Houseplants forum: What kind of soil mix for goldfish cutting?

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Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 30, 2016 2:20 PM CST
I received a fresh cutting from a goldfish plant today and the only soil I have is a general purpose potting soil which I mixed with some perlite. I will be going to the store this coming week so what kind of mix should I get to give this little guy a good healthy start?

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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
May 1, 2016 6:48 AM CST
That's what I would use. Should do well- it looks like it came from a healthy plant! You could always wet the end and then dip it in some rooting hormone and put it back in the soil if you want it to increase your odds of it rooting.
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
May 1, 2016 7:17 AM CST
Thanks, I will get some rooting hormone and do that. Yes, the original plant is very healthy! That's why I was thrilled to get a stem cutting since I've been wanting a goldfish plant but haven't found any in the stores here.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
May 1, 2016 7:49 AM CST
If you've never used rooting hormone then, it's going to open up a whole new world! A lot of plants don't need it to root, but it sure makes it easier for most. What I do it tap a little bit out onto a paper towel and then roll then stem in it. That way I won't contaminate what's in the bottle.

Edit: first time I used it I think I was too dainty. You want to get a good even coating on the bottom (around) 1" of the stem.
[Last edited by AlyssaBlue - May 1, 2016 7:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
May 1, 2016 8:00 AM CST
Thanks for the explanation Alyssa! I appreciate it.
[Last edited by GrannyMarie - May 1, 2016 8:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
May 1, 2016 9:39 AM CST
The standard potting mix that it is in is just fine as long as you keep it at the right moisture level. That is the key to successful rooting of cuttings. I am going to take a contrary view on rooting hormones. I have never found them to make any significant difference. Once opened, the hormone powders lose their potency quite rapidly so you may not want to reuse previously opened powders. But then, I don't think they make much difference anyway.

To have a nice hanging basket of Goldfish Plants, you will need to pot many, many cuttings together. Single stem cuttings will always be single stems. They do not produce more new stems from the roots nor do the branch out. BTW, this is true for many houseplants.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
May 1, 2016 10:27 AM CST
Thanks Will. I will see if I can get some more cuttings. If I can't (the plant it came from is small) can I split the one cutting I have into more or is it too small for that?

Thanks also for the contrary opinion on rooting hormones.Good to know. I may try both ways in the future and see if there's any difference.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
May 1, 2016 1:11 PM CST
Marie - I would not risk taking a cutting from your cutting at this point. Perhaps after it has well-established roots and doubled or tripled in size.

I have experimented with rooting hormone as you described and found little difference. Proper watering is so much more important for the development of new roots. If they get the least bit too dry or are kept a bit too moist, the cuttings will die, with or without hormones.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
May 1, 2016 2:19 PM CST
Thanks Will. I won't disturb the cutting and will see if I can get more to add to it. Yes, I'm paying attention to the proper wetness of the soil. I am careful not to over or under water my plants. Thumbs up
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
May 1, 2016 2:36 PM CST
Will-there is nothing wrong with using rooting hormone when you are very concerned about something rooting. There is a reason farmers have used it for years.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
May 1, 2016 4:33 PM CST
Alyssa - I didn't say there was anything wrong with using rooting hormone powder. It certainly does no harm, so go ahead and use it if that is your preference. My only point is that it is not likely to make much difference. Sometimes people use something like this and then think everything will be okay and fail to attend to more important things like soil moisture. I understand the appeal because we all like easier solutions.

For some folks, the cost or availability or rooting hormone is an issue and they should know that they can have rooting success without it.

I won't go into detail here, but horticultural practices in a commercial setting are very different than in a home. What works well in a greenhouse, nursery or on a farm is not always appropriate for the lay person.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
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AlyssaBlue
May 1, 2016 5:32 PM CST
Sighing!
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
May 23, 2016 10:24 PM CST
I have found (through trial and error) that goldfish and liptick plants prefer to be watered more often than a lot of other houseplants. Others may have different experiences, but I'm afraid of overwatering, so I tend to underwater, and I killed quite a few of these plants until I experimented with watering them more often. Great results! The biggest thing you need to keep into consideration is that you need a LIGHT mix that drains quickly. A heavy mix will cause them to rot in no time at all. If the soil remains wet over a number of days, it's too heavy. A peat mix mixed half and half with perlite works well. So does a little peat and a little orchid mix with perlite. As as it's free draining, you can actually water quite often without fear of rot.
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
May 24, 2016 5:07 PM CST
@seaecho, thanks. I am finding the soil remains wet for about 5 days. Lots of new leaves are starting. I had added about 1/4 perlite to the peat potting mix. I didn't think to add some orchid mix to it. Since it's such a tiny plant would it be beneficial to chop the orchid bark smaller when I'm ready to repot?
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
Dec 2, 2016 11:23 PM CST
I see this thread is now many months old, and I just now osaw your last post, GrannyMarie! So sorry! I would not try to cop orchid bark smaller. I've tried it, and it's not very effective, and really time consuming. I would just get the Gubler's orchid mix with the finer bark already in it. Works great for me. I get it at Lowe's.

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