Rooting cuttings in hydro system.

caflowerluverSeptember 30, 2012

I am thinking of getting a hydroponic system to get more of my rose cutting (and other flowering plants) to root faster and easier. I have been doing lots of reading on this site and web searching but I just am getting more and more confused on what I want. I was looking at complete systems on ebay (oxyclone), but read that it is easy and much cheaper to build your own.

What would be the best system just for just rooting cuttings, not growing the plants full time? I need a small set up that would fit on the table I have out in a shed. The plug is high up in the wall. And I don't plan on rooting a lot of cuttings at once, maybe a dozen or so. After they are rooted, I would plant them in soil then start another batch.

I hope I have explained what I want well enough, though to tell the truth I am not even sure what that is. LOL

Thanks.

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cole_robbie(6)

The absolute best system for propagation would be high-pressure aeroponics, but it's not cost-effective for most people. After that, I'd look to low-pressure aero machines like the EZ-Clone and the Rainforest. They are easy to duplicate. All they do it squirt water around inside the box where the cutting ends are. If you can't find videos of those machines working, you could visit a hydro store to see if they have any set up inside the store. Here's a tip for building your own - those two machines work a lot better on a timer and not spraying constantly, especially the rain forest.

You can also root cuttings in something as simple as an air pump bubbling in a jar of water. An improvement upon that is to get a long air stone, put it in shallow water, and then suspend the cutting ends just above the water. As the air bubbles pop, they will wet the cutting ends. You can cut out an ice cube tray's bottom, cover it with foil, and use that to suspend the cuttings. Don't bother with rooting hormone in a hydro system like these - it gets washed off immediately.

Those are some of my favorite methods, but there are many others. You just need to keep a favorable water & air mixture around the cutting ends. Some people use cups of perlite, vermiculite, rockwool, peat, coir, or a pro-mix combination. Even a wet paper towel or newspaper would work, at least in theory. Anything that holds moisture can be a rooting media.

Propagation is a lot of fun. I am looking forward to turning my key lime tree into 50 little trees. I don't know much about roses, but just make sure you aren't propagating from any plant that was grafted to a root stock. You also want to make sure that the plant is not patented, or else you would owe a dollar or two of royalty fees for every cutting that roots.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:15PM
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caflowerluver

Cole - Thank you for your reply. I found an old table top water fountain pump that I had, would that work in a small container? Which pump is better, water or air? I was thinking of using a timer but don't know what the best amount of time would be. Should it be 45 minutes on and 2-3 hours off or what? I will look at auto dripper timers and see if there any that will work with such a schedule. I picked up some Hydroton pebbles at OSH yesterday to put in mesh net cups when I get them.

I have tried for years to root roses and other bush type plants with limited success. I am hoping that this will help increase the odds.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:41PM
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georgeiii

You can check out The Dark Garden thread just below that shows you how to use 3 liter bottles to make your own system. Not only that there's pictures on how to grow rose cuttings. I've been growing them since last winter also you can look on Photobucket-ChristianWarlock.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:46PM
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cole_robbie(6)

If you use the water pump to spray against a net cup of rocks like the Rainforest machine, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off would be easy to accomplish with a cheap timer and would work better than being on all the time.

If you don't want to buy a timer, plumb the fountain pump into a manifold of cpvc or pvc pipe. Then just drill holes in the pvc so that the water sprays down around the net pots into the nutrient solution. It will splash up to wet them. There is an expensive hydro machine called an "aeroflow" that works on this very simple concept. You don't need a timer with that design.

In trying to coax out new roots, you want the hydroton to be wet, but not completely soaked.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:12PM
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grizzman

you also want to maintain the water temperature to something favorable for the plants.
you'll probably want to black out the reservoir to deter algae growth.
you'll need a means to control humidity around the leaves. too much and you get fungus. too little and the plant dries out.
While cole is correct about rooting hormones such as rootone washing off, there are water soluble ones that are sold at hydro stores that serve the same purpose and are supposedly very effective. That is heresay as haven't tried them; only read about them.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:05PM
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caflowerluver

georgeiii - I have checked out The Dark Garden threads. Lots of information. I have done the inverted bottles over trying to root them in sterile potting soil with very limited success. I was thinking maybe water being moved with oxygen might improve things. I was also thinking of putting some kind of dome over them. I will check out Photobucket. Thanks.

Cole - Thanks for letting me know the time schedule. I didn't think it had to be on 24/7 but wasn't sure. I will look into setting up something like you described and will check out aeroflow machine to see how it works.

grizzman - I think the temperature might be ok because it will be in a shed in CA. We don't get that cold here but if I go through winter I will either put it on a seed heat mat or get an aquarium heater (or maybe that is overkill). And also get a dome. I will check out the soluble rooting hormones. Thanks for the suggestions.

Thanks everyone for the information. I hope also to start brugmansia and plureria cuttings in it.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:37PM
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