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Cuttings -- how much water?

Posted by ccroulet z9 CA Sunset 18 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 22, 07 at 23:04

With 86 Salvia apiana seedlings now individually potted (and I may pot up a few more and also pot up some S. mellifera seedlings -- but I really don't need any more melliferas), I'm looking forward to propagating some other native salvias from cuttings, particularly S. clevelandii. I've settled on a mix of perlite and vermiculite for the rooting medium. My question has do do with watering -- that is, how much water should I initially put in the medium? What is enough but not too much water?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cuttings -- how much water?

Rooting media needs to be damp and drain well. Are you using bottom heat?

For me in North Carolina, California sages will only root in warm to hot weather, and with cuttings from robustly growing stock plants. I have very few, because they are very hard for me to keep with our high humidity.

RE: Cuttings -- how much water?

My prior experience with cuttings has not been good, but I now know that I took them at the wrong time of year and probably used inappropriate growing media. Out of the various cuttings I tried last summer, I have an S. apiana that's doing very well now. But I'm not happy with my generally poor success, and I want to gain control of the process. It'll be another month or two before I take the S. clevelandii cuttings which particularly interest me, and they'll be from wild plants. I'll probably use lamps and bottom heat for my next round of seedlings, so it would be logical to do it for cuttings, too. The S. apiana seedlings that I mentioned in my other post were sown outdoors in a compartmented plastic germinating tray, and they're still outdoors in their pots. With the cool nights, growth is slower than I'd like. Frost is a worry. Established S. apiana can easily handle 20s and even teens, but I don't know about seedlings. Low 30s is a possibility the next few nights. My melliferas that I grew from seed and finally put in the ground last February are growing like gangbusters now, and one of them even shows signs of flowering. A "Dara's Choice" (mellifera X sonomensis) has begun to flower within the past week. This is just to say that, while there are many errors I can make in this enterprise, getting the climate right isn't one of them.

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