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  • Cuttings - Leaves but no roots

    A question on my mind for months now but not wanting to ask for fear it be stupid and already addressed.

    Everyone seems to favor the cutting that sends roots first over the ones that leaf out first. So for those that leaf out first why not remove the leaves until roots appear? Has anyone ever tried removing leaves when they break before roots?
    Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

  • #2
    There is no need Jerry, the ones that bud out before producing roots I just went a head and cupped. My success rate was actually higher this way so I stopped rooting in spag and put all of my cuttings straight to cups of with a 50/50 perlite vermiculite mix. Don't overwater, I used bottom heat in a humidity dome (no humidity in Colorado).
    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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    • #3
      The plant will use the leaves to make energy which can help it produce roots. Just be sure the leaves don't dry out.
      Bob C.
      Kansas City, MO Z6

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      • #4
        I'd leave the leaves on for the same reason as already stated. The plant has already put some reserves in making those leaves, might as well leave them on so the cutting can photosynthesize and recoup some of its energy expenditures. Removing them would leave a wound for opportunistic infection as well. If there are leaves but no roots, I'd leave the humidity and (bottom) heat dialed up.
        Sarah
        Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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        • #5
          Yes, I agree with everyone else - leave the leaves on, provide humidity and hope for the best.

          When I have cuttings fail it is almost always the opposite problem i.e. roots form but leaves do not. Eventually the roots turn brown and rot, perhaps because they are not being fed by the leaves. I start using dilute fertilizer once I see roots. I haven't noticed that using rooting hormone makes the problem worse but it might have a small effect. I have yet to figure out a solution to this problem but fortunately my overall success rate is still pretty good. My guess is that it has to do with temperature and/or humidity.
          Steve
          D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
          WL: Castillon

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