Quick questions

goddess9(7b)August 22, 2012

My mom always told me I asked too many questions...

1. I received a bunch of cuttings and they're soaking in a bucket of water with some palmolive (a few drops) and a little rubbing alcohol. Is this okay? How long should they soak?

2. The cuttings are HUGE. 2.5 feet long and I don't know how to prop them up! I only have one orchid trellis. Help? Anything cheap online?

3. The cuttings I got a few days ago are in little plastic cups with drainage. I water them in a little (is this okay or is this promoting rot?), put them all in a huge clear trash bag, blew my breath into it, misted and sealed it. I poked a hole in it today. Is anything about this promoting rot? They're sitting on the bottom of my small greenhouse. It's not in a shady area.

Thank you everyone, seriously. I get most of my Hoya advice from ya'll. No one else I know grows Hoyas!

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Goddess,

I'm sorry, I'm confused, why soap & or alcohol? What are you trying to do here? Sorry, But I don't know about this soaking business, I don't do mail order. I thought the soak was to re-hydrate them after long travel time.

Sorry, maybe I should leave this for those who DO mail order & soak things, but personally, I do not think it's a good idea & I'd get it out of the soak immediately. If you feel you must soak what about plain old water?

I don't know abt your bagged greenhouse, nor what you mean by planted 'with drainage', is that in mix, or in water, or what?

If they're not in a shady area, where are they? I hope not out in direct sun. If they've just arrived, direct sun exposure should be gradual pls.

Others will come along & address this, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Hi PG,

One of the cuttings had a pretty bad infestation of mealybugs. The seller is working with me on refunding, but for now they're soaking. I'm trying to wash off anything visible as well as re-hydrate (some of them looked withered).

My mix is 1:2:1 compost-based mix (no peat)/perlite/vermiculite. The little solo cups have drainage. I watered them in a little and put them in the bag.

Excuse me, I meant that they ARE in a shady area. (My phone is out to make me look crazy.) They're at the bottom of the greenhouse. I poked a hole so that they can get some air. They'll stay there until something happens. Bad or good.

Thanks for the response. :)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:19PM
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They should not soak in alcohol. You can kill the bugs with alcohol, but a soak in it will surely kill them. Well, maybe not kill them, but it's certainly not good for them. I swish all my new cuttings in a sinkfull of soapy water, then either put them in a soak of VF-11 and water of SuperThrive and water or straight into my soil mix for rooting, depending on wheather they are dehydrated or not. New cuttings should never be where there is direct sun.

Best of luck with your new cuttings!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Hi Goddess,
Step one .... relax. When I get cuttings and they travel far I soak them in room temp water and a dilute fish emulsion, no soap or alcohol. Denise is correct that if you swish in a soapy water this works well and any mealies should be dabbed off with swabbing. Then pot them up as you did with the others, keeping humidy high and slowly expose them to light and your environment. Leaf loss is common. As far as the length goes, can you loop them and clip with the small claw clips for hair? Or twist ties? As far as a support I have used short floral sticks or bamboo skewers, even straws for them until they are rooted until you can find some trellis supports. And as always isolate the new from the current stock you have no matter who they came from, safety first with me! Offense not intended to anyone.
Good Luck! ~ Mary

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:17PM
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I hope the photo shows up for you guys. This is the bucket that they were soaking in. It is pretty big - the bucket is the size for party coolers. It was filled up halfway and literally the ratio of soap/alcohol was large. The cuttings are fine, or look fine to me. They're still in there.

Denise - thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I do not have access to either vf-11 or Superthrive without ordering online. :(

Mary - HAHA, I am seriously a neurotic person. I worry about everything...such is being a Virgo. These are my birthday presents, so I will be very upset if I did something that offed them...

I plan on looping, but the stems are too thick for skewers, which I have. They would just pull the skewers down with them. I do have twist ties though, and plenty of them. I am going to look for some plant stakes.

I always isolate, no worries. :)


I was hoping to share these cuttings, but I guess I can't now because one of them (which was on top) had the mealies. I was horrified!

Can I do a community pot? I bought really big 6" pots and I was hoping to put a few of them in there together. They're so large that I think the solo cups would not even handle them.

Lastly, some of the stems looked hollow in the middle. I snipped them off and the stem is still healthy at the cut. They don't have aerial roots like the ones from joni, so I don't think they have an advantage. Can I just dip the fresh cut in the rooting hormone and plant?

Thank you guys. I know I am a worrywart, but I don't make a ton of money and I'm not really trying to have rotting cuttings all over the place. You guys are lifesavers (and enablers)!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:08AM
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I highly recommend reading the Stemma Journal issues that are available on the Apodagis Hoya site. There is an entire issue dedicated to rooting Hoyas. Hoyas for the most part are easy to root as long as you have warmth, bright but indirect light, and high humidity.

