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Cuttings frustration...what now?

Hi all,

I'm still having problems in my first venture into the cuttings game.

I had a couple of lilac cuttings in root riot propagation cubes.

One had (and still has) a root poking through the outside of the cube as well as 2 shoots of green growth with tiny leaves (maybe a couple of inches long). 

That one blackened off and the shoots have since dropped off.  I don't know what will happen to it, I've left it in the propagator for now and removed the dead growth.   I'm not hopeful.

The other was growing healthily, but has since wilted (curled up) and not looking good now.   No roots showing in that cube yet.

I noticed it did this in response to me opening the vents of the unit ever so slightly (they'd been closed for some 4-5 weeks until a few days ago).    

I opened them because I assumed the first cutting died through too much humidity (damping off) and didn't want it happening to the second, only to find that it obviously hasn't coped with the (presumably minimal) air flow.

I'm at my wit's end again - do I just bin the cubes and presume the worst?    I had no idea that raising cuttings could be as tough as this, and this is in the Vitopod (supposedly state-of-the-art) propagator.

PdG

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    I'm sorry to read about your adventure into cuttings. I can imagine they are tricky. I have only done a few myself, but that is not because I don't like it, I just don't need to take cuttings most of the time. It's very normal for failings. I think it's more about doing batches of the same plant and trying out different methods. It does sound like you want to stick to this cube system (not sure what it is), but I think you may want to widen different approaches. 

    There is no wrong or right way. Try the old fashioned pot with potting compost and a cloche and find out what each plant's like and dis-likes. Normally, what they like in growing conditions tends to be the more exaggerated versions when taking cuttings. A plant that likes free draining soil will need to be potted in almost grit rather than compost. 

    I hope others will offer you more encouragement, but I think take loads of cuttings and try two to three methods and see. Also, I think semi-ripe of soft cuttings of shrubs are tricky anyway, so maybe look into hardwood cuttings too.

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