What's the best way to move plants rooted in water to soil?

eileenlynchOctober 31, 2008

I LOVE the idea of rooting things in water, but a few times I tried this and got roots, but the plants perished when I moved them to a pot. Could someone give me a few pointers on what I might have done wrong. Many thanks. Eileen

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Partially fill the pot with your mix, hold your rooted plant by the foliage and keep the roots just on the top of the soil. While holding in this position add more soil to the level desired. Lightly firm the soil. Set the pot in a bath of slightly warm water about halfway up the pot. Leave until the surface of the soil glissons from the water. Remove pot and put in shady area for a few days. Al

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 10:10AM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

The info Calistoga provided is very good. If you don't succeed doing it this way, try dipping the delicate roots into a thin mud slurry first before inserting in the soil. This apparently protects the thin plant hairs. You might also try just gently sprinkling the soil over the roots and not tamping it down, and then misting the soil thoroughly to prevent the roots from breaking off. Make sure you keep them in shade or cover them with a plant propagator hood for the first few days to keep the humidity high.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 3:10PM
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Many thanks for these suggestions! I think my main problem may have been not getting adequate moisture to the newly transplanted roots. I will hope for better success with these new ideas.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 12:08AM
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Yet another method is to leave the plants in water (you might want to put them in individual containers) and add coarse sand or fine aquarium gravel (anything that won't float or absorb water) until the roots are covered. Then allow the water level to decrease via evaporation until the plants adapt to the solid substrate, at which point it's an easy transfer to soil in a pot.

All this having been said, I still think it's easier and less traumatic in the long run to root most things in a perlite/vermiculite mix. I mainly use the water method to hold cuttings until I have time to transfer them to soil, usually before roots begin to form. Right now I have several jars of coleus, sweet potatoes, salvias, etc. sitting in windows waiting for planting, since I take hundreds of cuttings right before the first frost is forecast (last weekend).

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 3:58AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I rarely do any rooting in water but I use bubba62's procedure if I want to plant one in soil that has been rooted in water.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Hope you don't mind eileenlynch but I have a Q for Bubba:
When you root in vermiculite/perlite mixture how do you transfer them to the soil? Is this used to help establish better roots or for some other reason?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 12:59AM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

It is used to keep contaminates out of the soil that could harm the plant in the process. Once it is established, then introducing full soil is appropriate as now the plant can protect itself better.

I root in homemade soil that includes compost, which has worked well overall for me, but I fully understand that others don't want to take even a small chance that their soil might introduce something bad to an unestablished plant. Some actually bake their soil first to kill everything in it, good or bad. I think you should try different things and find what works best for you. That's what I decided to do!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 12:33AM
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im looking for a little advise, i have recently took some willow cuttings and rooted them in water, i would like to know how would be best to move them into soil as i am a little worried the roots are a little delicate. also the top of the clipping has gone a little brown will this stop them growing right would i be best to clip it off to where it is all green.
thank you if you can provide some advise for me

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Jema, hi & welcome to Gardenweb.

If you start a new discussion (and preferably add a pic of your plant,) your question should be noticed more easily/quickly and get the most appropriate responses.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:26AM
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hello, purpleinopp, thank you for your advise,

i think i have sorted it now potted them in soil and new leaves are growing already. i will try this though as i feel all the advise i can get on this will help to get them growing big and strong :) x

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Sounds great, fun!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Thanks Bubba 62. The information was very helpful.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:02AM
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how moist do you keep the soil after you move the water-rooted plant into soil?
I am thinking I should keep it more moist than I normally would.
The plant in question is Apple Mint.
thank you.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2014 at 3:56PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I wouldn't make it any moister than normal. When I worked at a garden center in Vero Beach, Fl we only rooted in soil and the cuttings did fine. i do root African violets in water, but that's about it. Soil roots are stronger than water roots.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2014 at 4:03PM
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