actinidia cutting rooted...from the wrong end. Now what?

grow_darnitJuly 22, 2013

Hi! I have a couple of questions and I really hope someone with more experience with rooting actinidia can help me out.
4 week ago I trimmed a branch of my actinidia kolomikta and decided to try my hand at rooting some cuttings. Some were in plastic ziplock bags, some under a big glass jar, a couple in a cup of water, and some in a plastic bottle cut in half and taped back together. I would open them and spray with water once or twice a day and they also had some bottom heat for the first two weeks.
The results are in! Some of the cuttings rotted - they were way too thin and the medium was probably too wet. Some are doing fine and started sprouting new growth lately.
Here's my questions: when is it ok to open them up and expose them to drier air? Do I need to do that gradually? Any tricks to it? When to repot? After babying them for 4 weeks I'd hate to kill them now!
My second question is a bit unusual: today I noticed a root on one of my cuttings that's sprouting right next to the new leaf. That's good 2-3 inches above the soil! I guess I overdid it with spraying?
Here's what it looks like:

What do I do with it now? The second cutting in the same pot is not as advanced and I am a little hesitant to disturb the roots and try to replant this weird one. Should I just let it be and see what happens? Should I assume it has roots under the soil level too? Here's the setup I used:

What do you think? I would appreciate any input. Thanks!

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gently tug on the cutting if there is resistance then its rooted & you can remove the jars. gradually increase the amount of light the plants receives & allow the soil to become more dry (for a brief period)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 4:52PM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

I let my cuttings get bigger before I pot them on. Actinidia is quite tough, so you can expose it to normal atmospheric conditions for most of the day, providing the cutting doesn't get direct sunlight and where you live has a fairly high humidity.
Also, remember that often cuttings will look like they are rooted because they have put out baby leaves. The plant is actually using energy stored in its tissues to do this. Often the roots have not started to grow yet, so it is wise to give a gentle tug or see if you can see any roots growing through the drainage holes in your pot. Fig trees often push out leaves and haven't even started to grow roots.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Thank you for your help!
I left the cutting in the pot and took the glass jar off. It seems to be doing fine, growing 4 very small leaves. It is still pretty small though. The air root grew all the way to the soil level and into it. I gave the cutting a gentle tug and it definitely doesn't want to come out, though I do not see any roots coming out of the bottom, but then again, that pot is pretty big.

The cutting is still in vermiculite/perlite mix, should I move it to a potting mix so the new plant can get some nutrition or is it better off developing more and stronger roots in the original mix? Should I feed it? I would really hate to kill it after all this time and work!
I also read that it should not be moved into its permanent location untill next spring. How do I overwinter it? I have a cold frame, would that be a good place? Or can I leave it in its pot and keep it in the house till next spring? I do appreciate your help. I am very new to this.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:56PM
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