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  • Mold after cutting rooted in DE

    Hey All,

    As the title suggests, I had a white Madeira #1 nicely rooted in DE. Then I noticed roots stoped growing and no top growth came on. I think it had rooted about a month ago. When I move some of the DE around, I saw mold on lower on the stem The upper stem had started to look bad as well. I pulled the whole thing out and boom, lots of mold The DE surrounding the bottom of stem was wet, but I would think DE would hold the correct amount of moisture and not rot the cutting? Could mold be the byproduct of gnat larvae eating the bark? Maybe improper drain holes? I always shake the cup well after watering and let sit on a towel.
    Attached Files
    Zone 7a Westchester County, NY
    Wish List: Figo Preto, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Col De Dame Blanc, Smith, Cravens Craving, Noire De Barbentane, Strawberry Verte

  • #2
    well my experience is cups are too shallow and even with DE one gets that "perched water table"Pete discusses, so any cuttings stuck down more than a little can hit the water saturated zone .This is why I switched to 14 inch tall plastic pop bags or fabric bags for my DE rooting and only stick such cuttings down 3 inches into absolutely well rinsed only slightly damp DE.I see the little roots making it down towards the wet zone but the cutting wood stays up in the barely damp area. So far the nice CC cutting I won in the contest here which is a single node is likewise parked well above the wet Zone.

    For all my so called 'education" I simply cannot understand why theres that'perched water table". But Pete here is absolutely correct. It does exist and poses a threat to cuttings
    Z8A NC SANDHILLS

    WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

    Comment


    • YATAMA
      YATAMA commented
      Editing a comment
      well I have had to realize theres a lot I will simply never be able to understand and this is one!But I have to deal with all sorts of stuff I cannot understand every day, but still have fun!

    • Figbert
      Figbert commented
      Editing a comment
      I started cuttings on Jan 5 in DE in 24 oz cups and kept the cuttings 2 in up from the bottom. I also tilt and shake them after watering. I've lost / am losing some to mold right now. Probably an issue - the Floor Dry version of DE that is available here isn't quite as coarse as Optisorb. The screening I used to sieve it definitely helps, but the holes are still a bit too small. If I could find some 3/16 in mesh

      The CC cutting I rooted was the biggest ouch. It looked like the Madeira #1 pic above. I trimmed off everything up to the second node - below that the cambium was brown. But the part above the soil line is starting to wrinkle, even though it's wrapped in parafilm, so I'm not too hopeful.

      I should add - other cuttings are doing great! Of the 15 I started, 1 I had to throw out and 2 I'm trying to rescue.
      Last edited by Figbert; 02-15-2020, 11:04 AM.

    • Sod
      Sod commented
      Editing a comment
      Figbert 2 inches isn’t enough space from the bottom. For 24oz containers I don’t set cuttings any deeper than halfway down.

  • #3
    I’ve lost a lot to depth issues early on. Also if your DE isn’t clean or the particle size is too small, that’ll cause issues. It looks to me like you had a lot of the cutting covered.
    Willamette Valley Oregon, zone 8b. WL: zaffiro, Black Tuscan, rodgrod, campaniere, CLBC, de la Gloria, thermalito, del sen juame gran, Sangue dolce, Black ischia, Jack Lily, vincenzo, verdolino, Syrian dark, rubado

    Comment


    • #4
      Understanding "Particle Size" and "Perched Water" will increase rooting success rates and reduce similar failures and losses.

      Particle Size (Aerated Mix) and Perched Water...









      Good Luck.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

      Comment


      • Laeotis
        Laeotis commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for posting this! I have been putting a 3-4” layer in almost all my pots, thinking it was improving the drainage.
        This can really help my fast draining mixes a lot

      • YATAMA
        YATAMA commented
        Editing a comment
        Every time I ignored"Professor Pete"here something bad happened! He's a fine fig mentor to follow, guys! I realize he seems humble and may not like too much praise but my figs sure appreciate him !

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Laeotis ,
        You could use the info about Perched Water Table and create a cutting irrigation procedure that would work with "Fine" water retentive mixes but its simpler / less stressful to just modify or sift the cutting mix ingredients to make a "Well Aerated" not retentive cutting mix.

        I've used / trialed 100% peat and 100% coir as Cutting "Mixes", initially pre-watered (5:1 ratio) and up-potted without compacting (only tap the container on a hard surface a few times) , then bottom watered or "Side Watered" (between cup side and mix with the same 5:1 water ratio) to maintain the existing air spaces and reduce / eliminate compaction from top watering.

        YATAMA ,
        Thanks. Just sharing some of my observations and experiences.

    • #5
      Too much water suffocates the roots, has nothing to do with the gnats. DE can hold a lot of water even though it also provides air space. But like Pete said, particle size is the key. I think the typical recommendation for DE in a mix is no more than 10% though on a full grown tree.
      Moved from 10b to 7a

      Comment


      • #6
        Figbert The Moltan "Floor Dry" (formerly labeled "Ultrasorb" is too fine for rooting cuttings. The coarser "OptiSorb" will give a higher success rate. And yes, the depth of the container and how deep you set the cutting also matters as demonstrated above.

