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RE: how-to root from a cutting... (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: squirrellypete on 06.03.2009 at 04:05 am in Alabama Gardening Forum

I also use the same misting method as Tedevore. I think the term is "intermittent mist" where you mist the leaves for a brief period at regular intervals during the day. It's such a fine mist that it cumulatively uses very little water over the course of each day. I have a 4 x 8 bed that I fill with coarse cheap construction grade sand and I stick all my cuttings in this. I do dip each cutting in an inexpensive rooting hormone powder from Lowe's. I honestly don't know how big a difference this makes but I figure it's worth a shot. I also prefer to use "tip growth" for my cuttings but I have rooted semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings though it usually takes longer. Things I've had alot of success with are:

butterfly bushes
perennial salvias
perennial verbenas
peegee hydrangeas
balloon flowers
hardy hibiscus
rose of sharon
spanish lavender
tall and creeping phlox
false indigo

Others that I've had moderate success with include loropetalums, evergreens like juniper and chamaecyparis varieties, clematis

I've found azaleas and rhododendrons to be difficult but others claim they're not that hard so I guess I need to refine my method for them.

Here are some pics of my setup for anyone interested:

Has some cuttings stuck. There are times when this bed is completely full of cuttings


I designed my system with two "legs" of water line to give adequate coverage to the entire bed. Each leg has 3 misting nozzles. The legs join together at one end with 90 degree bends. The other end of the legs are capped off with plumbing cement. The following pics were taken during the winter after I have removed the solenoid valve and timer for storage during cold weather.




Here you can see the solenoid valve hooked up to the supply end of the water line legs.


Here's the special misting timer housed in a waterproof box. It was a bit pricey...around $100 when I bought it 4 years ago but well worth the money. It essentially babysits my cuttings all day and keeps them misted every 20 minutes. They root and grow even in full on sun as long as they are misted frequently. I replaced the box's metal cover plate with a scrap piece of plexiglass screwed into place overtop of foam weather stripping around the edges to keep the timer from getting wet. This timer has a photo sensor to turn it on in the morning and off at night which is why it needed to have a clear window to detect light.




The actual water line is the 3/4" horizontal run. However I wanted to design this entire setup so it could be easily moved around if the sand ever needed to be replaced or the bed relocated. So I drove rebar into the ground inside and outside the bed at 4 locations underneath each leg of waterline so it sticks up a foot or so above the sand. Then as I assembled and glued my pvc and nozzles together I first slid the 3/4" pipe pieces through larger 1" T's, put a 1 foot section of empty 1" pipe at the bottom of each T and then this pvc sits down over top of the rebar and holds the 3/4" pvc waterline up above the bed. That way the entire misting system can be lifted straight up off of the rebar by two people and set aside if needed.



If anyone wants more info on this setup feel free to contact me through Gardenweb.



clipped on: 11.21.2012 at 07:23 pm    last updated on: 11.21.2012 at 07:24 pm

RE: What is easy/hard in YHO to grow from cuttings? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: squirrellypete on 11.20.2012 at 08:59 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Hi Darren,

I wasn't sure if it was obvious or not, but by "community" propgation box I meant all different cuttings go in the same box. Not like a "community garden" that many people share. You probably understood, but after re-reading my post I thought I should clarify.

Below is a link to an older thread that I just discovered was still here. If you scroll down it's got some pics I posted of my setup. I REALLY need to get some updated photos but I just transplanted out all of the rooted cuttings for the winter last month and covered it until Spring so the photos right now would be boring. Interestingly, the way I found my old thread a few days ago was while I was looking for some new ideas. I typed in "propagation Bed" into the Google Images search box. My sand box pulled up as #17 in the results lol! It's weird seeing something of yours in a google search when you're not expecting it. I was like "hmmm, that one looks kinda neat.............hey!!"

According to that thread I must have had some success with clematis at the time but this last year I didn't have much luck lol.

