Leaves turning yellow

ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)November 14, 2007


On October 31st I planted up 90+ rose cuttings. These are the steps I've taken.

1. Cut all my cuttings in about 6" lengths.

2. Placed half peat moss and half peralite in a 20 gallon clear plastic container with a clear plastic lid.

3. Added to the soiless mix 1 ice cream bucket full of rain water and mixed the medium real well. The medium was not soggy it was crumbly and absorbed the water readily. It did not appear too wet in fact I was a bit worried it was not wet enough. There is approx. 3.5 to 4" of soiless mixture in each tub. I think I put in 5 ice cream buckets of peat moss and one small bag of perelite into each container.

4. Placed a hole into the medium with a pencil.

5. Cleaned the leaves off of my rootins except the top 3 or 4 groupings of leaves.

6. I then dipped the end into a powder rooting hormone and placed the rootings into the premade holes.

7. I closed the containers, placed them in a south facing window and have misted them once per week since then.

The cuttings are turing yellow, some are turning black with mold forming on them and a few have new shoots sprouting from the tops. What do you think I may have done wrong? Perhaps it was still too much water and that is why I am seeing the mold. WOW! If this is the case the medium must have to be fairly dry?

I've read through George's website and the only thing I may not have done was provide bottom heat. However, my house is constantly at 70 deg F and the containers during the day heat up with the sun beating on them. Any thoughts?



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Hi Tj, many of mine are developing yellow leaves, especially around the large veins, some are falling off. I think the leaves probably have large numbers of fungal spores on them. I took out a stem to look at it, and it was all nice and green, with the beginnings or a root starting to bud from the base. I'm just going to watch and wait. I dropped a little no-damp onto my soil with a syringe before sticking them to help ward off mold, and mixed in quite a bit of sand with the upper third of the medium. I water my medium in well. So far no sign of mold on the soil yet. Paul Mozarowski.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 6:58PM
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elks(US5 Can6)

Sounds too wet, Tj,

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:19AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Thanks guys. I do have a few that are beginning to send out new growth but not enough of them to make me feel as though this trial has been a success. I can't wait until Spring. I will continue to take cuttings until I've mastered this process. ha ha.

Boy, it is really tough to get that fine line of when it's too wet and too dry. From now on I am going to take precise measurements of soil, perilite and water and make notes on each propagation bin. I wonder if after awhile, I will find the right measurements that will work for any batch I make. We shall see.

It is so fun to experiment with these things. Thanks for all the advice.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 10:07PM
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I suggest using an indoor/outdoor electronic thermometer from Waly-Mart, the one with a wire and probe, so that you can monitor the actual temperature of the soil. I am worried that the sun may be overheating it. Paul Mozarowski.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 10:59PM
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george_mander(5 to 6)

Hello Tj,

I read your story.
you wrote at the end :
"....the containers during the day heat up with the sun beating on them.

# One reason could be the sun !
You "DO NOT" want the sun beating on them!
Reason # 2 :
"NOT" using new growth like you see in my :
"Own Root Cuttings Setup Gallery with detailed comments and info for each of the 30 images"
# 3 : You may be using softer new growth, but down below the plant had some blackspot !
# 4 : I don't think your medium was "TOO WET"! I water my little 2 1/4 pots filled with # 4 mix really well, so that I have to squeeze the water out from 4 sides at the bottom. Then I let them sit & drain some more for an hr or two before sticking my cuttings. After that I will not water any more and only open the tent every 7 to 10 days to check and mist the foliage. After about 3 or 4 weeks the roots come out of the drain holes and "then" it's time to transplant into larger pots. I may lose one or two in a hundred.

# 5 a few lines from my info page :
Note: Use thoroughly cleaned or new pots, disinfect pruners & other tools. Mix"# 4" is a professional mix, which contains, Peat Moss, Perlite, PH Adjuster and a Wetting Agent. Also the "BEST" for starting seeds, for growing seedlings etc. Also note: Don't pack mix in tightly - put in loose and water thoroughly.

