Gardening Ideas forum: Smoothie straws for better vine cuttings II: A Visual Tutorial

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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 3:47 PM CST
This is a visual version of what I originally presented in text over in this thread: The thread "Smoothie straws for better vine cuttings! No really!" in Gardening Ideas forum

If you would prefer text, that's the thread for you; if you want step by step visuals, come along here for the ride. The idea is that sometimes you want to straighten out a cutting before putting it in a pot - so you can just jam a pencil / chopstick / whatever down into that moist soil, dip the tip into the rooting hormone, and wait for root growth! Bendy bits make for a difficult journey down into that pencil hole (no innuendo intended) - so here's what you do. Get some half-inch smoothie straws - I like these personally: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008Y07XSU/ - because they are clear and let you observe the plant naturally straightening out. Here's what you do - first, examine the bendy part that you're going to snip a few leaves off of for roots to form:

Thumb of 2017-09-22/Hagbard/908500

Now, snip off those leaves BEFORE making your cutting!

Thumb of 2017-09-22/Hagbard/c16700

Cut a smoothie straw down to the approximate size of the stem piece you've left in place - err on the side of larger rather than smaller; you can always cut away too much, but you can't tack on to too little. Then take a very sharp knife (I recommend any of Ken Onion's knives designed for Kershaw; sharper than a scalpel by .05 and easily opened with one hand - here's what I use: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003FKEB3O/) - and slit the smoothie straw lengthwise:

Thumb of 2017-09-22/Hagbard/d75904

Next, peel the straw so it's basically flat, and then wrap it around the bare piece of vine, making sure that the vast majority of the bent bit is secure around it:

Thumb of 2017-09-22/Hagbard/59cefe

And finally, if the straw is not a snug enough fit on its own to hug the stem into straightness, use a bit of masking tape, overlap the straw, and tighten it up then tape it up!

Thumb of 2017-09-22/Hagbard/1e1216

In a few days, tighten it again when needed, and re-tape.

I will continue to update this post as this particular Golden Pothos goes through the procedure, and you'll see the final results!
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 3:51 PM CST
I will be watching Thumbs up
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 10:02 PM CST
Frenchy21 said:I will be watching Thumbs up


Me too! For some strange reason, the old Chinese custom of binding feet comes to mind.... D'Oh!
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 23, 2017 1:32 AM CST
joannakat said:
For some strange reason, the old Chinese custom of binding feet comes to mind.... D'Oh!


Not an altogether unreasonable comparison; the idea is you get some results, and then tighten it up. I don't have to break anybody's toes, though, so that's a plus!

Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Sep 26, 2017 11:22 PM CST
I use smoothie straws on my spider leaves if they fold to keep them arching instead of drooping and it really works great.

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