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I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 10:54

Ok I really didn't want to make a post on this because it's not exactly something I want to admit, but here goes. I killed 3 out of 4 cuttings I bought from Upland Nursery back in April during the Spring Flower Show. I would have killed Guillots Sunset too if I didn't have the sense to send it away to be rescued by a friend. When I accidentally bid and won Duvauchelle CUTTING (I wanted a rooted cutting) I immediately sent her away as well before she fell victim to my inexperience.

So what gives? Why do you all make it sound so easy and I can't even make ONE root! This is tragic... and I'm so freaked right now I won't even take a cutting if it's free. This has shaken up my confidence so right now I am sticking w/ rooted plants. I told you I don't have a green thumb. :(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

No-Clue, it's definitely not easy and you will see many people that stay away from them as well. I think the problem boils down to a couple of things:

Not leaving them alone.

GIVING THEM WATER.

Temps not warm enough.

That's really the most common reason they fail but even then, cuttings can be finicky. I have rooted about 8 in previous years, 10 this year and because I felt confident just this weekend I realized I'm having serious problems with 4 of my cuttings! I kind of know what happened to a few of them, but one of them is just plain finicky. I was lucky enough to catch it in time to cut them and start over, but I am still bothered by it!

To root cuttings the basics are:
Temps 80+, dip the end in water and then rooting hormone. Plant in a small container with VERY well draining mixture. Water in thoroughly ONCE and then not again until you have 6 or 7 FULL leaves. Don't mess with it, don't water it. Say that to yourself over and over until it roots: Don't mess with it. No water. LOL!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Guys,
you can easiily learn to root cuttings with 100% success rate. All you have to do is callus them in mulch for two weeks before planting them. Once callused, they do not rot. I even root green cuttings with no problems. Just read my article in the March Plumeria Potpourri and you will see how easy it is. It is all explained there. I wish I can post the article here but it will not let me. Here is a cut-away view of a callued cutting, The soft white center is protected by the callus and will not rot.
George


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 12:02

Elucas, here is what I did.

1. Let the cuttings dry out for a week.
2. Soaked cuttings in Vit B1 and Superthrive mixed in water solution for 1 hour
3. Dipped in Rootone
4. Planted in cactus soil and perlite (50/50).
5. Thoroughly soaked with Vit B1 and Superthrive mixed water
6. Staked w/ choptsticks for stability
6. Left on counter w/ some sun and heat pad

I did not water again in the 8 weeks and only misted once or twice.

I climbed up on the countertop nightly to talk and encourage them but I didn't touch or move them. I was told by my daughter that if I talked to them they will grow? Why did I listen to a teenager anyway especially one who never grow a thing. I know now the soil might not have been ideal... but still all dead? I must have some really brown thumbs!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 12:05

George I must read your article... can't you just post the link or the whole article here or email to me?

I don't know what "callus them in mulch" mean. Remember... I have only ever planted some tulip bulbs 20 years ago so I know next to nothing. :( But I'm willing to learn. So I'm all ears. Thank you!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

George, on the cuttings I had to re-cut to salvage, I'm letting them callous for 2 weeks but I don't have mulch - should I put them in perlite or something or is it ok to just leave them out to callous? Also, is it ok for the soft center part to be shrinking up a bit?

No-Clue, it sounds like you did the right things, maybe the temp wasn't high enough on the heating pad? If they were cut fresh then maybe they needed another week? I don't know...with mine I know they got moisture - well, basically got watered, so either they were getting too wet from me spraying my other plants too close to them or they got caught in some rain and didn't dry out :(


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Guys,
it is hard to explain a lot of details here. I am the new derector of research for the PSA and my email and phone number will be shortly listed on the PSA website. So I do not mind giving you my e-mail address. Send me a note at ghadjigeorge@comcast.net and I will send you the article.
George


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

George, will any finely ground hard wood mulch work since a lot of us would not be able to get Texas Native Hardwood Mulch? It's a GREAT article and hope all will read it. Well done George, Peg


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Thank you Peg. Any finely ground mulch will work. Just keep it on the dry side and bury most of the cutting in mulch to prevent any shriveling in hot weather. The mulch allows you to control the moisture around the cutting to create ideal conditions to callus the cutting. Drying cuttings in air you do not have much control over the process. Try it. You will be surprised how well it works.
George
P.S. Peg, what forum was this article posted at?


