IMPATIENS CUTTINGS USING HYDROGEL
I have discovered a magic way of doing Impatiens cuttings and decided to share.
You will need some Hydrogel. Hydrogel is a synthetic, inert, inorganic compound - Potssium/ Sodium acrylate. Its chief property as far as gardeners and horticulturists is concerned is its incredible ability to store water. When mixed with water, a single teaspoonful will swell up to fill an average-sized drinking glass. It is usually bought in the form of a powder, which has the appearance of powdered milk, but you can also get small granules. I canÃ¢ÂÂt recommend a brand as it goes under different names in different parts of the world.
1. Prepare the cutting using your usual method. I find that a 2Ã¢ÂÂ tip cutting with a single node is sufficient.
2. Take a large, clean, flat unperforated container that you can fill to this depth.
3. Sprinkle the hydrogel so as to just barely cover the base. You will need less than you think. Slowly add water until the mix swells up to near the top of the container. It should have the consistency and appearance of thick wallpaper paste.
4. Simply push you cuttings into the paste to the level of the lowest leaves. They should stand up without any support.
5. After an incredible 48 hours roots will begin to appear and after only 5-7 days be ready to pot up. Do not remove the paste when doing so.
6. You can add a small amount of Hydrogel to your potting compost and this will greatly reduce the amount of watering they need. You can also do this if planting out into the border. You will also find that the increased water availability means you will be able to plant them into a sunnier position than you might otherwise.
I think this method would also work well for other thirsty cuttings ie. Fuchsia.
Good luck! Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½" Ian.