Crape myrtle propagation

lovestogrow(6)September 9, 2012

Ok, I have tried twice to propagate cutting from a crape myrtle from a friends yard. I didn't have any survivors. I took about 10 cuttings each time.

This is what I did.

I took the cutting about 6 to 8 inches long stripped all the leaves from the cuttings except the top to clusters which were about 4 leaves total left. I used rooting hormone on the 2nd set but not the first. Stuck a pencil in the potting mix and firmed them cutting in. Gave it a good watering, covered it with opaque plastic bag and put it in the shade. I made sure the plastic did not touch any of the cuttings. Imitated the cuttings by hand every couple of days but after about a week all the leaves fell off.

Should I have just left them in the potting medium and kept watering or were they toast after the leaves fell off?

Please help me because this is a deep red color and I can not seem to find the color I want at any nurseries I have visited.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

timing is usually of the essence.. when did you try ...

did you use woody stems.. or green stems ...

some woody plants can take months to root.. how much time did you give them????

is air layering [if viable] and option.. would your friend allow you to strap some plastic bags to the live plant???


    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 8:51AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

It sounds like you did a lot right. One thing that might have happened was improper soil drainage/moisture. Unless you used a really well-draining mixture, it's possible that the soil may have appeared to be just barely moist on top but was actually too wet down at root level. I've found that to be the case more than I'd like to admit with my propagation endeavors. Using very well-draining rooting medium is very important, and using taller columns of medium (so that there is plenty of medium below the cutting) can also increase drainage in the rooting zone of the medium. If you do use any course medium at the bottom of the container, it should be minimized so as not to push the water column higher in the container.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Semi-hard cuttings and a mix of 80% perlite to 20% peat, use a hormone, mostly to help keep the cutting from rotting, which is what happens using a potting soil that retains too much water. Al

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

These folks have some tips based on time of year and hard/soft material. No experience with this particular plant (yet) but in general, I have better luck with larger cuttings of woodies, like 12-15 inches, The linked site advocates a much larger piece if woody, the size you used if soft.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:21AM
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I used green cuttings. I left them in for two weeks but all the leaves had fallen off of each one. I was too curious to wait any longer so checked and there were no roots started at all.

After reading I think where I went wrong was by using the wrong rooting mixture. I used regular potting soil. Would this have caused the leaves to drop and for me to have no success or was it just me not giving them enought time?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:10AM
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If your plastic bag covering was providing close to 100% humidity(you should see condensation on the inside of the bag),and you did not leave more than an inch or two of leaf surface, the cuttings were not in direct sun, and you vented the bag every day or two, your leaf should not have fallen off no matter how wet your mix was. If all is going well, you should not expect roots for 1 to 2 months. A mix too wet causes the cutting to rot and turn black gradually from the soil up. Al

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:03AM
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luvs2plant (zone 9TX)(z9 TX)

I live on the Gulf Coast. I took pencil-size woody cuttings a couple months ago. Dipped in rooting hormone, potted in light, well-draining compost/soil mix. I leave them uncovered & placed under heavy shade. Have had 90% success rate.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 1:03PM
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