Trying to root cuttings, maybe some success ?

rolacoyMarch 19, 2010

I am very green at this I will say at the start. I have planted some flowers and shrubs before but I just planted them and said now grow and I walked off. Some did grow.

Now we have moved into a small town and I am building a backyard garden. I am pretty good at building things. My "Hardscape" is nearly done. Now I am having to learn how to plant and take care of plants. The names are killing me, I don't know one from the other.

I planted some Encore Azaleas last year. Some of them nearly died that I put under two big Oak trees. The guy at the garden center looked at them and told me to cut them back. I did and 3 died, but 12 are doing well in my greenhouse. I took the cuttings, maybe about 4" long, put them in root tone and planted about 250 two months ago. Some, maybe 20, are still green and seem to be putting on new growth. not a very good percentage.

I had some Holly at another house where I had to trim them back. I tried the same rooting thing and none are going to live.

Today I cut back some Lavender plants plants that I cut back. I have put root tone on cuttings that are about 5" long and planted them. Maybe I will have better luck with them.

I don't know what I am doing, but it's not costing me but time, I am retired and I am learning. So I am looking for suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I get the impression you retired while you still have plenty of energy, after looking at your garden. The fact that you started 250 cuttings, bodes well for you. Your losses will get less as you get more practice. The good thing is that you are willing to try and try again, just pay attention to what is working and try not to repeat what did not work. Al

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 9:53AM
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I read another thread about "misting". I am guessing that plants that are being rooted must be kept in a more humid environment than I am using, but I am not sure from what I have read so far. Someone was using 2 liter plastic bottles to start seeds and another was talking about using some type of misting system. I don't drink anything from 2 liter, but I do drink a lot of Gatoraid from 20 oz bottles. And I drink Sunny-D, maybe either of those bottles would work.

Here is my question, is this bottle method providing the increased humidity for rooting and how ?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:09PM
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GawdinFever(z5b/St. Louis, MO)

Wow! Your garden is beautiful! Nice job!

The bottles basically just hold the humidity in whilst the cuttings are trying to develop roots. With no root, obviously, they have no way to 'drink'. Also, when using this method, make sure your setup allows for some air movement by way of vents or by removing cap for short periods once in awhile. When the cuttings finally do get rooting, gradually expose them to air more often.

Make sure to keep your cuttings in a shady spot until they have rooted!

Sounds like you're doing okay with them, really!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 5:00AM
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That is amazing! I am overwhelmed looking at all you have done. Such a nice job!

I'm sorry I don't have any propagating advice for you...but somehow I feel sure you are going to figure it out and become great at it. :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:15PM
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Keep going at it. Some plants root easier than others. Some plants it even depends on the time of year. I have tried to root holly with zero success. I have tried to root lavender, with maybe 10-20% success. You have the right idea in using a shotgun approach of a large amount of cuttings.

Keep in mind that water enters a plant through the roots, and is transpired through the leaves. When you take a cutting, you have 0 roots but still plenty of transpiration. Increasing the humidity slows down transpiration, allowing the plant time to start growing roots.

Covering the plants with clear containers traps the humidity, but you need to occasionally vent them. Some people also keep plants in large zip loc bags. I have never tried this method. You can also keep a water bottle handy and spritz the plants several times a day. Those who have built misting systems simply automate the spritzing so they don't have to do it manually.

If your plants are in an enclosed area, you can leave shallow pans of water out to evaporate. Shallow pans evaporate and increase humidity more than taller containers with less exposed surface area.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 5:17PM
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I put 11 Encore Azalea cuttings in the Gatorade bottles last Wednesday night. I checked one today and it was not wilted. I used Miracle Grow potting soil. I wet it in a bucket and put the wet "dirt" in the neck of the bottle. Then root tone on the plant and stuck it in the "dirt". Then snapped the bottom of the bottle on the neck. I have three 1/8' holes in both ends for venting and the water to get out if it is too wet. The inside of the bottle is very steamy.

Hope it works, but I will keep experimenting.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:10PM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

I've learned that bottom heat is essential for rooting my plumeria cuttings. The bottom heat promotes and inspires healthy root growth. I'm in the process of putting together my own bottom heater project. If you're interested here's the website.

DIY bottom heater

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 4:21PM
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I looked at the pet heaters, I will check on doing something like that. But we live in the south and I am doing this in a greenhouse.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 5:36PM
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I know this is like when I let the cat out and it is raining. She commits to running out the door, finds out that it is raining, quickly turns and comes back into the house. The Azaleas were committed to bloom and have bloomed in the Gatorade bottles. I guess I should pinch off the blooms, but I am experimenting, I will see what they do. Some are not blooming.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 3:09PM
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Every bit of energy they supply to the blooms is less energy they can supply to growing roots or vegetation. I'd snip all flowers and flowering buds.

just my humble opinion

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 8:52PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Sounds like you need to look up Token's cloning method. He will show you how he built his machine and how to take cuttings and have them to root in a few days. It is amazing! I think others like Clint may have built their own too using same or similar method. Something to check out. Tom has pictures to go along with instructions on how to do cuttings.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 6:21AM
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