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some creative rooting here

Posted by greentoe357 7b NYC under lights (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 12:54

AUG 2014 NOTE: this is an old thread, but there is an update at the end of it.

I got my first batch of cuttings of the year. (Yay! Thanks GG, they are great!)

I could not tell the top from the bottom in this Hoya aff. fischeriana 'Philippines' IML 1289 cutting. Can't photograph this well enough, but basically petioles are growing in one direction, but leaves point in the other. The label agrees with the leaves, but hey anybody can make a mistake. If I had to guess, I'd say petioles grow in the direction away from the bottom of the vine, but then leaves may have twisted to face the sun? So go by the direction of the petioles?

This post was edited by greentoe357 on Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 0:15


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: some creative rooting here

I was not sure though, so my solution was to simply stick BOTH ends into the medium and let the plant figure what it wants to do. What do you think? If I leave it like this and it roots at both ends, should I just keep it like that? Or cut the stem in the middle when rooted? (One of the two halves is definitely upside down then!)


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RE: some creative rooting here

This Hoya sp. 97005 SRQ 3044 have a very nice knotty node in there (I can easily imagine roots growing out of there), but with one node and a short stem, it would not stay in the pot.


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RE: some creative rooting here

So I wrapped soggy sphagnum around the node, and wrapped it loosely with perforated plastic and stapled it in a few places so it holds in place. I've seen people do it like this, but I myself have never tried, so we'll see what becomes of it.

Any other ideas for this particular cutting? What would you have done? I can totally redo it if there are better ideas.


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RE: some creative rooting here

@ GT

I think your choices are just fine, but here are my thoughts, since you asked.

I grow my plants on hoops, so sometimes leaves and petioles end up facing strangely on a section. I wouldn't read too much into it. I'm pretty sure the leaves are at the bottom of that cutting.

You can leave it the way you have it - I don't think the Hoya will refuse to root or anything, but I have had multiple Hoyas put out a growing tip from the bottom of the pot (popping out the drainage hole) in addition to new growth at the top where I expected them to be growing. I think this happens when you stick the growing tip underground lol. I probably would have looped this one, since fischeriana is pretty flexible, and then all nodes would have ended up pretty level.

I use the sphagnum method just as you have done, when I have awkward cuttings. For that particular cutting, since it has such big succulent leaves and will be a forgiving rooter, I probably would have just used an orchid rhizome clip to keep it in the pot. I find them really handy in these situations, even though I have to bend them to suit Hoya applications.


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RE: some creative rooting here

I knew you'd have good ideas!

This sphagnum rooting method makes me sort of nervous. I am afraid that even with the holes I've made, the plastic may still suffocate the rooting area and sphagnum may take too long to dry out. Even if I get roots in there, that gets me no closer to having a plant that can be stable in the pot. I love the idea of an orchid rhizome clip! Then it can start establishing itself right away, into the medium and the pot it'll be growing in as adult. No repotting shock and no need to get used to the new medium later, either, which is an extra bonus. Very good!

I also noticed how flexible fischeriana stem is. I'll check if looping it around the pot makes sense for my configuration - it most likely does. I might need a wider pot, but that's ok. I like the idea because the way I have things now, one end always wants to pop out of the medium.

Thanks for the ideas!


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RE: some creative rooting here

The short end or "nub" is your "down". Place that in the pot. If it's too short, use a bobby pin.


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RE: some creative rooting here

Yes I was going to recommend putting that end down also. I haven't used a bobby pen but I have used a paper clip. I've got one rooting like that now. I'll try to take a picture of it :)


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RE: some creative rooting here

> The short end or "nub" is your "down".

Possibly. :-) But have a look at the second photo (the one with the clear cup). Isn't it telling that the nub on that leafless node down in the cup is coming out facing the top of the picture straight away? You can't see on the pic, but all the other petioles on the other nodes face the same direction. Does THAT make the long end the bottom?

Where the leaves face is irrelevant because this part of the vine may have been looped down and so the leaves twisted the opposite direction.

