Rooting a cutting. Confused about what mix to use.

td1026January 31, 2013

I bought peat moss, potting soil and vermiculite today at Lowe's as they had no perlite without fertilizer. Is peat moss and vermiculite a good mix? Or would I be better off just getting perlite? Also, can I just plant the cutting in 100% peat moss? Thanks so much! I have 1 cutting as of right now and do not want to waste it.

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Hi there! I have heard of some people using peat moss to root, although I don't know anything about this method. I would really advise against potting up in peat moss as it retains too much water. The ideal medium is very well draining - many people use potting soil amended with perlite or pumice, some people have mixes they prefer but the common thing is they are all well draining. Some people even use cactus mix. Peat and straight potting soil retain too much moisture.

I would also wet the end of the cutting and dip it in rooting hormone, then put it in your well draining mix with a stake / pebbles / support of some kind, then water it in really well (with Superthrive if you like, if not it's fine too) and then don't water your cutting again until it puts out a few leaves. Keep it warm / heat mat or approx. 75-80 degree soil temp is important.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Hi may be getting the peat moss thing confused with "the Baggy" method. You wet peat moss, wring it out till almost dry...put it in a zip lock and make a finger hole for your cutting after which has been dipped in root hormone. I have then had it suggested to me to put this bag, taped off at the top, in a dark warm place to trigger works....a few months later you have roots and can carefully take it out and pot it up....the roots are very fragile.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:28PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I have used plain old miracle grow potting soil and a water bottle. If you follow the advice of water once then not again till leaves you dont have to worry about overwatering and rot.

Im not really sure any one method has been crowned King...yet.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 3:13PM
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K, do you mind posting your plumeria mixture. I forgot what portions to use. I used K's special mix this spring, and all the cuttings rooted, thank goodness not all at once. I potted the first rooted cuttings, and put them in full sun. When I went back the following weekend, they had all been fried by the sun. I lost them all. You need to put freshly rooted cuttings in partial sun, until they get established. When the rest of the cuttings rooted, I put them in parial sun, they all survived. I only did well rooting cuttings in the spring. Barbra

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 3:23PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

I, after rooting a few plumerias, have resorted to now starting off water rooting...when you can see popcorn and root nubs forming put it in normal potting mix (which does retain water but because you started them water rooting they will want moisture anyway) and water them only when the mixture starts to get dry (so about once a week) I actually find that they are fine in normal potting mix. All my plumerias are in normal mix or in the ground and they are fine. I water about every 3 or 4 days. But otherwise i would use cactus mix if i had one i was really worried about. Ive only lost one cutting so far but that was because it was from a dehydrated plant and didnt have much hope of rooting anyway.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Andrew Scott

I too am a big fan of water rooting but like Mike said, no one method has been crowned king yet. After you have had some experience with different rooting methods, you will find what works best for you.

Barbra makes a really good point though. Because of your USDA zone, you would be better off keeping them in a shaded area. Even in my zone 6 area, I have had a few cuttings that ended up sun burned because I kept them in direct sun. Usually for me, keeping them in direct sun works the best for getting a cutting to root, and actually I like to keep as many plumeria in full sun so they bloom for me.

I also have rooted in 100% vermiculite. I never had tried this before until recently. I did have mixed results, even under my 600 watt HPS light, so for me, I may decide to just go back to the water method.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:31PM
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