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Posted by cats39 z5 Upstate NY (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 6, 07 at 12:22

Hi Huey! (and All)

I posted a thread on 2/16 with the Subject heading just plain "Question", and you were so kind to take from your time to reply.

The Question was as you might remember:

I normally don't start my Dahlia Tubers until sometime in March but a friend ask me to start a tuber for a project.
I placed it in a medium on 12/29 and had to take 2 of 3 cuttings on 1/22. My question has to do with the image below. ( BUT IVE PASTED 2 NEWER IMAGES TAKEN THIS MORNING (3/6) BELOW). I've always placed my cuttings in water and have had a great amount of success. The loss rate is negligible.

Some will show root structure right away and then others will take on a for a lack of a word a pustual type of formation. Can someone tell me what this is called? And why it happens? END

Huey, part of your reply was:

Your cuttings look great and a great way to get them started. I have never tried them in just water but a lot of other plants seem to root like that so why not dahlias.
The white calluses on the stem are a prelude to the roots starting. They will show up in about 7-10 days and then the roots a few days later. END

Huey first thanks for identifying as callusing. Now I have another question and probably a more difficult one to ask and one that might be as difficult to answer as the 2 images of cuttings as shown below have yet to take on roots and again Im not certain why?

These cuttings at the time were bigger than normal and the stalk was hollow at the cut. In fact because of this I placed mud to fill the hole at the plant cutting. Ive normally will take the cutting at a smaller size when the stalk hole at the base of the cutting was either negligible or completely closed. It seems the closed cutting takes on roots easily and the callused ones later.

In short do you think after seeing the below and the length of time what are the chances of these taking on roots?

The below is one of the two original cuttings. As you can see there is some greyish/browning to the callusing, but that has been that way for some time.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This was a third cutting taken several days later that too developed callusing. Since the others weren't rooting I decided to put this one in a soil medium after using a rooting hormone. Then several days later I noticed the leave growth looking a little limp. I waited another day or two and it got worse.

When I took it out of the soil the below soil portion didn't look to healthy either so I placed it back into the water. After a couple of days it perked up and the callusing is as you can see whiter. So at least we know these cuttings are rugged little buggers.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So now I'm kind of at a standstill. Do you or any one else have any more thoughts? I wish all of my cuttings would look so healthy I really hate to lose at this point of time!

Thanks for your time!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Huey

did you try dipping it in Rootone or another rooting hormone? Those calluses are kind of ugly aren't they?!

RE: Huey

Hi Jim: Everything I have ever read and the times I have tried to grow them, hollow cuttings will not produce roots and to throw them away. That will happen sometimes with the first cuttings off a tuber or as I do sometimes in the fall take cuttings from some garden plants to winter over and if you get a stem too long it will be hollow. So I would just go with the follow on cuttings and toss the hollow ones.

Cuttings placed into soil without roots have a very poor chance of living long enough to make roots. When I first started doing cuttings I would have a 50-60% failure rate which was discouraging. I started putting them into jars of wet sand for 36-48 hours and then in soil and that helped but still not a high enough success rate. Finally, I learned about the Oasis Wedge System (not Oasis Cubes)which has about a 90-99% success rate and I use it every year. I don't even use a rooting hormone as they root so well in the wedges. Cowlitz Dahlias has wedges for sale or you can google and find other suppliers.
Sorry for the bad news.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cowlitz Dahlias

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