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

George,

I read your article in the PSA newletter and it was excellent. I have actually tried your method of using the mulch first then rooting the cutting and I had good success.

People, by joining the PSA society, you will receive the PSA Newsletter and there are usually several great articles in it. George has submitted some articles on rooting cuttings that he has had great success with.

One of the ways I root cuttings that has worked very well for me is mixing 1/2 lava sand and 1/2 perlite together. Dip your cutting into rootone then plant into the lava sand/perlite mixture. Water with a little Superthrive/root activator water. Put the cutting in a warm place (I use the greenhouse) and leave the baby alone to root. I do mist my cuttings if they look like they could use it! I have had pretty good success with this method over any other but I have lost my share of cuttings. I believe that is why some resort to grafting, some cuttings are just hard to root.

Joan


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

No-clue,

I read through the thread in a hurry, so forgive me if I missed something...but did your cuttings actually rot, or is it just that nothing has yet happened?

If it is the latter, then I would chime in with my experience, which has been that some cuttings take forever to root, and to such cuttings, 8 weeks is like 10 minutes LOL. Late last summer, pro'ly sometime in August, I bought an unrooted "Tropical Spider" from 1-stop. I tried unsuccessfully to root it until the holidays came--nothing. Around Christmastime, I took it out of its medium, and laid it on its side on an outside shelf for the winter months (it stays mild here). In March I set it back up in rooting medium, watered again and put it out to start baking in the subtropical sun. March, April, May, June...nothing.

The thing finally leafed out two weeks ago--just short of a year in the process. This is my most extreme example, but other cuttings have taken a long time to root for me as well. If they're not rotten under the soil line, nothing has yet been lost.

Greg


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

The only additional recommendation that I could offer is to start off with NOIDs or a very common variety known to root easily (Aztec Gold.) NOIDs or "common" varieties are inexpensive or sometimes free if you know someone. And in my experience they tend to be like mutts... nobody wants them but sometimes they make the best pets. In other words they root well and are strong growers in many cases. There is a reason why certain varieties are more common, after all...I doubt we'd see as many Celadines or Aztec Golds if they were hard to root or died when you looked at them :)

Everyone has their own technique. I've had good luck rooting in straight perlite in water bottles but that is just me. RIght now I'm trying to root in the gritty mix. It really is all about finding the right routine. I root all mine outside, in full shade, fully protected from any rainfall or irrigation.

If you've seen commercial greenhouses rooting Plumeria, it is nothing more than a big sea of cuttings, often stuck right inside the small pots that they will go to the stores in. For them, it is a simply a combo of a controlled environment and a process that they have found that works.


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Intriguing idea George, I will have to try this. Currently I just throw cuttings in a corner somewhere for a few weeks, then I stick them in a mix of sand and miracle grow. Stick them on the side porch and ignore them. Once leaves sprout I start moving to more sun and water.
When I lived on Oahu the old guy up the hill had hundreds of plumeria and he told me to root them this way. works well for me in this climate, you may need more humidity.

The main factors we all agree are:
1) let the cuttings callus/dry out for 2-3 weeks minimum-I have rooted cuttings bought in the French Market of New Orleans that sit there for months.

2) do NOT water

3) good drainage

4) heat

5) try an easy to root, common, cheap (or free) plant first, once you root one you will be confident and a rooting Queen! Start with healthy plants for sure.

Like George says some just take forever to root, even common ones can. It can be frustrating but just hang in there.

Tally HO!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC,
What Plumies did u lose?


