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  • Making mistakes is frustrating but also a very good way to learn!

    Ive been posting about issues getting my cuttings out of humidity for a long while now and I started thinking it was my roots and them not doing all that well. So after start rooting with Mais method I was getting amazing roots and excited about it again. I decided to bare root every one of my cuttings (150+) and put them in the same mix I was rooting the new ones in since they were doing so well. They are happier now but one of the great rooted ones I just up potted to a cup is starting to have root die back already... while wandering walmart tonight looking for planting supplies it dawned on me that I am using clear plastic 16oz inner cups and opaque 18oz outer cups with white inside. I think my lights are going into the oversized outer cup and also straight down through the rim of the inside clear cup and toasting my roots... Going to repot everything tomorrow in opaque cups lol live and learn right? Im happy I an learning on mostly very common to get cuttings!

    Just needed to post in a place people may understand my frustration as well as maybe someone else experiencing the same issues can possibly have a reason. Heres to happy roots and fruiting trees (in a few years).
    2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

  • #2
    Lou,

    While that is possible I root in clear cups never use opaque cups at all and it does not bother the roots at all. Light shining down on the tops of the plants just does not transfer much light at all to the sides of the cups so I really do not think that is your issue. This plant shows how white the roots are and that is under natural sunlight as my prop room has a clear roof.


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    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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    • #3
      The only thing I can think of is that mine are 8" under lights and the inside of the cups are white and shining light around. I will do some more digging tomorrow on this but its the only thing I can understand in regards to why the roots are starting to look worse. the only thing that has changed is the clear. I can try and see if its just a watering issue. We will see, I think its a light issue but obviously I dont know much
      2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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      • #4
        What soil do you use?

        Sometimes the roots look great then start to look unhealthy, leaves wilt. The thing is the plant is already dead, the bark rots so the roots and leaves are no longer actually connected. The roots last awhile as do the leaves. Under high humidity the leaves last quite awhile but as soon as you remove that humidity the leaves wilt. Why? Because even though you have roots they are not connected to the plant any longer. The humidity is keeping a layer of water on the leaves that you can't see and is keeping the leaves hydrated. Not saying that is your issue just that it is common. Only way to know for sure is remove the soil from around the stem and rub the stem with your finger. Many times you will find that the bark just rubs right off. Hope that is not the case.
        Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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        • #5
          I barerooted almost every cutting I had that were having this issue already and the roots were still attached and the stem itself wasnt dead, bark was fine, leaves were fine, it just didnt have enough roots left. That was my own potting mix. I swapped to miracle grow moisture control for rooter per mais post and honestly the roots were amazing. best id ever seen. Here are 2 pics 10 days apart. now its finally under the light for the past 2 days or so and the roots are already getting darker. Only difference is the cup. vs newspaper covering them. Thats why im leaning to cup. I know people dont like MG ... but its working well so far that isnt the issue here. I do have pro-mix hp coming for when they up pot.
          Attached Files
          2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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          • #6
            You could just put your clear cups in colored cups rather than repotting everything....

            I generally cover my cups but I'm not sure that it makes much difference either.

            Hard to say what your issue might be but I've had issues with roots dying when over watering, under watering, drastic changes in humidity whether increasing or decreasing. I generally try to bottom water with less than 2TBL of water and introduce any changes slowly whether it is water, humidity, or light until I think they are stable.

            Miracle grow seed starter has worked pretty well for me this year too.
            Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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            • #7
              Wills im definitely not saying you are wrong, please dont take it as that. You know im open to all suggestions so I can figure this out. Part of it might be some watering issues as im still trying to figure out the perfect amount of that but this photo is the best way I can explain why I think it could be the cups issue is all. Im using a flashlight since its easier to control my shadows but you can see the white inside the cup acting like a reflector for 14 hours a day. Thats what im going to fix next, either way I guess.

              Don they are in a colored cup, but the cup is larger. I can get similar sized colored cups but now positive if the holes for drainage would all still work well.
              Attached Files
              2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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              • #8
                Lou,


                Plants of that size should have been out of a bin ages ago. The sooner you can transition out of that high humidity the better off you are. With that much root mass I already have them in a gallon pot. The reason the roots are so big has nothing to do with the rooting style it is because they are massively thick cuttings. Cuttings that size have a lot of stored energy in them. The sooner you can get them out of the clear cups and into real pots the better off you are. With that size wood I would put them in a gallon pot and sit them in normal room air. The leaves may fall but they will grow new leaves that will be hardened to normal humidity. And use real soil, something other than just peat or coir mix. You can use peat or coir as part of the mix though. That is just way too much root for that size container. Just my opinion.

                I can just about guarantee you that the light is not the issue.
                Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                • LouNeo
                  LouNeo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The funny thing is that cutting went into soil to start rooting 22 days ago. It grew quicklike.

