Propagation forum: Cuttings...need advice..

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outofthegreen
Jul 17, 2016 6:30 PM CST
Hi.

If you took cuttings from a wildflower, e.g. ironweed or NJ tea (Ceanothus americanus) would you keep these cuttings indoors in a/c with a cover over them to keep them from drying out or would you put them outside, in shade, where there's more humidity but the temps are very high?

They *seemed* happier inside but I'm not convinced that this is the way to go....where do you keep your cuttings?

Thanks for any advice!
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Jul 17, 2016 9:10 PM CST
This is what I do. I get any type of small plastic containers, they could be drinking cups, water bottles it doesn't really matter. I prefer clear because I can see when the roots are sufficiently formed through the cup. Fill the cup with coarse moist sand, treat the cuttings with rooting hormones and stick them in the sand. Then I place the cups in a clear or translucent container(plastic tote, old aquarium etc.), I add a few cups of water to the container to keep the humidity up. Cover the container and place outside in the shade. Bright shade is good but you don't want the sun to fall directly on the contain since that would cook your plants.

Thumb of 2016-07-18/Horntoad/d43099

wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com



outofthegreen
Jul 18, 2016 4:56 AM CST
Thanks for your help Jay! So, when you've got your cuttings in the "humidifier" and you put them outside do you not worry about temp outdoors? I see you are in TX so I'm assuming you have fairly warm temps all summer...my temps are highly variable...the cuttings look fresh and recovered this morning but I know, come 9am they will start drooping again....does this not affect the chances for successful rootlings? I understand how humidity, or lack thereof, affects cuttings but I don't get the temp...I'd think cool was less stressful but maybe it's more important for the cuttings to have direct light than to be kept cool? Your thoughts?

Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Jul 18, 2016 5:41 AM CST
I have never had a problem with outdoor temps as long as they are kept shaded and don't allow the sun to fall directly on the container which would heat it up way to much. There is always the possibility of some wilting depending on the type of plant, but the high humidity in the box help control that. Plants wilt because they loose moisture through there leaves. You can minimize this by removing all but the top couple of leaves and if the leaves that are left are large you can cut them in half. I'm not sure what the ideal temperature for cuttings is, but they need warmth to develop roots and I have had plenty of success with this method.
If I were going to try rooting indoors I would use the same method but I would leave the top off the container, place it in a bright window and add a soil heat mat under the container.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com



outofthegreen
Jul 18, 2016 7:24 AM CST
Aha! That's the bit I was missing...they need warmth to grow roots. I am very new to this stuff (can you tell?) and I still have trouble with leaves...I always leave too many...I compromise by cutting the big ones in half. Is this ok?

Thanks so much for your help!
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Jul 18, 2016 8:37 AM CST
It may work OK, but the more leaves left on the more moisture the plant loses. The quicker it loses moisture the greater the chance of loosing them.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com



outofthegreen
Jul 21, 2016 7:43 AM CST
Help Jay!

Do yellowing leaves (and yes, I did knock off most of the leaves) indicate failure or can a plant continue to put out roots? I'm guessing green=chlorophyll=food for roots; Yellowing=no chlorophyll=no roots... Crying
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Jul 21, 2016 8:59 AM CST
It's best if the leaves are green and remain on the cutting, but it still may develop roots. Just be patient and give them 4 to 6 weeks and check on them.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com



outofthegreen
Jul 21, 2016 9:17 AM CST
Ok, thanks Jay! Why does it seem that when you have a lot of one thing, every one of them survives but when you have only 2....this time it's Ascepias amplexicaulis (not exciting to most but to me it is a treasure!) they seem doomed for failure...I'll be patient...the leaves haven't dropped (yet).
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Jul 21, 2016 11:53 AM CST
I usually put cuttings of landscape plants right where I want them to grow permanently. If some shade is needed, a lawn chair is usually handy for providing that for the first week or 2.
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outofthegreen
Jul 22, 2016 5:09 AM CST
Thanks for your help, Tiffany! Problem is, the cuttings are taken in a different place so, I am not where they will finally end up! I've had some luck w/wild hydrangea and fig cuttings and this summer I have joe pye , Ceonanthus and Asclepias. I had lots of the JP and the C BUT only 2 Asclepias and one of these is yellowing. I travel with the cuttings over the summer so it's a bit of a struggle.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Jul 22, 2016 12:02 PM CST
Happy to swap anecdotes! I'm impressed with your bravery & dedication. Best luck!
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Jul 22, 2016 11:32 PM CST
Jay (Horntoad) gave perfect advice. I have tried various plants from my yard inside, just water in my window's cutting vase. I can usually get roots no problem, but it takes a while, and the moment I put them in dirt they waste no time dying. It was hard for me to believe you could seal a plant up in air tight containers and stick it outside, and let it be, that It would not be a puddle of oozy smooshy rot. Making a new plant from for the yard, is always so fun. Good luck.

