First and last photo’s of outdoor culture. These were taken recently, after being frozen for three weeks. Even the seedlings with only seed leaves have survived. Fourth picture. The pot was still frozen solid a couple of inches down. Most of the seedlings have been potted up but the few remaining were late germinators so got left behind in the pot.
The second picture is cuttings that have lived in the Greenhouse for the last two months. Notice the lush growth ,which required deinfestating of hordes of greenfly .
The third is of “Irishman’s cuttings” not cuttings at all- just shoots with roots attached. These were dibbed into the tray and kept in the greenhouse, but the traces of hardy outdoor life are still present if you disregard the new shoots appearing at the base etc.
Many years ago, and possibly even now raising cuttings without even cold frames was practiced.
I myself prefer the control over the conditions, but not sure if this is the best approach.
The sad thing is that most, if not all ,of old named Fancy Show and Exhibition Violas are no longer available, and I feel that perhaps, wrongly, I need to protect what is left because they are so scarce and dare not leave it to chance.
So why did these Florist flowers die out, when we can prove that they are so hardy.
Cold is not the enemy ,but heat, I only lose plants in the summer.
As the summers seem to be getting warmer so it becomes harder in the south to keep the plants cool enough to survive .
Even this year growers in Scotland , I was informed, had the South’s problems with the heat, and many people, considered to be top growers, lost a considerable amount of stock.
This means starting taking cuttings earlier in the year before the plants succumb to keep your level of plants up, than perhaps gardeners did only a few decades ago.
As a famous answer given long ago, to the question, always it seems , asked by newcomers” when do I take cuttings “ the answer given-“ when they are there”. This means ALL through the year if present. Almost every day.