I've actually flipped the plumbing around so the hose comes in from the right side and moved the photo-sensor timer to a newly built irrigation house that has a window on the side just for it. I also upgraded to treated lumber since the older untreated stuff was starting to come apart after 5 or so years, but the bed basically looks the same as it did in those pics.

This summer you could hardly see any sand in it, I had it so full of cuttings. I literally could have grown almost a thousand Weigelia cuttings alone in 3 weeks if I hadn't wanted to root other things too. My yard Weigelias are large so when I prune them I have alot of potential cuttings there.

With the intermittent mist system there really is no care involved, the timer does all the work. Just make sure the timer is cycling frequently enough to moisten the leaves and let them dry off a little bit before the next misting. I think the average interval this year was about 45 mins between mistings, but I adjust it depending on outdoor temperature, whether it's just rained, etc...I tried to root tomatoes in the box for the first time this year and found they did not seem to like the conditions that the other plant cuttings thrived in. With the tomatoes, the frequent mistings just seemed to encourage disease and even though a few rooted they looked terrible. I may try something different with those next year.

As to the Hibiscus, I've personally not found them difficult whether hardy or tropical. I'm not sure what the trick is if there is one. I'm in Central Alabama 7a/7b and my box is basically in the sun except it gets some mid-day shade from a tall tree. The cuttings are misted frequently and the rooting media is nothing but coarse construction-grade sand from a builder's supply. Like you I also prefer tip cuttings, 6-8 inches long if I can get it, with preferably at least 2 nodes below the surface. I usually remove all the leaves except the top two, sometimes top 4. If the leaves are excessivly large or floppy I sometimes snip those in half to reduce the surface area. I dip my cuttings in a little Rootone, which I have absolutely no idea if this actually makes a difference lol. It's what I was told to do when I started and since it's cheap I still do it. I've read there are much more effective root stimulators and rooting hormones.


Here is a link that might be useful: Propgation Bed with Intermittent Mist


clipped on: 11.21.2012 at 07:22 pm    last updated on: 11.21.2012 at 07:22 pm

RE: Red Lady Papaya Flowers (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jofus on 10.07.2012 at 11:50 am in Florida Gardening Forum

Alys, I would not worry. I have been buying the dwarf Red Lady Papay plants from Lowes now for 3 1/2 years. Every one has produced fruit, fruit that I did not have to cover because of rotting. My latest purchase was a two stemmed plant that I planted in the raised bed garden last March as a 2 1/2 ft tall specimen. It is now a full 8 ft tall and already chock full of dark green fruit a bit larger than a ripe grapefruit. Along with the other two remaining trees, I should have a plethora of luscious papayas in 2, 3 months.
Luckily I have not had the insect problems some have experienced. However, I do put out an old glass pickle jar ( approx 3/4 qt size ) with about 5 - 6 ounces of apple cider vinegar inside and the metal cap with 6 - 8 small holes punched in it for the fruit flies to fly in and drown.
Started this as a successful defense against those pesky flies on my mango trees. However, I also find more than a few flies in the jars I now have around my papayas as well.
Good luck.


clipped on: 10.07.2012 at 07:30 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2012 at 07:30 pm

How I root cuttings

posted by: mark4321 on 10.06.2009 at 05:42 am in Passiflora Forum

As far as I know there isn't a thread that describes step by step how to root Passiflora cuttings with lots of pictures. Since that's probably in the top 5 questions that people have on this forum I thought I'd give it a shot.

I'm hoping to get lots of feedback on this. It certainly isn't the only way to do things. It may have mistakes. I would encourage people to read farther down the posts to see if I or others have corrected mistakes.

My idea here is to follow some cuttings from beginning to end (rooted).

For those who like to propagate things, finally getting something difficult to root is a real achievement and a relief. Sometimes you feel as if there were something lacking in your abilities.

Recently I got first roots on a couple things generally thought to be difficult:


So how does one get from a vine to rooted cutting?

