Newbie Help Needed!

unejamSeptember 27, 2010

Boy, am I glad I found this forum. I wish I had found it last summer when I had 2 generically labeled cuttings that I bought in Hawaii on my honeymoon. They never rooted and after wintering them they came out rotted. I've since figured out it was probably due to over watering and poor draining soil.

I started again with a couple cuttings, and I haven't watered them since putting them in. I'm wondering how I can tell if they have rooted. I also would like to know if this guy is ready to get more water? He's been in there since early June, and I feel like there should be a lot more growth. Although, I did not add perlite until a couple weeks ago.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Here's the picture:

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 7:44AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

It almost looks to me like there is an inflo developing. Is there a small brocolli-like growth in the center of the tip? If so, that could be stalling out the rooting process and you'd be best to carefully remove it.

But it may depend on where you live and how much more hot weather you will have this Fall.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Hm, doesn't look like it's doing much, does it? You should definitely have seen some growing and unfurling of the leaves since June. Otherwise it looks good, and you definitely started at the perfect time of year.

First of all, did you soak the cutting for several hours before potting, then soak the soil just after potting? Since the cutting hasn't gone rotten I'm assuming it was already properly callused. Has it gone totally unwatered all this time?

Techniques differ somewhat, but personally when I make new cuttings I let them sit out dry and callus for several days. Then I soak the bottom few inches for several hours before dipping in rooting hormone, then I pot up the bottom three inches of the stem in a very light, fast-draining soil. (The experts recommend sterile or cactus mix-type soil, but I've had success with just decent potting soil mixed with coarse compost, too. As long as it isn't compacted and holding all moisture in it should still work fine.) I place the pot in a semi-sunny or full-sun spot and forget about it for 30 full days. Then I water it very sparingly every ten days or so. Most people like to wait until the cutting is showing at least 4 good-sized open leaves, indicating roots, before they water. I don't wait quite that long.

Just to know for next time, it's usually recommended to start all cuttings in a 1-gallon plastic pot. This way you can control the amount of moisture better with the smaller volume of soil, plus the roots won't stick to the plastic and tear off when the cutting is transplanted.

Hope that helps a little. I still feel like a newbie myself despite several years with these gorgeous plants; they still just kinda do what they want in their own time.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:18AM
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Thanks for the responses. I don't see any broccoli-looking growth. I also did not soak the cutting before planting but I did soak the soil.

At this point, I'm thinking we have a few more weeks of warm weather. I live in the Mediterranean. So, what do I do now?

If there's not much more growth on these (I have another cutting that hasn't shown any growth at all but just went in a couple weeks ago) how do I over-winter them?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:55AM
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