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When to water newly planted offsets

Posted by kwie2011 8a w. OR (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 22:21

I planted some Bantel's Sensation offsets in a mix of 75% pumice to 25% cactus mix. The offsets are 4-6 inches tall. I broke them off the rhizomes of the parent plants, let them callous several days, then planted them in dry mix. Each plant had 1 or 2, 1/2" to 1" roots on the rhizome.

I waited a few days, then gave them a light watering to feed those little roots. I then waited maybe ten days before watering lightly again. They are outside in the heat (what we call heat in w. Oregon, anyway), so two weeks later, stupidly convinced those little roots had taken hold, I watered them again when I noticed the leaves weren't turgid. A few days later I checked the leaves thinking they'd be nice and firm, but nope. Uh oh. They bent too easily. Concerned, I dug into the mix and found all the !@#$ roots gone. The rhizomes are still firm. No sign of rot there, but the roots clearly rotted.

Obviously I over watered them. In soil, I can easily gauge when a plant needs water. I can feel when the soil is completely dry. Not so easy to tell when using this mix. Won't be so easy when I get a batch of gritty mix made either. So, my questions are:

1) How the @#$% do I know when to water my plants now?

2) Are these guys likely to survive since they've probably lost 30-60% of their stored water?

Grrrr...!@#$%&*! beating my head against a wall.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

kwie,
Don't beat yourself up over this. I have very much trouble with this one. The more variegated the plant, the harder it seems to do. I would plant in pure perlite in a clear plastic cup. With stem all the way down so when it starts to root, you can see it. Keep water away. Mist the leaves but don't wet the soil. Keep from sum but bright shade is ok. Even when you see roots, months later, still hold off any fertilizer till next year when they start to grow.
I leave the pups on the mother plant for as long as possible. They grow faster and stronger.


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Thank you, Stush. A clear plastic cup - simple, yet genius. I might do that for all my un-rooted or newly rooted plants. Absolutely brilliant.

Spray the leaves? Can Sans absorb water that way?


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

All plants can but those with hard skin like our Sans does very little. Nature's way of keeping them thru the long hot dry summers in Africia.


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

don't beat yourself up. I have amazing luck propagating sans by pups. All my sans r grown indoors as I live in a second floor apartment!. now I don't use anything special for soil. all I buy is that peat based promix!!! but then in a storage tote I mix it with a crap load of perlite to make the soil way light! adds amazing drainage! now all I do is simply break a pup off once its atleast a third the size of the mother..(or father lol) and plant it up immediately and I water them in IMMEDIATELY just like any other plant division! I grow birdsnest sans (the original green variety with silver marks) and I haven't had a problem yet! I don't do anything special as u can see. and my plants r amazing! pupping like mad all in promix amended with perlite!. I don't buy into those no sans in peat based mix myth lol. I have had the same sans indoors for four yrs now, same soil mix. I got more now then I know what to do with, they key I found-keep it simple-keep soil basic and light and fluffy. keep the plants dry-I break off a pup, grab a 4 inch pot. throw in some perlite/promix mix. plant the pup in. water it immediately after planting, drain good. then I set the pups in with my other sans. key is let ur plants dry out between soakings. I wait till all pots feel light, then water till water pours out the bottom of the pots then wait till pots r light again and repeat lol. voila! no need to get so technical with soil or when to water lol. just remember don't get water into the rosette and let ur plants dry out between soakings. I fertilize mine with a DILUTE solution at every watering just like any other houseplant. and like I said my sans have never been better!


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

It sounds like the little roots shriveled up from being too dry, they couldn't have rotted in dry soil. These plants are as thirsty as any others when it's hot.


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

UPDATE:

I normally have quite a green thumb, but I'm not doing well with these Bantel's Sensation offsets, and I just don't understand why.

It has been at least 2.5 months since I cut them from the mother plant (not my plant), and the 2 surviving offsets STILL haven't rooted. They both have a couple TINY little bumps on their rhizomes, which I presume are roots beginning, but the other two offsets have rotted and died.

These guys are in pure pumice, yet I found #3 rotted and dead today. I last looked at it a week ago, and it appeared fine, although not doing a !@#$ thing.

I have 2 adult S. trifasciata, both of which appear fine (except I keep managing to sunburn the Hanhii - think that's the variety - even though it's in the same window with a little Neantha bella and an Epiprednum aurium 'Marble Queen,' neither of which has burnt at all). I also have a leaf section of a variegated green/yellow form that's been rooting in the same straight pumice as the Bantel's Sensation offsets for weeks, and although not visibly growing, it hasn't died. If it were the substrate, temperature, watering frequency, etc., wouldn't that little 2" leaf cutting croak first?

It's cooler now - 70s most days, and in the 50s most nights, but when I planted these in JULY, it was in the 90s, so I don't think the problem is temperature.

I'm flummoxed. Any insight would be appreciated.

Also - is Sans summer-dormant, or winter-dormant? I have read that it is summer-dormant, but most posts, blogs, how-to sites, etc., talk about keeping it dryer during the winter, and report lots of growth in the summer, which seems to contradict being summer-dormant. WTH? I'm so confused. :-(


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

I apologize, as I don't have an answer, but I believe 'Bantel's Sensation' can be a little bit finicky, so don't beat yourself up.

Planto


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Sansevieria trifasciata and it's varieties are temperature sensitive Sans species. They want warm conditions all the time and especially during growth or rooting. Generally speaking warm/hot growing plant species enjoy nigh time lows of 65F so 50F could be the reason your plants are not doing well. If you want to grow Sansevieria that are tolerant of cold try Sansevieria aethiopica.

