Ever start a rhizome in water?

gree_knees(6a)April 6, 2008

I've been reading older posts about rooting leaves in water, but have any of you ever rooted a rhizome that way? I have one in dire need of repotting and thought I might try this while I was tearing it up anyway. Anita

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Hi Anita,

I have started a rhizome in water just like a cane or leaf but I think you'd have better luck starting it in a cup or a food container with nothing other than Perlite. If you have a long enough rhizome then starting in water is easier than a short rhizome. Cover with a baggie if starting in water or put the pot in a glass or plastic container with a lid.

Starting the rhizome in Perlite can be very easy. Either add drainage holes to your container or just add a very small amount of water to the Perlite and give it a good shake (with a lid on) so you wet the medium. Clean your rhizome of old leaves and other debris and place it horizontally on the surface like an iris rhizome. Cover the cup or container with a clear plastic cup, baggie, or Saran wrap. Place as close to fluorescent lights as possible and keep an eye on it for mold and vent if necessary. Roots should appear in a week or two for most begonias. Once it puts out new leaves, you can start hardening it to "normal" household air by opening the tent more every day. If it shows wilt, cover it again and start the process over. Some begonias are best left in an enclosed environment though.

Here is a favorite way of mine - a small aluminum pan with holes punched in to the bottom (pocket knife or ice pick or screw driver works well), Perlite added and wetted, cuttings placed on top, and plastic containers placed over cuttings.

Here are some other starts:

Sir John Falstaff from leaf (used Nature's Helper instead of Perlite)

Parent plant:

Plum Gorgeous mother plant (I started this one by leaf)

And its offspring from leaf cuttings:

Art Hodes rhizome cuttings (rhizomes are easier than leaf cuttings for me)

Newest cuttings:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Thank you. You give the best directions and great pictures, I'd love to put all of your posts that are in my clippings into a book. Thanks again. Anita

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 6:40PM
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perlite(z6, southern IN)

Great information. Thank you so much! I am sitting on the fence about whether to repot a neglected B. acetosa (whose leaves are all at the tip of a rhizome that's hanging off the edge of its pot) or whether to sever that tip and root it. This helps.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:56AM
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