Ask a Question forum: What’s wrong with my PROPAGATED JADE plants?

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Meehanf
Jun 16, 2017 10:46 AM CST
Hello All!
I am new to this whole forum thing, so sorry if I make this confusing.

I have taken 9 cuttings from my very mature jade plant (10+ years old).

Thumb of 2017-06-16/Meehanf/89328d

I let the cutting dry for about a week until their ends callused over (or what I thought looked callused).

I then dusted the callused ends with rooting powder. Filled 1/3 of the small pots with very small rocks and the rest with succulent potting soil (don’t really have storage to mix my own). I DID water them right away- which looking back on may have been a bad idea.

Almost immediately they began to look like this. Wrinkly, shiny/sparkly, thirsty.


Thumb of 2017-06-16/Meehanf/8d4bcf


Thumb of 2017-06-16/Meehanf/2c1b8b

Thumb of 2017-06-16/Meehanf/5f6e9d

They look thirsty- but I have already had to pull 3 cuttings due to the early stages of root rot Sad .

It has now almost been 2 weeks and I have only watered them twice. My moisture meter reads that it is time to water them again but I am too fearful that I am rotting them!

Thumb of 2017-06-16/Meehanf/8f6828

More info: The pots also have large holes to provide complete drainage. They also sit in south and west facing windows.

I have brought many plants back from the edge of death, so I have hope, but I am just so confused!

ANY ADVICE?






Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jun 16, 2017 10:59 AM CST
It is sort of normal for cuttings to look thirsty until they sprout roots and are able to regenerate. No reason to fret, no reason to change the way you water (necessarily). Just remember that they constantly lose water until they can replace it, which will not happen until roots sprout and are functional. In the meantime (while the cutting is still rootless) lots of water is not going to be particularly helpful. Keep to the routine of watering when the soil is going dry, provide the strongest light you can indoors (right by a sunny window, ideally), and try to be patient while the cuttings take.
Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Jun 16, 2017 12:06 PM CST
Don't use rooting hormone. I know everyone says to use it but my experience has been that on cactus and succulents, rooting hormone leads to instant rot.
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Jun 17, 2017 6:31 AM CST
Your Jade cuttings did not need a week to callus over. Overnight would have been sufficient. I suspect that your cuttings are reacting to the prolonged drought that they experienced. They will probably recover, but it will take a while. A thorough watering about once per week should be about right. Don't rely on the moisture meter.

I agree with Daisy's comments about rooting hormone, although I don't think it does any harm; just unnecessary. Jades do need a porous potting mix, but the practice of putting so-called drainage material in the bottom of pots is a discredited practice. Good drainage means having a porous potting mix.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jun 17, 2017 6:43 AM CST
I agree with what everyone has said. Also, you mother plant is beautiful. You've kept it happy for 10+ years and it shows. Thumbs up
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jun 17, 2017 8:42 PM CST
Yes. Smiling To weigh in on two points of controversy....

A moisture meter can be quite useful, provided you aren't poking it in every week and damaging the roots over time. Use it a few times to get an idea of the right interval and then skip the meter and be consistent from there on out, with whatever adjustments might be called for based on ambient light, temperature and humidity. Try to calibrate your meter with another measurement, like your finger or a chopstick, but remember the top layer dries out much sooner than soil at depth (which is what matters).

As for the rooting hormone, I have actually done the experiment to see if it did any good, and I found no evidence it was necessary or even helpful for any of the common succulents you might want to propagate from cuttings, like jades. There is fungicide packaged with some powder formulas and if any ingredient is going to make a difference (unlikely), it would be that. Discipline with the water is more helpful. When you have taken several cuttings, you can try treating some differently and maybe figure out something useful in the process. Thumbs up
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 17, 2017 8:56 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
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tarev
Jun 17, 2017 11:35 PM CST
Hello Meehanf, usually when I take cuttings, I do as you did, let them callus, but instead of rooting hormone, I just dab some cinnamon powder on the cut end as fungicide. I have also done using rooting hormone before, but have done away with it since I have observed cuttings will form the roots even when they are left just on top of the soil, provided temps are warm enough.

Just remember, Jade roots grow small and shallow, so do not be too eager to water a lot. When a branch cutting is made, at times, it will drop the lower leaves slowly as it redirects energy to root formation. Sometimes it will just leave the two upper leaves, which it can reasonably sustain, till the new roots are ready to receive moisture. As long as the main stem stays firm and not rotting anywhere below, it should be okay.

I don't put rocks at the bottom of my container, just a piece of weed cloth, plastic mesh or even a coffee filter will do to cover the holes so your soil does not drain out. Got to let the excess water completely out, and not trap them below. If you can make your media much grittier, it would be best, to make sure the base of your cutting does not sit in too much moisture. I add either more perlite or pumice, if possible.

Conditions are warmer now, so it should be doing roots faster. I position my cutting in part sun/shade, so it does not get too heat stressed while forming its new roots.
Name: Jai or Jack
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Jai_Ganesha
Jun 18, 2017 8:13 AM CST
DaisyI said:Don't use rooting hormone. I know everyone says to use it but my experience has been that on cactus and succulents, rooting hormone leads to instant rot.


It's the same primary hormone in vomit. That's why it has the same smell. It doesn't surprise me that it would rot some plants!
Keep going!

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