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Propagating Cuttings, Fungi

Posted by DennisBonsai Netherlands (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 4:13

Hello all,

I am trying to propagate a nice, slightly big (1 cm) cutting from my boxwood, but I encountered a fungus problem.

I planted the cutting in normal potting soil after dipping it in CuttingHormone, watered it and put it in a dark shed with a plastic bag over it. After 2-3 months, the cutting had shoots everywhere with nice 4-6 leaved branches and tried to grow it outside in the shade.
Unfortunately, the next morning all the leaves were wilting and after a week back in the plastic bag the leaves where strong again, but a fungi had infiltrated the bag and had infected some of the leaves.

What should I do? The cutting has rooted and showed a lot of new growth, but it is not strong enough for the outside world, but in the bag it will be covered in fungi.

Notable: it is kinda cold outside here in the Netherlands, maybe the bases of Botrytis..

Does anyone have any suggestions on this?
- Just let it harden of in the shade, the wilting will dissapear over time.
- Put it indoors in the bag and refresh the air every other day.
- Or are fungicides my only option?

I hope for some nice suggestions,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Propagating Cuttings, Fungi

I would let it harden off in the shade and just watch it suffer until it adjusts to the new growing conditions. If it is well rooted it will pull through after looking bad for a day or two. Al

RE: Propagating Cuttings, Fungi

Oke, I will let it harden off outside.
I also had contact with another bonsai fanatic and he encountered the same problem, but only with his bigger boxwood cuttings. All of his youngher and smaller cuttings were doing just fine!
He grew them outside in the shade as you advised.

Does anyone have any self-experience with cleaning brances with 70% alcohol or diluted bleach + a tooth brush?

Thanks for replying,
I'll give an update on the progress.


RE: Propagating Cuttings, Fungi

I have rooted box cuttings many times and I think that your problem is due to the plastic bag and the darkness. That will encourage weak floppy growth which is bound to be prey to fungal infections and unless brought into the light it is doomed to die. I simply place several small 10 - 20 cm cuttings into cuttings compost and put them outside in a sheltered area. I water once and then leave it to the rain.

I don't know why you placed the cutting in the dark. I've never seen that recommended.

I agree with leaving the bigger cutting outside and letting it take its chances. The temperature is not a problem.

RE: Propagating Cuttings, Fungi

also, I never use organic (or otherwise) potting soil for cuttings - it's sand, perlite, even vermiculite all the way for me - I even had some success using those expanded clay granules (hydroleca?).
IME, anything humusy or loamy, even sterile potting mixes, are really at risk of fungal contamination.
Yep, box is easy from cuttings.....but takes forever.

RE: Propagating Cuttings, Fungi

@florauk: I put my cutting in the dark shed because I thought that it was the best place for a stable temperature and no direct sunlight. I know now that it was a mistake.

The cutting is in the shade, no fungi, but also no growth for now.

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