Mike


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Thanks Planto. It is good to know it might just be a tricky cultivar. I'm so enamored with it though, and now so disappointed it's not doing well. I thought it'd be growing like mad by now. I wish I'd have bought some mature plants when they were available.

Mike, I think that's a reasonable hypothesis, but the cooler temperatures only arrived this last couple of weeks, so something else has been going on. I moved them indoors last week - when #3 was still alive - to keep them warmer, but of course it's also darker inside. I'm not using the heat yet though, so maybe I'll try a heat pad, dark stone, or something else to keep them warmer at night.

I read how people sometimes propagate S. trifasciata in PLAIN WATER, which blows my mind. They should turn to mush! I've also read about leaves rooting while just lying, forgotten, on a work bench. Of course, none of there people ever mention the temperature, lighting, cultivar, or time of year.


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Not a Sans, but I have been able to successfully root a ZZ Plant stalk in water. I placed it in a Southeast window where it received afternoon sun. Within a month I saw a root forming. When I potted it last week, I had three roots and four root nubs. Now, I can see a root poking through a pot hole.

But my ZZ Plant leaf that has been in soil for about three months now is still sitting there. It has a "tuber" and roots, just taking it's time lol.

With both in soil now, neither has been allowed to dry completely (obviously the one in water was wet all the time before being moved).

Again, not a Sans, but I know ZZ Plants don't appreciate a ton of water either. Crazy! I attibute my success to lots of direct light. I think if I had stuck either one in a dark corner, it's doubtful they would have survived.

Planto


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

@ kwie2011- Follow the golden rule of offsets as u wud for bromeliads...DONT detach offsets from ur sans till they are ATLEAST 1/3 the height of the parent and have a clear rosette formed! I do it that way and I haven't lost one yet!!!. I simply grab the sans that has the full developed offset, take out of the pot. break the offset loose. immediately plant it in a peat/perlite soil mix in a small pot. AND WATER WELL just like u wud any offset from any plant! and I haven't lost a sans yet! no need to get all technical about letting them dry etc lol


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

Planto, do you think I should move mine into more light? I had taken them out of direct sun because without roots, I'd been worried they'd desiccate. They were previously in bright shade with a little direct sun during the summer when they were in soil, but that's when I was doing essentially what Jay does, until I realized the leaves were losing their turgidity, and their tiny roots had disappeared (whether rotted or dried, I couldn't tell).

More recently (I moved), they've been on a south-facing balcony, but kept mostly out of the direct sun, so bright shade, but with these cooler recent temperatures (51 degrees now at 7 a.m.), I moved them into very shaded window. Right now, it's not very light, but it's much warmer than the balcony at night.

I have a very bright, warm, south-facing living room window where I can move them. It currently gets direct sun from about 9 a.m. until about 5 p.m., with only a couple of hours of dappled sun when when the tree filters it. My Graptopetalum and Echeveria are very happy there, but it's actually burnt my S. hahnii and Crassula tetragona a tad (something odd in that too, but that's a different post). I can put the Sans in that window sill, or set them a foot or two away from it, or I can keep them on the balcony on warm, sunny days (was a freakish 84 yesterday), and move them into the window (or just inside) as it cools at night, or on cool days. Does any of that seem better to you? I could also make a mini greenhouse for them, or place them on a heat pad or something at night because I let it drop below 60 degrees in the apartment at night (love my plants, but not enough to heat the whole apartment for the finicky little buggers). I won't worry about them once they have established roots, but right now they are so vulnerable.

Jay, there are many variables you haven't considered - like temperature, day length, amount of sun, cultivar, etc. Your method doesn't work everywhere or for every S. trifasciata. Your conditions differ from mine in some critical way - guessing you're in the southwest or in Florida with high sun, and warm days and nights. I'm in grey western Oregon where the sun is always low, and nights are always cool and damp. My offsets are essentially adult plants - about 6" tall with many leaves. I just divided the plant and took the smaller plants for myself, leaving the larger ones for the owner. I was surprised they didn't have more roots when I took them, so there might've already been something going on in the pot they came from. The owner hadn't kept them in a very bright spot, and alternated between over- and under-watering. They might not have been in great shape when I started, but you know sans - they look healthy right up until they turn to mush. Hard to know how these were really doing when I started.


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

umm nope I wish I lived in florida. I live in currently cold dark gloomy wet Ontario CANADA! I don't do by the books for sans and I have amazing success!! break off an offset once its a third of the height of the parent plant, plant it in regular potting mix with added perlite. and water the newly planted offset well. and all my plants r in a gloomy spare bedroom! birdsnest sans! so yea my method works for me. nothing special. I treat mine like regular offsets of any plant. I don't let mine dry out before initial watering or nothing like that lol.


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RE: When to water newly planted offsets

kwie2011,
I'm sorry, as I don't know that I have an answer for you. It's been a long time since I've tried propagating babies from Sansevieria, so I honestly can't tell you how to go about it. Coming up on cooler temperatures, I'm also at a loss. I know if kept too wet, they can rot, but I'd imagine you'd want to keep them at a certain level of moisture so they can grow roots. This year is a learning experience for me with Sans, as I lost all of mine last year (I kept them too wet for the low light I was keeping them in).

Again, I'm sorry. I've not been very helpful. I believe that Stush2049 could help you, although I do see he did provide you with what he would do earlier in this post:

"kwie,
Don't beat yourself up over this. I have very much trouble with this one. The more variegated the plant, the harder it seems to do. I would plant in pure perlite in a clear plastic cup. With stem all the way down so when it starts to root, you can see it. Keep water away. Mist the leaves but don't wet the soil. Keep from sum but bright shade is ok. Even when you see roots, months later, still hold off any fertilizer till next year when they start to grow.
I leave the pups on the mother plant for as long as possible. They grow faster and stronger."

Planto


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