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RE: Help Propagating Oleander Limb (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rhizo_1 on 07.03.2007 at 03:49 pm in Alabama Gardening Forum

Sounds very pretty, Terry. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

This is a very good time of year for you to take tip cuttings of about 6 inches long. Water your plant well the night before you take the cuttings (in the morning). Remove all but the top few leaves, and cut those to 1/2 their size. Of course, you must remove the flowers and buds. Make sure that the cut is sharp and clean (no mashing).

I like rooting in perlite, but have equal success with 1/2 potting medium and 1/2 perlite. Dip the end in a rooting hormone and insert into the thoroughly moistened medium. Water again afterwards to insure good contact with the ends of your cuttings. You can cover (loosely) with plastic to insure high humidity, but allow the cuttings to breathe. Keep them out of the direct sunlight, of course. I'd advise that you do this outside somewhere, rather than the 'hostile' indoor environment.

Don't 'check' the cuttings for roots at all. Keep the medium moist at all times, of course. You can't ignore anything that you have rooting in perlite. In a few short weeks, you might see some signs of new growth.

I'd give Oleanders an easy rating, as far as cuttings go. I'm sure that yours will do just fine.


clipped on: 07.14.2009 at 10:20 am    last updated on: 07.14.2009 at 10:21 am

RE: Hydrangea-Harmony-Ayesha-Blushing Bride (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tsmith2579 on 06.06.2009 at 10:35 pm in Alabama Gardening Forum

Airydana, I know you asked Todd but I'm sending my 2 cents of advice. Beth Carroll from the Alabama Forum and I went to a lecture at Aldridge Gardens last June to learn how to root hydrangeas. We were shown how to use soil less mix as the medium. I tried about 10 cuttings and only one survived. I've had much better luck by taking a low limb, bending it down to the ground, putting a shovel of dirt over it and a brick on top to hold it in place. You can scrape off some of the bark on the limb and dust it with Rootone if you wish. These will root in just a few weeks if you water them and feed them a root stimulator. Even oak leaf hydrangeas root quickly.


clipped on: 06.15.2009 at 11:15 am    last updated on: 06.15.2009 at 11:15 am

RE: Hydrangea-Harmony-Ayesha-Blushing Bride (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tedevore on 05.31.2009 at 01:26 pm in Alabama Gardening Forum


i don't have Harmony or Blushing bride, but i think I have a nice big hydrangea that is Ayesha. I'm trying to include the picture. I lost the tag to the plant but it sure looks the pictures I googled for Ayesha. I can take a cutting and give you one at fall swap if you like.


Here is a link that might be useful: hydrangea


clipped on: 06.15.2009 at 11:14 am    last updated on: 06.15.2009 at 11:14 am

RE: how-to root from a cutting... (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jeff_al on 06.02.2009 at 10:21 am in Alabama Gardening Forum

hi dana,
i saved this interesting post by nandina from several years ago. i think it was placed on the "southern gardening" forum.
she posts more frequently on the landscape design forum and i always enjoy reading her informative and well-assembled replies. see how this works for you:

"Today is the first of June and the full moon will be on the 14th. It is during this time period that we in the south can root many plants easily in the following manner. Fill a large, wide pot with good planting soil, water it well and set it out in the full, all day sun. Now, make tip cuttings of plants you would like to root and stick them in the pot. In many cases rooting hormone is not necessary. Water the pot every day. Try rooting annuals, perennials and vines in this manner. You will be surprised at how quickly things root. Try Mandevilla, sages, hydrangeas, salvias, rosemary, pentas or whatever. It will take some trial and error on your part. Yes, some will not root and others will thrive. This technique works best when the cuttings are set to root during this two week period in June before the full moon. Give it a try.

