Hi, I'm a dumb question (about rooting!)

greedygh0stApril 1, 2011

So, I've been stressing about rooting danumensis, coriacea, and pentaphlebia all at the same time, all of which look like the same pissed off plant.

I made my decisions about how to root them, so it is what it is.

But, it got me questioning, since they all needed to be soaked longer than normal:

1. How long can you soak a Hoya cutting before it starts being less viable as a rooting candidate

2. Is it possible for a Hoya to start water rooting in a tub?

3. With these thin-leafed varieties, would it be completely insane to put their node in medium, and leave top leafy portion soaking, since they do seem to chill out that way? Or would they start decomposing or something?

Right, yeah, feel free to poke me with a stick and laugh. ^_~

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Questions 1&2&3; I have no idea.
However you might want ensure your plants get enough oxygen and CO2 through their leaves eventually. CO2 is said to be important to root production and oxygen deprivation can lead to stress and tissue damage. I guess you shouldn't soak the leaves for too long, but that brings us back to your question number 1.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 3:27PM
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lol Now every time I see kukka I think about you being embarrassed that its meaning is so simple. ^_~

You bring up a good point about the fact that Hoya leaves are designed to absorb O2/C02 from the air, not the water. I wonder what their capacity is for taking such things in, while partially submerged. Being thin, these leaves tend to float, but I don't really understand on a micro level, what happens when a cutting is submerged.

Ultimately, my gut tells me it's nonsensical to soak very long, but I had to ask.

Kind of off the topic, but not really: I read the other day about someone using a aquarium bubbler to increase oxygen while water rooting. Has anyone here tried this?

Definitely off the topic, I'm going to get some willow twigs on Monday (hopefully!), and after I make the rooting tonic, I'll start our light/dark experiment. ^_^

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 4:12PM
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My experience is that if you soak the cut for many days it will rot, and this is for sure LOL, it happens several times LOL!

But here a lot of people root their hoyas on water, but only a piece of the stem stay submerged, the leaves stays out of water and they say that it should be a dark glass not a transparent one, don't ask me why!

And Sonia root her hoyas on xaxim (you probably know what is a xaxi right?) but now it is prohibited to sell xaxim because the plant is endangered, it is a crime to comercialize xaxin. Xaxim was the most perfect substrate for many plants as orchid and hoyas. We love xaxim but cannot buy it anymore!


Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.google.com.br/images?hl=pt-br&gbv=2&tbs=isch:1&sa=X&ei=ADWWTYfhKsa3twffnriBDA&ved=0CDEQBSgA&q=xaxim&spell=1&biw=1024&bih=505

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 4:30PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Mitzicos,

Karen here, hello again? What pls. is XAXIM?


I'd forget the willow root tonic, one can get the same thing by not changing the water one is rooting in, simply adding to it.

I root many things in water, some Hoyas too. Have read/read that the same thing contained in the willow tonic is achieved by using the water used in water rooting cuttings. It's said that the cuttings release a rooting hormone while they water root, so I never change the water, only add to it.

To keep the water from getting yucky, I use some small bits of aquarium grade charcoal, works just fine. I don't get algae or stinky water.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Excellent feedback, Mitzi, thanks! How long had the cuttings that started to rot soaked?

I had a cutting of rigida in a bath for 24 hours and I noticed some hazy fragments already starting to break away, so perhaps it really doesn't take that long for the leaves to start breaking down.

I'd never heard of xaxim before! Why is it so awesome?

As far as dark glass goes, I think it's because dark glass deters algae growth and algae could compete with the plant for resources? I had heard this too. I also heard that you should use as small a glass as possible so that the rooting enzymes excreted by the plant remain concentrated. It's possible that the dark glass helps protect these, too?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:20PM
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PG Thanks for the feedback! I'm not really planning on routinely using willow extract. I completely agree that the Hoyas seem to do fine rooting in water on their own dime. And I too, stick with 'adding to' rooting water, so as not to lose the good stuff.

I just thought it would be interesting for the sake of the experiment to see if there was any visible distinction between cuttings given an extra hit of the stuff and those sans. Although Hoyas do release their own, some plants, such as willow (and maybe begonias?) are supposed to be extra potent.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Ohh my god, how can I explain what is xaxim, let me try....

Xaxim is "Dicksonia sellowiana" its stem was largely used to grow orchids and a lot of plants, it is native from Brazil mainly at atlantic forest.

But now the plant is in stinction and the government forbade its comercialization.

It was great for many plants and its comercialization is now only in the black market, but people who loves plants does not buy it, in order to protect the plant from extinction.

