Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the December 27, 2009 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Our crew of grounds workers consists of Maya men from local villages, mostly with very little schooling, yet they all know very much about plants, and all work hard and do a good job. Sometimes it's surprising what they do. For example, the other day I walked by a Chinese Hibiscus and saw what you can see below:

STEM ROOTING with plastic bottle

That's a plastic liter soda-drink bottle with its bottom cut out and slit along one side so it could be slipped around the hibiscus's stem, tied in place upside-down, and filled with potting soil. Certain plant stems sprout roots if their stems make contact with moist soil, and Chinese Hibiscus is one of them. Eventually the hibiscus's stem will fill the potting soil with roots, then the stem can be severed right below the bottle's mouth, the bottle will be removed, and wherever the root-filled soil is planted there'll stand a new Chinese Hibiscus already two or three feet tall.