The Blue Water root cuttings trials

thetradition(9b)June 1, 2013

This is my Flamingo Plant (Justicia carnea Jacobinia). It was hidden in an overgrown area of the property when we purchased our home. I didn't even notice it for about a year until it stuck a big pink bloom up and said, "Hello!" I waited until the next winter to dig it up and put it in a pot where it's been quite happy on my front porch. Note the long out-of-bounds shoot. That was the original "limb" that caught my attention. It's finally time to cut it off and use it as propagation stock.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp308

This post was edited by TheTradition on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 4:39

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wallisadi

Have the yellow version of that plant, much taller and just getting ready to spike. Don't see the pink around much anymore. Nice plant!!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:19PM
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morningloree(9b)

I accidentally broke a branch off my Mona Lavender, should have tried the blue water. Stuck it in my usual bucket of sandy soil. Curious to see how this turns out.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

I only just picked up two of those pink Justicia/Jacobia the other day. Gorgeous plants, can't wait for them to develop.

Thanks for running this trial Tradition, looking forward to seeing your results.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 10:19PM
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thetradition(9b)

The media - I'm going to put two cuttings in plain water, two cuttings in blue water, and two cuttings in seed starting mix. I will evaluate root development rates and eventually, how vigorous and healthy the plants look to see if any of these methods seem to work better.

I realize this is a totally unscientific trial, but I don't care. I'm just having some fun with this, and if I get new plants out of the deal, then it's a bonus.

The Blue Water is Lilly Miller UltraGreen Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food (24-8-16), mixed at the "household plants" rate of one teaspoon per gallon.

The seeding mix is Miracle Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix.

This post was edited by TheTradition on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 4:46

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:19AM
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thetradition(9b)

Prep - the cuttings were prepared by removing the lower leaves from each cutting, cutting the top leaves in half, and dusting the stem portion with rooting hormone (Green Light brand). The dusted cuttings were then left to soak up the hormone in a damp paper towel for about a half an hour.

This post was edited by TheTradition on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 4:50

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:22AM
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thetradition(9b)

Plant - not much to describe here. Each solo cup gets two cuttings plunked into the media. I put the worst-looking one in the seed-starting mix because that's the way I usually do this, and consider that pot to be the "control" for this trial.

This post was edited by TheTradition on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 4:53

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:25AM
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thetradition(9b)

Cover - Each solo cup is then covered with a ziplock sandwich bag that has been perforated with a bamboo skewer. With their humidity-saving hats on, they'll sit on a shady spot on my porch, and I'll check on them every few days and provide updates if anything happens. Nothing else will be done with them until they root out except to add plain water as necessary.

This post was edited by TheTradition on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 4:57

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:27AM
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Linda_Brookes(9A)

Interesting, thanks for sharing your experiment on here, I'll be interested to follow this thread :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:26AM
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thetradition(9b)

Oh, I forgot to mention that this trial was inspired by the linked thread. I should probably try another experiment where the cuttings are soaked in the Blue Water for 24 hours and then planted in a soil-less mix media. Maybe I'll take one of the cuttings out of the blue water and pot it up tonight.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/flgard/msg0519540920308.html?12

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

You should also add "Two plants pre-soaked in water and then placed in starting mix" and "Two plants pre-soaked in blue water then placed in starting mix" just to see if either one adds a 'primer' to root or leaf growth.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:38AM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

Wonderful. WIll be stalking. :-)

Hey, is it stalking if you want us to be watching? You voyeur, you.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:03PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Tradition, that's a great set up and interesting experiment! It will be so much fun to see how this turns out. Thanks for following up on my old post. I will be lurking, too, to see how this turns out. Great photos, too, by the way...

Carol

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:35PM
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thetradition(9b)

Well, this is day three and I examined the cuttings and there was nothing really to report or photograph. The leaves on all three cups show absolutely no wilting, however, which is unusual in my experience doing this. Perhaps this plant is a little too easy to root from cuttings for this trial.... ?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 8:59PM
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thetradition(9b)

Day 10. Nothing is appearing that I could describe as a root. Leaves are heathly, no wilt at all, and new vegitative growth is starting on all three subjects. I decided the ziplock covers weren't needed.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:23AM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

Well, darn I was hoping for some sort of root growth. Interesting that they are starting new vegetative growth and no root growth. UGH! but annoying! LOL.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:20PM
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thetradition(9b)

Okay, the Flamingo plant cuttings have been in media for almost three weeks. It's not looking good for the blue water idea....

Here they are. All are alive and growing. You can see that the ones in plain H2O (right) appear more vigorous. The Seed-Starting Mix (middle) plants are doing second best, and Blue Water (left) ones are lagging.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:11AM
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thetradition(9b)

Here you can see that the H2O roots are clearly more developed than the Blue Water plants. I'm not going to dig up the potted plant at this time because I'd probably harm the tender roots doing that. I'll evaluate that when it's time to pot up to a larger container.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:15AM
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thetradition(9b)

What's amazing is the amount of foliage growth with so little roots to support it. I snipped all the leaves in half when I started this, and note all the whole leaves. Also note the size of the buds in the center of the leaf swirl. This is plain water on the left, and mix on the right.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:19AM
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thetradition(9b)

Here's the Blue Water ones. Note that while they're alive and growing, they're not growing as fast as the other two.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:20AM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

OOOOOhhhhh... NOW I'm impressed. :-D

I love this. And now I feel good about just sticking my cuttings in water. LOL.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:47AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

That is interesting, thank you for letting us know the results.

Silvia

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 2:06PM
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