A Nice Rooting Environment for Large Cuttings

Posted by @GordonHawk on
Using an aquarium air bubbler is a fairly inexpensive way to speed up the rooting of larger cuttings.

It is always a good time to root cuttings for friends and increase your personal stock of plants. Fall is a particularly good time because the plants are charged up from the summer and they haven't started to slow down with the cold to come.

First you need a container. It should be over a foot deep and up to a tall kitchen plastic trash can in size. I make a wooden grid that fits down into the container, so I can lash the air stones to it and keep them in place in the center of the larger container
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Second, you need a wire basket that will slip down inside the first container. An open basket will let the air bubbles rise up along the cuttings, massaging them with oxygen. A bit of wood or wire stays attached to the wire container, keeping the basket up off the floor of the container and allowing the air to work the ends of the cuttings. This causes less rot than leaving the cuttings sitting on the bottom. They are held up, above the debris that falls there during the process.

The holes in the basket need to be smaller than your cuttings. If they aren't, a bit of netting or screening on the basket's bottom will keep them from falling through. A gridwork piece for the top will separate the tops of the cuttings for air flow and keep them more upright. This can be lashed to the basket or container. A grid can also be made using wire or nylon line lashed across the top.
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OK. That's it. Attach your air bubbler lines to the air stones. Insert the wire basket/grid and fill with plants. Here I have 12-36" cuttings of my Stictocardia, a vine that will flower and grow 60' long in a season, so it roots relatively easily. Add water, perhaps enhanced with a bit of SuperThrive, or with some Clonex liquid rooting hormone, or both.
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Now it has been sitting in the massaging bubbles for 20 days and has a good set of roots going. I was taught to make the cuts for the cuttings close to the nodes, just below the bottom node and just above the top node or leaf cluster for most things.
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Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
?? Air Stones by DavidLMO Nov 12, 2015 10:56 PM 7
Cutting set up by JulieBW Nov 8, 2015 7:04 AM 1
What would be the advantages over conventional dry soil rooting mixes? by hampartsum Nov 4, 2015 3:38 AM 2

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