Failed at calibrachoa rooting, why?

jillybellsJune 6, 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips as to why my attempt at calibrachoa (million bells) rooting failed? My setup was a bit amateur. I used a recycled rotisserie chicken container for the greenhouse (saw it on pinterest) and for the bottom heat I had a couple layer of things, a coffee/candle warmer under a pyrex casserole dish, which I thought was too warm so I put one of the microwaveable warming packs in between that and the greenhouse. That way everything was "warm" and not hot, plus the pyrex I had no concern for overheating. This was set up for at least a week and the cuttings were doing ok, then they just kind of started to slump over one by one (I had 4, 3 inch cutting with 2 or 3 leaves on the top). I used rooting hormone and the medium was half seed starter mix mixed with my regular potting soil. I did let it air out once in a while because the condensation got a bit heavy on the top. Should I have had holes on the top of the cover? I also sometimes took the cover off which seemed to perk them up a bit, it was like a constant "no were happy like this" and "now were happy like that". I didn't have them in direct sunlight, I had them on a shelf by a SW window. I sprayed them with a spritzer when I thought they may have dried out but wasn't sure how dry or wet I should've let them get. Should I have not sprayed the leaves? They have gotten dried out from the bottom heat if I left the cover off too long. I'm not sure what else I could've failed at. Anyone have suggestions? I want to give it another try, I love calibrachoa but lost two last year to aphids or root rot so I kinda want some backups or extras to add to my existing baskets.

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Well I just thought I'd post a followup. I tried again with 3 cuttings. I have them in the same little rotisserie chicken container as the first time but this time no bottom heat. I think perhaps they just got too hot last time. So far, there is new growth on them already, even one I thought wasn't going to make it! But it hasnt been that long though, tomorrow will be two weeks only. What if they start to grow flowers? Should I pull them off so they can put more energy into growing roots? I'm also growing some coleus too. I'm so excited that its working but I want to make sure they have good roots before doing anything with them, does anyone know how long it takes? Am I able to overwinter for next year this way?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:52PM
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Congratulations on your success. I think you should definitely remove any flowers that may grow. Also, you should pinch above the 2nd leaf axil, once the stems develop, and then pinch again after 2 more sets of leaves develop. Make sure you grow them under bright lights to prevent internodal stretching. Some calibrachoas overwinter better than others. To help ensure success, overwinter as you would a tender fuchsia.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 7:33PM
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thanks! I don't know how to overwinter fuschias though. I have a question about the new growth, it seems kind of pale, is that a bad sign? Also, in the winter here it gets dark by 6pm, if they are sitting in my sound window would they get enough sunlight for the day? Or should I think about getting some kind of light setup. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 3:33PM
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My PW supertunias overwintered with no help from me. Probably the not too frigid winter we had. My pot is overflowing in blooms now. I'll keep an eye on this thread because I don't know that I can repeat this year's success with luck alone.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 6:08PM
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