I just bought my first salvia(black and blue). I read that you could take cuttings and root them. Is this true and if so what is the method for doing this?
Thanks in advance
I use cuttings with 2 pair of leaves; rip off the lower pair to have a node underground. Poke a few holes in a plastic bottle and cut the bottom out. Cover your new babies. When moisture no longer shows on the inside of the plastic, they probably need more water. You will probably detect roots by a gentle tug in about 4 to 6 weeks. I like perlite for rooting and maybe a glass jar. Then my impatient hands can usually see some roots coming and not pull it up 3 or 4 times before it actually roots. You can put 6 or 8 cuttings in a plastic pop bottle all together. Over winter my rooting time was about 6 weeks, maybe 3 to 4 now with longer days and warmer weather.
I also want to grow some more black & blue from my only plant. Would putting it in water in a jar be ok? would that work? Im not familiar with hormones or whatever it is that people use.
They might root in water, but you'll have better results sticking the cuttings directly into a pot of barely moist well-drained mix (peat/perlite or peat/sharp sand in a 1/1 or 2/3 ratio by volume works fine). Keep the cuttings under cover (I use an upside-down clear plastic sweaterbox, but a big glass jar or plastic bag works fine) in a shady place outdoors or under lights indoors. Mist the foliage daily or more often if you can. They should root within a few weeks.
You should be able to do this outdoors now in your zone.
Rooting hormone can speed rooting, but it's not necessary with guaraniticas. They root readily from cuttings without it.
I think I got ya now... sounds pretty simple. Excuse me for asking, but would like Miracle-Gro Potting Mix in a pot work? I will use a clear bottle over it and mist as u mention.
Thanks so much, I love this plant and yes, the hummers cant stay away from it. I just redid my backyard, from a desert-weedy wasteland into a beautiful green lawn surrounded by wide planters. I would love to have a clump of B&B's in one area...
It *is* pretty simple.
As for your growing medium, potting soil mixed 1/1 with perlite, sharp sand, or chicken grit would be a better bet than straight potting soil. Most potting soils hold too much moisture, and the cuttings run the risk of rotting before they can form roots. You want something that feels gritty to the touch and that drains very rapidly.
You could probably get away with using straight potting soil with your guaranitica cuttings, which are forgiving of less-than-ideal rooting conditions. But you'll have better results with them and with other cuttings if you provide a better drained and more porous medium.
I experimented last year by sticking a couple cuttings into my garden where I wanted new plants. I didn't expect much, thought I'd need to follow the methods described above, but what a surprise! They rooted and I now have two new plants! What could be easier :)
They will root in Miracle gro. I just did 3 but I also used a rooting hormone (Rootone). I dipped the cutting up to the first node where the roots will develop in the rooting homone powder and then put it straight into the Miracle gro that I had previously moistened and allow to drain well. I put the cutting in a plastic tray with a plastic tent that I made to fit the size of the tray, over the top of them. I also put some vent holes in the plastic tent. One cutting rooted in about 2 1/2 weeks and what a root it had! The others were about a week and a half behind. Steven is right about adding something to the miracle grow for better drainage. I made large holes in my containers and I only bottom watered so this kept the soil from compacting. I usually add some cactus mix soil which has more sand, to my regular potting mix but I had run out and didn't want to go out just for a small bag of cactus mix. Since I will be doing more cuttings later in the summer I will add the cactus mix to the potting soil. I can't used just straight cactus mix as it dries out too quickly in my environment.
I just posted about this and I guess I should have done my search first (shame on me), but I still have the same questions:
When should I take my cuttings (September, October?) - I'm in zone 6 - and how do you overwinter them once you had them rooted. I don't have a greenhouse nor a cold frame and I'm afraid that my house doesn't have window sills to put plants on so what to do? Also, when in Spring do you plant them out again?
There is a temperature dependency with rooting. It can be too hot as well as too cold. The optimal root zone temperature is 70 - 85 degrees, and should be maintained overnight. The air temperature should correspond to the temps that the plant grows most rapidly in. That is the time to take cuttings as well.
The reason to include a node below the surface is to provide additional shoots besides the main leader. If you buy a plant with a huge trunk and with the first node or two heavily branched, breaking the trunk below the first node will kill the plant, since there will be no way for the plant to sprout new growth. If you buy or root one of these, at least pot it with the first node at the surface or just below.
This talk of cuttings reminded me of something I've been meaning to mention. Over the half dozen years or so I've grown microphylla and greggii I've noticed something about their winter hardiness. That is that occasionally the layered branches have proved hardier than the original plants - especially in hard winters. And this got me to thinking about the contrast between the potting soil and the native sandy soil soil where the plants eventually end up. Might that contrast in soil types be effecting root survival do to their different reactions to moisture and frost? Would it be better to wash the rooted cuttings clean of potting soil and pot them up in the same soil they will be planted in? While I don't think I would try it with plants destined to spend half a year indoors it would seem to have some merit with late winter/spring cuttings. I tried it with a batch of always problematical Agastaches this June hoping that it might give them that extra edge they need to make it through the winter. I'm interested to see how it goes.