Using raw egg with bottles for rooting cuttings

labland(Inland Valley CA9)March 13, 2011

I like Bill's (tdogdad) idea of using bottles for rooting individual cuttings. On the other hand, I am interested in trying the raw egg method. Has anyone tried them together? I am concerned that there might not be enough room in the bottle for the egg and enough planting medium. Previously I have just stuck a cutting in a pot with another plumeria. In fact I have a clay pot that just broke last June and I am going to repot today- it has 5 separate cuttings in it. I am concerned that the roots may be entangled and that there may be damage as I try to untangle them. I waited too long to repot them individually (although all of them blooming together was a cool look, almost like a grafted tree!

Thanks guys. Happy planting! Jennifer

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jandey1(TX8)

I would think there's enough room. Mimi, whose forum the egg method got started, literally sets many of her cuttings on top of an inch or two of soil and gets them rooting easily. Of course, she lives in Hawaii and says most of her plants get blasting full sun on a hot paved patio.

The key is apparently to create an anaerobic environment, so just make sure you have a good inch of soil below the egg and all around so no air circulation is reaching it. Then I think you only need a half or full inch of soil between it and the cutting end. If the egg's too big you may just need a slightly wider (Gatorade?) bottle.

The idea to do both is great, since you can see everything happening through the bottle. If only I had some cuttings to try it on! After waiting 5 months for Makaha to root, I've switched to ordering only rooted or grafts.

I just repotted some gang-potted ones and viewed the untangling root damage as enthusiastic root-pruning. Probably can't hurt them much this time of year when they're only breaking dormancy.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 3:44PM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Hi Jennifer, check out the posting called "Question about large cuttings??" (Mon Jan.24,11). Bill (tdogdad) and andrew78 had lots of detailed advice and great pictures regarding exactly this topic. They answered all my questions. Hope this will be helpful to you, too.
Iso

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:01AM
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Andrew Scott

Thank you Iso for the comments. It really is easy to use the raw egg and a plastic bottle. Jandey is right on with what was poinhted out. Using Gatorade bottles works perfectly. I have done that and will be doing that too root cuttings this year. I prefer using clear plastic bottles because it's fun to me to see the roots starting to grow. I also have only used a small amount of soil, sometimes an inch sometimes 2 inches of soil and that's it. Mimi has also started using a combo of soil and dead plumeria leaves to get them too root!

Andrew

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:17AM
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barb13_gw

Do you put holes in the bottom of the plastic bottles? I like the idea of seeing the roots and am going to start about 23 cuttings in a couple of weeks. Want to also use the raw eggs on half of them. Thanks, Barb

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 1:27PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Today I finally potted the cuttings. The one cutting was simply too heavy to use a coke bottle with, so that one I placed in a large pot, utilizing the raw egg method. The other two, smaller cuttings I used the raw egg with the coke liter bottles.

It certainly looks to me that the weight if the cutting would break the egg, but I don't think that would really matter, only time will tell. I will take photos and keep everyone posted. Thanks to all!

Also, my husband cut the bottles for me ( he doesn't trust me). I had him partially cut both sides if the bottle, which serves two purposes - first it allows drainage of the water, and second, when the plants are ready for transplanting, it will be easy to tear them open without damaging the plant or it's new vulnerable roots!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:42PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I have rooted a number of large branches in water bottles and here is an example of a 5 foot multi-branch start that is just leafing out. I tied it to the post to support it. I had started it late last summer but it did not get much of a start before it went dormant. Now it is off and running.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 12:01AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Bill,

That is a good idea, I will keep that in mind next time it comes up. My back was hurting as it was, trying to manipulate the cutting into a large pot, let alone trying to hold the coke bottle and cutting, and filling it up with soil and an egg! I will take pictures as things progress. Have fun with fertilizing!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 3:38PM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Hi Bill, I am so glad you posted the picture of that tall cutting. I have one similar to yours, but it is slightly straighter. I have always wondered how I will plant it when the time comes. There doesn't seem to be a way of turning it into a nicely balanced upright tree. What would you suggest? How will you deal with yours once it is rooted?
Iso

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:32AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Iso- I dig a hole an plant and then insert a conduit so I can tie the branches upward. In a pot I have conduit set in concrete discs that go under the soil and will not fall over.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 1:21AM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Thanks Bill! Let me see if I understand this correctly. Would I tie up the branches and then over time, as they get used to the new position they are in, tighten them up more and more until they are pretty straight? If you did it too quickly they would probably break, right? Would they be mature (=woody) enough after a year or so that you could remove the conduit? Would the tips grow straight up, too?
Thanks for sharing your experience with us!
Iso

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 11:19PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I leave my conduit for years and continue to tie as the plant grows. It depends on the plant. Some will not get straight but you can get them growing upwards. Yes you do not pull too hard on the plant. You can feel when it gets tight and then a few weeks later you can get a few inches more. Sometimes I plant the stem at an angle to increase the upward flow of the branches. This is no problem. here you can see an Aztec Gold (center), and a red (r) tied to wooden poles and a Calif. Sally tied to a green sprayed conduit on the left. These were in 2009. When the plants leaf out, you cannot see the tape or most of the poles.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:11AM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Bill,thanks for your quick response and the great photo - it's amazing how well-shaped your plants are. Do plumerias behave like lots of other plants (e.g. fruit trees,shrubs) where the tallest branch will grow more than the other branches during the next growing season? Am I overthinking this whole thing? The first plumeria I got as a well-branched 2foot cutting 1 1/2 years ago from a neighbor seems to be growing pretty slowly. I just stuck it into my flowerbed, but it is healthy with 18 tips and 6 inflos developing. Most of the branches are at about the same height. That's what made me ask about the rate of growth in connection to the height of the tips. If there is a connection, could you use it to keep a plant smaller or make it grow taller? Btw, this plant is a Noid white with yellow center, nice clean smell, but doesn't last too long.
Iso

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:36PM
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sunseeker53(10a CA USA)

The conduit is a great idea, Bill! Thanks for posting pictures; I am going to put some plants in the ground in the next few months and will surely using conduits to train them.
BTW, where do you get the concrete discs that you put in the pots?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:04PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Iso. From my experience some plants have a dominant branch while most do not. I think that Aztec Gold is in the shadow of my neighbors house so it is reaching for more sun.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:05PM
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diggy500

Tdog (Bill)

Now that my plumeria has finished blooming,do I cut of the spent inflo or just let nature take it's course??

thx much
Diggy

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 9:31AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Diggy- I just go around and look at my inflos. As they are finished, they will start to darken and by wiggling them they will pop off at the base. If you leave them and they rot, the rot can go into the plant at the connecting point. They can turn black and fall apart at the branches but just keep an eye on the main inflo stem. A few inflos will re-flower early in the spring and then drop off. If they start to turn into a new branch at the tip, I cut them off because the branch is never as good as regular branches and they just draw energy. Bill

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 12:20PM
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diggy500

thank you Bill

I really appreciate the tips...

cheers
Diggy

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 6:52AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Inflos can be very interesting. Most of mine, like. Bill mentioned, turned black and eventually fell off, some with my gentle help. I currently have two that are still green. Both were very late inflos, I think from November possibly December, One is trying to push out blossoms right now, it is obvious. The other one, I am just watching it. It is healthy, and who knows, it might rebloom too. That plant is not as advanced in " waking up" as the other one.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 12:38PM
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