my''Cuttings' have arrived.

kankayak(z5 Ks.)December 4, 2004

In good shape too..From Mr. Tights post, it looks as if they ship a wee bit different here. But I need your help on two of them. One has five branchs, only one branch has leaves still on it. Any suggestions? The other one has or is, really drooping. (The leaves) The other six are looking good.They have picked up within a hour of unpacking them.

My other question is. On my other plants, be it tomatos or flowers. That when I transplant them, I give them a boost with a week alfalfa tea.It seems to give them a boost and keeps them from going into shock.(Another item I might have missed reading about fuchsia.)

My other question Mr. Tight is, (another one?) this time of year we get about ten hours of daylight. How much more, if any, of addition light should they receive? Have flourscent lights set up for starting my seeds, and growing them up to size for setting them out.

And please, anyone with a suggestion, please jump in. If you don't, I will owe Mr. Tight a steak dinner for all his help. If others jump in I'll get away with coffey and a roll.(or tea) bob in Kansas

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tightathome(Yorks - UK)

Hi Bob

Glad to hear that they have arrived , albeit in varying degrees of growth.

I would suggest the following;

Cutting No1 (five branches)  have a look at the roots and make sure they are not too wet  they need to be just moist. Pot this up into the smallest pot that it will go into without having to squash the roots to do this, then fill in with new compost. No need to water this for a couple of days at least. This should start to sprout again from the nodes.

Cutting No2 (drooping)  this could be a couple of things  the cutting could be under or over watered or this could be a larger leaved cultivar that has transpired a lot in transit to the point of wilting. If it has been under or over watered you need to deal with this accordingly (for under watering spray the roots with tepid water before planting as No 1 cutting) if however it has been over watered you need to wrap the roots in some absorbent material such as kitchen tissue or newspaper to remove some of the moisture, this will take a day or so to do this and you may need to change the material a couple of times, keep this in the shade while doing this. You can then pot up as No1. If the roots are ok and the cutting has wilted a light spray with tepid water should bring the foliage back into a turgid state in a short time.

The other new cuttings should be potted up as for No1

Regarding your Âalfalfa tea solution, I would assume that although this would appear to be giving the plants a boost that in practice you are merely watering in the plants? (I might be wrong on this but I am a coffee man myself).

With ten hours of daylight at this time of year you should be able to bring your plants along without any need for artificial lighting, we have around about 8 hours here in the North of the UK. My plants are growing nicely at the moment with this amount of light and as the day length increases the plants will respond accordingly. No need to rush things, you need to concentrate on achieving the light/temperature balance.

And now you have got your Âstarts Bob I suppose I better Âpull my finger out and get this book finished, they will be in bloom before I get a copy to youÂ..

did I hear someone mention steak?

Tight ....

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 3:55AM
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kankayak(z5 Ks.)

Thanks much for the reply. Did as you suggested on #2 cutting, it was over watered. Will wait and see. Just now repotted it.

On your coffee. And hints? How much, how often? The only thing I do here is to put it in the compost bin or on the growing plants. (the grounds)Drink the liquid.

On the alfalfa, I myself thinks it ranks right up there with seaweed or kelp as some call it. The 'Peninsular Rose Club' has a great article on it. Also shows the chemical break down of it.Web site is Also it has growth hormones.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 1:32AM
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JessMonkie(8b GA)

I tried to take cuttings for Bob. I took 5 and only 2 have survived so far. They have the tiniest little bit of roots growing on them. I mean tiny. They've been in the pots for about a month now and the leaves keep falling off of them. I'm thinking that maybe the soil is too wet. The pot is covered with a plastic bag and I haven't watered it since I planted them. Should I try replanting them into a smaller pot with less moist soil? They're sitting inside so they aren't in direct sun light, but they get plenty of light.


I really wanted these to work out. Bob has gotten some since I started this project so I wanted to use them to start up a bonsai maybe. I don't think that'll work if things don't start looking up for the little guys/gals.

Tight, you're the man with the plan. Any ideas?


    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 10:59PM
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tightathome(Yorks - UK)


Once again there are many causes for cuttings to fail, and as you say quite correctly over watering of the compost (compost in this context means the material in the pot) can be one of them. When taking cutting you really need to make sure that if they are soft (fresh growth) the parent plants are well watered a couple of hours before you take the cutting, this makes the material Âturgid (holding water) and therefore the cutting can survive a little time on itÂs own while the wound calluses over and the cells in the base of the cutting get their act together and start forming roots.

One problem that I have encountered for years is that many growers recommend that a cutting is taken anything from a tip and a pair of leaves, up to 4 inches long. Over the years I have given countless talks and information sessions to groups, societies and at displays and I always say that the easiest way to take a cutting is to take just the tip and 2 pairs of leaves, then take off the lowest pair of leaves taking care not to damage the node (where the leaves join the stem). This method is described in detail on my site which I am sure you have all seen.

Getting back to your problem, how do you know that your cutting have small roots? If you keep pulling them out of the compost you could be breaking off any new soft roots, you should refrain for a while, you can see when the cuttings have Âtaken (rooted) as the tip takes on a new appearance it becomes what I call Âfresher looking, a gentle tug with finger and thumb will meet with some resistance, if it doesnÂt leave it alone and try again later.

If the cuttings have been over watered I think I would try again with a fresh compost that is well drained and contains at least 50% of sharp sand, river sand, (not builders sand), grit, perlite or vermiculite. You can take the tops off the cuttings that you have in now (this is sometimes needed if the cuttings that you take originally are weak or showing buds), and root these in the fresh compost. If you want to water the compost, use a fine spray to do this, spraying the cutting as well. This will help you prevent over watering, and if like me you have a heavy hand when it comes to this side of growing, buy a small watering can (and mine is small it only holds a pint of water), I use this throughout the cutting period and when the plants are just coming back into growth after being pruned.

Again getting back to your problem, I am not into Bonsai, that is KathÂs forte and no doubt she can advise you in that area.

Ooooppps seems I have gone on a bit about this, so in short, try these cuttings in fresh well drained compost or take tops and roots these, donÂt water too much, spray if needed and be patient and stop pulling them out!!!!


    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 6:08AM
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JessMonkie(8b GA)

OK OK. I'll stop with my root curiousity ;) I've only pulled it out once because the 3 were dead and didn't have anything on them so I wanted to see what the others were doing. It didn't even occur to me that I might be damaging what roots were growing. Pretty silly.

I followed your explaination on taking cuttings from your website. I think I'll try again with some fresh ones too.

Thanks, Tight. Much appreciated.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 11:33AM
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kankayak(z5 Ks.)

Trying to talk Mr. Tight into really getting basic, and putting in a chapter on trouble for us real beginners. Big difference between starting tomatos from seed and doing cutting and getting them going. Love his way of writing also.

Don't worry about cutting for me Jeff, right now I got more then I can handle.

bob in Kansas

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 12:32AM
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tightathome(Yorks - UK)


Thanks for the kind comments and I only write as I speak really, I cannot see the point of writing 100 words when 10 will do - I work on the KISS principle - Keep It Simple Stupid - this works best.

I can't add anything else to the book at the moment Bob - well not your copy anyway - seems you might be getting an early Christmas Present.....

I was looking at my plants yesterday and although it is a little earlier than I would have liked it seems that I might as well make use of the abundance of material that is available now and get some cuttings started, anyone care to join me ........


    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 3:08AM
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