outofthegreen
Jul 23, 2016 5:09 AM CST
Thanks Tiffany but I'm not sure if it's bravery or blissful ignorance Smiling

Laurie, I thought the same thing! I don't have the fish tank but I cut the bottom out of a cardboard box, so it formed a collar around the pots and I draped this with an old clear shower curtain and I didn't exactly go "airtight" because I cut a couple of slits in the shower curtain but I'm able to spray water whenever necessary so plants are always wet and I put this in "bright shade". I thought for sure heat would kill everything but as I know next to nothing about root propagation I defer to the experts...and wow! Too early for roots but only one plant has yellowing leaves...stem still quite green though...the rest look like rooted plants! (Thanks so much Jay!)

Now Laurie, when you say you rooted cuttings in your window's vase and they died, what is the difference between roots grown via Jay's method and the window vase method? I mean, assuming you took cuttings from yard plants and they had been acclimated to heat and outside conditions...was it that the roots were not as robust, or there weren't as many? I'm very new to this so I'm trying get a better understanding.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Aug 7, 2016 8:13 PM CST
outofthegreen said:
Now Laurie, when you say you rooted cuttings in your window's vase and they died, what is the difference between roots grown via Jay's method and the window vase method? I mean, assuming you took cuttings from yard plants and they had been acclimated to heat and outside conditions...was it that the roots were not as robust, or there weren't as many? I'm very new to this so I'm trying get a better understanding.

I see you haven't gotten an answer yet, so I'll take a stab at it. I think you kind of nailed it when you said "the roots were not as robust". I'm really not sure why it is more difficult to plant cuttings rooted in water rather than soil, but the thought is the roots grown in water are not as strong. They get no resistance when grown in water, unlike soil grown cuttings which have to force there way through the soil making them stronger. I'm not sure if this is 100% true but that is the theory.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Aug 15, 2016 8:21 AM CST
Depends on the season. Basil roots in water then transplanted outside into beds in a wet spring do great. Aesclepias needs more heat, faster draining soil, prob greater light lengths. Soil temps on roots are different for different plants. A NJTea likes cooler spring weather, milkweeds need summer warmths, longer light. If you watch the times that Mother Nature grows these, your successes will double until you know when to take your cuttings for the best successes. Yellow leaves indicate 'too much water' or leaf drop' to protect the plant.
kitt
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
Image
lauriebasler
Aug 17, 2016 12:34 AM CST
Hi @offofthegreen:

My houseplants that I root in the kitchen window, seem to grow stronger roots, much more quickly, and go on to grow in pots with more success. I have stuck some cuttings from garden plants in water inside and outside at the same time, to compare and for me, outside plants root better outside. And my houseplants do better inside. Others may have a different experience. Here in my neck of the woods, mornings and evening always cool off 10 or more degrees, I just have a feeling the lack of temperature change is not ideal for plants use to living outside. As for plants not transitioning well to soil, if started in water is true for me to some extent, but coleus, Hoya Bella, and even Hoya all give me a quicker start in water. Others do have a different experience tho. I do think my kitchen window has great light for rooting.

outofthegreen
Aug 20, 2016 5:35 AM CST
Thank-you Jay, Laurie and Kat for your help! It seems that my successes are correlated well with the "weediness" factor. In other words, plants that grow fast in general, and are well represented in this area, such as Solidago, Agrimony, Hydrangea (native) etc have done well but things that seem to be slower to spread (at least around here) did not make it. My biggest failure was milkweed...I really wanted to see some Asclepias amplexicaulis but all the cuttings died....maybe as Kat said it was the wrong time to clip? I think next year I'll do some experimenting with common milkweed....maybe that'll give me some indication of when to clip. I've just taken some river birch, Calycanthus, Hamamelis and Clethra cuttings....these things all had new growth from the excess rain we've been having...I'm assuming that new growth is a good time to clip :)
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Aug 29, 2016 7:44 PM CST
Aesclepias is a tough one no matter what. Some folks can force cuttings out of seasons, but I suspect they are imitating conditions. Mine get tough love. I rooted a wild mustang grape once, outside, layered in the top of a pot. I had no roots form til summer heat dried up the area. The pot had water, and I would swear that grape was surviving off the water in the pot and every grape was sweet. As fall dormancies hit, I cut the vine away from the parent and it is doing well to this day. It dropped leaves while rooting, but that year the trees were even dropping limbs to survive. Some things take longer than others. Dont give up- bare branches can return in favorable season.
kitt
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
Image
lauriebasler
Aug 30, 2016 1:29 AM CST
New growth is excellent for cuttings. Good luck!

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