What's your favorite rooting medium?

ms_minnamouse(7a)April 17, 2012

Coconut coir, peat moss, sand, perlite, rock wool, a mix, etc.? What do you propagate in it? And why is it your favorite?

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yiorges-z5il

I use crushed shale & if need to cover seed use a fine vermiculite.
get good germination & roots do not get attached to the shale so easly removed from germinating tray

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:32PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

White sand or water.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:11PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

A porous medium of any kind or plain perlite. Never water or peat moss or fine sand.

A porous medium provides ample access to the oxygen required by dividing cells. Oxygen is essential for cell division. I have come to expect an extremely high success rate by using such a medium, with very little worry about rotting or other reasons for failure.

I don't use water because plants must develop a different kind of root when they originate in water....roots that are able to get dissolved oxygen out of that water. When we eventually repot those cuttings, they will have to struggle to either make terrestrial roots or are forced to make-do with those weak and fragile water-roots.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:42PM
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tommyd118

I have been putting my cuttings in an unfiltered Beta tank. They do well and develop roots fairly quickly. I was wondering if anyone else had experience with this?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 12:32AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

yiorges, where do you get crushed shale at?
I have used sand when working for Josey Nursery & Amber Glo Nursery. We used sand to root 600 azalea, many camellias,Ilex Hollies, Daphne,Contoneaster,Rhododendron & Conifers per year.
Which we potted up in pine bark & sand in 3 qt,9 qt & 5 gallon pots. But I have never used shale before.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:06PM
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ms_minnamouse(7a)

Tommy, that's pretty much hydroponics. But I wouldn't do it with a fish living in the water, not all plants are safe.

One of my favorite mediums to use was coco coir but each batch differs so much in salt content, that you never know if you're going to harm your cuttings or not. Now I'm using Miracle Grow potting soil (big chunks removed) with a lot of perlite mixed in. I'm also using florist foam in cups of water.

I'm going to try a special kind of gravel soon for rooting. I can't recall the name but will update with results. I'm going to be using it in my fishtanks as well as substrate.

When I have the money to buy a powerful water pump, I'm going to make a good hydroponic system once and for all.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 1:26AM
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kayjones(Mo6b)

I use coarse sand.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:26PM
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TheGardenerGuy978

I always use 1 part peat and 3 parts Perlite with Dip N Grow as a rooting hormone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grape Vines And More

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I don't think it's possible for a single answer to this question. I use different methods and different materials depending on which particular plant, plant part, time of year.

For *most* cuttings I would use something like 60% aged mulch (shredded, not chipped,) 30% composted leaves/grass, 10% top soil (bagged if I have it/bed dirt if I don't.) But this would be too "airy" for something like Coleus or persian shield. I haven't bought a bag of anything but mulch or top soil in about 10 years. Don't own any hormones or powders. Wouldn't use perlite (ugly) or peat (no inherently positive qualities and a problem-causer, IMO) if it was free and already 2 steps away. Very few plants can grow in sand, I've always been puzzled and fascinated by that phenomenon, but no interest in trying.

These vastly different testimonials teach us there is no right or wrong way, just different ways that work for different people and plants. Plants are amazingly adaptable and it's fun to experiment and read about what is possible, and to know about other options if one tries something that fails.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:54AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Purple, I follow you all over the forum and I know you always have so much good input. I know this is an older thread but I bet you will see it.

I am puzzled. I am wondering what you mean that you won't use perlite, even if it were free, because it is ugly. The perlite is only to be used for the rooting process, right? As I understand it, perlite is not what you would use to plant rooted cuttings into a pot or into the yard. It is just for the rooting process. I have never read where anyone has written that perlite did not work for them - it seems to be one of the most consistent mediums. Don't you have your cuttings segregated in a private area away from where anyone would see them? Aren't they in the house or in a greenhouse or a shady nook in the yard? I don't understand ruling it out because it is ugly when it works so well. I know you know lots and lots about gardening, so I am eager to see what you think. :)

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 11:13AM
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stevenmbittner

I'm a new gardener and have only used water to root a few cuttings (no rooting hormone). Is it better/faster to use other ways mentioned here?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:29AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

For many uses I preferred starting with sharp silica sand. It was sold for grouting. I've not seen it for a few years now.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:21PM
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ms_minnamouse(7a)

I don't seem to have much success unless my rooting hormone has a fungicide in it, so I only use Wilson's Roots from now on.

Same with my seedlings. I don't know if the problem is me or spores in my house or what.

But when I use Roots, I can use a lot of different rooting mediums. I want to give rock wool a chance but haven't yet. I couldn't bring myself to pay for it but found some good prices on Amazon, but not big plugs. :/

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 9:34PM
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ponyexpress_1

Perlite. I just rooted a whole bunch of stuff using it. The roots grew fast too.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:52AM
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ianbrazil(11)

No-one has mentioned Hydrogel. Its ideal for thirsty cuttings like Impatiens or Fuschia.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:43PM
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treehuggermomma

I always use willow water. We have two large weeping willows, so when I take cuttings of anything, in goes a piece of willow. I even keep a large bucket of it for watering in new transplants. I also have several white willows, which I am still experimenting with to see if it is the same or any better than the weeping willow. My newest thing is hydrogel with willow water. I've only just started using hydrogel, so we'll see how that goes. Looking forward to dozens of passifloras and tuliptrees.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:46AM
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