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Lynn- In my opinion your soil mix is one that retains too much moisture. I root in my mixture of Jack Morgans mix using one part Big R (redwood mulch) one part Turf n tee (fine redwood mulch) and two parts pumice (a volcanic rock). Although I follow the exact steps you did, I think the redwood has the same effect as George's callused over except mine is just left in the bottle to root. I started 97 cuttings and only lost the one I backed the car into and did not notice I knocked over. All are now beginning to leaf out. I mist them every few days and otherwise ignore them. I usually leave them in the water bottles until next spring and plant the ones when I can see good roots in the bottle. Once they have a decent set of leaves I begin to water and fertilize. I also think because the bottles are not very big (1.5L), the day heat gets quickly into the soil mix. When you get to watering and fertilizing, the small bottles are easy to water with a watering can with the spout end removed. two gallons does about 30 plants. I do not use a mat and my temperatures are mostly in the 70s but they sit in 5 gal pots (6 per) with a few inches of gravel in the bottom on driveway concrete.

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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

George, Your article was added to the files of the yahoo group - Plumeria_Lover. Lea G.is the moderator of it or was. She is in TX I think. She also added your follow up article too. I hope lots will ask you for it as it sure opens your eyes. Can't wait for the next articles on the next step of your research. Peg


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC - You and I started posting and buying plumeria just about the same time. It's been a lot of fun watching you buy all those plants locally. Nice, big, blooming plants! I will admit to being extremely jealous! :)

I have a free mystery cutting. It would be a shame for you not to experience every joy that goes along with growing plumeria. Maybe it was because of your weather being slow to warm up that you have had cutting troubles. Whatever the reason, I know you can do it.

Do you want to give it another shot?


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 19:07

The ones I killed so far are:
Janara
Love
Zee

After 8 weeks and nothing I decided to take them out to re pot when I discovered they all rotted. The trunks were hollow and black. It was very upsetting. I will never forget that image!

Anyway I now remember I killed my sister's cutting too! When she bought 9 plants at JJs Jon gave her a Christina cutting which I potted using the gritty mix. I potted Christina Monday and she died Thursday! That has to be a record!

Yes I would love to try again but it is so upsetting to be the one killing them. I do want to experience the whole process. Thank you for your support and advice! You guys are awesome!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Hey NC,
When I get back to LA Ill check as I think I have an extra Christina if you want it. Let me know?

Cheers


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC - if you would like to have the cutting I would be glad to send it to you. As I said, it's a mystery so I don't know if it would be one that is easy to root or not. You would just have to be patient if it seemed like it wasn't doing anything.

Or, if Freak thinks Christina is an easy one to root, that could be the better route to go. Let's see what he has to say.

BTW, you couldn't have killed a cutting in 3 days. Wasn't your fault. :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC - I am so sorry. Hopefully my last post did not sound like I wanted you to get Freak's cutting instead of mine. Truly I would love for you to have it but most of all it would be nice for you to have a successful experience!

Until you have more confidence, I would imagine you would not go out and buy a cutting so what you need is someone to give you one or you may never give rotting another chance.


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 21:05

Well you know what the challenge is on! Anyone has extra cuttings please send to me. I refuse to accept that I cannot do it.

Moonie I would love to have your cutting. You too Freak. I will email you where to send. Let me know so I can Paypal you shipping costs. Thank you!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 21:32

Thank you Bill, I will give that a try as soon as some generous folks send me some cuttings. I really want to try to get at least ONE rooted. Thanks again!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Dang it! I just typed a big long post and accidentally deleted it! It was all about my first rooting experience and if you've germinated any seed yet. Hate when that happens. Grrrrr!!

Anyway, I will try to mail the cutting tomorrow, NC. If not it will be Wednesday but I will let you know.