First, getting started. Like anything there are a whole lot of variables that may or may not matter. It's always best to start with a healthy parent and cut from vine of the right age. Generally this means not too soft and not too mature. In practice this varies from plant to plant.

Look for bugs.

Look for buds. It can be frustrating if you cut off your first bud ever.

However before one cuts up any plants it's useful to have everything else set up. I root most things in perlite in clear plastic cups. I use 10 oz cups, which are available at most grocery stores.

For each rooting chamber I use 3 clear plastic cups. One has holes punched in the bottom--the medium and the cuttings go there. Below that will go another a plastic cup, with peanuts in the bottom. This collects water that drains though the container above. It's important to check every few days and make sure water hasn't accumulated at the bottom. Finally, an inverted cup will go on the top to maintain high humidity.

Here are the components of the rooting chamber:

3 Cup for Each Rooting Chamber

And here are 4 sets of cups with different kinds of media, perlite, and a perilte peat mixture on the right.

Cups with perlite, perlite, perlite and perlite:peat with inverted cups for the top

The perlite and the perlite:peat are moist of course. You can either moisten it before or after putting it in the cup. Either way, make sure it's thoroughly moist and discard any water that comes through the drainage holes.

Actually peat is hard to moisten. What I would do is put the mix in a plastic bag, add water, and gently and carefully shake it up.

Time to prepare the cuttings:

Here are pieces I cut off of three of my plants. P. 'Mission Dolores' is P. parritae x antioquiensis. The P. 'Sunburst' piece is pretty beat up, which is why I turned it into a cutting. I cut material from each plant up with a separate sterile razor blade:

Cuttings Ready to Go

I generally make 2 and 3 node cuttings. In my experience and that of others short cuttings tend to root better. Plus, one can try more conditions, and the chances are greater you will succeed. Most of us have grown vines before and realize that once they start growing they often go fast. An extra long cutting does not make a positive difference.

I generally cut about 1/4 inch below the bottom node, about the same above the top node. I remove all but the uppermost leaf, and often tear or cut off half or more of the remaining leaf. Tendrils and buds should also go. Depending on a number of factors I often cut or tear some of that off.

Here's the result:

Cuttings with extra bits removed

I left the pieces so you could see what was removed. If one removed the pieces that are not attached one gets the following cuttings:

Cuttings all set

Here are all 3 of the previous pictures all at once. Notice how much of the original material has been discarded:

Uncut, chopped up, ready to go

Next I typically "dip" my cuttings in rooting hormone. This may or may not make a difference. The hormone seems to come in quantities that will last a lifetime. Do not dip the cutting into the container. It will contaminate it, which can lead to all sorts of problems. Plus if the cutting has a short stem it may not make it all the way down.

Gently pour out a very small amount of hormone onto something clean (a piece of paper, for example). Tip the container on its side and tap it with your hand so just a small amount comes out. After using this very small amount toss what's left.

I just touch the tip of the cutting to the hormone. You just want a tiny amount:

Touching cutting to rooting hormone

Push the appropriate number of holes into the moist media (for example using a pen). Insert the cutting and push the medium around it. This has been done to the one on the right:

Putting cuttings into perlite

Put the inverted cup on the top, tape that cup to the one containing the cuttings and the medium.

Put the cups in the appropriate locations. I put the P. sanguinolenta in the perlite:peat mixture and put it on bottom heat. All of the others can be put at room temperature, in a bright area, but out of any sun. A bright windowsill or under lights is appropriate.

Here are the cuttings--I split the P.'Mission Dolores' between 2 cups, the other types each went into one cup.

Cutting all set

Now all that's necessary is to wait. I'll post pictures of the above cuttings once a week.


clipped on: 09.22.2012 at 10:39 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2012 at 10:42 pm

RE: There's always something else for a propagation junkie (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: purpleinopp on 10.03.2012 at 10:02 am in Plant Propagation Forum

Clare, that sounds like fun! Good luck!

