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When Rooting in Water Is Just Not Enough

By mjsponies
February 25, 2015

Lots of plants seem to root well in water. When you pot them up, however, they seem to decline, or fail to grow at all and die.

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Feb 24, 2015 7:28 PM CST
Great tip! Thank you! I tip my hat to you.

Would it be inadvisable to use the nutrition-added Perlite for rooting cuttings, or is it okay for this use?
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
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ctcarol
Feb 24, 2015 7:31 PM CST
Makes perfect sense! I'll have to try that.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Feb 24, 2015 8:06 PM CST
You are so right MJ - It's been my experience that roots formed in water are way more fragile than roots formed with soil because there is no resistance to toughen up the cell walls.
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Name: mj
Central Florida
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mjsponies
Feb 24, 2015 9:12 PM CST
Chelle,
I don't know about a nutrition based Perlite. I just buy Perlite in bulk, both coarse and extra chunky.
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Feb 25, 2015 6:48 AM CST
Thanks MJ,

I was hoping you'd say it doesn't matter either way though, as it seems our local stores won't ever stock any unadulterated Perlite. Rolling my eyes.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Feb 25, 2015 8:23 AM CST
You are right, Chelle. More and more of the companies that make/market plant products seem to be going that way, and the big-box stores are stoking those products. If you can unadulterated growing media, whether it be perlite, milled sphagnum, or orchid media, you will find what you want from small businesses rather than from the Lowe's/MiracleGro type businesses.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Feb 25, 2015 9:03 AM CST
So true. I was hoping to find one less item that needed to be special ordered, but I guess this won't be one of them. Since I usually have vermiculite on hand, I may try that instead. Smiling

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Name: mj
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mjsponies
Feb 25, 2015 9:25 AM CST
Chelle, I get mine from Ace Hardware. Ours actually stocks it, but if they happen to be out it's no big deal for them to order it and they give me a call and I run into town to pick it up. I get the big bags also. I use alot of it. I add it to bagged potting mix or my own mix. With all the rain here it's important that anything potted has good drainage.
I know our Lowe's carries the smaller bags, have no idea if it's amped up or not tho. To be honest I didn't even know Perlite was offered in an "Enhanced " form.
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Feb 25, 2015 9:25 AM CST
Keep in mine, Chelle, perlite and vermiculite are entirely different substances in their uses. If you haven't read the article below, you might want to take a look at it. You can also find it @drdawg.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/drdawg/2187/
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 25, 2015 9:29 AM CST
You want to be careful (and I really don't know how you will actually know this) when purchasing perlite. I don't know why but for some reason a lot of "small-packaged" perlite that is labeling "coarse" is really closer to medium. I highly recommend "coarse" or even "extra-coarse" or what's sometimes labeled "chunky" over the medium stuff.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Feb 25, 2015 10:03 AM CST
Thanks Mj!

I'm on a first-name basis Whistling with our Ace guys and gals, so I'll check there.



Appreciate the tips, Ken. Thumbs up I like the coarse grades, too.
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Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
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Eric4home
Feb 25, 2015 2:36 PM CST
Most Ace's get weekly delivery and are more than happy to order anything they have access to, which is a lot. I use coarse perilite to add to screened, limed, compost for a potting mix. I also use perilite and milled sphagnum for rooting. For hard to start cuttings I use Oasis, the soft foam used for flower arrangements. It is enhanced to keep cut flowers looking better longer and I've had great success starting cutting that easily wilt and falter.
Ric of MAF @ DG

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