hearts entwined; it is a good seller under any designation. Grown from small tubers planted in pots, it sends out slender trailing stems early in life, and little aerial tubers form at regular intervals along the stems.

These resemble small beads; hence the appellation, rosary vine. These tubers can be planted for new plants. Varieties are quite numerous. On C. woodi the nearly circular leaves are flecked with silver and the flowers are lavender with fuzzy black tips, resembling a candle and wick. On C. Sandersoni the leaves are thicker and larger and the flowers a greenish white, over an inch in length.

Flowering vines have a tremendous appeal. In Asarina (Maurandia) we have a real treasure. This fast-growing vine with ivylike leaves bears pink or purple flowers like those of slipper gloxinias. If unable to purchase a plant or cuttings as a starter, order seeds from a specialty house. Plant the seeds any time of year in light loam, cover with glass, and place in 60- to 70-degree temperatures. Germination takes place in about 10 days. As your seedlings begin to crowd, thin them out and place them in 2-inch pots; here they will bloom in 4 to 5 months.

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