I very well may be wrong, of course - wouldn't be the first time for sure. :-) I stuck both ends in the mix, but I did put a paper clip onto that short end in order to keep it down. I'll see what comes of it. I'll come back here to tell you all which end was which. (Would I ever be able to tell? I hope so.)

For the other cutting, sphagnum is off. I weighed that one down with a paper clip as well. I think paper clips work really well - I opened both partially, so they do not pinch the stems and so that they are like claws spread out under the mix surface and preventing the cutting from moving. Seems like a really good idea - thanks.


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RE: some creative rooting here

Think about it this way, the long end is the new growth. She had to make a snip somewhere and that was that "nub". Usually during trades, the tag is placed on the bottom (or your "down) and to the right.


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RE: some creative rooting here

Sorry, I am a bit behind in my thread answering...

> Think about it this way, the long end is the new growth.

Doesn't look like new growth to me. It's not thin, not tender, not green, not soft, but a bit calloused, with rough skin. And it ends with a snip, so obviously not the growing tip. Neither is the other end, of course - which is one of things that makes this non-obvious.

> She had to make a snip somewhere and that was that "nub".

Here I also see something totally opposite (if I understand you correctly). My understanding is when we make a cut, we should make it right above a node. On the mother plant, the stem above the node will die anyway (so, leave as little as you can, for aesthetic reasons) - but to the cutting, that stem below the first node should be as long as it can be because it's all fair game for rooting. Now, sometimes nodes are very close, or the space is tight for an ideal cut, so you get a cutting with very short to almost no stem below the first node, which is fine. But if I had to guess whether a longer stem is the top or the bottom, absent any other info, I'd say the bottom, for all the above reasons (except in cases where the cutting includes the very tip / growing point of a long leafless shoot, which is not the case here).

> Usually during trades, the tag is placed on the bottom (or your "down) and to the right.

Yeah, I know, I mentioned this above. Even though GG has plenty of experience with this, mistakes happen. (Not saying she made one here - just saying it's possible.)

So... Now that both ends are stuck into the mix, how will I know the answer? 'Cause I am very curious. Will the true top grow roots AND a stem off the last node even if under ground, while the bottom grows only roots and no stem? It's in a cleat pot, so easy to see anything that reaches the wall. And I can unpot it in a couple of months as well, of course.


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RE: some creative rooting here

Both ends will likely root, which is fine. I would probably do the same if I was in doubt. But when I take a cutting, I try to make the cut, as you say, as far from the node to be planted as possible - right against the next node, so there is plenty of stem to put in the soil. But it's not always possible... If/when both ends root, I would probably just cut it and let it take off as two cuttings.

GG, I had a Hoya sprout growth out of a drainage hole - it never occurred to me that it was because I rooted the wrong end! LOL! I wondered why that would happen!

I've used the sphagnum method with those kinds of cuttings and it works slick as a whistle. I don't think there's much adjustment at all when putting it in soil. What I like about it is you can see when the little bag is full of roots and it's time to plant. I don't poke any holes in the bag - just seal it up good and once in awhile, I open it and check it for dryness. Usually, the plant roots before I ever need to rewet the sphagnum. When I'm ready to plant, I gently pull off any excess sphagnum and leave what clings to it.

Denise in Omaha


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RE: some creative rooting here

> I would probably just cut it and let it take off as two cuttings.

But then one of the halves will definitely be upside down - is that a problem? How will it grow?


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RE: some creative rooting here

Eugene, you're complicating a pretty simple procedure. It doesn't necessarily need to be "new" growth on the end, because she may have made other cuts for trade. Or some people cut off the growing end. Also, you want slightly hardened growth for a cutting. Not woody, just hardened a bit.

Honestly, you can do pretty much anything with a Hoya cutting and they will grow if given adequate moisture and humidity. When I first started my hand at rooting, I was very nervous about losing them. I didn't have to worry because most of them will readily root.


