Office Kalanchoe Cuttings

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana in a potWe have a whole jungle of houseplants at the Primrose office, including several specimens of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana – a very common succulent that you might recognise by its tiny, brightly-coloured blooms (common name ‘Flaming Katy’).

You can see it looking pretty in a zinc planter on your right.

Kalanchoe cuttings in water

Our kalanchoes’ blooms have all withered away, but they’re still growing rapidly and, to be honest, the biggest of them has been getting tall and leggy.

So, a few weeks ago I gave it a trim and stuck the cut stems in a cup of water.

This is my first attempt at propagating from cuttings, but it seems to be going well. Some of the cuttings are growing tons of roots!

Once they’re long enough (an inch long or more), I will put them each in soil and keep my fingers crossed that they continue to thrive. I’ve just potted up the first two, whose roots grew much more quickly than the others.
Kalanchoe cuttings with roots
It’s really simple to make cuttings yourself – snip off a stem, remove leaves from the lower portion of stem (roots will be growing out of the leaf nodes), and put them in water by a nice sunny window. Change the water once or twice a week to prevent rot. Soon, with luck, little white roots will start appearing.
Kalanchoe cuttings potted up
Lots of plants can be grown from stem or leaf cuttings, some more readily than others. You can also buy rooting hormone to speed up the process, but these cuttings have grown just fine without it.

It seems amazing to me that you can just cut off a part of a plant, and it will grow into a new separate child – a clone of its parent.

Aren’t plants incredible?

Joy PrimroseJoycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.

She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.

At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.

See all of Joycelyn’s posts.

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The End-of-Summer Crumble

A basket of apples at Primrose

Who could say no to these apples?

By the chill of the wind, it seems like summer’s now gone for good. Just as it started to fade, I decided to do a bit of cooking and whip up a pudding celebrating the transition: Apple and Peach Crumble.

I took home some of the apples that had been brought in to the Primrose office and I had a punnet of peaches I hadn’t yet eaten. I wanted a simple way to make use of this fruit – I’m not much of a cook, so it had to be something I couldn’t screw up – so baking a crumble was an easy choice.

I based my recipe off this one from the BBC, tweaking it to my tastes – adding far more than “1 pinch” of cinnamon, and a little bit of vanilla as well.

My fruits before adding the topping. I put only apples in one half of the pan, and both fruits in the other half.

My fruits before adding the topping. I put only apples in one half of the pan, and both fruits in the other half.

I took the peaches and added in about half of my apple chunks, tossed them together, and put them in one half of the pan. The rest of the pan was just apple without peach – my Other Half is notoriously picky, and I didn’t want him to miss out on crumbly goodness if he wouldn’t eat peaches.

Then I sprinkled on my topping, with another generous shake of cinnamon, and into the oven it went! I kept the pan in the oven for longer than the recipe called for, to ensure my crumble was perfectly crispy and crumbly.

I didn’t have any custard on hand, but I did have some vanilla ice cream. Crumble à la mode – magnifique!

Apple and Peach crumble with ice cream

My finished crumble, topped off with a scoop of ice cream. Yummy!

And how was it?

Simply scrumptious. I would recommend this dish to anybody with some fruits to use up – I hear this has been a very good season for big apple harvests, and blackberries too. My mouth waters at the thought of experimenting with plums, gooseberries, rhubarb, pears…

Have you gotten to taste the results of your autumn harvest yet?

Joy PrimroseJoycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.

She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.

At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.

See all of Joycelyn’s posts.

Are You Ready for the National Garden SleepOut?

National Garden Sleepout logoGet ready, because Saturday 28th July is the National Garden SleepOut – a chance for kids and adults to spend quality time together out in the garden, rediscovering nature and having fun!

We’re trying to combat the cultural change that some are calling ‘Nature Deficit Disorder‘ – a lack of outdoor play in children’s lives. People are losing touch with nature, and as garden lovers, we think that’s dangerous! So we’re inviting you to sleep outside for a night and find out what you may have been missing all this time, while benefiting our great charities Just a Drop and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

After you’ve slept out, send us your pictures and stories – for every photo we publish on the site, we will donate £5 to be split between the two charities.

Here’s a gallery of some of our Primrose kids who have done a ‘trial run’ of the SleepOut – and they loved it, and can’t wait to do it again!

We’ve also got a special Pinterest board celebrating sleeping out, our chosen charities, and life in the garden.

Visit the SleepOut Website for more information, to donate to our charities, and to download an activity pack!

Joy PrimroseJoycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.

She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.

At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.

See all of Joycelyn’s posts.

Primrose celebrates National Insect Week

Fairy Fly Laying Eggs

Today marks the start of National Insect Week, a whole week of events and awareness across the UK. Many insects are vital to the garden, so join us in celebrating British bugs!

We have a selection of bee and wildlife-friendly plants for you to choose from. Or, if you’re not so fond of our creepy crawly friends, repel them humanely and efficiently with an ultrasonic insect repeller.

Here are some fascinating facts…

– The heaviest UK insect is the great silver water beetle, weighing in at about 25-30g.

Fairy Fly Laying Eggs

A fairy fly laying eggs on a leaf.


– The smallest is the fairy-fly, an internal parasite of water beetle eggs, at 0.25mm.

– The Lundy cabbage flea beetle and the Lundy cabbage weevil live only along a strip 1½ miles long, 30 yards wide on the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel and nowhere else in the world. They feed on the Lundy Cabbage, a plant that only lives on that island.

– Painted Lady butterflies make their yearly migration from North Africa and the Mediterranean to the UK each spring.

– When threatened, Ladybirds bleed foul-tasting poisonous blood from their knees.

– When a ladybird emerges from its pupa, it doesn’t have spots — the spots appear as the exoskeleton hardens.

– Bombardier beetles can produce sprays of boiling phenolic liquid in the face of predators such as shrews.

– Earwigs don’t go in people’s ears. Instead, their name comes from either ‘ear-wing’ or ‘ear-bug’ – referring their shape which is like a human ear.

Twig Mimic Caterpillar

Can you find the caterpillars in these photos? source


– The complex folding mechanisms of an earwig’s hind wing have been copied to unfurl solar panels on space satellites.

– Insects are excellent at camouflage and mimicry – some caterpillars mimic twigs, and others mimic bird poo! Other harmless insects take advantage of our fears of bees and wasps, and colour themselves black & yellow to ward off enemies (even if they don’t actually sting!).

Joy PrimroseJoycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.

She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.

At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.

See all of Joycelyn’s posts.