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Thread: Cloning

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois farm country
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    1

    Talking Cloning

    I have a new cloning setup that I want to try out. Can anyone tell me how to regulate the pH in the water I use in the system. I want to do it with common materials that are locally available.
    Thanks in advance,
    John
    I'm from the government and I'm here to help you. ;-0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    That is not much information to go on John.
    What is the pH level of the water now, before treatment? Is yours a closed system, or are you bringing in new water from some source? What is the source of new water, well, cistern, Public system. Where did you learn that the pH level of your water is detrimental to the plants your are cloning? Are you using a mist system or a closed humidity chamber? How big is your planned operation? How much are you willing to spend? Last, but not least, how serious are you about solving this percieved problem?

    There are several people on this forum that can and will help you, but there are way too many factors to take into account without further information.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    598
    Don't we all just love 'drive-by posters.

    Too bad, this could have been an interesting subject.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
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    366
    I am going to try the upside down glass aquarium idea and create several propagation beds to try out cloning azaleas and rhodadendrons (if i ever learn to spell first!!) I don't have the set up for misting and I don't think my spouse would support my doing it. Still, I love taking cuttings and getting them rooted.

    Tom, I am still growing those maple seedlings, but they sure are slow, only 4 leaves on them again this year.....will they ever get bigger??
    Last edited by lbfoss; 05-10-2006 at 04:17 PM.
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934
    Linda,

    It is my disappointment to feel the need to delete references to a certain website. Please know that I have my reason and do not wish to disclose them publicly. When I get a chance, I will write you privately and tell you why.

    The upside down acquarium approach is a large version of the 'old mason jar' trick that many of our ancestors used. Just be careful because the glass will magnify the heat and bake your babies.

    A more recently used method are those semi-transparent containers like the plastic shoe boxes and storage boxes that you find at the box stores. They will not overheat as bad AND if you need to, you can drill holes in them so that at least there is some air movement. You can swap out the ones with no holes to one with holes as the cuttings root.

    Modern technology and the advent of the 'disposable' era makes available many more less expensive alternatives.

    Save your old acquariums for use as indoor terrariums and if you have the pumps and areators to go with the old acquariums, then use those to pump air into the water for rooting cuttings that do well in water.

    Bless you, and I'll let you know what is going on later, okay?

    Thanks!!!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    Linda,
    Keep up the interest, and continue to experiment. This can be done by you.

    Maples:
    As you know, once the seeds are germinated, and the plant is ready to take off, it is looking for root space, and those roots are looking for water, nutrients, and oxygen (the leaves are demanding it). If you still have them in small cells, or a shaded starting place, it's time for them to get busy. You should be potting them into larger pots (trade gal.), in a good draining potting mix, and treating them to a mild fertilizer (half strength quick start will do), and start getting them acclimated to the sun. Monitor them daily after transplant so they don't dry out or get too much sun. After 2 or three weeks, give them a shot of time release fertilizer, something on the order of 12-6-6. I use Scotts Nursery Special three month feeder (but I cheat a bit, and use it about every 2 months). You can also push them a bit, with a frequent mild solution of liquid fertilizer.

    Cuttings:
    Anything you do to reduce the transpiration on cuttings during the rooting process will work about as well as any other, especially on easy to root plants like the ones you mentioned. That starts by removing most of the big leaves, and restricting air flow around those that remain to raise the humidity level. Most any clear or near clear cover will work. But, like Ann says, DO NOT let the sun shine on a closed container, or the heat accumulation will cook the cuttings/seedlings. Don't get hung up on any one method. Understanding the approach is much more important than perfecting someone else's. One simple method that will work for a small number of cuttings is a plastic drink bottle with the bottom cut out. find a pot that it will just fit inside, make your cuttings and seal them in with the top part of the bottle. If they get too wet, or they are starting to root, you can remove the cap to let some of the moisture out.
    Expect a few failures along the way. When you do have failures try to understand why, and make corrections the next time.
    Last edited by Tom; 06-20-2006 at 04:20 PM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
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    366
    I stuck about 10 azalea clippings in a pot on Memorial Day and they have all rooted. I had put a plastic biscotti jar (probably a 1-2 gallon size) over the pot with the bottom cut out and the lid on and put it in the shade on the deck (got morning sun until 9 am). I took off the lid the other day to try to start acclimating them. This weekend I will hopefully move them into their own roomier pots and start moving them into at least morning sun.

    The maple trees I just laugh at. they get sun until about 1 pm daily, and they are in 5 gallon tubs, well watered and I think well fertilized, but still,,,,going no where!! they are cute, but short. I don't think I will ever see a tree from these 6 seedlings. I spray them as someone eats the leaves now and then. New leaves are replacements, but no more than that.........I will try the recommended fertilizers instead of the Fish fertilizer, Harvest something. Thanks for the advice!!

    Everything i stuck over Memorial Day has sprouted, chrysanthemum cuttings, rose cuttings, petunia and calibrachoa cuttings. This is the time of year to clone!!
    Linda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Way to go, Linda!!!

    I have to tell you that azaleas are usually the easiest in the world to propagate here. I doubt it is quite that easy right now, with this drought, but still our humidity is high.