Darren, kudos to you for getting in there and trying! For sure, not all of my propagation experiments succeed either. But that's just an opportunity to try again.

It's definitely tempting to see if there are roots on a cutting yet. If you pull *gently* and feel resistance, you can know roots have begun to form and are holding the plant in the soil. Some things make tougher roots than others, but I try not to pull them out because it can cause breakage. If I really can't control myself, I prefer tipping the soil out into my hand. It might fall apart if there aren't many roots holding it together, but that doesn't usually result in breakage. To repot, hold cutting in place with one hand while gently refilling the soil, should go back in without too much trauma that way.

Also, if it's been like a month and the leaves are still green, it's still alive. I never give up unless a cutting goes all brown and doesn't recover for a month. Once in a while, you'll get something that completely discards the leaves to concentrate on roots, then suddenly starts growing foliage again even though it looked dead for a while. Doing 4 of something is a great idea, you can unpot one to check the progress and still have 3 good ones if you mess the first one up checking.

I did both woody cuttings and fresh for the Gardenia. With my yet brief experience doing this (first time this year,) it seems that larger, woody pieces are more reliable.

Are the "mama" Gardenias outside in the ground?

I haven't tried any air layering, but have done a lot of ground layering. Does your Hibiscus have any branches that will reach the ground without breaking? You can use a rock or brick to hold them firmly in contact with the soil. If none of the branches will reach, you can also put a pot next to the plant and bend a branch to the soil in the pot, also held in place with a brick or rock. Works great on Hydrangeas and roses!


clipped on: 10.03.2012 at 05:57 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2012 at 05:57 pm

RE: Leafrollers (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: canna2grow on 05.09.2012 at 12:42 am in Canna Forum

Acephate has been the most effective liquid "systemic" control of the lesser canna leaf roller I have found and used for many years. I have tried many other products. Once the chemical dries on the foliage, it is absorbed and distributed to the growing plant. I prefer to spray late in the day when bees and other beneficial insects are less active. Do not apply near fish ponds etc. Stay out of the damp foliage until it dries. Effectiveness duration depends on growth rate and temperature. In most areas, reapplication may be needed every two to three weeks.
Because the lesser canna leaf roller is not exposed directly to a typical dust or spray, a systemic control is the most useful. BT may work fine for the greater canna leaf roller because if openly feeds on exposed leaves but it does require frequent application. It seldom reaches the lesser leaf roller.
I have never seen phytotoxic injury from acephate on cannas. I am not familiar with the product brand listed so please read and follow instructions carefully.



Acephate liquid systemic control for leaf roller
clipped on: 10.01.2012 at 08:26 pm    last updated on: 10.01.2012 at 08:27 pm

RE: Hardy Hibiscus propagation (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: tapla on 02.18.2012 at 12:59 pm in Hibiscus Forum

Hardy hibs are exceedingly easy to dig and divide in spring and fall. All you need is a root division and you have the makings of a new clump.




clipped on: 09.30.2012 at 08:59 pm    last updated on: 09.30.2012 at 08:59 pm

RE: A lot of questions about new plants (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: tropicbreezent on 09.22.2012 at 02:51 am in Florida Gardening Forum

Darren, got home today and checked the pH meter. It's put out by Sper Scientific Ltd. It's their Basic Model. Here's their web site:


clipped on: 09.30.2012 at 08:38 pm    last updated on: 09.30.2012 at 08:39 pm

RE: My 'no grass' front garden, many photos! (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: sis3 on 08.29.2009 at 02:53 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

To answer some specific comments, it is going to be a pleasure to maintain this small garden but I can see that karalynn's 3/4 of an acre would be a much more daunting proposition, and as for goldenpond's 2 1/2 acres....well, I perspire at the thought of all that work!!! However I do wish there was more land here to garden, this is a waterfront lot, only 50' wide.

