Gardening Ideas forum: Smoothie straws for better vine cuttings! No really!

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Name: Ian
Brooklyn, NY, 11231 (Zone 6b)
Araceae über alles!
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Hagbard
Sep 14, 2017 8:38 PM CST
You know that moment when you realize that a vine on your Pothos plant or Chestnut ivy or what have you needs to be clipped, dipped (in rooting hormone), and re-inserted into a more bare area of the container for more even coverage? And then that moment when you've snipped it off, snipped free a few leaves to create nodes, stuck a pencil (or in my case, twirled unpaired chopsticks) into your potting soil, and suddenly realized that the cutting is too twisted or bent due to phototropism / gravity / training / whatever to go down the hole properly, and too stiff to bend without snapping?

This requires some foresight, but I've found it pretty successful. You get some smoothie straws like this: amzn.to/2h5rmDD - and then you start training the vine with different lengths. First, however, you must make a clean slice with a sharp blade down the side of one. Don't cut your fingers! Figure out where you intend to snip the vine, pull small lengths of the straw apart at the cut you just made, and place them around the vine. In a day or two, use a larger length. Then a larger one. Remove leaves as necessary and train the plant in that manner, until you have a straight length that can act as an easy-to-add cutting to flesh out your pot, and voila! Easy peasy, as long as you can wait a week for the auxins in the plant to adapt to straighten it out.

Pro tip: Don't use all the smoothie straws. I just finished some major work this week, and my wife went to make a smoothie. Oops!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Sep 14, 2017 8:52 PM CST
This is absolutely great, and perfect timing for me. I have an overgrown pothos that I want to cut back and start a few plants from. I'm definitely using this!

Love the Pro tip too! nodding

And welcome to a great group of gardeners!
AKA Joey.
Name: Ian
Brooklyn, NY, 11231 (Zone 6b)
Araceae über alles!
Houseplants Container Gardener Foliage Fan Aroids Region: New York
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Hagbard
Sep 14, 2017 9:53 PM CST
joannakat said:And welcome to a great group of gardeners!


Thanks muchly! I've browsed by here several times, and it seems well moderated in comparison to some other gardening forums, where people are just there to show off, show that they're smarter than everybody else in the room, or make money. Thus here am I!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 14, 2017 10:11 PM CST
Hagbard said:

Thanks muchly! I've browsed by here several times, and it seems well moderated in comparison to some other gardening forums, where people are just there to show off, show that they're smarter than everybody else in the room, or make money. Thus here am I!


Your assessment is correct (IMHO)! AND, you say "muchly!" I've never met anyone else who says that! You'll enjoy it here. Hope you'll post more of your ideas too.
AKA Joey.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
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Frenchy21
Sep 14, 2017 11:50 PM CST
Welcome Hagbard Welcome! Love your idea. Would you have a picture of the part where you say "Figure out where you intend to snip the vine, pull small lengths of the straw apart at the cut you just made, and place them around the vine. In a day or two, use a larger length. Then a larger one" ? Sometimes I need visuals to help me follow directions Sticking tongue out
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
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RickM
Sep 15, 2017 7:10 AM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Ian,
That's a GREAT idea! I use paper towel and toilet paper tubes for larger items, but never thought about the smoothie straws.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 15, 2017 9:03 AM CST
Hagbard Welcome!
This is an excellent idea and very helpful. Thumbs up
When posting an idea such as this it would be most helpful to see step-by-step photos. Please consider taking pictures next time you do this procedure; you can add the photos using the 'edit' button. Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ian
Brooklyn, NY, 11231 (Zone 6b)
Araceae über alles!
Houseplants Container Gardener Foliage Fan Aroids Region: New York
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Hagbard
Sep 18, 2017 12:17 PM CST
Frenchy21 said:Welcome Hagbard Welcome! Love your idea. Would you have a picture of the part where you say "Figure out where you intend to snip the vine, pull small lengths of the straw apart at the cut you just made, and place them around the vine. In a day or two, use a larger length. Then a larger one" ? Sometimes I need visuals to help me follow directions Sticking tongue out


Haha, visuals always help! Next time I use this procedure - looks like my giant jade pothos might need a trim soon - I'll do up some photos! Meanwhile, here's what it looks like - I just got a new Syngonium in the mail today (confetti type) - but one of the stems was severely drooped and looked stupid. So I'm using the same trick, with a normal size straw that came free with a takeaway vindaloo. In a week this thing will be dead straight!

Thumb of 2017-09-18/Hagbard/ff6003
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums
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Frenchy21
Sep 18, 2017 12:25 PM CST
Thank you for the picture Ian. Thumbs up Looking forward to more in the future. I will try this procedure very soon. nodding
Name: Ian
Brooklyn, NY, 11231 (Zone 6b)
Araceae über alles!
Houseplants Container Gardener Foliage Fan Aroids Region: New York
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Hagbard
Sep 22, 2017 1:27 AM CST
So that leaf that was drooping over the side of the planter just three days ago, pictured with a takeaway curry straw a few posts back in this thread? Take a look at what the straw did for its general appearance - from droopy to a regular stand-up guy!

Thumb of 2017-09-22/Hagbard/95452e

Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums
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Frenchy21
Sep 22, 2017 1:37 AM CST
That is amazing. Thanks for posting both pictures. You've sold me on the magic of the smoothie-straw plant 'cast'. Green Grin!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 22, 2017 8:08 AM CST
Me too! I have so many plants this will work on! Thank You!
AKA Joey.
Name: Ian
Brooklyn, NY, 11231 (Zone 6b)
Araceae über alles!
Houseplants Container Gardener Foliage Fan Aroids Region: New York
Image
Hagbard
Sep 22, 2017 3:50 PM CST
The visual tutorial is up, in a new thread for the visually minded: The thread "Smoothie straws for better vine cuttings II: A Visual Tutorial" in Gardening Ideas forum

@Frenchy21 @greene @joannakat - as promised, here's a visual example. :)

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