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kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91
I don't know where I have gone wrong. I would have said I did everything by the book (or should I say internet) but after 3 weeks they are ALL dead.  They didn't go immediately into the unheated propagators they spent a few days in polly bags in pots until the propagator arrived and they looked they were doing OK in the propagator but slowly went down hill when after a week I opened the vents. 
I dipped in rooting compound and put it in a mix of multi and vermiculite. 
I have got time to try again, any helpful tips?
Do I close the vents on the propagator and how long for? 
Should I spray the plants? 
I would really like to have some rooted osteospermum /penstemon/verbena cuttings for next year 


  • FireFire Posts: 17,348
    Try again. Keep trying.
  • I have never had any luck with soft wood cuttings either, in fact I have given up, but only because I am too impatient.  However I have been lucky with blackcurrants, hydrangea, buddelia, hebe and now even roses, so I can't help you with your selection kc except to echo Fire's comments. Nothing ventured .......
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,955
    Trying doing some and not putting them in a propagator. Just keep them in a warm sheltered spot, and see how they do. Sometimes it gets too humid and wet in them and they rot. I think for those particular plants, keeping them on the dry side would be better.
    Did you put several cuttings in each pot, round the edge? That tends to help drainage too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I always put Penstemons cuttings in ordinary compost,about 3 or 4 to a 4" pot using rooting powder.Then put them inside greetings card cellophane,sealing the top with an elastic band. Just a dribble of water,then they get a drink from the condensation that forms.It always works for me. Always save your cellophane bags,they are great for this,as they stand away from the cutting better than polythene.
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • BraidmanBraidman Posts: 269

    With me it has been a very bad year not just to root cuttings but when I was successful most died soon after transplanting into slightly larger pots, even though I kept both cuttings and small rooted plants in the shade!

    As I changed the compost several times it was not it, I put it down to a very cold start to the season and then all the heat, but there is always next year!
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 577
    Very much depends on what cuttings  you are trying. Some cuttings don't grow at the end of the season - light is important. Also some cuttings look dead for a while and then spark up. 
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    I grow a big bunch of penstemon in a mug of water.  Same with fuchsias, but they germinate better when it’s cooler as do most cuttings. 
    Most cuttings don’t need a propagator, think what happens in the wild, plants layer, seeds drop off, no one goes out with hot wafter bottle for them. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 Posts: 256
    kc.sdic said:
    I don't know where I have gone wrong. 
    I would really like to have some rooted osteospermum /penstemon/verbena cuttings for next year 
    I take penstemon cuttings every year and sometimes they survive others not. Last year I took tons of cuttings as a safeguard thinking at least one might survive and every single one rooted and I've been giving plants away! It's a good time to take cuttings so do some more, nice strong shoots try to get ones that are a bit thicker than the newest shoots and cut just below a leaf joint and about 4"-6"  long ish. (I am pretty sure there is a video on the GW website where Carol shows you how to do it properly) I just plop them into a smallish pot of compost pushing them around the edge of the pot. I make sure they're kept damp but don't let them dry out too much. I hardly water them at all though in winter, they stay in the cold frame, lid up until the frosts start then just down if it's really cold. I'm sure if you take some more they'll be ok. Don't worry about putting them in a polybag or propegator. They'll survive as long as you just make sure they don't freeze over winter! Good luck. I've taken hydrangea and fushia cuttings this year. I've never done fushia before so am also hoping I've done things right there. Guess we'll just have to wait and see! 🌱🌿🤔😉
  • FireFire Posts: 17,348
    edited August 2018
    I don't use a propagator or plastic bags. And yes, the time of year is key for which plants will take easily.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,938
    Yes, definitely have another go, especially now that the weather is cooler. My penstemon cuttings are done in a mix of multi purpose compost and vermiculite, plus rooting powder.Some covered with a plastic bag and some not as l like to hedge my bets. The minute they show signs of growing the plastic bag comes off. Osteospermum cuttings l use the same method, but l find them a little more tricky to be honest. Like Bagpuss does, they spend the winter in the coldframe near the house wall and if we get a really cold snap like last year, a bit of fleece over the top. I know it can be disheartening but don't give up, there's nothing more satisfying than seeing those roots poking through the bottom of the pot !  :)
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