Houseplants forum: My Schefflera plant stalk looks like withered skin

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vnettles
Sep 18, 2017 4:06 PM CST
Hello,

Can someone help me? I recently (maybe nearly a month ago) trimmed my HUGE Schefflera plant because I relocated. I immediately placed the three longest and the one shortest cuttings in dirt. I've done it before, so I felt comfortable. So shorter ones I put in water. The shortest one is doing well and is actually budding. Of the two taller ones I have left, they are struggling. The skin on the stalk is starting to look drawn up, whithered, like old wrinkly skin. I thought maybe it needed more water, but after some research today, I am thinking over watered in one - and too much heat for the other. The one with too much heat also have leaves that are dropping. Actually looks almost like a closed umbrella. Any suggestions? I would really like these cuttings to survive. The two that I put in water grew beautiful roots and I put them in dirt last week.
Any suggestions or thoughts would be super helpful.

Thanks
vcn


Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Sep 19, 2017 6:49 AM CST
Welcome! to the forum, if you could post a picture that would be a big help Smiling
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Sep 19, 2017 12:24 PM CST
Your description is rather confusing so a photo would definitely help.

At this point, my only comment is that older, thicker woody cuttings do not root very readily. Green tip cuttings are much easier to root.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Sep 22, 2017 5:53 AM CST
Will's statement matches my experience- woody cuttings totally failed for me.
You might try to recut closer to the growing tip. (but bacteria may be in the whole stem by now)
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

vnettles
Sep 22, 2017 7:49 PM CST
Thanks, the response about the woody cuttings make sense. I will try to get the picture uploaded.
Thumb of 2017-09-23/vnettles/cf9208


Thumb of 2017-09-23/vnettles/ef7a01

Thanks again,
Vernet
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Sep 22, 2017 11:05 PM CST
It's hard for a plant to support all that leaf by only sucking water from a cut end. It looks dried out, just can't pull enough water up.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Sep 23, 2017 6:16 AM CST
Hi Vernet - Younger, smaller tip cuttings will root much more easily than older, longer, thicker stem cuttings. For the latter, it is best to air-layer them rather than taking a standard cutting.

Your cutting is very large with many leaves to support while it is slowly trying to develop roots. It is unable to do that and that is why the stem has a shriveled appearance and the leaves are starting to wilt. If you were to pull it out of the soil, I'm sure you will not see any roots and the end in the soil will be soft and mushy. It is very unlikely to make it, I'm afraid.

You might be able to salvage the top 4 or 5 inches as a cutting rooted in water, although even that does not look promising at this point. Sorry Sad

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

vnettles
Sep 26, 2017 2:44 PM CST
Thanks WillC. What has been said corroborates my thoughts about the issue. And yes, when i pulled it out of the soil, the stem in the soil was soft and mushy and there were no roots. I wish I had known earlier. I hate to lose cuttings from my "Big Girl" and, with the top portion of them looking shriveled, I don't think it is a good idea to cup them off. Also, What is "air layer"?
thanks again. They haven't died yet, so we're just waiting.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Sep 26, 2017 4:40 PM CST
Here is a link to an article on how to air-layer difficult to root plants.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu...
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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