Vine at Victoria Educational Garden

The yellow butterfly vine is best propagated from cuttings and can grow 10 to 20 feet tall and wide as shown here in bloom at Victoria Educational Gardens at Victoria Regional Airport. Small yellow flowers bloom on stems and green seed pods form, turning tan to brown, all stages and colors of which are shown on dense foliage on this large vine. A newly designated Texas Superstar plant, it will bloom through the remaining summer and fall relatively maintenance- and pest-free.

Joy Reed’s purple vitex now stands 15 feet tall in her backyard.

It started as nothing more than a cutting from a different vitex plant, but with the help of the Victoria County Master Gardeners, Reed grew it into a full-fledged, flowering tree. Over the past five years, Reed’s cutting was potted and continued growing, until she eventually replanted it in her backyard. Now, Reed takes cuttings from her own vitex plants to teach others how to propagate cuttings.

Novice gardeners can learn how to replicate the same cycle at the 2019 South Texas Farm and Ranch Show, when three of Victoria’s master gardeners will teach backyard propagation techniques.

Lupe Cook will lead the hands-on, interactive class, and Reed and fellow master gardener Jimmy Miller will assist. The session, scheduled from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., will be open house style, so those interested in learning the propagation techniques do not have to stay for the entire time.

The session will go over how to take a cutting from a plant and then replant it in soil and how to use plant seeds and nourish the plant so it can grow.

“We will have everything from soil to seeds cuttings, the whole nine yards,” Reed said. “They just need to come and have fun, and they’ll leave with the cuttings, they will leave with seeds that they planted. We just want to make it fun and educational.”

The master gardeners will collect the cuttings the day before the hands-on session, so the exact types of cuttings aren’t yet known, but they’ll likely include the vitex and the confederate rose, both of which are plants that do well in the region.

With time, people who attend the master gardeners class can grow a plant as large as Reed’s purple vitex.

Ciara McCarthy covers local health issues for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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