I hope this info will help you and others.
Go to the Rose Gallery on my site and the you find my "Own Root Cuttings Setup Gallery"

Here is a link that might be useful: Roses of Excellence

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 2:59AM
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Hi, I (of course) agree with George. The leaves on most of my cuttings have turned yellow and fallen off as well, but I think in my case a fungus has overtaken them, and the stems are still healthy, the stems are rooting, and sending out new leaves. I keep them under fluorescent lights, well away from the lights, and with a night time period to cool down. I water my cuttings in well, but also inoculate each pot with some no-damp, and mix about 50:50 sand with the promix. I don't use any special sterile techniques, I use regular tap water, and my cuttings have one basal bud, cut straight across, no wound, and one apical leaf/bud only. I use the same set of sharp pruning shears, because it is important to have a good clean cut without crushing the stem. My pruners are generally clean to look at, but I do not wash or sterilize them.


At this stage, the cuttings cannot under any circumstances tolerate any excess light, they must have only low levels of light, and I use warm white fluorescent, 3000K
color temperature, 2 four foot lamps for two standard 11x21
trays of cuttings. The cuttings must not be allowed to overheat, because as George points out, this stimulates top growth before the roots have a chance to form, and the heat and light will kill the leaves.

I find my cuttings root perfectly well with no wounding at all, and with just a simple straight cut just below the lower bud. I think wounding and diagonal cuts may allow for more fungal pathogens to enter the stem. My cuttings form roots all along the buried part of the stem, the "stem-cells" under the cambium proliferate and split it open. Roots even emerge from above the soil line, and when I see this, I bury that part of the stem with extra medium. Hope this helps. Paul Mozarowski.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:39PM
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As far as not using new growth, I just
chopped up THE WHOLE BUSH and stuck any cutting with a good leaf. All of my cuttings are taking very well. Actually some cuttings of the very tiny new growth from the very tips have shrivelled up, but just about everything is doing great.

Hope this helps, Paul Mozarowski.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:53PM
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I think as an additional point, the leaves on the old wood probably have more fungal spores on them, but this is balanced out by the stem having more stored carbohydrates, and this may be one reason that ALL of my cuttings are doing well, even the older stems from previous 2 generations of blooming
(ie 2 generations of new growth on this wood, I still use for
cuttings and it is rooting really well nevertheless, in 10 days. I think
the ultra cold conditions and the very low angle of the sun, which at this time of year has loads of far red component, may be activating the genes for rooting - this is pure speculation on my part, but it is quite amazing to see these
big old stems rooting so fast - could it be the photomorphogenesis effect of the far red component on the phytochrome red stimulating or activating the rooting gene?
Could this be simulating the effects of etiolation???
I see from google search of "far red" "rooting" that far red light stimulates rooting (reason for why I use warm white fluorescent only) Normally sunlight has a much higher component of 660nm compared to 730nm. At my latitude, the sun right now is really low in the sky; this means a lot more of the shorter wavelengths are being scattered off. I could speculate that the plant can sense this shift, and uses this shift to tell that winter is very near, and to proliferate the roots, and store carbohydrates in the roots and stems. Another wierd thing is I notice that a lot of the stems are a very very red color, compared to the usual dark green, and I don't mean like changing colors, because the old leaves are green, and the new leaves and stems are red. There must be something going on.


Paul Mozarowski

Here is a link that might be useful: Washington Edu Botany Class

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 12:35AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


As I stated in my post titled 'News Flash' I am very surprised when assessing my cuttings that almost all of them have started growing. There are two of them that don't appear to be doing anything. However, those two still have a green stem and may eventually even grow.

About all the leaves dropping. I thing you might be on to something Paul. I had been thinking perhaps they turned yellow and fell off because the weather outside may have gotten too cold before I took my cuttings.

I also noticed some very red growth in the new leaves that are growing as well as the swollen leaf nodes. It's facinating.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 10:31PM
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I hvae read your posting and I can feel your pain. I stick roses all the time. Sometimes the leaves turn yellow, mostly in cool weather. You did cut them 1/4 inch below a leaf axil didn't you? Do not worry about leaf yellowing too much. I have had many a cutting that has lost all of the leaves before rooting. New leaves grew back at the bud unions and they grew into fine plants. As long as the stems don't turn black don't worry about it. The next time it may be a good idea to add a little sandor pearlite to your rooting medium though. And get them out of the hot sun!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 7:43PM
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I have 3 large rose bushes that were in the garden when we bought this house 5 years ago. I've gone through bugs, fungus, rust, heat, below 32 degrees, but now, some of the leaves start turning a little red, then yellow, and then fall off. To me, this bright red is the beginning of the problem. Is it a fungal problem?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 6:16PM
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