how to provide the best cutting sharing experience?
Spring is upon us, and with it the cutting gifting / trading / buying season (YES! MORE HOYAS! MORE!!!)
I have some to share, and of course I want to be a good citizen of our community and create conditions where my cuttings are the best they can be for further rooting and growing.
Check out these sequential notes that describe my understanding and questions about the best way to go about sharing cuttings. I'd appreciate comments or your experience.
1. Check the 10-day forecast for the origin and destination locations. If ground transportation, also consider the weather in-between. (What are your rules for delaying mailings due to weather?)
2. Ideally, how many days in advance of cutting the plant should I water last, in order for the cutting to tolerate mailing and to root best? Does it matter? With fertilizer or plain water better? (I fertilize weakly with almost every watering, but I am thinking if the tissues of the cutting are saturated with nitrogen-rich fertilizer, it may be hesitant to push out roots when planted - I think I read that somewhere.)
3. Choose a cutting:
a. Inspect the plant for pests/disease.
b. Use mature growth, not completely tender new growth.
c. It may flower for them sooner if there is a peduncle.
a. Sanitize tools before and after each plant. (I do not want to use flame to heat up the cutting tool in order not to mess it up. Is wiping with rubbing alcohol adequate?)
b. Prepare the label.
c. How to stop the milky sap mess? Submerge the cut into water right away? What about the other side of the cut? Blot with tissue or something?
d. Tag the name and the bottom of the cutting right away.
e. Take a pic of the cutting. Optional: send pics to the recipient.
5. Submerge all cuttings into soapy water for 30-60 min; rinse. (Even if no bugs found, perhaps this is a good thing to do?)
6. Dry the cutting: how? Room temp? On a paper towel? For how long? (I know Joni puts her cuttings on a drying rack. I'd like to know what that is, what it does etc.)
a. Layers of packing peanuts on the bottom, in-between and on top of the cuttings.
b. Give the recipient the tracking number.