    Warmth and humidity, and some rooting hormone helps a lot.

    Some plants grow faster than others. Even the azaleas will grow slower at first until they establish a good root system, then it is best to give them more and more space because they will take off...

    Certain types of maples are very slow to grow, especially in the first few years. I think that is why they are often grafted onto faster growing stock plants.

    Take my word for it, the wait is worth it if you are growing them for your own landscape.

    Unfortunately, if you are growing them for sale, then it just takes time and there is not much you can do to rush them except nurture them and feed them.

    Keep us posted!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
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    366
    Sadly, all of my azalea cuttings have perished!! I was really disappointed and surprised as I treated them just as I have my rose cuttings, but with the opposite of success this time. The only baby azaleas I have left are those I nicked and pinned down into the soil while still connected to the mother (I think this is called layering) I will try cuttings again next spring... I want to see if I can do it right!!

    My maple trees remain tiny and 4 leafed. I have moved one into the ground in hopes that it might take off, but I noted that it had a very small root system, so I think being in the large pots may have been too moist and the seedling maples were actually too wet. Perhaps it will like the regular ground better?? The parent maple is turning orange/red as if it is on fire, and the babies are all doing the same, but not with quite the same effect as they have so few leaves each!! One day....maybe they will be as brilliant (I should live so long!)


    Will let you know in the spring!!
    Linda
    Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    Well Linda, lets try and understand what went wrong.

    Azalea's root fairly easily, but 4 weeks may not be enough time for them to take the shock of transplanting. I always put cuttings in individual containers (very small cups or cell packs) and leave them there until I can see roots in the drain holes, or slide them out and see roots on the sides of the media. I did about 50 azaleas this year and lost 1, before transplant.

    Roots on cuttings will find their own depth, so in transplanting, I always put the plant in the new container or the ground at the same depth that it was before. This is particularly important for azalea's because their roots must have oxygen. you may have noticed in the nursery that they have a different sort of pot that drains really fast, with fast draining media.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
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    366
    You are undoubtedly right , Tom. I am thinking I might have rushed things , also I think I should have wounded the lower bark on the cuttings. I will ponder on my techniques, as I used cuttings taken when I harshly cut the bushes way back once blooming had ended (which was the best thing i could have done as they have filled in and leafed out and are looking very healthy and a more manageable size. Perhpas I should have waited a bit longer and taken younger but matured growth a little later in the season....I tried Memorial Day, I think I will try to take cuttings a bit later, say the first of Jul next year.

    Some cuttings I dipped in Rootone, and some I used the stronger solution, I am not coming up with the name. Do azalea cuttings need to root from former leaf nodes, like roses, or can the roots just come out of a bark area???? I know when layering azalea branches, wounding helps, so perhaps I need to try that next spring. Perhaps I used the wrong parts to stick (wood too old, as I didn't wait for the newer growth), perhaps I didn't remove enough of the top leaves and they had too much top growth to support to root properly.......Lots of considersations. I will try again next spring!! Kind of a disappointment, but gives me plenty to think about. I will succees eventually or figure out why!!

    When do you normally take cuttings...right after they have finished blooming?? Do you wait for the new growth or take the cuttings from the last year's growth spirt? I tried memorial Day, just after blooming ceased, should I have waited? Everyone is going dormant now, but could I try some hardwood cuttings or is this a bad time?? I have an unheated attached garage and a nice window, things survive there, should I give it a try now??
    Thanks, Linda
    Linda

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    1,462
    Hi Linda,
    I know this is an old post. I would take the cuttings from current season growth well after flowering.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
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    366
    Thank you Vicki
    I need to turn my head back to gardening and get busy. I will try to do the cuttings later as I said earlier. I think I have lost another big azelea, and that is painful. I just planted him last spring after moving out the dirt and replacing it all with peat and topsoil. He got plenty of regular watering, but suddenly went south this fall....I don;t know if he will come back. And I don't have many spares as all my cuttings failed.

    On the other hand, my maple seedlings seem to be slowly SLOWLY growing. the one in the ground is about 14" now, also 4 years old......hmmmm, make that very slowly growing...

    Linda
    Linda

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Corpus Christi, Tx
    Posts
    195
    Linda,
    On your maples try a fertilizer with a 1:2:2 or 1:2:3 ratio. At 4 years or even 2-3 years N is not helping you grow. Maples are slow but more P - K will help and give that big root lots of room. They grow slow and that is why some of the most expensive gun stocks are carved maple. I had a base ball bat turned out of Red Maple and it was a little heavy but hard as concrete and could really put the ball out there.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366
    Okay, I have finally had success with rooting azaleas in pots. Last fall I took 4 cutting, sliced up the cut stem, dipped them in rooting powder and put them in pots with clear coke bottles over them. In the fall I moved them into the west window of the garage. They survived and have clearly rooted and put out new growth!! I think you were right in that I hadn't given them enough time to root, and I acclimated them too fast from "greenhouse" to outside. I will try some more this spring and thenagain this fall, and see which ones do better???

    My maple trees are growing now like weeds, it was as if after a certain age they were sure they were content and took off....I am so excited about them. they will be so beautiful in the falls!!
    Linda

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