temperature for getting cuttings to root

overdriveOctober 11, 2012

I have read everything I can find, and normally they say you need 70 F at the root zone for a cutting to root.

But yet, someone on the fig forum had a cutting in their fridge for 2 weeks at 37 F, and it formed a nice callus!

So is the 70 F just an urban legend or myth.

Reason for the question: at 70 F, my rose cuttings start getting yellow discoloration of the leaves by day 7, and by day 14 the leaves fall off, and then game over. I managed to get my last batch to root at 30% success, by daily spraying with antifungal.

So, last week-end, temperatures are getting colder, so I prepared 3 dozen cuttings, to be kept in the garage, under bright fluorescent lights - temperature there is 46 - 54 F.

I sprayed all the foliage once with anti-fungal, and so far,

6 days later, foliage color is perfect.

Any predictions, anyone like to place any wager, regarding what the success or failure will be?

thanks, overdrive.

p.s. this last set of cuttings are semi-ripe, all leaf-bud, or what I call the Advanced Burrito Modification - 2 nodes, with one leaf, using gel rooting solution, and organic leaf-compost/hardwood bark/peat medium enriched with worm castings, just damp, not wet. and the entire stem is buried, with just the leaf sticking up out of the compost, covered with the 7" humididome, and one inch from the fluorescent 32W x 2 light, which (of course) is overdriven to 54W x 2.

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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Temperature preferences seem to depend on the variety. So it doesn't surprise me that a totally different type of plant may root at different temperatures.

Why are you giving up on the cuttings that lose their leaves? Are they turning black? Some people deliberately defoliate their cuttings so they don't have to later pick the leaves from the container.

I, personally, have never had luck with softwood cuttings in the fall. Other, not me people, have not had luck with June cuttings, but did fine in the fall. The medium sounds too rich/moisture retentive to me. But if the lights are really 8" from the leaves, that sounds too far.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Today is day 12, I plucked out a cutting to check - and it has a really nice big callus!!! all done at temp from 38F - 48F. So the 70F is just a myth. Also, the foliage is perfect
with no hint of yellowing at all!!!

This shows that leaf-bud cuttings will callus really well at temp 40-50F; there is absolutely no need to maintain 70 degrees, and I found the warm temperature leads to the foliage going yellow and quickly falling off, and then the cuttings fail totally. The cuttings have been under constant light at around 160-180 micro-Einsteins (that is the PAR measurement)- late afternoon sun in Sault Ste. Marie Canada measures 600 mE/s2, as a comparison.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Under mist, bottom heat of 70 degrees has been shown to improve rooting. That is with soft wood cuttings and usually at summer temps.

You're working with material late in the year, which might be considered semi hard wood. As has been stated, it will greatly depend upon the variety. It can also depend upon the condition of the particular material and the conditions under which they are being held. Changes in the weather, different times of the year, differences in the condition of the rose from which the cuttings are taken and several other factors can cause variations in temp and success. Kim

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 1:01AM
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What you are finding out is that there is definitely no 'one size fits all' approach to plant propagation. Even different varieties of the same species of plant (like roses) respond differently from each other.

I tried for years to root Hybrid Chinas, like "The Bishop". I discovered with these (for me) root best with cuttings taken in the fall ... never had any success at all with late spring or summer cuttings. Other roses, like "Caldwell Pink", 'Marchesa Boccella', and 'Else Poulsen', almost every cutting I stick produces roots, no matter what time of year.

Propagating roses really is a matter of experience with each variety you want to reproduce. Asking here can help with this, because there are lots of folks who are very generous with THEIR experience, and this can help shorten the learning curve.

What roses are you trying this time ... if I may ask?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Hi, I am propagating the venerable and famous rugosa hybrid called Hansa.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:12PM
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I usually have pretty decent success with Rugosas, but I admit that I have never tried Hansa. I'm generally a lot more relaxed with my techniques. For my fall cuttings, I make sure that I have cuttings in good condition, preparing them carefully, and kissing them goodnight as I tuck them into their milk jug/soda bottle greenhouse and place them in the workshop window with the shoplights to supplement daylight. I check the cuttings every few days, opening the soda tops only to remove any fallen leaves.

I stuck cuttings of 'Pink Grootendorst' on 9/18. They were showing roots down the side of their milk jug pot last week. My workshop temperature is in the 60s. I should put a thermometer into the window itself to see that the temp is on the shelves that hold the cuttings, just for curiosity's sake.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:39AM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

I sent some cuttings of Hansa to someone earlier this year and I think he had trouble getting them to root. One of the regular, more experienced posters, Karl, suggested that its easier to propagate rugosas, such as Hansa, by pulling root suckers from the ground. I tried this method with a couple of my roses that tend to sucker, and almost every one has produced a viable plant (Jeremiah Pink, R. Rugosa Alba, and Hansa). Of course, this will only work with own root plants. So, if you have trouble getting Hansa to root, maybe try it this way...


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to post re: rooting Hansa

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:57PM
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