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  • Rooting issues

    So here goes my first topic on the new forum. Always struggling with rooting! This year I am still trying the cloner, but the humidity chamber is posing more of a challenge. I am rooting in mostly perlite with a little peat moss. I started with a heavier peat concentration but noticed drainage problems and switched to less peat. All cuttings are in 16 oz clear cups with holes drilled in the bottom. The chamber is on a heat mat w temperature probe set to 80 F and humidity is about 80%. I am watering about twice a week and misting daily with a fortified mixture, not straight h2O, rather a light fertilizer with rapid start added to the water. I have a maddening mixture of one of mostly two developments. 1. Leafing out with little sign of roots. The third pic shows 3 cuttings in the front row w no visible roots. The second row, left is a BM that has a small root showing, but also breaking leaves, it started in spaghnum moss and after buds swelled but no roots I switched it into the cup. 2. Some cuttings have a little root action but no leaves. The leafless cuttings have been in the chamber since the day after christmas. What can I do to improve my success or speed things up? Help!
    Last edited by Rafaelissimmo; 02-17-2015, 07:34 PM.
    Rafael
    Zone 7b, Queens, New York

  • #2
    I have heard (but never tested myself) that higher temps, like 80 degrees, favor leaf growth over root growth and that better results are obtained around 70 degrees. My cuttings move between 70-80 degrees depending on the time of day and the greenhouse effect inside the bin. But mostly they are between 70-73 and so far it seems like both roots and leaves are appearing around the same time.
    Steve
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Verdolino, Figue Jaune, Nantes Maroc, Lussheim

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  • #3
    I think you're still too wet in there. I use way less peat moss than that. Are you rinsing or sifting the smaller perlite particles out before you use it to root? I use all perlite then put a pinch of peat on top.

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    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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    • ako1974
      ako1974 commented
      Editing a comment
      Bob - is the pinch of peat so you get just a pinch of some nutrients?

    • Harborseal
      Harborseal commented
      Editing a comment
      That and humic acid. When Jon was trying different things years ago he found that a little bit of peat seemed to help cuttings root. I'll fill it half way up with perlite, add a tiny pinch of peat and 'repeat' when it's filled with perlite.

  • #4
    The cups should be completely filled with the moist mix and since they are in a bin you could cut vertical slits in the side (2-4 with a razor) for added aeration. If you are top watering you may be floating the smaller particles to the bottom of the cup where it may be too wet.

    Did you start the cuttings in the cloner?
    Dormant cuttings need to be fully hydrated before they can start growing properly. I've seen cuttings placed in cloners with only an inch or two in the moist air. The cutting above the cloner usually dries out and causes poor slow growth. I now hydrate dormant cuttings for a few days before I start rooting and I don't use any lights initially for at least a minimum of 3 weeks. Roots without leaves are OK, as long as the mix is only kept moist and not watered.

    Too much heat at the roots will dry them out and also slow down or stop their growth...
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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    • #5
      Pete,

      Can you explain how you hydrate your cuttings? I just want to make sure I understand your process. Thanks
      Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        I put them in 1 gallon Zip Lock bags with warm-hot sopping wet Long Fibered Sphagnum moss or Coco Coir. Its allowed to cool then placed it the refrigerator crisper for 3 days. The Moss or Coir is important because it helps to maintains a low pH (5 -6) which helps to inhibit microbial growth.

    • #6
      Ok I guess I need to figure out how to subscribe to my own topic, I am used to emails alerting me to responses, anyway here is my comments:
      Bob: i do rinse and sift the fine material out of my perlite, but even now, there is probably a little too much peat.

      Pete, thank you. No cuttings in the chamber started in the cloner, that is a totally separate batch. And you are right, several cloner cuttings dried out, I am now experimenting with grafting tape to protect the exposed parts of cloner cuttings, it may be too late for a couple of them.

      I did initially hydrate my cuttings in wet spaghnum moss, but after I failed to even get any bumps or root initials this year after at least a month waiting, I have abandoned moss as a rooting method.

      The general idea for the cuttings in the pics seems to be to apply less bottom heat where roots are established, and maybe a bit more where the cuttings have leafed out. Also, I will add slits for aeration. Any other tips? Thanks all.
      Rafael
      Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        You're welcome. hope it helps.
        Was you "wet sphagnum" wet or just damp?
        When used for hydration it should be dripping wet, which would mean disaster if used for normal rooting...

      • Harborseal
        Harborseal commented
        Editing a comment
        To subscribe to topics go all the way to the top of the page. Above the pictures of figs and to the right is your user name. click on the down arrow there then on user settings. On the page that comes up there will be in large type, "User Settings". Below that you'll see this line

        Profile Account Privacy Notifications


        Click on "Notifications" and you can make choices about what you're subscribed to.

    • #7
      Forgot to add, the cuttings are under T5 lights 16 hrs a day.
      Rafael
      Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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      • #8
        Try quitting the fertilizer you are misting, it could be because you are foliar feeding they don't really feel the need to form roots.
        They get everything they need from the top now.
        I never use any fertilizer before they are rooted and have at least been potted in their first container for 2 weeks.






        Rotterdam / the Netherlands.
        Zone 8B

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        • #9
          Ive had very good success with plastic shoe boxes with damp sphagnum moss and 80 degree bottom heat. No fertilizer. I open it up every few days and fluff up or flip the moss. The current batch i lost 1 out of 18 but it looked too dried out to begin with. Most had decent roots within 10 days.
          Ive had way worse luck in cups of perlite and mix.

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          • #10
            Rafael, I have nearly 100% success on rooting. Every cutting gets a gel type rooting hormone. It's called Root-Gel by Dyna-Gro. It's my first year using it and I'd recommend it. Then I use a rooting cube and put the cutting in a rooting tray in a humidity bin or the cutting with the cube will go into a plastic shoe box with sphagnum moss. I like having the cubes on because it's impossible to break any roots off.
            Art
            Western Pa -6a

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            • #11
              Also as soon as a root breaks through the cube it goes into a cup with perlite and a bit of pro mix.
              Art
              Western Pa -6a

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              • #12
                Hi Art!

                It sounds like you are doing a mix similar to mine. I think there is probably too much moisture in my cups, I am going to try an oven rack at the bottom of the bin, so gravity can do its job. I have noticed some improvement in the last few days, although the leaves are so fragile, one false move can knock them off. I have a real baby to look after-a chamber full of little figs is sometimes a tall order.
                Rafael
                Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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