The plant was cuted and its stem was used like pots for plants, really the perfect substratum for several species of plants.

Here is small pieces of xaxim that I still have and keep as gold:

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.google.com.br/images?hl=pt-br&gbv=2&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1024&bih=505&q=samambaia%C3%A7u%20e%20samambaia%C3%A7u-imperial&tbs=isch:1

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Here is the xaxim vase, flowerpot:

And sorry for the plants on the xaxim vase, they lived in this xaxim for more than 15 years, so they don't look nice!!!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:19PM
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I have soaked cuttings for more than 12 hours but more than that would be trouble. Really only very stressed and dessicated cuttings need such treatment.

Water is H2O, an oxygen molicule with a pair of Hydrogen molecules, one positioned off to each side. Plants don't starve for oxygen while under water although if their tissues are not made to endure such conditions they can certianly rot. Shallow non moving warm water can be very low in available oxygen but an air pump can fix that easily.

I think the best method to root involves a moist substrate which can be organic or inorganic in nature, soil, peat, perlite or hydrotron for example. The next most important or perhaps the most important factor to get a nice fast rooting response in delicate or fussy cuttings is high humidty. Many commercial setups use a misting system where plant cuttings are placed in plugs or on moss and automatucally misted every minute for a few seconds. Using a sealed bag or rooting chamber is much easier and it really works well, heat speeds up all plant processes so hot and humid is what you want.

The use of an aquarium air stone and pump is often called deep water rooting and there are cloning setups available althogh you can make one very easily using hydroponic net pots, a bucket and a lid, rockwool and and aquarium air pump and air stone.
GG you are growing Hoyas right? LOL


    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:26PM
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The xaxim pictures is up here!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:36PM
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Mike! Are you making fun of me!? /shock

Yessss, yesssssssss. I'm rooting these HOYAS in perlite or hydroton. And they're in a rooting aquarium with bottom heat. But, you know how it is. You put them in there and they immediately just go all yellow and black and drop their leaves if you wink at them from across the room. (Just the thin big-leaved ones, I'm talking, not all of them obviously! I'm not a Hoya murderer! A Begonia murderer, maybe....)

It seems like in these situations the high humidity might help encourage faster rooting, but it sure doesn't seem to help them hold onto their leaves. So, I guess, the winning strategy is to persuade them to get a move on, so they can grow new leaves before they lose all their old ones.

So far I've still got a couple of green leaves left, thus I'm still hopeful. But not cocky. Oh no, there's a long road ahead still, ladies and gents.

The thing where I read about the airstone was someone who was water rooting hoyas in the basic glass jar setup and stuck an airstone in there just for a boost. Since I dismantled my aquariums and I have things like bubblers just lying around I was curious.

Mitzi That stuff is crazy. It looks vaguely familiar, but if I've seen it before I didn't know what it was. I think I like the cage thingy even better, though!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:59PM
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Mitzi that is tree fern trunk. I grow some of my orchids on it and it works great. Tree ferns grow really slow so now there is Epiweb which is a syntheic plastic version.
That's weird because I could not see your photos the first time I looked.

GG no I promise I was not making fun of you it's just that cloning and deep water gardening is most often used by a crowd that likes to grow a particular plant, a big weed really. LOL


    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 8:55PM
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Yes, it is a tree fern trunk, it is great for several plants. Here they used to make pots (vases) with the trunk, but now they are forbiden to use the plant, and when you found some the price is like gold, but I don't buy because I know that the prohibition is for a good cause/reason!

GG, yes it is a case, mine is very old more than 25 years, I never saw it to sell anymore, it would be great for hoyas, I'll look for it again.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 7:57AM
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Just a quick note before I'm off to work. Some of my dehydrated cuttings I've put in my rooting aquarium so the stem drops down in the grid, hangs just above the water and roots sprout pretty quick and it rehydrates nicely. But my aquarium is full right now, so I bought some ultra cheap gallon size bags in the dollar isle at the grocery store, plant cuttings in their pot in my usual medium, stick the pot in the bag, blow air into it and seal. I have bags everywhere with all kinds of cuttings and they're doing well.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:18AM
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Denise Thanks!!! That's actually great advice. On past occasions, when my aquariums were really packed, I had some cuttings lying that way, coincidentally, and they went nuts sending roots down into the water at every available node. Idk why I never thought to do that on purpose. ^_^

Mike lol! just... lol! I guess that would be one way for us to subsidize our Hoya addiction.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:27PM
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