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Easy Propagation Methods 2

Posted by JohnVa Z7 Va (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 16, 05 at 13:37

Inspried by Jamie's "Easy Propagation Chamber" I decided to show you my methods :)

I use wick watering and grow under lights so my process is designed to fit those factors.

First I'll start with the wicking method:

You need the following: a 6 inch pot, a covered plastic bowl, and a nylon cord.

The cord will be pulled through the bottom of the pot and through the top center whole of the bowl lid (when you start using it). This picture is just to illustrate how it all fits together once you start using it. Keep in mind the cord just hangs out the bottom while the seeds and cuttings are getting started.

To start off, the cord is put in place in the pot with about 6-8 inches hanging out the bottom. The pot is then filled half full with potting mix and the wick placed around the other side of the pot as shown. The pot is then filled with soil to near the top. When starting seeds I leave about an inch of space below the top of the pot. With cuttings it doesn't matter.

For starting seed I use a plexiglas cover over the pot until the seedlings hit it. Once they reach the cover I remove it and attach the wick and bowl under it. Here is an example of some new seeds comin gup.

This next pic is an example of some tip cuttngs of Balloon flowers I took when they got too tall under my lights.

These cuttings are 4 days old and are being grown under a plactic 100 CD cover to keep the humidity high.

This last pic is some 10 week old Balloon flower seedlings using this method. They are grossly overcrowded but at the moment I have no place to transplant them to so they will just have to survive :) The above cuttings were taken from them. I do have several buds on them already.

Note the wick in the bottom of the plastic bowl.

One lesson learned is don't put too many seeds in. :)

John


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Awesome instructions - thanks for sharing!


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hey, John! This is wonderful! I would never have thought of this, and I don't know of anyone around here who has done it. Did you come up with this method?

Would a cotton cord do as well as a nylon cord? I don't know how the nylon cord brings up the moisture, as I can't imagine it absorbing water. Is it not supposed to absorb it?

I am going to try this this very weekend, after all the frivolity is over. Thanks!

Janie


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Janie, This is my method although I'm sure many wick water. It is not too widely used to my knowledge. Wicking solves several problems. It provides the even moisture that most plants like and it serves as a buffer for those who sometimes forget to or can't water every day :)

I use nylon because it doesn't rot like cotton will. The best type I've found it the soft kind used for tieing things in backpacking (Walmart) because it is somewhat soft and has a softer center and seems to wick much better. I use a fire starter lighter to burn mine in two when I measure it to length. I have a couple of pots with the hard nylon cord and the center of the pots is not getiing enough water :(

Minimum length is about 30 inches, Too long is better than too short. I am also trying wicking on some of my orchids I am tired of watering every day and it seems to be working well :) I just pulled them out, wrapped the cord around their roots a couple of times and put them back in the pots.

Let us know how it works for you?

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

  • Posted by Roxy77 Houston Z9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 22, 05 at 11:47

your balloon flower seedlings look great! I've never had success with balloon flowers, maybe I will try this method.


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Thanks Roxy.

Janie, here is a pic of wick watering with the hard nylon clothsline type cord. Notice that the plants in the center are not getting any water and that even the ones on the outside of the pot are not very healthy due to lack of water.

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

I pulled the above plants out of their pot, along with the companion pot with a hard nylon cord today. I was amazed that both were very dry except for the area within about a half inch of the cord.

I tried taking the cord off the first one, big mistake. It pulled about half a dozen plants along with it. I replaced both cords with the softer parachute cord type and immediately noticed a difference in total soil wetness.

On the second pot instead of removing the cord I just cut it right inside the pot and wrapped the new one around the soil ball and put it back down in the pot. It immediately wet the whole soil ball :)

In considering the amount of water these pots are taking each day, in order to provide that water quantity I would have to water several times a day with lots of wasted run off. With the wicking system the plants just take it as they use it, which is perfect!

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

This is cool - Right now I have some cuttings starting in one of "Jamie's Chambers"

I'd like to try this method as well. I just have one question. You said that you remove the plexiglass once the seedlings hit it and then attach the wick and bowl under it. So you don't water with the wick and bowl until after they germanate?

I also don't understand what you mean when you say that you use a lighter to burn it in two when measuring. Is this to keep the ends from unraveling?

Do you ever reuse your cords?

Also, do you put any type of fertilizer or rooting hormone in the water?

Is there a way to do wick watering with hanging plants? For me, those are the biggest pains in the arse to water,

Thanks, I'm looking forward to trying this method for seeds.

Annie


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hi Annie,

I put the wick in the pot when I prepare it for seeds. I use wet Promix BX for soil. No additonal watering is needed with the plexiglas cover in place over the pot. Once the seedlings touch the plexiglas cover I remove it and attach the water bowl under it. From then on all water comes from the wick and bowl. Wick watering works awesome for seeds! Look at my pics!

With cuttings I follow the same process, I just use a 100 CD cover over them until they root and start growing. I also spray them with water when I plant them, before putting on the cover, to inhibit wilt!