I wanted to bring this post up to the top again to explain what I meant by 'tip cuttings'. These are very short cuttings plucked from the new growth on the plants. They can be as short as 3" up to about 5". Strip off any bottom leaves and then nestle the cuttings down into the soil. Water well when you set the cuttings. In the south this technique works best during this two week period in June before the full moon. Northerners probably could try it now and during the same moon period of time in July, also.
I truly meant hot, all day sun. Seven days ago I took 3" tip cuttings of a very rare Salvia. This morning they are firmly rooted and show signs of new growth. I did not use any rooting hormone. Temperatures have been in the nineties. As I said, you will not be able to root everything using this method. But, it doesn't cost anything to try and you might be surprised."


clipped on: 06.02.2009 at 04:56 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2009 at 04:57 pm

best way to plant amaryllis seeds+best amaryllis book

posted by: duchessofblackpool on 04.20.2005 at 03:35 pm in Bulbs Forum

I'd love to hear from anyone with info on best way to sow/germinate amaryllis seeds-- did you use clay pots, plastic or jiffy pots, etc? When do you transplant them? Do you need to use a heating mat? I'd appreciate any and all info since I have zero experience in planting anything from seed.

Another question: is there a comprehensive book on the care & propagation of amaryllis that you can recommend?

Thanks for any help, info, advice.


clipped on: 05.22.2009 at 11:31 am    last updated on: 05.22.2009 at 11:31 am

RE: How to propagate Heuchera (Coral Bells) (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: willameadows on 07.22.2006 at 11:47 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I've had good luck with one I bought recently - Heuchera 'Key Lime Pie' - a gorgeous chartreuse. I loosened the soil away from the crown and pulled off small divisions right at the crown (they didn't have any roots attached) - actually the correct term would be basal cuttings, I guess. Anyway, I trimmed each cutting down to just a couple of the smaller, new leaves. I stuck them just deep enough to stand up in a peat:perlite mix and rooted them under intermittent mist, though you could probably use a plastic cover in the shade - anything to keep them moist. Mine took about 3 weeks to root - I got eleven out of the twelve I stuck. I will plant them out in the garden next spring. The mother plant has now grown back to about the same size it was before I took the cuttings, so am going to do some more.

Heuchera Palace Purple is one that will come true from seed - you might try collecting seed.


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 12:03 pm    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 12:03 pm

RE: How to propagate Heuchera (Coral Bells) (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: stressbaby on 07.10.2006 at 10:56 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Heuchera is a slam dunk propagation-wise. My methods:

1) When dividing, take the stem pieces that come off, take off all but a couple of leaves, rooting hormone, 1 gallon pot, compost, ziplock cover, shade.

2) Take the stems, divide with sharp clean razor blade or knife into pieces with 2-3 smallish leaves (or cut off half of the larger leaf), make sure a chunk of stem is attached to the petiole, 500 IBA quickdip or rooting powder, 50:50 peat:perlite, mist

Excellent rooting percentage, near 100% either way.


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 12:03 pm    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 12:03 pm

RE: Propagating Heuchera (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Lois_MD on 06.09.2005 at 05:44 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I have taken small divisions from Palace Purple and just stuck them in the ground near the parent, watering when needed, the old leaves will die off, then new little leaves will grow. Just did 2 this spring, new growth takes 4/6 weeks. Heuchera have a bad habit of needing to be "REPLANTED" every 3/4 years. They grow into a nice clump but at the same time growing OUT of the ground. That is when they need to be replanted. Have lost several before became aware of this growth habit.


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 11:58 am

RE: Moving and dividing heucheras (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: sammie070502 on 03.23.2009 at 12:30 am in Perennials Forum

Hi Linnea,

Sorry for the delay...I guess each heuchera cultivar might look a bit different (some being woodier than others) but, to generalize, in early Spring, I'd expect see a basal clump with thickened, elongated stems bearing last season's leaves and having a tuft of new leaves at the top. If you are cleaning up the plant and cutting off or pulling away a lot of spent leaves, you'll notice that this can expose the bare and woody stem. H. "Palace Purple" was always one of the woodiest that I grew and would make woody stems about 3+ inches long each season. The stems are about as big around as a dime or a bit thicker. I'd cut them off right almost against the base of the plant--just further out than where the first leaf would have been attached--maybe a half an inch away from the crown?. You don't dig up the plant or anything and you try to leave the crown undamaged. Occasionally, you will spot some new or old growth that appears to come directly from ground level--you don't prune this growth--it what you want to encourage. Right after pruning, the plant is going to be pretty non-existant in the garden scheme, but it will grow back.


