CommonCents's blog

I tried a new way of rooting cuttings. Thought I'd share.
Posted on Mar 9, 2016 12:02 PM

NOTE: I plan to take pictures of the whole process when I start some more cuttings in the next few weeks. For now, I thought I'd share this with one picture I took when I transplanted these sage cuttings to small (1 qt) nursery containers a couple weeks ago. And "today" in this text is actually February 22, 2016, not March 8.

I used to root cuttings in a glass/cup of water, changing the water out regularly. I've also tried in a small pot of wet kitty litter, with varying success.

I tried something new this past month. I took some mason jars, covered them to keep the light out, and put an aquarium "air stone" at the bottom, with a hose attached. I then put some small pebbles in, with the air stone centered, and I placed the cuttings with a few leaves above the top of the mason jar, and filled the jar with pebbles around the cuttings. Once everything was set, I nearly filled the jars with water.

When I posted this on another gardening site, it was suggested that perlite would be a much better medium than my aquarium pebbles. If you have to buy something to get this going, get perlite. It's much lighter weight, and much less likely to damage the new roots when you transplant.

Over the last 3 weeks or so, I've blown air in the jars every day, at least once, often twice or more. I also top up the water every few days.

Actually, if you want to use a soda straw instead of the air stone and aquarium tubing, that would probably work. If you are rooting a bunch of cuttings, either in a bunch of mason jars, or in a larger container like a dishpan or something, you could also use an actual aquarium pump on a timer to aerate the water. You wouldn't want the pump to run continuously, rather, use the shortest time possible once or twice a day.

Today, I gently and carefullyspilled out the pebbles and cuttings to see how they did. Here's a picture of some sage cuttings with roots growing.
Thumb of 2016-03-09/CommonCents/6e7d85
I was impressed. I got quite a few roots, and they seem a bit thicker than I typically get rooting in just a clear glass of water. I transplanted these today to 1 quart small square nursery pots. I guess I'll know in a week or two how they fare.

Update: the sage cuttings show are doing well. They've grown a couple new leaves on each plant, and I've had them outside in a sheltered location on the back porch "hardening off." They should make some good plants.


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Rosemary cuttings starting to develop roots
Posted on Nov 4, 2015 9:46 AM

These were put in a mason jar of water starting in early October. I change the water out daily, with fresh well water (no chlorination or processing).

Thumb of 2015-11-04/CommonCents/412ad2

Of 8 cuttings I put in to root, so far only 3 have any roots developing.

I'll transplant these three (and any more that develop roots) late next week, after the new moon.

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Peppercorn vine (Piper Nigrum) now hanging in my kitchen.
Posted on Nov 4, 2015 9:15 AM

I received two Piper Nigrum plants from Eldon Tropicals in Ocala, Florida on Saturday, October 31. They were much better than advertised and displayed on the Eldon Tropicals web site.

On Sunday, I put the finishing touches on my hanging planter with "trellis netting" and grow lighting which I made specifically for one of these plants. I transplanted one of the Peppercorn vines into the 12 inch planter pot shown in the picture and put it in the hanging planter. The picture was taken two days after transplanting.

After the picture, the plant was moved inside (the picture is out on my back porch, where there's a less cluttered background) to the kitchen where it will live in a warm environment for the winter. It is several feet from the wood stove which we mostly rely on for heat in the winter months, and I always have at least one pot of water (generally two full pots) on the wood stove so the heat won't be so dry. I'm hoping that the humidity will remain high enough, and we'll be misting the plant regularly as well to give it a more welcoming environment through the winter.

Thumb of 2015-11-04/CommonCents/edb72a

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