If you are growing the hanging backets for sale it would be easy to leave the bottom off and use a wick until they are ready for sale, then cut off the wick, attach the bottom and away you go :)

One suggestion would be to put a small clay pot in the center of the hanging basket with a sealed bottom hole and fill it with water daily so the water could seap into the hanging basket. The major problem with watering hanging baskets is overflow.

I water with a solution of 20-20-20 (1 teaspoon/gal) and Superthrive under lights. My regular solution is 1 teaspoon/4 gal in the greenhouse.

Yes the lighter seals the ends of the cord, works great. The cords can be reused.

I have 3 sets of Balloon flower tip cuttings I'm working on now with this method.

John Va


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hi Annie,

Here are some 19 day seedlings from seed planting date:

And these are 7 week seedling:

The 19 day ones are about an inch tall and the 7 week ones about 3-4 inches. All are white double balloon flower seed from a friend in MI.

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Those look awesome! One problem with watering from the top is that the soil splashes out if the dirt is too high, so this method would be great to prevent those types of problems.

Every plant I've ever killed is from not watering enough or root rot, so this method should be a dream come true for me.

Thanks, Annie


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Correction on the wicking cord. I bought some more at Walmart today :) It is Braided Polypropylene and was right next to the tent pegs in my Walmart, $1.47 for 50 ft, either Camouflage or Utility (white).

My thirstest 6 inch pot is now close to a quart a day, maybe because of all the buds coming.

I planted some foxglove seeds today, will see how they do :)

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Thanks so much for sharing!!! I've had almost no luck with propogation, but your system sounds very promising. I printed out the type of wick cord - braided Prolypopylene to bring to Walmart tomorrow. I'm so excited!!!


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

I am so impressed with this method but I have one question. What ia the second hole on the lid for? Middle hole is for pulling through bottom of pot. I got all my stuff and don't want to mess up now.


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Nance, the second hole, the one close to the edge, is for refilling the bowl :) Now don't kick yourself :)

Center hole: wick takes water out; outer hole: you put water in :)

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

  • Posted by Baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 30, 05 at 9:18

If your lower container were opaque, your wick & container would be less likely to develop algae. Also, some fabric stores sell wick material.


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hi Baci,

Both of ur statements are true but...

I like being able to see how much water the plants are using and being able to see them as I fill them. I use a watering wand from an overhead plastic bin to gravity feed them :) (another simple but effective innovation :) So far after 6 weeks I am seeing some little flakes of algae but nothing major so far.

Also the PRICE of the Walmart cord is going to be very hard to beat and it works perfectly!

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

John,
No I am not blonde but the question sure sounded like a blonde joke...lol I already set up 10 pots to try this. Thank you.
Nancy from Ky


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hi Nancy,

I am sure we will all be excited by your great results :)

I am wondering what I am going to do with all these balloon flowers and waiting to see how the foxgloves come up :)

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

So cool. thanks for sharing.


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Well the foxgloves came up in 4 days but they sure are skinny things so far. They are an inch high now and on their second set of leaves. Guess I have a long wait since I read 6 months to flower :)

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Just a follow up on my origianl post. The last pic in that set was my overcrowded seedlings growing in the 6 inch pots. I have 3 sets of them which pretty much take up a 2x4 foot light shelf by themselves.

Two things are happening. Several of them are blooming and others have buds. All of them are long with multiple branching and several are hitting the lights.

Also several of the plants on the outside have been crowded down to the shelf and are shriveling up. I checked the soil in the pot and it appears wet to the touch so I guess they have become self limiting. I am hoping for a lot of roots I can replant at a later date so I really doubt I am losing them permenately. Time will tell.

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hi John,

A tip I learned from Growing Growers (an organization here in KC to develop local area farmers) for nice sturdy seedlings is to lightly brush the tips of seedlings daily. This strengthens their stems, makes them stockier and helps them acclimate to life outside in the real world of breezes and winds. Haven't tried it myself but visited a farm that followed this practice and swore by it. You can use your hand, a dowel rod, 2'x2', etc. depending on the size of your seed beds. At the farm, they used a 2'x4' rigged up to sweep the length of the bench that they would raise as the seedlings grew. If you decide to try this technique, I'd be interested in your results. Thanks.

Donna


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Is there any way to do this with one big watering container rather than with containers under each pot?


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Donna,
A fan blowing air across them does the same thing. Yes I've tried it and it does work :) All you really need is plant movement to force strengthening of the stem. That is one of the purposes for those large fans you see in big commercial growing operations.

nyssaman,
Yes it can be done very easily. Just use a shallow container and put multiple holes in it for the pot wicks. I was thinking one of those 2 foot by 3 foot under the bed plastic containers, but I'm sure there are many options. I will probably do something like that the next time I do seedlings.

This time I was just fooling around with Balloon flowers and didn't realize how well they would do or how quickly they would bloom.

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

John the plastic containers are exactly what i was thinking about I ll have to try that.

Jeff


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

I have 32 blooms today, what an awesome display!

John


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RE: Easy Propagation Methods 2

Hi JohnVa,

I came across your explanation of wick watering today. Even though your explanation was clear it was confusing to me because the images were missing. I am one of those who need to see to fully understand. Would you be kind enough to repost with pictures?

Thank you.

Sengyan


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