Trouble Rooting Impatiens In Water

Ayesha_2424July 16, 2012

Hello all � I am new to the forum. Happy to be here and hope to obtain and receive lots of helpful hints from the plant gurus on the forum.

Here is my problem�.A few days ago, I noticed one of my impatiens was limp and distressed. The others planted next to it were both fine so I decided to put cuttings from the upset plant in water in an effort to save it. All was well, the clippings perked a few hours after being cut. The next day however, some were limp. This morning I noticed even more were limp. They are sitting in a indoor greenhouse with filtered light from a large window.

Any advice on what is going on? This is my first time propagating impatiens. I am accustomed to placing plants in water and after a few days or weeks depending on the plant type, they root and thrive. Once roots are established, I move them to dirt and viola I have a new plant. Having some issues now.. please help. Thanks.

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It is not the ideal way to take cuttings from a distressed or sick plant and rooting in water is not the ideal way to root anything. Cuttings should be taken from a healthy plant. The best way to root cuttings is with rooting hormone and in soil. Here is how I tale my cuttings and I seldom have ant die.

First you must make sure everything you use is very clean. In a clean pail mix your soil with the water so you make sure the soil is damp right through. Use a soilless mix that is free draining. You want the soil wet but not too wet. Squeeze a handful and some moisture should come out but not a lot. Fill your pots and make a little hole in the center with your finger or something else that will make a small hole so you don't knock off the hormone. Using a small pot it is easier to control the moisture level.

With a sharp knife or razor blade cut a 3 or 4 inch piece from the growing tip, cutting just below a leaf. All roots and branches come from a leaf joint. Remove all but the top 3 to 5 leaves. Dip about 1/2 inch of the cut end in rooting hormone. It comes in powder or gel, either is OK as long as it's for soft wood cuttings. I use Stim-root NO. 1. After it's dipped put it in the hole and cover it in, and you're done.

Keep the soil moist but not overly wet. They will look wilted at first but that will change as it starts to grow roots. You will know it's rooted when it starts to show new growth. Wait until it is rooted well before you set it out.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:34PM
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I've just snipped with a sharp knife, removed lower leaves (kept at least 2 leaves, but no flower buds) & poked into holes I made with my finger right in the existing window box or planters of healthy plants. I didn't bother with rooting hormone, but did water daily with a watering can. My one six pack made dozens until the planters were stuffed because I had so much fun doing the snip & poke.

I hope you can find a healthy shoot.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:40PM
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I have beautiful pink impatients in my front garden. I learned a few things by trial and error.
First of all, impatients are a water thirsty plant! We live in SW Florida where heat and drought is a huge issue in the garden. From June until October, I allow mother nature to do her thing as it's our rainy season. In spring and fall, I pretty much water them every other day depending on the heat, sometimes daily. They will fall right over like they're totally a half hour after a good watering, they look as vibrant as can be!
Also, my front garden gets sun light pretty much all day with a little shading morning and early evening. My impatients seem to thrive so long as they're watered. I did plant some in an area of one of my other gardens that gets far more shade and those did very well even without watering as often.
This year I am going to attempt some clippings and see if I can raise plants for next spring......although my Impatients take a hit from random frost here in SW Florida, they always seem to revive themselves. Mine are just so beautiful I want to make sure I have them year after year as this variety is hard to find, I've only seen them a couple times in the upscale nurseries, won't find them in Home Depot or least I've never seen this variety there.
Good Luck and remember to keep them watered......I don't think you can over water them as sometimes we get monsoons in the summer months during the rainy season getting several inches of rain all at once.....sometimes several days in a row......has never hurt them!!!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:04PM
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I found this to happen also when I take cuttings. they do fine first couple days, then they do wilt for awhile, but then revive after that. They usually do take root. Good luck. I love the double ones. Waiting until they go on sale though!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:31PM
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fieldofflowers(3 or 4a)

I'm struggling to root N.G.I. I wonder if I waited too long or there's a pathogen in the way? They were okay when I took cuttings or outside. But once inside, they flat out wilted and dropped their leaves.

I tried everything I can think of sans the rooting hormone (can't find it - not sure if I have it since I moved.) The only thing I can think is there isn't enough ambient humidity. I tried bagging them, but then I get rot and what looks like gray mold on the leaves. I try drier soil with fresh cuttings, thinking those that rotted got too wet. But I still get the wilting and leaf dropping.

Could this be that dreaded downy mildew? Does it affect NGI when they are in a weakened state like this? My other, Wallerina ones succumbed to it at the very end of the growing season. At least they survived until then. But I really wanted to save the NGI because they are the variegated type and the greenhouse I bought them from is closing down. I won't find a replacement next year. Not locally anyway. Not likely.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:08PM
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plantnut1(Zone 6, MO)

When you take a cutting from a plant, you are removing the cutting from its only source of water. The cut end has little ability to absorb water and transport it to the rest of the plant, compared to roots, thus the wilting. I find leaving as much stem as possible with several bracts (with the leaves removed) to be "buried" and not leaving too many leaves (which transpire water from the plant) as well as keeping the cutting in a humid environment gives me a nearly 100% success rate when rooting cuttings from most plants. I root cuttings from plants like scheffleras to impatiens to geraniums like this and get great results. Oh, and I don't use rooting hormones, either.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 8:36AM
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