        Here are pictures of the finer grain "Floor Dry" and courser "OptiSorb"

        Attached Files
        “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
        – Chinese Proverb
        MA 5b/6a

        Comment


        • #7
          I understand the idea of a the water table of course, especially in dealing with setting up a French drain in my yard. Only thing is with DE and drain holes in the bottom wouldn’t the water table be eliminated if you thoroughly shake the cup and let drain out on a paper towel?
          Zone 7a Westchester County, NY
          Wish List: Figo Preto, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Col De Dame Blanc, Smith, Cravens Craving, Noire De Barbentane, Strawberry Verte

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            https://oregonstate.edu/dept/nursery...roperties.html ,
            Quote,
            "Water is not distributed evenly throughout the container. Adhesion, cohesion, and capillary action attract water to particles and resist gravity. The ability of media to ‘hold’ water through adhesion and cohesion is referred to as matric potential. Matric potential is the same throughout the container. Gravity pulls water down through the container and out of the drainage holes. While gravity is constant throughout the container, gravitational potential is greater at the top of the container and lower at the bottom. Because of this gradual decrease in gravitational potential towards the container bottom, matric potential is higher at the container bottom and media particles are able to hold more water. This causes water to form a perched water table at the container bottom. The perched water table is a layer of saturation on the container bottom."

          • Pdiscool
            Pdiscool commented
            Editing a comment
            Gotcha. It’s something I have to wrap my head around.

        • #8
          ginamcd Mine isn't quite that bad. It's from EP Minerals. There are a lot of good size chunks, and most of the fines I see in your cup get removed when I dump it on 1/8" screen and flood it with water. But it does seem to break down into smaller chunks/sand/silt pretty quickly.
          Pics:
          1. Floor Dry straight from the bag

          2. Oceanside Green Unk and Maltese Beauty started on 1/5; Lampeira (Prusch) started 1/25.

          3. I started BGR, Martinenca Rimada, and Figo Preto in mid - November. Those were also in Floor Dry, but in 16 oz cups. FP rotted ... but BGR and MR were put into 1 gallon pots in coir/DE a month ago. MR is now 18" wide! The third (in the tree pot. is a Red Lebanese BV I just received from Justcare24 on Figbid, it was started in Nov. as well.

          Sod I agree (now). I had read at some point that 2" was enough height.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20200215_145317 - Copy.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.36 MB ID:	714560
          Click image for larger version  Name:	24 oz DE Floor Dry.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.64 MB ID:	714561

          Click image for larger version  Name:	MR BGR RLBV 1 gal.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.45 MB ID:	714562




          Zone 10a San Diego | Wishlist: My cutting zoo to turn into a fig forest! And Thermalito.

          Comment


          • grasshopper
            grasshopper commented
            Editing a comment
            That looks pretty good size. How much of the DE got sifted out? I usually do it one tub at a time and can tell easily what is left after sifting.

          • ginamcd
            ginamcd commented
            Editing a comment
            That was my recommendation of 2" as it has been working for me in 24 oz cups. I just added a warning to my DE rooting thread warning others that they may want to go a bit higher if the can.

          • Figbert
            Figbert commented
            Editing a comment
            Grasshopper - quite a bit does get sifted out, but since I was blasting it with water I don't know the proportions. Water then got poured in the garden, leaving quite a lot of sediment in the bin.

        • #9
          Was wondering if combining methods for the best option. Maybe something like Yatama pantyhose/organza bag in the bottom 2 inches of the 24oz cup. Then cut the bottom of the cup in a way that it just holds meshed object from falling. This way you get the benefits of a better bottom draining system within a trustable cup format
          Zone 7a Westchester County, NY
          Wish List: Figo Preto, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Col De Dame Blanc, Smith, Cravens Craving, Noire De Barbentane, Strawberry Verte

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            The added drainage holes in the bottom of the cup would not be very effective, those changes don't affect the perched water table of the "Mix", but placing a cloth "Wick" into the bottom (a couple inches) with a "Tail" extending vertically below the cup will effectively lower the perched water table allowing better / faster drainage.

        • #10
          My guess is doing the mesh at the bottom 2" is simply raising the perch table by the same amount.
          Moved from 10b to 7a

          Comment


          • #11
            I've not had mold issues in DE, only when using peat/perlite, coir/perlite or Paph,(orchid) mixes. I have recently found it is possible to over water and thus cause rot in DE. I've had some success with taking care of mild surface mold with powdered cinnamon. As for pure DE, the biggest advantage in it's use for me is the ease of telling when it needs to be rehydrated.
            Tony. Pickens county, SC zone 7b
            WL: Angelo's Dark; Atreano; Azores Dark; Brooklyn White; Dominick; Florea; Golden Riverside; LSU Early Improved Celeste; some Maltese or Italians; Napolitana:

            Comment


            • Figbert
              Figbert commented
              Editing a comment
              " I have recently found it is possible to over water and thus cause rot in DE." Yes, I think that may have been an issue for me as well.