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 11:54 am    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 11:54 am

My homemade cloning machine

posted by: token28001 on 01.06.2009 at 03:55 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I wanted to make sure this worked before I posted it here. Now that I have a few cuttings sprouting roots, I'll post some pictures.

First, I posted this to my blog last week when I was in the process of building it. I found the directions through google. Of course, it was on a cannabis forum, so I won't link to it here. You can do your own search or follow the directions I posted here. Simply put, it's a Sterlite container with holes in the lid, an aquarium heater set at 78 degrees, and two bubble wands powered by a 30 gallon aquarium pump. Not exactly rocket science. I put another container upside down over the whole thing to create a 100% humidity environment.

Let me also say that I have tried Janie's propagation chamber. During the summer, I had good success and even managed to root a couple of Fragrant Tea Olives. But, my success rate decreased with each subsequent try. In October, I pruned my two butterfly bushes and stuck over 100 cuttings in two different chambers. This weekend, I potted up the survivors, 15 in all. That's pretty bad, but I'm sure it has more to do with me and my technique than the chamber itself. I find the longer something is in the container, the more likely it is to rot for me. SO, I wanted something faster.

This is a small piece (2" tall) of a brugmansia that I am overwintering in the basement. It broke off when I was moving the container. It was the first thing put into my cloning chamber on Jan 1. It's now got long roots. Very green cutting too. All images are clickable.


This is a piece of pineapple sage that I took cuttings from in November before the frost got my plant outside. It was stuck in the cloning chamber on Jan 3. The roots are just shy of 1/8". I realize these are easy to root varieties, so I'll be curious how long other things take to root.


The material holding the plants in the lid are foam rollers. I bought them in packs of 10 from the dollar store. I cut them in half and then sliced them through the hole already in them. They seem to be working fine so far to hold the cuttings in place.

Although the cloning chamber I build looks different from the one I am using now, it's the same method. I realized A) my bottom container was too large and heavy when filled with water, B) the holes in the lid were too large and spaced too closely. The second version pictured below has 58 - 5/8" holes instead of 77 - 3/4" holes.




The Green & Gold Euyonmous was stuck yesterday. There are tiny white numbs already on one of the cuttings. Since the humidity and temperature are regulated by the heater and cover, I should be able to use this year round on evergreens and softwood cuttings depending on the season. I've also put a few camellia cuttings in there, but nothing is happening with those yet. In the spring, I'll use it to propagate extra annuals so I don't have to sow as many seeds as well as shrubs, perennials, and other things I want more of. With a blank slate yard, I have plenty of space to grow.

Comments questions or suggestions?


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 11:29 am

Butterfly Bushes from Cuttings-Photos

posted by: wyndyacre on 01.28.2008 at 06:45 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Recently, on a couple different forums, there have been some threads where we talked about how to propagate Butterfly bushes from cuttings. Since I recently did a bunch and took photos of the process, I offered to post them here with some directions.

BBs are fairly easy to start from cuttings. Even right now, in the middle of winter, most zones will probably still have some viable branches on their BBs. I've taken some cuttings this week from 'Nanho Purple' in the garden but also found a potted 'White Profusion' in the bargain bin at a local nursery that had been stored outside but still had lots of live branches and leaves. That is the plant that I took photos of as I cut it up for propagation.


After I cut all the branches off, it looked like this. I have put it back outside into a cold frame for the rest of the winter and will have a nice 3 qt. size plant to plant out in the spring.


I trimmed all the skinny bits off the main branches and further cut the branch into 6" pieces. Make your bottom cut just below a leaf nodule and your top cut just above a leaf nodule. Pull any leaves off the bottom 2/3 of the cutting and if the top leaves are large, cut them in half. You want enough leaf material left to provide photosynthesis but not so much that the cutting will transpire quickly and wilt. As you lay your cuttings down, make sure you maintain polarity....that is, make sure the UP end of the cutting still faces up and DOWN end faces down. You don't want to stick them in the mix upside down. :)

The top row of cuttings in the photo haven't been stripped of their leaves yet. The bottom row has. There are some uncut branches still laying across the flat of ProMix.