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC,
The Christina I was offering was a potted/rooted plant. I originally purchased one in 2007 in a 5 gal, and it blomoed in 2008 and 2009 but has not bloomed since so I bought a flowering one last season. Ill have to look to see where it went or if someone jacked it..lol

Cheers


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Hi Freak. How are you? Do you also have an unrooted cutting for NC to play with? She needs to practice on more than just one. :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 23:06

Freak Moonie is correct. I need cuttings to practice. I already have a Christina plant so thank for your offer. I just mentioned Christina bc that was my sister's cutting that I also killed. I am sure some one here would love your offer?

Thank you Freak and Moonie!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

If I were in the area, I would take it! :)

You're welcome, NC! Now, do your homework! LOL The 5th time is the charm!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC,
If your just want cuttings to practice on I can give you a ton of Celadine, Samoan Fluff, or if you want just a few there is Grove Farm and Guillots sunset? But again I can not cut them till I get back so let me know if your interested?


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC,

Keep trying... we all started out as you!!!

We all have had our losses.. and still do!!! " )

You will succeed if you try and try again!!!

: )

James.. You are very generous!! That is very kind of you!!!

Thank you for everything and for helping others..

Good luck NC...

Think of us in areas that are not in CA!!

People have learned to root in New York, Utah.. Indianna...

YOU can do it!!! : )

Take care,

Laura


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Thank you Laura! I want to try.

Freak I will take whatever you can spare. I am going to use Bill's method since he is closest to me. So hopefully it will work for me this time. Although do you think it's too late to root now?

Also when you use the clear bottles do you cut holes on the bottom?? Thank you!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC,
I've rooted cutting in October, so not its not too late.


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Ok Freak. I will take one of everything. Thanks again for you offer. :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC - I mailed off your cutting this morning. All of us will cheer you on as you give rooting cuttings another attempt. We're expecting at least a 1 for 4 this time. LOL

So far I am 4 for 5. But, two of them were Aztec Gold so that doesn't really rate me as good at rooting. The one I lost was a celadine. Go figure.

Good luck!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 17, 12 at 11:14

Thank you Moonie! I really appreciate it!

Hey 4 for 5 is a record I will aim for. I'm going to get all my supplies together so I can do this again. I'm getting excited but so nervous! :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Sorry to have chimed in so late. I agree with the forum. You have to keep on trying.

This is how my first experience with rooting went.

I had heard so much about the baggie method. Adding your favorite rooting mix to a baggie, dipping cutting into root hormone, and then placing cutting on heat mat to root. Never worked for me. I substituted the heat mat for a heating pad. I really think the whole heating pad idea was just bad for me. It never worked. In fact, once I tried Bill's method, I never had any luck. I actually added a whole raw egg to my mix and that really helped but I don't want to give you info on yet another way of rooting. Sometimes too much info can be detrimental.

I really hope you do try rooting again. I had many rooting blunders until I became successfull. In fact, I gave up for many, MANY years at rooting cuttings, but once I gave it a try again, I rooted my cuttings.

Good luck and keep us all posted!!

Andrew


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 17, 12 at 14:01

Andrew you made me feel soo much better. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one having a hard time. I was upset already, but then I kept hearing how easy it is to root cuttings and I felt even worse. Like what the heck is wrong w/ me?? I love on my Plumies so much they should grow just from the love alone! LOL...

I am going to try again. I am not going to use the heat pad either. Moonie sent me her mystery cutting so I'm going to try it as soon as I get it! :) Thank you!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

NC - Just don't love them to death :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 17, 12 at 14:55

LOL Moonie! I think that was what I did. I coddled them to much. What did Bill say? Ignore them and not poke at them or something? I must learn to ignore them and only fuss over the established plants. :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

As Laura says, that Bill told her, don't mother hen them? :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

I was going to ask how you keep the bottles upright but I see you put a bunch in a bigger pot. Very good idea. I can use that idea with so many other cuttngs.
Tally HO!


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 20, 12 at 14:20

Moonie,

I got your cutting! Thank you... I will be sending you something as well my friend. Hopefully I can mail tomorrow or Monday. :)


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RE: I am 0 for 4 trying to root cuttings!

Yaaaay! I love to give, but receiving is fun, too! :)


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