potting soil and first time doing propa

v1rtAugust 3, 2013

Hi folks,

I think my smoke bush is ready. :) I would like to propagate it at least 15-20 more of it. It will be my first time propagating it.

Can I use miracle grow potting soil? I'm also planning to buy this rooting hormone. I'm read the comments from the buyers and they are very happy with the results. However, I also would like to hear recommendations here.


And here is my smoke bush that I cut to the ground around March this year.

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

The active ingredient in Dip 'N' Grow is the same as in almost all rooting hormones, IBA (Indole-3-butyric acid), so no need to mail order. Pick up any brand of rooting hormone at your local Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes or Ace. I would recommend the powder form rather than the liquid form, as the powder form lasts indefinitely as long as it is not contaminated.

Prevent contamination by putting a small amount into an old film canister or other small container and dip your wet cuttings into that rather than dipping them into the purchased container.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes!

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: IBA (Indole-3-butyric acid)

This post was edited by love_the_yard on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 15:52

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Thanks for the info. What medium should I use?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Also, am I right that I should take a cutting from the tip of my smoke bush? All the stems are new. I cut them to ground around March this year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:23PM
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I would root them in vermiculite myself. My local plant friend uses a home-made potting soil made of composted pine bark and regular compost from the bin. Experiment.
Just don't let the cuttings dry out and keep them out of direct sunlight. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:49PM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

I do a lot of cuttings and use a 1:1 mixture of Sunshine mix #1 and perlite. Just measure it out into a large container, but use a mask as you don't want to breathe in any of the perlite dust (or make sure it is really moist). If you get bitten by the propagation bug, as I have, you will want to buy a bale of the Sunshine mix. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Here's what I found out about the shelf life of rooting hormone powder:

If the rooting hormone powder is too old it will be ineffective in encouraging root development. The U.S. Forest Service says rooting hormone powder will keep for 18 to 24 months if stored in an airtight container in a dark, cool place such as the refrigerator.

The Forest Service advises gardeners to record the purchase date on the product container and to discard rooting hormones more than two years old.

To maximize effective life of the product, the Forest Service advises users to pour out a small quantity of the rooting powder in a separate container for dipping cuttings and not to return any leftovers to the main container.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:43PM
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No, potting soil is too rich for rooting cuttings as you don't want to feed them, just root them. Use a vermiculite/perlite mix. It drains well, stays moist and is light enough for young roots to grow through.
Any rooting medium will work, like willow water or commercial rooting hormone.
You can take cuttings from the tips or all along the branch. They should be at least the diameter of a pencil. Make sure you have leaf buds on them. Peel the bark from the bottom 1/2 to 1 inch to help rooting.

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:24AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Many plants will root without rooting powder. Read the labels before buying, some contains No IBA only a fungicide to help prevent rotting. Those plants that root really fast you can get away with using a good fast draining potting soil, but the combination of Perlite with about 20% peat works better. I use the Dip & Grow only for very woody cuttings because it must be mixed each time and is only effective for less than 24 hours once mixed. Not convenient. Al

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Mizzyjo, Hi & welcome to Gardenweb!

This post was edited by purpleinopp on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 14:38

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Hello, purpleinopp, thank you for your post.
I answered the query because I knew I could help, not to have a link to my website. But I could not upload the post without filling in the Link area.
Well, I think I understand now, from looking below this, that if I didn't give the 'Optional Link URL', then I wouldn't have had to name the Link. Okay, I'm clear about this now.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Heythere, so sorry that happened! I totally understand what you're saying. GW is a little quirky but worth it, I think. Hope you'll hang around and come to the same conclusion.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Here is what I do when propagating:

I use "play sand" that is available at any box stores.

I place the sand in a plastic container which you can obtain from wall-mart or dollar store.

I cut holes on the bottom for good drainage.

I fill the container with sand and than saturate it with water.
(Don't worry about the sand coming out of the holes. Once the sand is wet, it will hold together)

I select the tip of the plant that is approx. 3 to 4 months old and cut a piece that is approx. 5 to 6 inches long.

I take off all the bottom leaves leaving two at the top.

I dip the end in the rooting material and after cutting a little trench in the sand I place the cutting about an inch deep and press the sand around it.

(I do a minimum of 25 to 35 cuttings using the container mentioned)

I then use a white kitchen garbage bag and place the container inside and then I mist the inside.

I blow in the bag and then tie the end and place it under a tree.

I check the container for moisture after 7 days. If there is condensation on the bag, I leave it alone. The cuttings should be taking root after three to four weeks.

I have a 90% success in rooting cuttings using this method.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:33PM
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