I chose to stick my cuttings in a flat filled with ProMix. It is a sterile, soiless mix of peat, perlite, vermiculite and a shot of fertilizer ideal for cuttings and starting seeds. There are other brands but the main point is that it is soiless and sterile.
In a greenhouse with a misting system I have used straight Perlite but it doesn't hold moisture as long and I don't have a misting system in my own GH.
After your cuttings are prepared, dip the bottom end in some rooting hormone. If using the powdered type, you can first dip the cutting in water to help the powder stick.


Then push the cuttings into the container of ProMix. I use the clear, plastic domes over my flat to help retain humidity or you can use a clear, plastic bag over your container. Place your container in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight. I have placed mine on a heat mat. They are also on a light table but the since the table in my GH, I don't use the lights.


In ideal conditions, the cuttings will begin to root in a week but will take about a month in our conditions at home. Resist the temptation to pull them out to look every day! You can gently pull on them after a week or so. If you see swellings on the ends, that is roots beginning to develop. Try not to pull them out too often or you may damage fragile little roots. When you have a nice little ball of roots, gently dig them out and separate to pot up into 3" pots and continue to grow on until they can be planted outdoors.
Don't forget to harden them off-they need to be gradually exposed to outdoor conditions like sun, wind and rain.


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 11:26 am    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 11:26 am

RE: Mosquito Repellent Plants (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: mike08 on 04.06.2008 at 03:20 pm in Southeast Coastal Gardening Forum

Two or more full bulbs of garlic smashed flat with your coffee mug; peel and put into a screw top gallon jug. Add 1/2 cup of minced garlic, then fill with water. Keep at room temp. for two days. I use a 2 1/2 gallon sprayer; with 2 cups of the juice strained through a cloth, 1 cup of vegtable oil, and 3 tbls. of liquid soap; then fill with water to the line. Shake well, pump; then spray wherever you want. This will kill them dead and work atleast till the rain comes. The soap helps it stick to their wings and other surfaces. I also use 1/2 cup pine cleaner, 2tbls of liquid soap in a quart garden spray bottle; then fill with water. Shake and spray. The only thing that it won't kill in 30 seconds is hard shell beetles. I use ground cinnamon powder to kill fire ants. Kick back the top and sprinkle the whole mound with 25 cents of cinnamon. Keep adding water and minced garlic to the jug to keep it filled and smelly. These really work very well, and are earth freindly.


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 11:18 am    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 11:18 am

Easy - How to Root Softwood Cuttings

posted by: jimmyjojo on 12.01.2006 at 11:15 am in Plant Propagation Forum

How to Propagate Plants by Softwood Cutting

Ive have had a lot of success rooting softwood cuttings of plants that dont produce much or any seed. This is my humble process.

Ive tried this method on a number of different plant species including tropical houseplants. On some it works great and others not so good or not at all. The fun part is experimenting!

The basic idea is to keep the stem of the cutting alive until a callous and roots can form. This is called asexual propagation (a means without) or cloning, as apposed to sexual propagation which is by seed. And "softwood" means this years growth that hasnt toughened to hard or semi-hardwood yet.

There are many methods and types of equipment you can use. However, this is the method I use and its currently working well for my plant needs.

Points to keep in mind before you start:

1) Use a sharp knife or pruning shears. Ones that wont crush the end the roots will be generated from. A clean cut will preserve the cells close to the surface.

2) Clean your knife or shears with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol or water and bleach (10:1), before you start to make cuttings. Fungus and bacteria can rot a cutting before it has a chance to form roots.

3) Its best to take cuttings during a time of year when the plant is in full growth mode, usually early to mid-summer. Actually any time of year other than full dormancy is OK, but the more vigorous its growing at the time of cutting the higher percentage of success youll have. Again experiment, some plants will root fine from late September cuttings kept under grow lights.

