Help! Cuttings turning brown!

lizzlesJune 20, 2014

Hi there, I have some cutting (a blueberry, 2 Callicarpa, a bay and a pyracantha) in my propagator to speed up root growth, but the leaves on the cuttings are turning brown and look like they are dying. I desperately want to save them if I can - is this fungal? Should I take them out of the propagator/separate them? It seems to be happening to them all :(

Any help or advice hugely appreciated!

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    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Are the leaves getting misted?I do a lot of Blueberries and about 60-70% take,even with mist.Brady

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:11AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I'm going to try to help you but you have a lot going on.

First, a light & airy mix is better for propagation. Something along the lines of 90% perlite to 10% peat moss.

Any brown lesions on leaves need be cut away.

You have way too much leaf surface on your cuttings. I've drawn lines where you should cut. All that surface is causing the cutting(s) to direct energy to the leaf instead of making new roots.

And lastly I'm going to have to assume your cuttings are indoors in a home where humidity is very low. You're going to need to lightly mist your cuttings as often as you are able to - allowing the leaf surface at minimum to dry off until the next mist. Since most of us work and aren't home all the time to mist them every hour or two, do the best you can.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:01AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Lizzie - the tops of the cuttings need to be kept in a moist environment. Put a plastic bag over each pot and secure with a rubber band.

What is the shrub cutting there? Quite possibly you could root that outdoors by simply sticking them in the ground and forgetting them until next year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 12:46PM
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    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:14PM
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Hi there,

Thanks so much everyone - Dax I've taken that other cutting out, ficus. I've also cut everything in the way you suggested. They are kept in a heated propagator so there is a high humidity level. It's been I did this that the problem has developed. I've cut all the brown bits away, cleaned the propagator out and removed some cuttings I didn't need so it's not as crowded now. Fingers crossed. The Callicarpa are the ones I most want to save as I have no access to new cuttings.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:27PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Good... your chances have been greatly increased. Remember to replenish the air periodically so it doesn't become a stagnant environment for disease/mold/rot to occur & allow your mix between waterings (never completely) to somewhat dry/lose moisture until the next watering. You don't want really wet soil either, but just enough water to to keep the media damp/moist only or surely rot will occur.

Best of regards,


    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:53AM
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