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  • Rooting for Dummies from Pen

    Over the years I tried different rooting methods.
    Some with good and some with very bad outcome.
    The worst was the "rooting in a bag" method (not trying to offend anyone)
    Any time I used it I had to fight some fungus as well.
    Today I have setteled over this method:
    Step 1: First I make sure cutings are healthy and clean.
    Step 2: ( you can skip this step but I find it very usefull for very fast and explosive rooting )The cuttings are wounded with a knife as 2-3 strips of the bark were scratched so the cambium layer is exposed (
    something like rubbing the bark off) and then treated with rooting hormone.

    Step 3:
    I use a plastic deli container with a lid, Two cups of DRY perlit (600ml) and 60ml of water (You can use any volume perlit and add just 10% of the same volume water.)
    Mix it thogether. Drop the cuttings inside and open the plastic container for fresh air from time to time. No additional water or anything else is needed from now on.

    ALWAYS, ALWAYS use brand new perlit and plastic container to root each set of cuttings. This is very important.

    Step 4: Keep in 22-23°Celsius. Cuttings root in 2-3 weeks. No heating mats as there will be condensation on top of the container.
    Step 5: After I see the first roots...

    I then plant the cuttings in plain washed river sand. I personaly use Tall 200ml transparent cups and I insert a strip of cloth inside the the cup for even better drainage.(in this case a strip from old jeans)

    Step 6: I Take a bucket and put a layer of sand at the bottom (It will contact with the fabric strip and drain the excess water from the cups)
    Step 7: Place the cups in the bucket and cover it to keep the humidity.
    Step 8: In the next week gradually remove the plastic cover and harden the plant for normal humidity.

    Some time later......Wa-lah

    Step 9: after another month or so transplant to your favorite mix and container.

    Step 10:Go out Fishing and get some sun and Vitamin D.
    Last edited by penandpike; 02-23-2015, 02:14 AM.
    Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a

  • #2
    Nice update Pen. I like the fabric strip for drainage, and the fishing recommendation!
    Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
    Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!


    • #3
      Your suggestion to use the new perlite is a good one!
      I discovered the same about the coco. Always use the new and fresh for rooting. The bacteria from the previous cuttings will do a lot of damage otherwise
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush


      • #4
        Nice and clean, thanks for sharing!
        SE PA
        Zone 6


        • #5
          Great post, Pen! I've successfully rooted cuttings in straight perlite too.
          Frank ~ zone 7a VA


          • #6
            Thanks for sharing the pictures and info.
            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


            • #7
              Thanks for sharing this method last year on F4F-this method has worked well for me, without the scoring or hormone. My only failures this year have been a couple very green cuttings and a few thinner than pencil size. Should use sifted perlite to get the fine dust and sand sized particles out.
              Edit - maybe the failures were because I didn't get out fishing enough
              SW PA zone 6a


              • #8
                great method Pen.
                this is the one i will use this year as well
                andreas-patras Peloponnisos Greece zone 9a


                • #9
                  Thank you all for the nice coments!
                  Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a


                  • #10
                    I've been using a clamshell bin with straight perlite for my 'bits and bobs'- end cuts, tips, single node leftovers. I pot them up when I see roots, and have gotten a good few bonus plants this way. Works great especially in a warm spot, thanks for sharing,penandpike.
                    Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
                    Wishlist- ,Campaniere, Demos unk


                    • #11
                      Do the roots appear mainly where you scored the bark? I ask because your scoring isn't nearly down to the cambium. The cambium is below the brown outer layer easily seen on the cut end in the first picture. All you've removed is a thin outer layer. Not trying to be critical just asking.

                      Please correct me if I'm wrong about where the cambium is located. We're all here to learn.
                      Last edited by fruitnut; 02-23-2015, 05:11 PM.
                      Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7


                      • #12
                        Acording to this the scoring I did is exposing the cambium layer, but I am no expert at all in this matter. From where the roots come out? Yes most of the roots come out of these wounded areas.
                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
                        Last edited by penandpike; 02-23-2015, 06:12 PM.
                        Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a


                        • #13
                          I copy-paste this from the F4F where I wrote about this experiment.

                          Here I have Panachee cutings that were set at the same time 15 days ago, but they were treated differently. One is just plain cutting. One group is wounded as 2-3 strips of the bark were scratched so the cambium layer is exposed (just the brown part removed) and then treated with Rhizopon 0.5% rooting hormone. The third one is Also treated with hormone but it is not wounded.

                          Today I poted the first rooted cutting and it is from the Wounded group.
                          I guess most of the cuttings from the last two groups will have roots in the next 2-3 days.
                          Surely there is a big differense in the three groups. We'll see what happens next.

                          One week later.....
                          During the last week all cuttings treated with hormone have rooted.

                          No sign of roots on the plain cuttings and there will be at least another week or more before the first roots appear.
                          Clearly the wounded cuttings performed the best. Not only they rooted fast but we have multiple strong roots coming out of the wounded areas.
                          Not wounded but treated with hormone also rooted, but only few and smaller roots if compared to the wounded cuttings.
                          There is a big advantage when you have early roots especialy when cutings wake up and have leaves already. Now the cuttings without the hormone have leaves but no roots.
                          pic 2,4,5 are the wounded cuttings.
                          Last edited by penandpike; 02-23-2015, 06:11 PM.
                          Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a


                          • #14

                            The wounding may be helping. Probably is although it looks like roots are pushing everywhere to me. I hope I can do as well when I start here soon.

                            I'd say you are scraping off a thin outer bark but not nearly all the bark. Taking off that outer layer may be allowing the rooting hormone to penetrate better. I'll try that on my next batch.

                            If you blow up your top picture and scroll to the bottom cut end you can see the whitish pith in the center. Then the wood that's off white color. Then the brown bark that's much thicker than what you scraped off. Cambium is between bark and wood. I've scraped to cambium at times with no improvement. I'll try your method of just scraping outer layer of bark.

                            Thanks for the thread. I like your method. Sounds simple and repeatable. I've got lots of perlite.
                            Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7


                            • Bellefleurs
                              Bellefleurs commented
                              Editing a comment
                              fruitnut, how did your perlite rooting experiment work out?