Azalea... rooted cutting?

newbi(NS z5)September 24, 2005

Hi,

About three weeks ago I took some cuttings from my azalea, dipped them in rooting hormone and stuck in some soil in a pot. They seem to be doing well... about 7-8 cuttings to a small pot of soil. Though they look great and seem to be doing well I haven't actually pulled any out to see if they are developing roots. Just wondering what my next step is. Is it silly to think that they will have developed roots in three weeks and should I wait another three weeks before doing anything with them? Do I leave them as is and bring them in for the winter and place them in an unheated basement next to a North facing window (only north facing in the basement) or do I pot them in the ground? Or did I start this all too late and going to lose them? Any suggestions?

Lisa

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chester_grant(6)

I am no expert but I know enough to know that with azaleas and rhodies you need months for the roots to grow, if at all. I have tried this with rooting powder and have had zero success with any root growth after months. My only propagation success with rhodies has been with ground layering over a one/two year period.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:15AM
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newbi(NS z5)

Thanks for the info. I may try that method next year.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 6:22PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Cuttings are usually taken in the early fall from new growth that is just beginning to harden off. Generally, softer wood roots more readily than harder wood, though the softer the wood, the more likely it is that problems will occur with fungus diseases. Cuttings are taken in the morning when full of moisture. The cuttings are usually terminal cuttings with one whirl of leaves with the leaves cut in half (to reduce the leaf area) and any flower buds removed. Wound the cutting with a cut on each side, about 1/2" to l", just deep enough to cut through the bark. Dipping the cutting in a rooting hormone containing indolebutyric acid will make rooting easier. The exact formula depends on the hardness of the cutting and the difficulty in rooting the cultivar you are tying to propagate. The cutting has the end cut off just before placing in hormone powder (containing a fungicide). Then the cuttings are placed in a flat of sterile media containing a mix of 50% peat moss, and 50% horticultural perlite or vermiculite. The flat is placed in a polyethylene bag with struts to keep bag away from the foliage and placed in a light area with no direct sunlight. The flat is rotated once or twice a week to compensate variations in light and temperature. Usually bottom warmth of 70-75°F is used to encourage root growth. Rooting usually takes about 6 weeks for evergreen azaleas and 3 to 4 months for large-leaf rhododendron. Once the cuttings have rooted, pot or transplant them to flats containing a sterile mix of 60% peat moss and 40% perlite. Fertilize once a month with an acid-based azalea plant food like Peters. Removing terminal buds promotes sturdy well branched plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Azalea Propagation

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 8:57PM
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chester_grant(6)

rhodyman, your advice is well taken I am sure but dont you need to mention watering and moisture?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 3:21PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Regarding watering and moisture:

When the flat is placed in a polyethylene bag with struts to keep bag away from the foliage, the flat is water thoroughly, drained well and sealed. A space is left under the flat in the bag for water to collect away from the flat.
The bag is not opened again until the cuttings are ready to transplant. After transplanting, the plants are treated normally, watering only when needed and keeping well drained.

Here is a link that might be useful: Azalea Propagation

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 4:33PM
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newbi(NS z5)

Rhodyman,

Thanks so much, very informative. The link is great. I think I'll bookmark it. So, I guess I'll have to toss what I was trying to root and start again using a different technique.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 4:47PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

This is going to sound crazy after roddyman's description for propagating but here's my story anyway...when planting an 'Olga Mezitt' rhoddy I accidently broke off a small branch. Stuck in the ground a few feet away from the original shrub. Watered it whenever I watered the main shrub. That was last spring. My cutting is now about 8-10" tall and has set buds for next year's bloom. No rooting hormone, did not even trim the broken end...just stuck in the ground. We have very loose soil that is high in organic matter and retains moisture quite well. So, I'm not positive it has to be all that difficult to root these things. In New Hampshire, I had a Rhoddy 'Nova Zembla' that lost a branch to snow load. I found it the following May and it had rooted in place as the ground thawed and the snow melted. I trimmed it up and it was still doing fine when we sold the home.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 8:04AM
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trigger_m(7b georgia)

a few months ago i had to trim back one of the azaleas that was reaching over the back steps.i took about 25 little cuttings per gallon pot.think i used peat and vermiculate.after wetting them,i put saran wrap over the top,and sealecd it.put under a shady bush.i pulled a couple out-and they had tiny roots!!!!now i need cuttings off the pink azalea!!how big should they be till potting up?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 6:46PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Newbi wrote:
>> So, I guess I'll have to toss what I was trying to root and start again using a different technique.

Your technique may work. By improving the technique the rooting success rate goes up. No technique is wrong, some are just more successful.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 9:37AM
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