When to separate rooted cuttings?

roselee z8b S.W. TexasJanuary 25, 2012

When is the best time to separate multiple rooted cuttings that are in one four inch pot?

Is it best to try to separate them when transplanting into a larger pot or transplant the whole bunch of three or four cuttings and separate later when they have more roots even though they might be more entantled?

I've lost some cuttings when separating them early and thought perhaps I should wait this time.

What think ye? :-)

Thank you!

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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

These cuttings were rooted under a kind nursery person's mist system and I'm thinking she will let me leave them there in her toasty warm greenhouse for a couple more weeks after they are transplanted into slightly larger pots. We are not having freezing weather right now, but it's cooler than her greenhouse. This may have a bearing on whether to separate them now or later. The cuttings were stuck in mid November.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 7:53PM
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seil zone 6b MI

If your kind friend is willing I'd leave them go for a while longer. But when you do pot them up I would definitely seperate them. Then gradually bring them outside so they don't go into shock from the climate change.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:25AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Seil, thank you for your good advice. The nursery owner said I could leave them as long as I wanted. I'll wait at least another week then take a look and decide what to do at that point.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:38PM
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Hi Roselee, congratulations on your success! When I volunteered at The Huntington Library propagating roses for the sales in the old mist table, years ago, the wind would blow the over spray off the table into an area on the ground. That's where we would put the newly separated cuttings after transplanting to harden off. If you're doing it outdoors, it's best to either have somewhere you can occasionally mist them to acclimate them to the drier, hotter conditions gradually, or permit the over spray of mist to accomplish that for you. In a greenhouse, it should be much easier to pot them and hold them in the "closer" environment until they are putting out new growth, then gradually move them in to drier, hotter, more full sun situations to permit them to harden off. The whole key is to gradually get them used to not being in such humid, wet conditions so the foliage and wood toughen up and they don't transpire more water than they can absorb.

If you're doing it at home, a filtered sun position with lots of surrounding foliage cover where there is higher humidity is beneficial (if possible). If you can accomplish this during a period of rain, so much the better! Hopefully, you'll have a week or so of rain so they will be bathed in rain and mist, with humid, over cast conditions between the baths. That pushes root and top growth amazingly and has demonstrated itself to be the best time to transplant pretty much any kind of plant; plant new bare roots; and remove newly rooted cuttings from their more controlled environments. I know well the frustration of getting them to root, only to have them dry out and fry when trying to move them out.

The foliage is very soft now, being used to regular, steady showers of mist so it absorbs and releases water very quickly. Figure out what you have to do to reduce that dependence gradually so they develop the cuticle, skin, thickness required to prevent such rapid water loss as they develop a better root system and you should be good to go!

When I transplant the wrapped cuttings here, that's why I plant them as deeply in their cups as I can initially, so more of the canes are covered in cool, damp soil while the roots grow and new growth buds toward the exposed ends develop. Once they've pretty much filled the bottoms of the cups with roots, I tip them out, fill in the bottoms of the cups with fresh soil and plant them higher, gently removing the soil covering from around the canes so they'll be planted at the depth I want them to grow. That seems to accomplish the same thing...keeping the new, softer tissue damp and protected while the exposed tissue becomes accustomed to the harsher environment they are to grow in. Without mist and with unreliable rains, that's what has worked the best for me here so far. Congratulations and good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:02PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Kim, thanks loads for all the good tips!!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 3:30PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Kim and Seil, everything worked out perfectly. I left the cuttings under the mist for an extra week and then separated and repotted them in pint size or larger pots. They were left under the mist to settle in for two more weeks and then I picked them up day before yesterday.

Overall there was about a 90 to 95% success rate under the mist. I never get that many to strike at home except for certain polyanthas which seem to root very easily.

The weather has cooperated perfectly with a light misty rain which is expected to last until Wednesday. You can't really tell much about them but here's my 50 little roses at home. Some of them had flower buds which were removed.

What do you do with 50 baby roses of about 12 or 13 different varieties when the garden is already full??? Well, a few varieties collected from a friend's garden are for me, but the rest will go to friends who will be required to sign adoption papers ;-)

Again, thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:38AM
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grandmothers_rose(z6b VA)

I aspire to have a similar problem! Good luck finding homes!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 5:59AM
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