              • #9
                That one is in ambient ~45% in the house I believe last time I checked. I want to get them into 1 gallon pots but i dont have the space for all of the 1 gallon pots right now so am trying hard to keep them alive in cups for another month or so I guess I need to push for my greenhouse to be finished. Its cold out right now though haha Thanks for the help, I promise im evolving.
                2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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                • #10
                  Space is always a limiting factor. A cutting with those leaves and that much root must take a lot of water a day to keep it happy. As soon as I see ANY roots at all in the clear cups they are out of that cup and in to a pot. By the time I can see roots at the edge of the cup I know it is ready for the next stage. The picture I posted above moved out of the clear cup already. As you know I do not use humidity bins at all but granted my prop room has a higher humidity. Tree pots at first then 1 gallons.
                  Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                  • #11
                    I have 3x8 mini tree pots that I could use but I dont think it would give me that much more space to for roots. All the roots seem to grow up lol. But I am pretty sure im not watering them enough. I give them only a little water every 2-3 days so that is likely part of the issue. I will start adjusting that now. I never know how much water to put in each cup a day. Any foolproof thoughts on that? Im definitely a higher than average fool.
                    2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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                    • don_sanders
                      don_sanders commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Feeling the weight of the cups can be a good indication. If you really want to get exact, you could weigh the cups and keep them within an acceptable moist range.

                      There are also cheap moisture probes that you could stick into the soil that measure the moisture. Could shows rkn if that is a concern.

                  • #12
                    I agree with Wills. That infant is ready to be a toddler. It should really take off once it's in a larger pot. I totally understand the space issue though.
                    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                    • #13
                      No matter how good the roots are you have to transition the leaves from high to ambient humidity slowly. Leaves have pores in them that let water vapor and other gasses in and out. These pores (called stomata in the plural) have a mechanism to open and close. As humidity decreases they're supposed to close up so the leaf doesn't dry out. If they've been in constant high humidity they never close and the mechanism to close them hasn't been used so they don't work well. The closing mechanism is not a muscle but it acts like one. It has to be used in order to function properly.

                      So you have to expose them for brief times to low humidity or let the humidity drop slowly so the closing mechanism gets some time to 'work out'. It won't be able to close effectively right away on first exposure to low humidity.

                      The only thing wrong with those roots is that they're crowded, as you've been told
                      Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                      • don_sanders
                        don_sanders commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I like that description. That's a good way to put it.

                    • #14
                      If you have some good south-facing windows, there are $20 stackable 3-level utility plastic shelves at Wal-Mart. I've got 2 levels of cups and 1-gallons, with one more level that I can add.
                      Zone 7a in Virginia

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                      • #15
                        0 south facing windows in the house, its amazing that there are 0. Im renting.. I have a bakers rack that has 4 levels, they just are not tall enough to hold a 1 gallon pot with figs and the light above them. The figs are already too tall for that. Im working on a greenhouse and likely a larger home built rack for another room.
                        2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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                        • #16
                          You could always try an intermediate step with some 32oz deli cups for some of them, not saying you should go crazy and move them all but it will give you treelings a bit of releif for a couple of weeks.
                          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!

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                          • #17
                            Or just bite the bullet and get an HID setup. Super cheap here

                            http://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Horticu...tube+1000+watt

                            or

                            http://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Horticu...tube+1000+watt
                            Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                            • #18
                              I already have the power supply for a 1000 watt setup just need the bulb and reflector which ive already priced at a local shop. Just not sure how adding more light solves my perceived problem with too much light getting to my roots lol.
                              2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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                              • #19
                                Yeah, the perception is off. Light will not harm roots as long as there's enough moisture and air. I root mine outdoors in perlite in clear bags or boxes in light shade or full sun. Roots right up against the plastic may not have enough air. Heat may cause root damage and light can heat your rooting medium, but as long as it doesn't over heat the light isn't an issue.
                                Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                                • #20
                                  I also think it could be a watering problem. I have no clue how much to water these things. That is obviously also an issue. Im going to make a rack so I can up pot all of these into 1 gallon pots. Im thinking 2 tiers of maybe 30 pots each will get me by for now. Will just keep the healthiest or make it 3 tiers and that should get me through until my greenhouse is done and tested. But I still need to figure out the watering. Right now I give them a couple squirts of water a day out of a sports cap on a water bottle 1L is watering almost 24 plants. I do this every day / every other day. Its likely not enough but I am afraid to overwater.
                                  2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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                                  • #21
                                    If you're not keeping some be sure to sell the rest here But you're probably better off with the 3rd tier.
                                    Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                                    • #22
                                      I agree with Bob, not enough oxygen. Too crowded and the soil is too compacted, they cannon breath
                                      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                                      • #23
                                        How will you supply lighting to the two or three tiers?

                                        I have made great shelves using cinder blocks and 2 x 8s, 10s or 12s. You can use one board or two boards side by side on each tier. I have made three tier 12 feet long with the cinder blocks stacked upright on the ends of the boards and in the middle. This systen is somewhat heavy and will crush carpet.

                                        The shelves can be moved to your new greenhouse when it's ready.
                                        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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