            • Bellefleurs
              Bellefleurs commented
              Editing a comment
              I’ve definitely seen rot in DE potted cuttings.
              Most recently I’ve started trialing a few with adding perlite to the DE. So far the mixture appears to be retaining sufficient moisture to hydrate the cuttings (the DE appears gray) but the perlite facilitates drainage.
              It’s still early to tell if the cuttings will root and leaf out but I’m optimistic.

          • #12
            The thing that throws me for a curve ball is that the sides of the cup with DE could look wet but the center is dry. I do believe having the cutting at minimum of 2 inches from the bottom is key.
            Zone 7a Westchester County, NY
            Wish List: Figo Preto, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Col De Dame Blanc, Smith, Cravens Craving, Noire De Barbentane, Strawberry Verte

            Comment


            • #13
              Perched Water is only one variable that can cause anaerobic conditions leading to Rot at the basal end of the cuttings (before they are hardened / fully callused). Pathogens that are present in the Cutting Mix or on the Cuttings are usually the culprits that cause / contribute to rot after the initial rooting. IMO, an additional "Solution" would be to use a product like Physan 20 to irrigate / water the Calcined DE. The manufacturer's recommended rate for "Hydroponic Nutrient Solution" is 0.1 ml - 0.3 ml per gallons of Water or Solution (Maril Products recommends 5 ml / 50 gal up to maximum of 15 ml / 50 gal).

              Physan 20 can be used to;
              - Disinfect the irrigation water or nutrient solution (0.10 - 0.30 ml / gal)
              - Sanitize cuttings / Dipping before propagation (1-1/2 tsp / gal)
              - As a topical / surface cuttings spray disinfectant (1-1/2 tsp / gal)
              - Sanitize the Cutting Mix (soil drench) before up-potting cuttings (1-1/2 tsp / gal)

              http://www.physan.com/mixing-guide.html


              Full Disclosure, have experimented but don't use 100% Calcined DE for rooting fig cuttings. Its been my experience that it creates too many wet / dry cycles that retard or slow continuous root growth after the cuttings have rooted.
              Last edited by AscPete; 02-16-2020, 12:04 PM. Reason: correct application rate from 0.33 ml / gal to 0.1 - 0.3 ml / gal...
              Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

              Comment


            • #14
              Pete, thanks for the input. I nited on physan brochure it was suggested fr RUST ptevention on some ornamentals.Made me wonder hw would work in humid areas to deter fig rust in late summer/fall which reportedly can defoliate a fig tree?Obviously would have to be reapplied after a heavy rain.but doable. At my location rust no problem so cannot test theory here.
              Z8A NC SANDHILLS

              WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                I use Physan 20 only for the cutting propagation stages and sanitizing (the propagation areas. its not listed for food crops))...
                For Rust and Fungus on growing and fruiting plants I use the standard Copper and Sulfur Fungicides (OMRI Listed).

            • #15
              Pete , do you think leaving the bottom inch of the cup empty, putting a sturdy very fine mesh, then proceeding DE have an effect with lowering the water table? Thinking the mesh would allow for superior drainage and help with lowering the water table.
              Zone 7a Westchester County, NY
              Wish List: Figo Preto, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Col De Dame Blanc, Smith, Cravens Craving, Noire De Barbentane, Strawberry Verte

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                The water table is lowered by doing two (2) things, increasing the particle size and or increasing the container / pot height, if you can't increase the particle size then the alternative is increasing the container height. Post # 4 graphics # 3 & # 4 shows those relationships. Tree pots are used by several forum members to lower the water table for their rooting cuttings...

            • #16
              How to Get the Best Drainage for Your Container - Why What You've Been Taught is all Wrong
              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o86pTA...ature=youtu.be
              NJ Zone 7A in the New York Metro Area

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for sharing the video...

              • Pdiscool
                Pdiscool commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Grasshopper!

              • VicD NJ7A
                VicD NJ7A commented
                Editing a comment
                Any time Pete. And thanks for all your great insight on this topic. I believe it’s an important variable people shouldn’t overlook.

            • #17
              AscPete , Physan 20 doesn't seem to be organic. Is there an organic alternative? One of the reasons I went back to long fiber sphagnum moss is its natural acidity seem to suppress mold. With DE as rooting medium, can we use something acidic to achieve similar effect?
              Moved from 10b to 7a

              Comment


            • #18
              Peracetic acid ! Cool 🙂 I was thinking to just use diluted vinegar but not sure how much to use before it can kill the mold but still safe for the cutting.

              I found https://generalhydroponics.com/defguard

              A bacteria based biofungicide that is OMRI. I think it is used in some of the Promix formulation and is quite expensive though.

              Moved from 10b to 7a

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                IMO, for plant disinfectants for rooting stages there doesn’t appear to be any readily available products better than Bleach, Physan 20 (and equivalents) and Peracetic Acid. I’ve not looked for an organic product, satisfied with current results, but will keep an eye out.
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