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Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

Posted by ponyexpress_1 6a Lancaster NY (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 15:04

I just read about the plastic shoebox method and was wondering if anyone has tried cuttings in a milk jug? Like wintersowing, but cuttings indoors. I tend to get mold on my cuttings from zero air circulation. I wondered if having the cap open would help with that, but still keep it somewhat humid?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

I've been using mine over and over all summer for rooting hardy Lantana, Turk's Cap (M. drummondii) and Salvia greggi. I saved the ones I used for seeds last winter, thought they'd work great and they do. I leave them outside in the shade and for these easy to root plants I didn't even sterilize or wash them. Holes were already punched in the tops and bottoms and I just filled them with half potting/half vermiculite and they worked great. I put an X of masking tape over the top opening to leave a bit more circulation rather than the lids.

If I was doing it indoors for something more delicate which took longer to root, I think I'd clean them and sterilize them though.


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

Try using an inorganic mix such as pure sand or vermiculite for rooting cuttings - certainly decreases the chances of pythiums, botrytis and other nasties as the cutting requires no nutrients until rooting occurs. I find the enclosed method fine (I often just use a plastic bag over the top of a pot or, for woody cuttings, an upturned plastic drinks bottle pressed into the cutting mix, leaving an enclosed environment.


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

Well, I have had some pretty good results using the milk jugs also. One thing I didn't do was put drainage holes in them. I only water them enough to moisten the soil just enough. I think my past bad experiences have stemmed from over watering. Because there was drain holes, I thought I was safe. This seems to be working pretty good. I can see the moisture in the soil through the jug and know when enough is enough. I am watering sparingly. I can also see when it's time to water. I used a professional potting mix ( organic Miracle Grow) with some vermiculite. I also did the shoebox method, but only lightly covered it in plastic wrap. I basically just laid it over it and tucked it slightly. That's been working good too. I so far have rooted hibiscus, two varieties of salvia guarantica, a bunch of Cuphea's including candy corn. a few confetti lantana and some phygelius. Very little moldy die off and I crammed them in there! One lantana cutting is all that died. I did use rooting powder. I think part of my success this time was due to taking the cuttings at the right time. The middle to end of summer has been good.


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

  • Posted by pippi21 Z7 Silver Spring, Md (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 6:26

Thanks for your input; I have wanted to snitch some cuttings from our communities's flowerbeds..one of those plants is lantana and was wondering if they would propagate? What about Persian shield? There's another purple plant that I thought it was called "Wandering Jew" but I don't know any other name for it, but know that is not the botanical name.


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

That's technically theft and/or vandalism, as well as selfish to the rest of the community who enjoys seeing these plants. It would be a silly thing to get in trouble for, please don't try to do that clandestinely. Maybe you could figure out who to ask about if/when they will be replaced for fall/winter? You could probably get a ton of fat, healthy stumps you could keep trimmed until letting them go wild again outside next year. The night before frost, it would be considered saving the above-ground parts since they will be ruined by morning, but the colder nights leading up to 1st frost can make the PS and Coleus much more reluctant to take root, and it might be hard to convince the police of that if they caught you dismantling plants in a public space. I've only tried Lantana cuttings much earlier in the year. These plants are not hard to find at stores in the spring, with the annuals where you are, though finding a particular Coleus is sometimes difficult, there are over 2,000 kinds.

The other purple plant may be Perilla, or the Coleus you asked about in the other post. Purple leaves are my fav too.


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

The hybrid bedding types of lantana are easy to find in stores and I wouldn't risk taking cuttings from a public place or without asking, its not worth it. Its the native types, the kinds that produce viable seed like Lantana horrida and the common wild camara type that are not available in the nursery trades. I got cuttings locally off ones I had staked out that were obviously hardy judging by the thick woody centers and size of the plants. They root very fast, within a couple of weeks. Since they will die back in winter, taking three small 6" tips from a 6ft wide plant in late fall is not going to hurt anyone's enjoyment of the plants since its going to be frozen back soon anyway. They will trim these branches to ground level come spring. I did this last year, call me a thief. I have made lots of cuttings from these all summer and just took a few more for a hedge I am planting. I call it spreading the beauty and not wasting an opportunity on a cutting from a branch that will soon be gone.


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

I took some penstemon cuttings and placed them in a milk jug (with drainage) outside in the shade a couple of weeks ago. They are still green and healthy looking and starting to sprout roots. I am definitely saving some of my milk jugs after planting out my winter sown goodies this year as I have found another addicting use for them : )


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RE: Anyone try cuttings in milk jugs?

I'm going to use mine all winter outdoors for this purpose. I have cuttings of various Salvia greggii and Agastache already rooting and some Pomegranite Tree suckers I just started. I am also going to get some Oakleaf Hydrangea cuttings and set up another one. I have decided to just keep them in bright shade under the carport until spring, that will keep them from getting soaked in rain. The tops have plenty of holes for circulation. This year I am doing more cuttings than seeds anyway.

This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 2:18


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