Help! How do you keep cuttings hydrated?

amandcrJuly 22, 2010

I've started some cuttings last month and they still aren't rooted. (I know it takes time) It's been really hot down here and all of them are shriveled up. They also feel a bit squishy. They haven't had any water since I put them in containers so I'm pretty sure it isn't rot. I have been spraying the leaves and stems about twice a day since they showed signs of dehydrating. What can I do to hydrate them?

Should I give a bit of water even though I've read I really shouldn't?

I really don't want to lose them! I've spent quite a bit as you all may sympathize. I'm rooting them in 1/3 cactus soil, 1/3 pearlite, and 1/3 topsoil in clear Tupperware containers. One of them is a bit burned at the soil level. I did the pin test and they all "bleed" white sap just fine. Am I worrying over nothing? Should I continue to wait and not water?

Here is what they looked like on 6/27:

(I'll post some updated pics soon)

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They still look green and have leaves,so i'd say they are probably ok.We have rooted several cuttings over the years and they all did well.

Do your containers have drainage holes???

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 7:39PM
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They look fine to me. Adding water won't help if there aren't any roots. The best thing is to keep them somewhere that has decent humidity.

They should root quickly this time of year when there is plenty of warmth available. When the leaves begin to expand, you'll know that roots are present.

I started a Makaha Sunn cutting in late May, and this week I transplanted it into a 3-gal pot because the rooting pot was full of roots. Be patient. Give it 6+ weeks.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Here are some pics from tonight that show the wrinkles:

You can see the burn a bit on the one in the background.

Kathi, They don't have drain holes but I figured that was ok, because I'm not watering them. Once I start to water them I hope to transplant, is that wrong? It might be difficult to change now.

xerophyte_nyc These are my first cuttings. I may have gone a bit crazed buying so many but I found it hard to resist!
I guess I should try putting a container of water amidst them for humidity in addition to misting because it's starting to get very dry in Oklahoma! (After raining almost everyday for a few weeks)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 10:06PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

leave them alone and forget about them. They will leaf out soon.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:02AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I'd get them out of the sun. It's too harsh this time of year. And there's enough heat so you don't need the sun for warmth. Put them in a part to mostly shaded place where it's more humid. Keep the soil fairly dry. You can mist them every once in a while though. They'll root if they will root.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:39AM
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Shade is definitely the answer if you live in a place with a ton of heat right now.
I do have a question though. I have a new variegated plumeria that rotted on the bottom so I cut it above the rot and gave it some root hormone. I planted it in new soil and gave it just a little water. It immediately pushed a leaf out so Im wondering if it has roots yet or if its just using energy from what it has stored in its branches. I really dont want to lose it because I know that they are a little difficult to find.
Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:28AM
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Some of mine immediately pushed out some leaves but they were not large (about 1 1/2").

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:10PM
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Leaves and flowers can begin growth without any roots, but they will stop when the leaf is a few inches, and the leaves remain folded.

When there are roots, the leaves expand in full. Once a few leaves are fully formed, the transpiration process is back in full swing and watering can be resumed on a regular basis.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Thanks for the help. The leaves on it are only about an inch long. Im hoping that it roots!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 10:43PM
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