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Encouraging more root growth

Hi everyone, some advice please for a beginner imageimage 

I took about 50 geranium cuttings last September and I have had them in a heated propagator with grow lights above since then. approx 40 of them took and a lot of them were quite bushy with lots of leaf and I had to keep pinching out flower stems as I wanted to promote root growth and intend to use these to take more cuttings later in the year so that I can build up a stock of about a 100 plants which I can use for cuttings each year.

Given that these seemed to have quite a lot of growth when I started to transplant to 3.5" pots I was surprised by the lack of roots which seemed very weak.

Is there a trick to promoting strong root growth, is there a root feed that one would use in this situation?

Regards

Admad

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,776

    What sort of compost are you using to pot on into?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hi Dovefrom above and thanks for the reply. I'm just using peat based compost bought from B&Q the general purpose stuff. Is there a particular type I should be using?

    admad

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,776

    I would pot on geranium cuttings into John Innes No 1 loam-based conpost which will promote growth.

    http://www.thecompostshop.co.uk/john-innes-compost

    Hope that helps image

    Last edited: 07 January 2017 16:39:21

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,061

    I would add some perlite (up to 50% by volume) which will lighten the compost and promote better root growth.  The roots on pelargoniums are quite weak and will have trouble penetrating dense compost.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks for the link Dovefromabove will have a look.

    Bob thanks, would I mix the perlite with peat or would it go on the bottom or top of the peat?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,776

    Good suggestion Bob - you could mix horticultural grit or perlite with the JI No 1 at a ratio of one part grit to  parts compost. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    The secret for any cuttings is space between the compost. You can mix grit, perlite or leaf mould into MPC, even sharp sand. Pelargoniums need it more than most. Liquid seaweed is good for promoting root growth I find and watering from underneath is best for all cuttings.

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    As well as the above, bone meal for strong root growth or better yet Fish, Blood & Bone 

    Last edited: 07 January 2017 17:40:09

  • Thanks everyone, just the advice I need. Just shoving cuttings in any old peat is obviously not what to do.

    I have a better understanding now of how to plant cuttings using the right growing material.

    Will nip to garden center and get some John Inness and perlite/grit etc..

    Many thanks

    Admad

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