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  • My streak of trouble free rooting has ended.

    I had been having great success with the 3-cup rooting method until now. Until now, I've had no problems getting 100% of my cuttings up-potted to 1 gallon and larger. However now, I've got one Socorro Black cutting and it keeps forming white cotton candy-like mold from the top of the cutting and near the buds. I've re-soaked it in diluted bleach, cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide, cleaned it with baking soda, put wax on the tips and every other place. Checked today, and mold again...

    I don't know how to proceed. I'm thinking the mold spores are reproducing and circulating in that cup, so I need to toss the mix and start again.

    I don't want to mess up my rooting batting average, so can anyone offer advice? It's my only cutting of this variety and I don't want to lose it.
    Houston, TX Zone 9a

  • #2
    When I had mold like that on the 3 cup method, I sprayed daconil or bleach on the cutting every 3 days and increased the size of the hole on top until the mold stopped forming.
    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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    • Visceral
      Visceral commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep, I figured it was too much moisture and increased the number of holes. I'll try the spray to see if that helps. Thanks!

  • #3
    I had a similar issue with a cutting. I dipped a Q-tip in denatured alcohol and gently wiped the molding areas, which were around the tip of the cutting. It's been over a month and no mold in sight.
    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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    • Visceral
      Visceral commented
      Editing a comment
      I've done the Q-tips with rubbing alcohol, but this mold is stubborn. Maybe denatured is an option to explore.

  • #4
    Is it possible to cut away the tip that it keeps forming on? If not, sometimes I find when the mold keeps coming back (despite the H202 treatments) that lightly scraping away the molded area with a razor has helped.. I'd say it's probably worked at least 90% of the time provided that the mold hasnt infiltrated the cambium.. Then I do another H202 treatment with a qtip after the gentle scraping.. I'd give that a try if it were me.. I understand it totally stinks when this happens to your only cutting!! Ugh it makes me so mad! I wish you lots of luck on it!! Oh also.. I think it may be a good idea to change your top cup at least & open a couple more holes for venting? Another option after scraping could be to change your method perhaps?? Perhaps try coir or S. Moss in a bag or sterilite bin? Just a couple more ideas that Ive personally used and sometimes did the trick! Hope it helps
    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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    • #5
      Originally posted by Jamie0507 View Post
      Is it possible to cut away the tip that it keeps forming on? If not, sometimes I find when the mold keeps coming back (despite the H202 treatments) that lightly scraping away the molded area with a razor has helped.. I'd say it's probably worked at least 90% of the time provided that the mold hasnt infiltrated the cambium.. Then I do another H202 treatment with a qtip after the gentle scraping.. I'd give that a try if it were me.. I understand it totally stinks when this happens to your only cutting!! Ugh it makes me so mad! I wish you lots of luck on it!! Oh also.. I think it may be a good idea to change your top cup at least & open a couple more holes for venting? Another option after scraping could be to change your method perhaps?? Perhaps try coir or S. Moss in a bag or sterilite bin? Just a couple more ideas that Ive personally used and sometimes did the trick! Hope it helps
      Lot's of great ideas. Thanks I've got more holes in the top now, so hopefully that helps. After cleaning the cutting off, I scraped near the mold area, and the cambium layer is still green. I've definitely considered another method for this cutting. I may end up cutting it in half and trying something else with one end.
      Houston, TX Zone 9a

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      • Jamie0507
        Jamie0507 commented
        Editing a comment
        Actually cutting it in half is a great idea and definitely something I would do (have done many times lol) to try and save a single cutting that was special to me.. Gotta love those one & two node wonders! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ I can't even tell ya how many of those saved the day for me with a questionable cutting.. Also like Sarah suggested below if you don't have any roots yet at all, absolutely no worries about just chucking the media (along with any bad fungaluglies lol) into the garbage and starting anew.. Keep us posted on how your socorro black does, sending lots of good green growing vibes your way C'mon roots!!!!!

      • Visceral
        Visceral commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the good vibes. I'm glad to hear you were able to have some saves with 1 or 2 node cuttings. It makes me a little less anxious about this setback. I'll update with either an obituary column or an Easter "arisen from clutches of death" pamphlet.