Shellfreak I will check out 'Monarch Watch'. I have never visited the butterfly forum, so I will lurk on there to see whether I can contribute. Thank you.
marciapa my plant list is below, I hope it helps you as Marcia's (manature) list helped me. I can heartily recommend a grassless front yard. It will be interesting to follow your progress if you decide to undertake it.
Thank you for your encouragement thonotorose. It is sometimes daunting for a newbie like me to post when there is such knowledge and experience here. I usually assume I am going to bore, rather than inspire, but now you have inspired me to continue to post.

Here is my original plan. Sorry, I couldn't rotate it. The beds are colored green and the blue areas are mulched access paths.

garden plan

The plan for the front yard was very simple. We built a curving flagstone path to the front entry and flanked it with a narrow bed raised by a dry stack stone wall. This continues around the flagstone terrace directly in front of the sitting room window. At the lower level there are mulched beds bordered by a mulched access path. There has to be access to the underground propane tank and the water meter. There is a circular area of mulch around the gas tank lid where there will be a something attractive to disguise the tank lid, and a few more containers.

This photo was taken from the second floor window. The terrace and a flower bed are out of sight below.
garden from above

Hopefully the plants will eventually fill out to cover most of the mulch and will spill out on to the access paths. At the moment there is rather a lot of mulch showing (but not nearly as much as there was when the garden was first planted! :)



Towards the street from the entry

To the street from the terrace

To the street from the side yard

To the entry from the garden

From the drive

Here is the plant list:

Lantana, Bush Daisy, Diamond Frost, Coneflower, Indian Blanket, Brazilian Red Hots, Shrimp Plant, Blue Daze, Buddleia, Milkweed, Cassia, Mexican Heather, Mexican Petunia (Purple Showers - sterile) Penta, Maple Leaf Hibiscus, Globe Amaranthus, Purple Top Verbena, Firebush, Plumbago, Firespike, Firecracker, Kaffir Lime, Meyer Lemon, Black Eyed Susan, Dwarf Powder Puff, Tea Olive, Coral Honeysuckle, Dill, White Almond Bush, Purslane, Dutchman's Pipevine, Gardenia, Thryallis, Porterweed (red and blue), Fountain Grass, Crape Myrtle, Jatropha, Flax Lily, Duranta, Vinca.

It's a long list for such a small garden but it may explain the wonderful variety of creatures that visit daily!

Marcia, I have been reading about the wild Paw Paw (what a great plant!) and I wonder if there may be some in the conservation area directly across the street from my garden (visible in some of the photos). It looks like a rain forest in there, I have been dying to explore it for years, now I am definitely going to do so, if only to seek the Paw Paws. From the street I can see many butterflies floating around in there, mostly Swallowtails and Sulphurs!

When I went to take these photos this morning there were 4 Swallowtails, a Gulf Frit, several Sulphurs, a Zebra Longwing, and many Skippers and bees already at work! In my tiny garden! My heart sang!


Lynne & Malcom's Home
clipped on: 09.30.2012 at 05:25 am    last updated on: 09.30.2012 at 05:26 am

RE: Problems with starting from seed, Luna Red hardy hibiscus (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: rdd1 on 11.18.2008 at 12:16 pm in Hibiscus Forum

Just Tips on starting hibiscus seeds.

Starting Hibiscus seeds.

1. Tear off a piece of Aluminum foil about 1'X 1'
2. Obtain a white paper towel.
3. Obtain a piece of 120-grit sandpaper.
4. Take one seed at a time and run across sandpaper
several times in same place and set aside. Do this for
as many seeds you want to start.
5. Lay aluminum foil flat on table.
6. Fold paper towel in half twice.
7. Wet paper towel generously.
8. Set towel in center of foil.
9. Place sanded seeds in center of wet paper towel.
10. Fold wet paper towel in from both sides covering seeds.
11. Fold foil from both long sides then ends to cover paper
towel completely to block out light.
12. Set the seeds on top of something like a Satellite
receiver for 2 or 3 days. Temperature stays Constant.
13. Germination should have taken place (I have 99%
germination rate by this method.)
14. Fill 3" peat moss cups with potting soil.
15. Generously moisten soil.
16. Plant 3 seeds per 3" peat moss cup spaced evenly apart.
There should be a new start (root) protruding from seed,
plant the new shoot (root) down and rest of seed under
" of soil.
17. I use plastic containers that 5 or 6 pound bulk
hamburger comes in. (Washed out of course)you should be
able to place 9- 3" wet cups in this plastic container.

