Another not to do

tdogdad(Zone 9)February 26, 2011

When I make cuttings, I number with a paint pen about 4" up so after planting I know what it is. This fall, as a branch here and there broke off from accidents, cats, wind, etc. I put them in a box saying I will remember what this is. Now I remember what broke but not which one is which. I will have to wait for flowers to find out. From now on I will number any broken branch before putting in the box. Lesson learned.

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mikeod(Z9 FL)

I remember someone posting that the Sharpies had something in them that was toxic, so I don't write directly on the cutting anymore. I use a strip of painter's blue tape on the cutting and write an ID on it. It stays on well and pulls off easily when I attach a permanent ID after potting the cutting.

Bill - You know you're not the first to do that and will definitely not be the last. For anyone with multiple varieties who takes cuttings, it is an annual "Darn it!!"

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:26PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Both if these are a great idea! When my plumerias get to a size that I have to start to trim them, I will use these techniques Thanks guys! Jennifer

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 1:06PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey Bil,
I have done the same thing, usually if a branch breaks I just poke it in the same pot from where it broke off from to help identify it. I have had occasions where I did not poke it into the same pot thinking I would label it later and gift it to someone, usually I forget what the cutting was and have to wait to see it flower. On occasion I just give the cutting away as a NOID, or give them several, I do tell them to send me a pic when it blooms and I can try to ID later.
Well good luck with your ID's on the branches.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:35PM
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I just ordered 1,000 Impressso tags. Cost me $99 delivered.

You can't beat them for ten cents each.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 7:45PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey Dewaine,
I tried the Impresso Aluminum tags but after a while I found that the embossed writing would get destorted or would disappear. The other thing is the wire used to attach the tag would sometimes break off with age or cut into the plumie branch or trunk.
Personally I prefer the white nursery tags with a brothers label maker lable. I use a plastic pipe lock to attach the tag onto the plumie and I leave it loose. I have had some tag that I made in 2000 that only now need replacing because the plastic pipe lock is getting brittle, the brothers lable is perfect and ledgable.
Here is an example of the tags I make for my plumies and cuttings, this pic is probably from 2006:

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:09PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Mike- If the paint is toxic, it is news to me. I have started hundreds of cuttings with marks on them and never noticed any problem. Some are 5-6 years old and doing fine. Would be interested in cases of problems.
James- your labels are the best for personal plants as they really last. I have to get one of those label makers. I still have one of your labels after years. Bill

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:31AM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey Bill
I use those same labels for all cuttings and plants I give out as I buy a ton of the plastic nursery tags and pipe locks. I also but quantity of the P touch tape. Usually I prefer the clean so you do not see a background.
I have an extra Brothers P touch if you want it you can have it?

Regarding the markers/sharpies, I use them all the time and have never had an issue, so go figure.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:36AM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

Bill - I don't think a paint stick is toxic. It was specifically the Sharpie markers that they referred to. I never encountered a problem with writing directly on the cutting, but, with some cuttings that I was preparing for special gifts, I decided to not take any chances the cutting would be damaged now or in the future. So, I came up with the idea of the painter's tape.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 8:27AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)


I too have a p touch, good idea. The label doesn't peel off? The pix you show almost looks like it was coated with something after you put the label on.

Here is another question to pose: So you guys have a system for writing down or logging/journaling what you do for your plants? I am curious. Jennifer

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 11:38AM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey Jenn,
I burnish the P touch tape down with a pen, pencil, or wooden ruler, to rub it down for optimal contact. I do not coat the label, it just sticks. Oh and it does not peel off, I think I did find one that was like 6 yrs old that did bubble once, but I may not have rubbed/burnished it down well enough. The printing does not fade either even in the sunlight so for me its the next best thing to have professionally printed nursery labels that are on plants you buy from the nursery.

I also no longer have names on my label as it makes it easy for people to identify plumies when they are stealing them.
I use a Alpha numeric coding on the tag and my spreadsheet. Cuttings and plants I give as gifts are labeled though with the plants full name not coding.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:08PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Jennifer. I have a fancy little notebook like a diary but with only lined pages. Inside I have pages of phone numbers and addresses. I listed some purchases from 2000-2002. Then starting in 2003, I started logging garden info like when I built a planter or when I ordered some varieties. In May I started logging the number of inflos and then the dates of first flowers. I included notes on who wanted cuttings and when I gave them. In 2004 I made an alphabetical list of my 72 varieties and numbered each. Today that list grew to 156 and only the first 72 are alphabetical. I also had a page of numbers where I measured the height of plants. I also logged deaths or loss of limbs. By 2005 I added cuttings started and feeding dates. Next I logged pictures I needed. By 2008 I added root pruning log. Next a list of plants that needed to be potted up (checked when done). I found a potential log page for a regular notebook that I designed that I must type up and share because it is good. I also have drawings I made. I remember Dave had some great drawings that I should have copied. Last year I was very lazy and the log is very short so I will do better this year. Bill

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:19PM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Bill, I have a similar log for my orchids which I have been growing for over 10 years. It's not quite as detailed as yours but close. After the first 3 years I started using a ring binder. The advantage was that I could take out the pages of plants that died or keep them together in groups like dendrobiums, vandas,... It makes comparing the performance of individual plants easier for me.
Since this system works well for me, I've started a new binder for my plumerias.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:33AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Bill, James and Iso, thanks for the info on keeping your notes. Great ideas. By the way, a bit off topic, I was given 3 cuttings this weekend. ( thank you Tom) one for me, and one for each sister-in-law. I am going to try Bill's rooting idea using the liter soda bottles. I just bought the bottles yesterday ( by the time I drink them, they will be ready to plant). Thanks again for the great ideas guys. Keep them coming! I am going to suprise each sister in law with a rooted plant! Jenn

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 12:20PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

I just did some pruning here i was making my cuttings...all i could think about was making sure i marked them...Thanks Bill for the being the little bird on my shoulder!!! LOL...i couldn't help but think of you while i made the would be so easy to just keep cutting without stoping to take the time to mark each one...

Thank you for making this probably saved more "named" cuttings then you could ever imagine...

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:44PM
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