ASK JOHN NEGUS
Doomed delphiniums, wilt worries, multiple viola desire
I want to propagate my ‘Hannah May’ violas because that was my mother’s name. How should I do it? Mary May, Newcastle upon Tyne.
The best way to propagate Viola ‘Hannah May’ is to take 2-3in (57cm) shoot-tip cuttings in early August.
Remove any leaves that might be buried and insert cuttings to half their depth, 2-3in (5-7cm) apart, around the edge of a 4in (10cm) pot filled with proprietary rooting compost. Water in the cuttings and cover the pot with an inflated plastic bag to keep them perky. Position them on a sunny windowsill.
When new shoots indicate that roots have formed, set them singly into 3in pots of John Innes No 2, adding a quarter part grit, by volume, to ensure ‘sharp’ drainage.
Harden-off plants. Then, when they are a few inches high, set them where you wish them to flower.
Shoot-tip cuttings are the best way to propagate violas such as ‘Hannah May’