Rooting Persian Shield??

oldgranvilleplaceOctober 19, 2003

I've read in a number of places about how "easy" it is to root Persian Shield from cuttings and wonder if anyone could elaborate? I've tried rooting cuttings, dusted in rooting hormone, in moist potting soil and rooting cuttings in water with zero luck. What's the secret??


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Hallloooo??! Can anyone help? The cutting is now quite dead. Fortunately, I was able to bring the parent plant inside before it got frosted. I'd love to propogate it!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2003 at 12:32PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

Did you put a plastic bag or something else over the cutting in soil to maintain humidity? Did you include a few leaf nodes under the soil line? Did you keep it in a bright spot out of direct sun?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 8:38AM
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Giboosi_alttara - the first attempt was under a fluorescent light in consistenty moist potting soil (no plastic bag). I honestly can't recall if there were any leaf nodes under the soil line. Second attempt was under fluorescent light in water. There were definitely leaf nodes under the water line. Is soil the better way to go?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2003 at 6:00PM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

A lot of people are very successful in rooting plants in water. If it works, that's fine. It is an extra step that's not necessary from my experience. Sometimes I do stick things in water when I don't have time to do better, and if it's limp I always put it in water (but usually lying down) until it perks up, but water roots and soil roots are different, or so I understand, and when you pot them up they have to make a whole new adjustment. (That's why lots of times they make nice healthy roots and you think you're home free, and then they die when you put them in potting mix or soil.) A plastic bag or other glass or plastic protection helps because without roots to supply moisture the leaves dry out, and the protective cover keeps humidity around the cutting until it grows roots. Then you can take it off, or better, raise it a little bit at a time while it adjusts.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2003 at 12:34AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I don't generally have good luck rooting in water.

I like to use a mix of half perlite and half vermiculite. I think humidity is the key point. I buy plastic humidity domes that fit over a 11x22 inch flat of plants, but you can also use a large baggie or jar. Just try to keep it off of the leaves. You should need to water very rarely since all the water will stay inside.

I have had excellent results under fluorescent lights. They don't need to be real close either. If you have your lights set up so that you can put the cuttings on TOP of the light fixture, the bottom heat from the fixture will really speed up rooting.

This worked for my persian shield and lots of other plants. I discovered that it is too humid for succulents - they do better under all the same conditions but no humidity dome.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2003 at 5:23PM
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bernard_qld(Brisbane Aust)

Keep in mind if your tap water is chlorinated or contains other nasties, you will have no luck rooting in water, try rainwater instead. As already suggested, when taking a cutting, remove the lowest leaves and stick in wet soil and cover the pot with a plastic bag to keep humidity high and give some bottom heat.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2003 at 7:29AM
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Persian shield can be rooted in moist (not soggy) potting medium (standard garden soil is too heavy and may harbor disease). The pot should be covered with a plastic bag or humidity dome until rooting is well-established.

Tap water chemicals are not thought to affect rooting, and I certainly haven't seen any negative effects.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 9:11AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there: I've been propagating plants for 35 years and I've had trouble with the Persian Shield too. The only way I can make it work is to do air layering or tip layering. _Sandy

    Bookmark   December 24, 2003 at 11:39AM
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This one is so easy for me and my friends that we have been able to root leaves. The secret seems to be keeping the medium at about the same moisture level as a wrung out washcloth and keeping it warm. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2003 at 4:02PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

It roots very easily for me in water on a sunny window sill under active growth outdoor conditions, and tap water here(chlorinated), doesn't affect it at all. I do find it roots much better in late spring to late summer than this time of year(November/December), and suspect that temps in the 70'sF are ideal, and not falling below 60F at night. Also, it seems to root much better/more quickly if the shoots are not trying to flower, you should definitely pick shoots before the plants start flowering, and maybe try earlier in the year while the plants are still in active growth. (They live over here in the San Francisco Bay Area during our winters, which generally stay above freezing; but the plants do not seem to grow at all during our cold, rainy winters, and also seem to resent our cool springs).I find these plants do much better as house plants/sun porch plants here, where even in summer the nights drop down to 55F. Cuttings potted up in soil and transferred outside really slow down in growth compared to those kept indoors, even in summer, so I think that temperature has alot to do with active growth of this Strobilanthes.

Rooting cuttings in June usually results in roots in less than a week's time using water. A heating mat may be advisable this time of year to encourage better rooting.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2003 at 6:03AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Thank you-Sandy

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 3:21AM
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I have had a few cuttings of Persian shield to root, but mostly I have problems with rooting that plant (and azaleas)! Other things just pop with roots, but not those 2!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2003 at 8:51PM
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Hi all and many thanks again for your feedback. Wanted to let you all know that I did manage to successfully root a piece of Persian Shield .... and it took FOUR MONTHS!! I tried a few more permutations of rooting in potting soil (under lights, on a windowsill, in the kitchen, in the basement) that all shriveled and died within days to a week. I also stuck one cutting in a vase in tap water and put it on the kitchen counter under a fluorescent light. That cutting neither flourished nor died, so I just let it be. Finally, this week, it's showing signs of rootlets. Amazing! I saved the "momma" plant by bringing it indoors before first frost, so I hope to try taking cuttings from that in the spring to see if it roots any faster.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 4:59PM
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Kmrsy(Z5a neIN)

I rooted 28 cuttings of Persian Shield last fall, 100% success. Recently I took cuttings from the cuttings as growth was getting out of hand. This is the first time though that I've had some of my cuttings flower. I know I'll have to cut these off so the energy will go to the plant rather than to seed, but it is fun to see. Photos can be seen at:
I always tent my cuttings and don't do anything unusual with them. They usually are rooted well enough for potting up in 6-8 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 11:35PM
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I am just wondering if anyone on here would be interested in trading a slip/piece of plant, for different types of seeds. If so, please email me at:


    Bookmark   March 28, 2004 at 2:17AM
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