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  • Bleach to fight fungus on partially rooting cuttings?

    I have some fig cuttings I've been keeping in plastic tub with moist sphagnum moss. At first the moss was too wet and I started to get some mold, which I rinsed off and has mostly stayed away. Some cuttings have little roots and all have initials so I'm just going to pot them all up and see how they do. For the ones showing some mold, I was wondering about rinsing them in 10% bleach/90 % water and maybe giving a little scrub with an old toothbrush to any bad spots then just potting them up without rinsing. I'm hoping this will hold back mold long enough to get them going, especially by leaving a little bleachy residue. Good idea? Doomed to failure? I have about 40 cuttings going in total, so I can afford to test a bit if necessary.


    Arlington, VA - zone 7a
    Aldo's, Black Bethlehem, Briguglio and Celeste

  • #2
    That is a good strategy. Some are just more prone to mold than others. I did the same thing to a troubled cutting, as it kept getting mold around the tip. I finally tried using a cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol and rubbed all around the area. No mold since!
    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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    • zendog
      zendog commented
      Editing a comment
      So no negative from leaving the residual bleach water mix on the cutting?

    • veggie_girl
      veggie_girl commented
      Editing a comment
      That's exactly what I do too.

  • #3
    That should do it. Some really do seem just more prone to molding than others. For those varieties, I sometimes cut the growth tip off and dip the cut top end in paraffin since that zone seems the likeliest place to mold.

    I've seen that some like to use dilute hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect or even water the cuttings with the argument that it permeates the cutting better for better mold control and also helps with aeration.
    Sarah
    Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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    • #4
      Like Sarah already mentioned above, diluted Hydrogen peroxide has been a real lifesaver for my cuttings.. I initially wash with a mild bleach/water solution as soon as I receive new cuttings but afterwards dabbing on the H2O2 has worked amazingly well.. Plus I like to watch it get all fizzy! Lol!
      My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY

      Rooted Cuttings Available 2021:
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...fxsT1DuH8/edit

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      • Visceral
        Visceral commented
        Editing a comment
        Jamie, do you use a cotton swab to apply the hydrogen peroxide or just dip the cuttings in it?

      • Jamie0507
        Jamie0507 commented
        Editing a comment
        I use the cotton swab to spot treat if I see mold developing once the cutting is already stuck, but I will dip in the light bleach/water solution initially when I first receive cuttings in the mail

      • Visceral
        Visceral commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, I do the same when initially receiving cuttings. I will save the hydrogen peroxide in my hip pocket if I spot any mold issues. I have a few bottles of it and it would be quicker than mixing up a bleach dilution.

    • #5
      The hydrogen peroxide you get in the store is only 3% so there's no need to dilute it further. That or 10% bleach is fine. Don't get alcohol on the roots because it may kill them.
      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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      • #6
        I treated all my cuttings with a Physan 20 solution two weeks ago, 2 tsps. to one gallon of water. It seems to have helped most of the cuttings, but other cuttings are determined to mold. The sphagnum moss medium is only slightly damp. I keep scraping off mold with my fingernail, dipping the cuttings again in the original Physan 20 solution, leaving the moss open to dry more.
        Should I make up a fresh, stronger solution of the Physan 20 (2 tsp. to half a gallon?) and treat the cuttings or try the bleach/peroxide local treatment?
        Mara, Southern California,
        Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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        • #7
          Here is how I clean cuttings initially. I do not rinse the bleach/water solution. Although this does help, it may not completely prevent mold.
           
          Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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          • #8
            Altadena Mara, a cutting that repeatedly molds is often dead, at least at the part that's repeatedly moldy See if the bark scrapes off. If so cut that part away before it destroys the rest of the cutting. If not, soak the cutting in your P20 for 5-10 min. Don't mix it stronger than the label says or it may harm the cutting as well as the mold and bacteria.
            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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            • #9
              I'm gonna deposit my two cents b/c I just had success with the 90:10 water:bleach solution in a mist sprayer.

              I got 6 real Vasilika Sikas in the mail and they all began to mold over and over again. After sacrificing a few lambs and throwing a virgin into a volcano, I hit the cuttings with the bleach solution and increased the ventilation. The mold went away completely and I now have 3 successfully rooted and potted Vasilikas. The other three are slow moving but I think two of them are going to be fine.

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              • don_sanders
                don_sanders commented
                Editing a comment
                There's never a good reason to throw a perfectly good virgin into a volcano!

            • #10
              Originally posted by Harborseal View Post
              Altadena Mara, a cutting that repeatedly molds is often dead, at least at the part that's repeatedly moldy See if the bark scrapes off. If so cut that part away before it destroys the rest of the cutting. If not, soak the cutting in your P20 for 5-10 min. Don't mix it stronger than the label says or it may harm the cutting as well as the mold and bacteria.
              Thanks for the suggestion. It’s hard to know which concentration is recommended for fig cuttings. The bottle of Physan 20 comes with a booklet of suggested uses with different mixture directions for rooting cuttings of begonia, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, geraniums, treating seedlings, budding trees in April (ash, sycamores), lawns, bulbs, cactus, carnations, gardenias, crape myrtle, live oak, sedum, hawthorn, orchids, palms, roses, rubber plants, snap dragons, hollyhocks and many others.
              I used the “budding trees in April” mix suggestion for the fig cuttings, although our trees here will have bloomed, leafed out, and carry growing fruit by April.
              What seems to have helped is Levar’s suggestion of increasing the ventilation: after treating the fungus spots, putting the cuttings that are in plastic bags with sphagnum moss in a vertical position with the zip lock side up and half open and the top scion ends uncovered, misting lightly twice a day. (Couldn’t find a virgin in Los Angeles )
              Mara, Southern California,
              Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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              • Levar
                Levar commented
                Editing a comment
                Easier to find a volcano?
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