    • #6
      Do you already have roots? If not, you're free to start in a fresh cup with clean soil after you remove the molded area.

      Good luck! If the mold keeps recurring at the same site it's probably buried deeper than you can wipe/spray so you might consider just trimming off that part. I had bad luck with trying to just spray/wipe down a badly infected area.

      I also have just one Socorro Black cutting, a few roots and so far so good. If yours doesn't make it and mine does, would be happy to air layer it later on.
      Sarah
      Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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      • #7
        It could just be the cutting. Some of the ones I had which were doing the same are just doomed. You keep cleaning the mold until.... you have no more mold, but basically the cutting is mold free and petrified like a rock...lifeless. Hopefully you have better luck.

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        • Visceral
          Visceral commented
          Editing a comment
          That was my initial thought too...I didn't change anything in how I prepped them. Only this one cutting has issues. Thanks for the info on your experiences.

      • #8
        Originally posted by sarahkt View Post
        Do you already have roots? If not, you're free to start in a fresh cup with clean soil after you remove the molded area.

        Good luck! If the mold keeps recurring at the same site it's probably buried deeper than you can wipe/spray so you might consider just trimming off that part. I had bad luck with trying to just spray/wipe down a badly infected area.

        I also have just one Socorro Black cutting, a few roots and so far so good. If yours doesn't make it and mine does, would be happy to air layer it later on.

        No roots at all to worry about disturbing. The problem I was having was that this mold is forming right where the leaf will eventually pop out from, so I felt cutting it off instead of wiping it clean might destroy that leaf. What I have done is to cut the cutting in two pieces, cleaned them well, and put both in new soil. I'm crossing my fingers and toes it will shape up! Thank you for your thoughtful, generous offer of a future air layer. However, I wouldn't want to take away any chance for you to get your tree growing big and fruiting sooner. Maybe dibs on a future cutting off that tree if I can't pull this one from the abyss?
        Last edited by Visceral; 03-05-2016, 09:01 PM.
        Houston, TX Zone 9a

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        • Sarahkt
          Sarahkt commented
          Editing a comment
          Sure, happy to. If my Socorro Black survives. *knocks on wood*

      • #9
        The only other thing if the mold comes back would be to try Physan-20 or Cosan-20. Any of the quaternary ammonium compounds. Sometimes they work better than bleach. You soak them for 5 - 10 min.
        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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        • #10
          I will definitely research adding those to my chemical closet. Thank you!
          Houston, TX Zone 9a

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          • #11
            One of my Socorro Black cuttings was actively molding also in its sphagnum moss box, even after a dip in Physan 20 on arrival. I tried moving it to a dryer set up, scrubbing it with an antibacterial soap, re-dipping in Physan 20, and q-tipping the mold that came back with a bleach mixture, then a Oxidate 2.0 mixture. The mold just kept coming back. Finally, in desperation, I soaked it in water for several days, changing the water daily. Drowning the mold seemed to help. The green cambium sections still alive were easy to tell from the dead sections of the cutting. I tried cutting off the dead sections and just putting the section with root bumps in a loose 50/50 coir/perilite mix cup.
            I don’t know what else to do now except wait and mist.
            Mara, Southern California,
            Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

            Comment


            • Visceral
              Visceral commented
              Editing a comment
              I thought about burying the half cutting completely in the potting medium. I guess that would be similar to the completely under water idea. Thanks for your experiences.

            • Altadena Mara
              Altadena Mara commented
              Editing a comment
              I think just burying the cutting without soaking would be different. The soaking in tap water (with all its city chemicals) over several days actually seemed to kill the mold on some of the cuttings. Then I cut off the dead parts and half buried the cutting horizontal, like an iris tuber, with a greening sprout if there was one up, barely covered, and the root bumps down.
              Some people report they root cuttings in water, but the roots weren't as good as regular roots. It seemed to make sense to soak the mold prone cuttings, then take them out of the water when it looks like roots are beginning to emerge and cut off the dead parts. Then burying the segment in rooting medium. I've had one segment like that root and put up a two green leaves, but it wasn't one I soaked.
              The bark on the soaked cutting becomes soft and it's easier to rub with the fingernail to see if there is a green cambium there or not.
              None of the segments I've soaked have rooted yet, but none of them have developed mold again either, even with regular misting.
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