need to k now

rabbit8(z8a AL)June 30, 2009

I have a vine that's growing in my back yard. It gives off a wonderful scent in the summer. I want to know if I cut a piece of it off and place it in water will take root. Please help and thanks in advance.

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We would really need the name of the vine or a picture to be able to help you with that.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:16PM
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It could be Lonicera aka honeysuckle. You need to airlayer a vine. Do a google search for both Lonicera and airlayering.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 7:44PM
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Without knowing what it is, it is difficult to give perfect advice, but I'll give you a general way to root many, many, many plants. There are a few things vital to rooting most plants: moisture, air, and heat. Without setting up a full blown propagation chamber, a very easy way to do it in your kitchen would be the following:

- get a couple of plastic disposable cups like you would use for a BBQ. I would prefer clear, so you can see when the roots start growing.

- Poke a few small holes in the bottom of each for drainage and slight air movement.

- Buy some perlite. I like large chunk, but anything will work okay.

- Nearly fill one cup with perlite.

- Take your cuttings with very sharp scissors, or a razor blade. Make sure you have at least 2 nodes, but 3 or 4 is better if they are spaced close enough. Many things prefer to root at nodes, so cut the bottom of the cutting VERY close to the nodal area where the leaf stems come out. Cut off the leaves, and any tendrils if existent from this bottom area. If the leaves are too large to fit in the cup well, trim them or cut them off if necessary. I like to leave a little bit of leaf so the plant can photosynthesize.

- With a pencil or other small object, make a hole in the perlite about 2/3 of the way deep into the cupfull.

- If you want to have an even better chance of success, buy some powdered rooting hormone which you can get at Home Depot usually, or any other nursery. If you have this, dip your cutting end about an inch or so into the hormone.

- Carefully place the cutting into the hole in the perlite in the cup. With light pressure, close any gaps between the perlite and the cutting stem. You want the stem to be able to be fairly sturdily supported by the perlite, but not tightly packed. (This is part of the "air" portion of the equation)

- Water it in, make sure that it is thoroughly watered, but also that it drains well. You do not want it standing in water. There are a few things that will root in straight water, but not that many.

- Place your other prepared cup over the top of the cutting, open side to open side. Tape it lightly in place. It does not need to be tight, and you will be removing this top cup every day, so make it easy on yourself.

- Place in a somewhat sheltered area. Morning sun is okay, but better would be dappled shade all day.

- Religiously, every day, water in the perlite and mist the leaves. If it is hot out, mist them more frequently. You can almost not mist them too much for most plants.

- In anywhere from 5 days to 5 weeks, (or 5 months for some hard-to-root things), depending on the plant, you will begin to see roots. Realistically, if you are not trying anything too exotic, most plants will root well before 30 days. If you are impatient, you can tug slightly on the cutting, but be very careful not to break the tender new roots. If the plant starts to send new growth out, it does not necessarily mean it is rooted. You want a nice healthy root system before you re-pot or plant it. I would suggest keeping a good amount of perlite in your planting medium so the roots can acclimate to the new water retention slowly.

- You may put many more than just one cutting in a pot like this if they are small plants. One warning though, do not let their leaves touch, as many things will rot if they do so.

- If you see any mold, fungus, algae, or rotting of the cutting, your holes poked in the cup are too small, and it is not getting ample air circulation. Take immediate measures to alleviate the problem.

Well, that is about it! We have rooted thousands of cuttings successfully with similar though slightly more complex and costly equipment, including many, many vines. While air layering is another option, there are very few vines or any plant for that matter that cannot be rooted in this way. Some exceptions would be things like Bomarea, Lapageria, and many rhizomatus and bulbous plants.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at:

Happy Gardening!

Eric Wortman

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 5:39PM
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Hi again,

I forgot to mention that many plants, (though not all), tend to root faster with bottom heat. So, if you are planning on doing this indoors, go get a waterproof heating pad to put them on.

The most important thing that I forgot to mention is to have fun with this! Experiment! There really is no right or wrong way to do it, and if you come up with something that does great for you, please share the info.

That's it.

Happy propagating!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 6:34PM
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You root cuttings almost EXACTLY the same way I do, including the inverted clear plastic cup. The only thing I don't do is spray the cuttings--or water every day--I find that the perlite usually stays moist in a closed environment--you can usually just tell by picking it up and sensing the weight. One more thing I do is put yet another cup at the bottom. Put a layer of gravel, or even better, styrofoam peanuts at the bottom of that third cup. That way a little excess water has a place to go (although you do have to watch it). Plus it gives you a very compact unit that you can move wherever and whenever you please.

I also don't poke holes in the top cup. I've had very few mold problems. Perhaps I keep the spores out...The absence of holes may be why mine doesn't need extra moisture.

If the cutting is large, you can omit the top cup and put the whole thing in a plastic bag.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Great advice, Randy! As I said before, there is no right or wrong way, and now I have a few extra things to try. How fun...


    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 3:11PM
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rabbit8(z8a AL)

I tried to find something around the house with the name of it when I purchased the vine, but was unable. The name sounds like this, "mativia". I hope this helps. It produces dark purple flowers with a wonderful scent and covers my wooden fence.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 7:44AM
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Okay, now you're just plain making me curious... it feels like a puzzle, and I'm a botanical puzzle nut!

Mutisia is the closest thing in "name" that comes to mind, but that is pretty rare, and I'm not familiar with any being scented.

Mandevilla is another, and again non-scented.

Matelea is another, though rarer still. If this is it, I want some!

Of course, if you are speaking of the common name, I'm completely lost... I really don't keep track, they change too fast and mean too many different plants for one name. (ie Black Eyed Susan, Morning Glory, Trumpet flower, and on and on and on...)

Dark purple flowers with scent... hmmmmm....

Covers the fence how? Is it a twiner, have tendrils, modified leaf-stocks, aerial roots, scrambler?

If you cannot produce a picture, describe the flowers more. What shape? What size? How long does each flower last? What time of year does it bloom and for how long?

I need to figure out what it is... I am hooked now!

By the way, none of this changes that it is still most likely easily propagatable by the methods above.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 12:48PM
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