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RE: some creative rooting here

lol You can really tell from people's confident responses that we've all wrestled with this situation a hundred times before.

Well, to be fair to greentoe, he knows that the night I packed up those cuttings I was in a SUPER hurry, because I was packing to leave town that weekend, so I was definitely more inclined to make mistakes. That said, I had JUST responded to his "how to do a good trade" post and specifically mentioned facing the names on tags up, so I was very focused on doing it right that evening. I think you can be pretty confident that my labels were facing the way I intended them.

I happen to remember this cutting, which has been planted with two ends in the soil, and goddess and teisa's instincts are right: the long end is the top of the cutting. The reason the top has a "snipped end" is because the plant had put out new growth on that vine, which later died back, so I cut off the dead bit, and it hadn't put out new growth again from that spot yet. Mostly, long bare ends are the tops of vines, just because Hoyas are always sending out long vines and leafing them later. There are, of course, exceptions. And usually stubby short ends are the bottom, because usually the plant has leafed out the lower part of the vine, so you end up with a mere node's length on the bottom of your cutting.

That said, I know for a fact that Denise is right and both ends will root, because I have done this same thing myself, for slightly different, definitely more embarrassing, reasons. On my plant, where I buried both ends, I believe it sent up a new vine from the true bottom node. It rooted from both nodes, but less vigorously from the top. I later ended up laying it on its side, so the "top" node was at the soil line, but it always preferred the vine through which it had "started over."

Hehe Denise - I've had the drainage hole thing happen to me twice now. But I'm certain this is why it happened, because on one of the plants, I distinctly remember second-guessing my orientation decision. I don't think it's a huge deal to the plant. I haven't noticed that they root slower or grow slower or anything like that. And it certainly does grow from the above-ground portion, not just below the soil, otherwise we'd notice something was wrong right away!


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RE: some creative rooting here

> Well, to be fair to greentoe, he knows that the night I packed up those cuttings I was in a SUPER hurry, so I was definitely more inclined to make mistakes.

Nah, I don't put too much weight into that specific thing. I just know people are prone to making mistakes even under the best of circumstances. So, I was not dissing you, GG (you're too nice!), I was only dissing the entire human nature. :-)

That said, smart money is on me being wrong. But the cutting is not in danger, and it will root at both ends, so I am just very curious what's gonna come out of it. Seeing a shoot coming out the drain would be cool - although I may notice before it happens because the pot walls are transparent.


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RE: some creative rooting here

5 months later, I suddenly remembered to check on this aff. fisheriana, to see which end was the bottom.

Check out this pic and compare to the second one above, the one with the empty cup. I oriented the cutting/plant the same way as in the picture 5 months ago, so the leaf on the right was also on the right in the earlier picture, and the leaf with the curving petiole here is the other leaf in the earlier picture.

The growth above this curving petiole is all new. The angle of that new growth tells me the left end in the ground is the bottom and the right buried end is the top. Do you guys agree?

By the way, it did not occur to me previously, but it should have - I realized when looking again now - do you see this little dry stump of a former vine right above the curvy petiole? It also grows in such a way as to indicate left is the bottom. All this is harder for you, of course, and easier for me, because you are not holding the thing in your hands, and my camera could be much better.

So, if the right end is indeed the top, now the question is - what do I do with that top end buried in the ground? I see three options:

1. Do nothing. The new growth now has about a dozen new leaves, and the plant is healthy. The stem off the node on the right will either surface or not, or it will never grow, whatever. All the roots are preserved and not disturbed.

2. Dig out the node on the right and let it be above ground. I'll lose any roots growing there, but that node will be able to produce a vine.

3. Dig out the node on the right, cut the stem close to it and re-bury the node so that all or most of the roots are underground, but the stem (if present) and the node itself are above or at least on the surface.

What would you guys do?

This post was edited by greentoe357 on Sun, Aug 31, 14 at 21:30


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RE: some creative rooting here

We probably do not need it, but here is a zoomed-in picture just in case.


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