Soaking cuttings is only necessary if they are badly dehydrated. Soaking your cutting that had mealies was a good choice.
If you already have the cuttings in a mini greenhouse then you don't need them in a bag as well. Maybe I read that part wrong?
When you pot the cuttings up water them well until water drips from the bottom of the pot. Put the cuttings in their pots into the mini greenhouse and then don't water them again unless they look like the potting mix is drying out. Misting is great at this time.
The simplest approach is to get a bunch of 4" pots and root each cutting in one, right in the mix you intend to grow in. I think moving from rooting containers into another final pot is just adding a step that increases the chances of damaging the new roots. I always root cuttings into the mix I plan on growing them in. I also keep them in the rooting tank for as long as I can which is usually about a month or more because then I know they are well rooted and often times showing new growth.

Good luck with your cuttings.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Thanks, Mike. That was exactly what my worrywart behind needed. Since money is tight, having rotted cuttings would honestly anger me haha.

They're in a bag at the bottom of my greenhouse, yes. I can take them out tonight. It's just that I think the greenhouse is a little airy and wouldn't provide as much humidity as a bag. The bottom is open to air. I don't know, maybe that's just me.

Thanks for the watering info. For some reason, every single article or blog entry I read ommitted that part. The problem with these cuttings are that they are huge and lots of them have thick stems. I am concerned about each pot being extremely top heavy.

I do remember that magazine issue. I will have to find it.

Thanks again. I am not usually this bad. ^_^ I just spent over $100 on cuttings so I want to do it right...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:32PM
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I think I suggested this in your other post but not sure. I use a large clear bag in the bottom of my mini greenhouse because it helps seal the enclosure off to help keep humidity up. Take the bag and lay it on the bottom rack, then use packing tape to seal the edges to the greenhouse. Misting will still be important but the bag will help quite a bit by covering the bottom of the greenhouse instead of leaving it open.

You can take long cuttings and loop them around into a hoop shape and then use a single support in the middle of the pot to keep them upright. Another method is to loop the cutting into a hoop shape but instead of just burying the cut end bury all the vines that form the bottom of the hoop.
If you want to can also cut the long cuttings into more manageable ones but a pot full of cuttings can grow into a tangled mess in a couple years. I find that leaving the cuttings intact will give peduncles sooner. You might want to pick up a roll of fairly stiff wire that you can bend into trellises for your cuttings.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:20PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

One can even use wire clothes hangers to make hoops for them, I just open them w/ pliers & re-bend into the shapes I want.

Most importantly, pls. try not to worry & try to enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Thanks, PG! I know I'm a huge worrywart. ^_^

Luckily, it seems that all of the cuttings I got from Joni look like they will root. All of them have craz(ier) aerial roots. The others I got from Ebay are in various states. The thin stemmed ones don't seem to do as well as the ones she sent with huge, thick stems. H. macgillivrayi seems to already have a root!

I am switching both H. multiflora cuttings to water rooting. Does anyone have experiences trying to root this one? I have been reading the older posts about it and am getting mixed results.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:21PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Reminding yourself that you're a huge worrywart doesn't actually help, does it? I garden to myself help de-stress, personally (among other reasons), not an area I permit worry.

I haven't grown Mutiflora in a while, but I've probably done both. I think I'd found it an easy grower in mix so I didn't worry, but I had been given rooted cuttings.

Since you've got 2, why not try one in each, mix & water & see which works best for you.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:08PM
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I'm a therapist, so I encourage everyone to know their faults...but mostly theire good points. It's okay to recognize your faults once in a while. :) Besides, when I garden, I'm not really worried about anything.

I'm trying to buy some hydroton and grow them in semi-hydro.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 12:58PM
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goddess - I've got a plant labeled multiflora, but most probably is javanica, and I'm growing it in S/H. OMG the thing is probably 3 ft tall now, after 1.5 year, and blooms non-stop all summer. I've cut it back now 4 times, and it just puts out side vines.

The pot size I'm using is a 2Liter plastic pop bottle, that I cut down. And multiflora (javanica) sucks up all the water every day. Thirsty little bugger.

BTW - don't forget when using S/H, a weak fertilizer solution is much better than plain water.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Now I can't wait to get my hydroton! I ordered 3 pounds as a trial. That's a really smart idea about the pop bottle. You can just cut the little "feet" and voila! So smart.

So it's one of those Hoyas. It's gonna hate me LOL. I'm an underwaterer.



    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I just wanted to let everyone know that all but two rooted - H. multiflora isn't happy and H. mindorensis was tipped over and rotted in the bag. Otherwise, I have over a dozen happily rooting cuttings. :)

Thanks to everyone who helped me with my first adventure in rooting cuttings!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:45AM
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