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Thread: Cuttings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462

    Cuttings

    Hi All,
    How soon after rooting cuttings do you all pot up?
    Should I trim the roots when potting up?
    I think I've wasted about a year and half for my cutting bed, as I wasn't able to pot up any of the rooted ones, to replant the bed last year. So I have quite a few 2+ yr old (little) shrub starts, with good roots, but little top growth. I'm hoping that's because they should have been potted up loonng looonnng ago? The more I think about it the more I realize, how can they grow without soil and nutrients?

    Answer -----very slowly!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598

    How long is a piece of rope?

    It all depends on which plant you are propagating, and how good the setup is for them.


    I use a mist system that I built my self, that is enclosed with screen. Most of my cuttings are rooted in a 2X2X3" cell pack. The medium is a mixture of 20% peat, and either Pine bark soil conditioner, or perlite. The bark or perlite are for drainage, and the peat is for structure, so the root ball doesn't fall apart during transplant. I try to never let the soil fall off the roots.

    If you are doing dormant cuttings, they don't go in the mist. I use a tray that is about 6" deep, with about 5" of mix. They usually stay in there for about 5 months, or until I'm sure they have roots, based on the new top growth.

    Some plants take several months, some only a few weeks. With the little cells, I can check the bottom and see the new roots through the drain holes. I've learned that the old "tugging on them" method often destroys just forming roots and the cuttings, so I never do that.
    Once I check several packs, and find roots on several, it's time for them all to go out in their new pot. Generally I put them into a 3 qt (or gal) container, at the same depth they were at in the cell. Here again, the medium is a little flexible, but the bulk is a pine bark base, laced with peat and vermiculite. After several waterings, to be sure the pot is good and wet, I let them drain over night, and give them a half strength shot of liquid fertilizer next day. After about 2 weeks, if they are growing good, I start sprinkling time release fertilizer or cotton seed meal in the pots.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462
    Tom,
    Thanks for the good info.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443
    tom
    do you use any sand in the pots in that mix?
    and what are you propagating in this mix

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    I tried some sand in the past, but it's way heavy, and falls apart. I suppose I could mix it with peat, but it's so heavy it tends to break the little 6 pack, or the other plants fall out while I'm trying to transplant the first few. The reason I went to the cells is that the roots cannot get tangled with each other and I can keep them contained in the grow mix while they are being potted. My only real problem is that the cells are not deep enough, and the rooting is really poor if the cutting goes all the way to the bottom. Maybe a little sand would lend some support, I think I'll try that on a batch.

    I tried using some compost in the mix, but I usually end up with a pot full of weeds, and a punny little plant. So now I use all my compost in planting holes, or on existing flower beds.

    Some the plants I grow are: Loripetelum, Azalea, Camelia, Cleyera, Hydrangea, Fig, Viburnum Macrofilium (snowball) and a few Legustrum. I have also done several perennial cuttings in the same stuff.

    According to Michael Dirr, the snowballs below should not have been disturbed for 1 year. These were transplanted at about 4 months, and are now about 9 months old. They spent their first winter outside in our zone 7 weather. The pots are filled with roots. At about age one year they will go into the next size pot.
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    Last edited by Tom; 04-28-2004 at 09:10 AM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    They look really healthy

    how often do you fertilize and what are you using.
    it all looks great.
    i think i need to step up to additional fert ,osmocote just isnt giving me the results i want. i know the plants i grow are capable of better growth. and all of the rain i had this year doesnt help matters.

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