All Things Gardening forum: Castela erecta (Allthorn) cuttings

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Jul 13, 2014 2:00 AM CST
Is there anyone familiar with being able to successfully propagate Allthorn or Castela erecta? I have taken two cuttings, stripped the leaves, placed in a soil-less medium in a plastic pot and placed in a propagation container. My propagation container is an online purchased unit that consists of a black plastic tray and a clear plastic dome with two vents. It also has a T5 grow light about two inches above the plants. I've misted at least once or twice a day and monitored the soil to make sure it was not sopping wet but just moist. The unit is inside my home since the temperatures outside are between 100 F - 120 F during the day. I live in the Chihuahuan desert and own twenty acres.

For the past three years we have experienced drought conditions and I'm slowly losing native plants on my property. I'm attempting to save any cuttings and seeds that I can in order to be able to have some to replant when the drought becomes less so.

Being able to propagate assertive plants such as Mesquites and Acacias are some what easy if they encounter moisture. However, with hardwoods that grow more slowly such as Agarita, Allthorn, etc., that do not readily produce fresh growth that would be considered softwood or 'spring growth' it's difficult to see progress with rooting.

I currently have a seedling and root cutting of Mimosa texana that was sent to me along with some seeds I will be starting. In the same tray I have two cuttings I'm attempting to root of Tecoma stans, one seedling of Agarita, and one vine cutting of unknown origin or name. So far all the cuttings, except the Castela erecta, are growing but are not producing roots. The Castela erecta is not doing anything at all. The stems are still green but have not produced any buds. The seedlings are doing excellent at this time.

Is there any way to induce rooting or something that someone else has had success with when it comes to native desert plants or desert hardwoods?

I sure would appreciate any assistance with this.

Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Jul 13, 2014 1:20 PM CST
Howdy, siarlbychan...and Welcome to ATP!

I have absolutely no experience with desert plants but have loads of experience with propagation. If there are willow trees in your area you can make willow water by soaking the green stems/leaves of willow and watering your cuttings. This will encourage rooting.

There are also several "rooting stimulant" products on the market, often-times available at big box stores and garden centers you can use as a drench. They work great. Be sure to read the dilution instructions.

Wishing you success in your gardening endeavors.
Best to you and yours,

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