4) Take healthy cuttings, strong, disease and insect damage free.

5) The leaf or leaves left on the cutting stem will continue to provide moisture and energy "juice" until roots have formed. So you have to cut off all the extra leaves and flower buds and only leave one or two leaves at the top. Some plants have large leaves compared to their stem diameter and you can cut them in half width wise.

6) Cutting length varies from plant to plant. Most will grow roots from 3 to 4 inch cuttings. Some need 6 inches and others are so hardy only an inch stem and one half of a mature leaf are required.

7) The bottom of the stems will rot if they are wet. So the idea is to lightly mist the leaves and keep the air in the seed tray and dome moist without getting the perlite mix and stems wet.

8) When taking cutting they should be taken quickly and not allowed to dry out, keep moist and out of the sun.

9) The cuttings need bright light but not direct sun

10) The rooting hormone has a shelf life and should not be contaminated, keep cool and dry and out of direct sun. Ideally, it will last a couple of years.

11) Go to the library. Ive found most if not all of this information from library books and "Not the Internet". One of my favourite books is "Secrets of Plant Propagation" by Lewis Hill.

12) Lastly, Experiment. The best way to learn this is by trial and error. The best conditions for each species will become second nature after a while.

Youll need:

- A bag of Perlite ("white popcorn", naturally occurring silicous volcanic rock), you can add vermiculite and a little soilless mix but remember we want it light and airy and not wet

- Plastic seed growing tray with a high 6" clear plastic dome top

- 1 to 8 - Plastic plant pots 3 or 4 inch with drain holes, cleaned with water and
bleach 100:1) I use clean cottage cheese containers

- Clean sharp shears

- Hand squeeze spray bottle with clean water

- Softwood cutting rooting hormone powder (Stim-Root No.1 0.1% Indole-3-butyric acid)

- Dibbler a clean stick or pencil to make a hole in the perlite mix to put the cutting into


Clean your tools, pots and tray. Fill the pots with the perlite and put them into the seed tray. Harvest the cuttings from the plant taking longer cuttings then needed. At a worktable out of the hot sun, pour a little of the powder out on a napkin. Cut off the extra leaves on the stem of the cutting leaving one or two good leaves. Make a fresh cut on the stem touch it into the powder tap off the excess powder and with the dibbler make a hole in the perlite and push the stem in an inch or so. Each pot will hold 4 or 5 cuttings. When youre finished preparing the cuttings mist the leaves and dome and cover the tray. Put the tray in an area that gets bright light but not direct sun light. Mist the cuttings daily or in very hot times of the year twice daily, morning and night. Roots will usually form in 3 to 6 weeks. Some annual vines like wave petunias and ivy root in as little as two weeks. To check for roots lightly tug on the cuttings if resistance, then you have roots. Let the root grow to a length and thickness that will sustain the size of the stem (experiment). Usually new leaf buds will start to grow at this time too. Then pot them up in clean pots and new potting soil and water with a mild transplant fertilizer. And slowly introduce them to the sun over a week or so.

Additionally, if you get a "jiffy" style seed heating pad (Wal-M in January) to provide bottom warmth you may get roots a little faster on some species.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Perlite, Clean sharp cutting knife or clippers, dibbler stick, rooting hormone, seedling tray and most importantly the 6" high dome cover to keep the leaves humid.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Hand mister, seed tray and dome, plant heating pad for winter and early spring rooting, and the cuttings. There are way too many cuttings in there but I cant help myself.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Cuttings can vary in length. Some plants root from the leaf nodes others need a longer than this. But cut off the flower buds and small leaves to promote root growth. This is a Salvia elegans cutting.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Once the roots are an inch or two long pot it up. I use small 2 1/2" pots and a light potting mix and water with a weak transplant fertilizer. It may need to be kept in the dome for another week or so after that. Then introduce to the sun gradually.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    And there you have it! Your results may vary :)


clipped on: 05.20.2009 at 10:42 am    last updated on: 05.20.2009 at 10:43 am