18. Keep in dark warm area of house until they pop up.
19. Place in sunny area (south window)
20. Keep moist(can pour water into plastic container
which will water from bottom.


clipped on: 09.28.2012 at 09:00 pm    last updated on: 09.28.2012 at 09:00 pm

RE: Crape Jasmine question (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: leahrenee1 on 09.13.2012 at 09:00 am in Florida Gardening Forum

I have a crape jasmine and I agree that the smell is not that strong, mine is about 5 ft tall now, I imagine that if it didn't get frozen back every year it would be huge but each spring it has to start all over again. If you are looking for more compact wafting fragrance I would try a brunfelsia americana shrub maybe?


clipped on: 09.18.2012 at 07:39 am    last updated on: 09.18.2012 at 07:39 am

Gall Midges - Hibiscus Buds Turning Yellow and Dropping

posted by: yumtomatoes on 09.15.2012 at 10:15 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

If your hibiscus buds are turning yellow and dropping before they open, pick a dropped bud up off the ground and open it, especially if it is freshly dropped. If you see tiny little yellow larvae (use a magnifying glass) those are gall midge larvae.

Pick up the dropped buds and place them in plastic bags for disposal. Use imidacloprid soil drench to kill the larvae that make it to the soil to pupate otherwise they will just mature and then the cycle repeats.

Not sure how far north you find this pest but here in South Florida we have them.


clipped on: 09.18.2012 at 07:35 am    last updated on: 09.18.2012 at 07:35 am

RE: Hummingbirds? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: sis3 on 09.14.2012 at 11:52 am in Florida Gardening Forum

We have only a small front yard but it is overflowing with butterfly/hummingbird attracters. The hummers are especially attracted to the tall red Pentas, Firespike, Firecracker, Firebush, Buddleia, Golden Dewdrop, Porterweed (we have 3 colors) Coral Honeysuckle, Sweet Almond, Hibiscus, Shrimp Plant, Powderpuff, Milkweed, and Salvia.


clipped on: 09.18.2012 at 07:32 am    last updated on: 09.18.2012 at 07:32 am

RE: difference between foxtail and royal palms (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: tropicbreezent on 09.05.2012 at 02:10 am in Florida Gardening Forum

And these are some Foxtail seeds that have been laying on the ground below that tree for some time.


Foxtail seeds without fruit
clipped on: 09.09.2012 at 06:33 am    last updated on: 09.09.2012 at 06:33 am

RE: difference between foxtail and royal palms (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: tropicbreezent on 09.05.2012 at 02:08 am in Florida Gardening Forum

Found a tree with ripe (and close to ripe seeds) yesterday.


Foxtail and Seeds
clipped on: 09.09.2012 at 06:32 am    last updated on: 09.09.2012 at 06:32 am

RE: difference between foxtail and royal palms (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: tropicbreezent on 09.03.2012 at 10:51 am in Florida Gardening Forum

RetiredFlorida, sorry for the late reply, I'm actually on holidays travelling around. Those last 2 photos you posted are Foxtails, Wodyetia bifurcata. Royals have rather wispy inflorescences that droop down.

But those seeds on the Foxtail in the photo are far from mature. They need to be very much larger, 25 to 30 millimetres in diameter.


clipped on: 09.09.2012 at 06:30 am    last updated on: 09.09.2012 at 06:31 am