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Does anyone know what this fury stuff is, is it mould? I'm just having my first bash at cuttings and seeds in a little plastic propagator.

Some seeds terminated very quickly and I thought I had it nailed but then I noticed some pots have developed a very fine fury looking growth.

I don't really know whether the propagator should be completely airtight or not so I've been leaving the vent open the teenist bit, is this the reason for the fur or should there be even more air? 


imagethis is the gap in the vent I've left open 

imageis this hydrangea cutting taking or just dying off? I'm so impatient, it's been in there about 3 weeks now. The brown bit is a wet slimy texture that rubs off to reveal a green stem underneath. 

Have any of you successfully grown hydrangeas from a cutting? 

Any propagation tips/advice is greatly welcome, I have read up a fair bit but nice to hear from real people not just website advice image thanks 



  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    I know more about fungus than propagating.

    If I want to grow a fungus or mould I give it moist conditions @ 25-27°C. That's more or less the conditions in your propagator. image Since spores are pretty much everywhere your stuff will have a beard in about a week. 

    How to stop it is over to proper gardeners but I'm suggesting ventilation. image

  • MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180

    Thank you plant pauper image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067

    I stopped using peat pots as I found they nearly always developed fungus and now use small square plastic pots which fare much better.  PP is right though, fungus likes the same conditions that are conducive to seed germination and the rooting of cuttings.  Also worth trying a different compost.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180

    Thanks BobTheGardener, I did think the lots may have had something to do with it as they're all sift and almost soggyimage

    I used seed and cutting compost as thought that would be ideal? 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,471

    I'm not keen on those pots either - it's hard for little seedlings to stay on the drier side, which is actually beneficial to them.

    As soon as growth appears - take the lid off completely too MrsF. Otherwise, the humidity makes them limp and overly damp, and that's when the trouble starts  image

    Same for cuttings - on the dry side is always better than too wet. Too much wet soil  round them just encourages them to rot before they can make a decent root system.    A bigger plastic pot, and two or three cuttings round the edge is the best way. That also helps with drainage, which is vital at that stage.A bit of grit helps too. If you only have one cutting, use a small plastic pot  for it. Seed compost is simply a compost which is fairly low in nutrients. It's particularly good coming into autumn as you don't want seedlings putting on lots of growth too quickly for overwintering   image

    It can be a bit confusing when doing cuttings of a plant we're told needs lots of moisture though! It only refers to a bigger specimen. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180

    Gosh so much to learn, Thank you Fairygirl. I'm both impatient and control freaky so thus orioafatuin malarkey is quite testing for me image 

    I gave the deeds a teaspoon if water to get them on their way, now I see this was the wrong move ha ha 

    Oh well it's all a learning curve and nothing ventured is nothing gained and all that image

    I was going to try propagating just in a jar of water as I've read that can work pretty well. I just want to grow roses and hydrangeas from cuttings to save me a small fortune really ha ha 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,471

    It is indeed a learning curve MrsF - but quite an enjoyable one  image

    A little hand sprayer/mister is ideal for watering seedlings - it's easier to avoid drowning them, or displacing the seed too much, which  can end up all at one side of the pot! The other way of watering is to place the pots, or seed tray, in a container of water so that they draw the water up from underneath. Once they're dampened initially, they don't dry out too quickly with a lid on. You can also wet the compost first, then sow the seeds, just covering them lightly according to the size etc. They'll get dampened quite quickly from below.  It depends on the time of year and the amount of heat available though, so you just have to judge it as you go along.

    Once they start sprouting, you can leave the lid off, and watering becomes easier as there's a bit greenery there, and they don't move around so readily  image

    Some seeds are easier than others too. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,090

    For seeds firm the compost well & either do as Fairy says, water first, or when sown place in another tray of water & allow the compost to absorb the water from below. Remove and allow to drain before putting into propagator. They then should not need watering for a few days depending on conditions. For cuttings use compost with 50:50 either grit or perlite fill the pot, pick it up and tap it down on the bench once or twice do not firm anymore than that. They need moisture but also air, round the developing roots! Water as above.  Monty showed how to do rose cuttings on GW recently catch up on i player if you missed it, they need to be outside & can take up to a year so patience is the key!

    AB Still learning

  • MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180

    Thanks for all the advice image

    Seems I'll have to learn the art of waiting image

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    I'm rubbish at seeds. My compost always gets a crust or goes green and slimey or mossy. image When I do have success I'm over the moon though so keep trying MrsF.

    I'm slightly better at cuttings but I do them as FG says, just two or three in a pot with a poly bag over the top.

    I'm still waiting for the patience to set in. 

    Last edited: 22 August 2017 11:45:26

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