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How long can I leave a rooted cutting in a drinking cup?

Posted by gr8heather none (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 14, 12 at 1:43

This is my first time propagating rooted cuttings, I have about 30 started, with roots. (only about 3 died, yay!) At first I had them in very small greenhouse containers, but I have now moved them to medium sized plastic drinking cups. I am not ready to put them outside yet, and many have nice root systems, but no new leaf growth. Will they be ok over winter in the drinking cups, or will they outgrow them too fast? I'm not sure if I will have room indoors for them over the winter if I need to increase the pot size. I still have them in their 2.5 gallon ziplock bag "greenhouses", inside their clear cups, and I can already see lots of roots along the inside of the clear cups even though they were only re-potted about 2 weeks ago.

Also, how will I tell when they are ready to come out of the plastic bags? I had one out today for only about a half hour, indoors, and the new growth wilted immediately. How will I harden them off when they are ready?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How long can I leave a rooted cutting in a drinking cup?

Heather, I propagate outdoors. I have about fourteen rooted cuttings still in the sixteen ounce foam cups I rooted them in back in January-February. I have to keep them watered religiously as they receive about four hours of direct sun daily. I have no idea how long you can keep them in cups indoors as I can't root things inside here.

Yours may be ready to take from the bags, but you can't just pull them out and expect them not to wilt. They are soft from being inside a "close environment". They must be gradually hardened off, slowly, so they can become accustomed to the hotter, drier air and brighter light, just as you have to get used to the hotter, brighter sun after being inside all winter. You go out for an eight hour gardening session after not being out in the hot sun for a few months over winter and you're going to fry quickly.

The absolute best time to accomplish this is during a period of rain. Rainy weather is overcast, cool and damp. Putting newly rooted, soft plants outside in a rain where they are bathed in rain water permits them to acclimate easier, faster. Otherwise, you should gradually open the bags to permit more of the high humidity inside them to escape, giving that soft tissue a chance to slowly toughen up.

You can't rush it, expect it to take a couple of weeks of slowly, gradually exposing them to hotter, drier, more direct sun conditions, a very little at a time. But, if you are going in to a week of rains and they aren't hard, severe rain, you can put them out in the rain and let it help you accomplish your goal. Kim

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