Rooting in watery soil???

trace00969May 12, 2007

I only, and I mean only have luck rooting things in water.....obviously I cant keep the humdity high enough to get them to root, now I know the roots made in water are not very strong and often break in the transition to soil, so my question is, why cant a person root in watery soil......I am trying a clipping right now, it has already rooted in water, so I added some perlite and potting mix but kept it watery, will this suffice until I pot it up.....I root things in pill bottles or dixie cups, sot ehy are only there until they root, then potted up into regular mix.

\ So again, for those that dont have success rooting in a potting medium, why cant a watery perlite/vermiculite/soil work until roots have developed?



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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I think you just need to stick with what you've been doing. Your cuttings will NOT be able to form soil roots in muck. Take your water rooted cutting and pot it up in a proper potting medium and get it over with.

Roots formed in water do the best job they can to find dissolved oxygen in the water. They function differently than those that are formed in soil. Roots that emerge in a well-aerated medium of some sort merely have to find access to water as an essential element. The oxygen is everywhere (or should be if the soil is porous enough).

Do you want to talk about why you have problems rooting things in a solid medium? Let's figure this out! ;-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 3:06PM
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All my cuttings that I put into medium, either wilt and die, or just die. I know it is probably a humidity problem, I dont use the plastic baggies, although I have a domed mini greenhouse. I have tried rooting in pure vermiculite, pure perlite, and plain old potting soil, as well as a mix of all of them, water still works the best for me. I just dont get what I doing wrong.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Cuttings wilt and die for a large number of reasons. The most obvious is that the medium is either too wet or too dry. Finding the correct balance takes some practice. Personally, I like to use perlite or mostly perlite so that excess moisture isn't a problem. Yes, I have to water more, but that's a benefit for the plants.

Cuttings can also struggle if they have been cut too long, cut in the wrong location along the stem, taken at the wrong time of year for the plant species, given too much heat or sunlight, haven't had most of the foliage removed, medium is too fine textured, container doesn't drain, etc.

Anyway, if you keep trying, you'll hit the jackpot one of these days. In the meantime, I'd stick with the water. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 1:05PM
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headeranderson(8a-7b DFW)

I used to have problems with humidity until I moved. My new house has a huge bathroom and now whenever I shower my plants get the humidity they need. This also works if you have cuttings about the sink if you wash dishes by hand. Also sometimes i use my scunci steamer when I know the water is not scolding hot.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 6:31PM
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I have done exactly what you are thinking with coleus and easily rooted plants. After getting the soil completly wet, I put in the cutting and then put the pot in a shallow tray of water, once that evaporates, that is all I do, no more soaking.

Try it, you have nothing to lose, unless it is a rare cutting.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 11:43PM
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