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Cuttings Flowering

 
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I’ve recently tried starting some Reliance peach trees from cuttings I bought in the mail. I used root hormone and a peat/vermiculite mix and created mini green houses in a plastic licorice container with another inverted. They’ve been kept warm and moist and out of direct sunlight. It only took 10 days for me to see growth but not leaves, a flower! I’m assuming that this is putting all its remaining energy into making fruit before it dies? Is it doomed? Thanks everyone.
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Flower
Flower
 
gardener
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I would just nip off the buds.

Last year I took 5 citrus cuttings and attempted to root them. Most tried to flower and I just pulled of the buds. Three of them rooted.  It took 10 months for them to start putting out new leaves, but other friends who root citrus said that is normal.  I don't know what's a normal time for peaches.

Good luck!
 
gardener
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flowers come before leaves. pick ‘em off!
 
Leah Holder
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If anyone is listening and has a few minutes, could you tell me at what stage in leaf growth I should uncover these guys? Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Leah Holder wrote:If anyone is listening and has a few minutes, could you tell me at what stage in leaf growth I should uncover these guys? Thanks!


If they are putting out leaves, I would uncover them now.  Keep them out of direct sunlight at first too.
 
Leah Holder
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Hello! Can someone advise me on these peach tree cuttings? They’ve started to leaf out with little spikes and then the next day or so disappear/die down. They’ve done it a few times. I keep them moist and after the first time thought maybe they needed more air. So I spritz them, but don’t cover. Thanks again!
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Leah Holder
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Ooof. Anyone? I’m so afraid that this roller coaster ride of peach tree cuttings is going to end soon in a crash. I really want to keep trying, but if I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong I’m wasting my time.
    Here’s my final pic.
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greg mosser
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i’m afraid that’s happening because the cuttings are trying to push leaves but don’t have the roots to support it. they probably do need more ambient moisture around the tops...are these indoors? can you get them somewhere cooler? i expect the tops to run faster than the roots in most situations at normal room temps. if they could stay in the 40’s or 50’s, plus maybe had a tiny bit of bottom heat...i’d feel a lot more hopeful about their chances.
 
Leah Holder
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Thank you! I have the perfect space. It’s worth a shot.
 
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From what I understand,  cuttings have a hard time absorbing moisture until they grow roots.
Leaves evidently transpire out more moisture than they take in.
Cutting off all but one leaf or even cutting that last leaf in half is often recommended.
Some sources even recommend covering the above ground part of the cutting with grafting tape or wax.
I think a good formula for roots moist darkness and warmth on the bottoms.
I've had good luck starting cuttings in buckets of potting soil tightly covered with black trash bags,.
I left them  outdoors over winter without bottom heat, but I still got most of them to take.

I think you might get better results if you eliminate  light, thereby encouraging the cutting to only grow roots.

 
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It looks to me like you have made these cuttings think it is springtime.  The flowers came because you used a piece of wood that had had flower buds on.  That "decision" to produce flowers was made long before you took the cutting, not because the cutting thought it was going to die.  Flower buds are generally fatter than leaf buds, for reference next time you are choosing cutting material (sorry, just noticed you bought this material in so maybe had no choice).  But flowers aside, if you are taking cuttings in winter, they need to be kept as cold as the parent plant is, short of the ground being actually frozen, or they will break into leaf before the roots have developed enough to keep the leaves supplied with water.  I wouldn't exclude light as I don't think that is the primary trigger for a plant breaking bud dormancy, but rather warmth.  That is why in a warm spring things come into leaf earlier.  I take hardwood cuttings (i.e. dormant twigs) every winter and simply shove them straight in the ground.  In fact there is an article here: https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/lighting-of-cuttings.pdf which states that inadequate lighting delays root development.
 
Leah Holder
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Thanks everyone. I’ve clipped the wings on the peaches as well as some Mulberry cuttings and placed them in a back bedroom that’s minimally heated via in floor heat. I sprayed them all and placed them in a tote on the floor and covered it with Saran Wrap. I’m feeling good about this! I’ll post an update when I have roots or the sticks have gone in the fire place.
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I would very highly recommend checking out Mikes BackyardNursery channel on YT.  He is quite literally a master of the art and science of growing new plants from cuttings.  All kinds of plants, all kinds of cuttings.  I'm used several of his methods with excellent success, most especially his classic sharp sand and tray under a painted aquarium system.   I have 5 of those and I used them to make hundreds of cuttings of everything from weigela to cherry trees to blueberry bushes and the list goes on.  I did end up buying a used copy of his book on Amazon for a couple bucks and it's my propagation bible now   For most hardwood cuttings like you're using one of the key principles is warm bottoms/cool tops.  I had exactly the same result as you with early attempts and it was because the air temp was getting too high - his methods make it easier to maintain the soil moisture too.   Your cuttings need no light at all in the early stages, they need warm soil first to grow system.   Once they have roots they can then start to get indirect sun and try to leaf out.  

I can't recall right now which it was (at one point I was growing about 300 different perennials and shrubs) but there were 2 or 3 woody types that needed to be done as hardwood cuttings that were bundled in bunches and buried upside down in a loose sandy mix for many months to get things started.  It sounds crazy but Mike's book and videos are very easy to explain and he's a real down to Earth, dirt under your nails kind of guy so I found it very easy to learn from him and follow the explanations of why and how.  If you get as much fun from it as me you'll probably want to try an intermittent mist setup at some point, then the sky's the limit!

Hope you can give his methods a try and enjoy success with your propagation efforts, I know it was always great for me when I could bring someone trays of started plants to share.  And I didn't mind a little money from selling extras to folks that would stop by to admire my gardening efforts and end up buying some of this and that to take home with them    I hope to eventually have the same kind of experience at our new home, once I've gotten conditions improved enough.
 
Leah Holder
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Things are looking much better with the cool temps and very little light. I believe the peaches and Mulberries both are rooted but I’ll continue this for awhile yet. Thank you everyone.
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Wow, this is so inspiring! both the OP and some of the other comments! I've got peach trees started from seed so I'm all set for that, but I'd like to get some local mulberries started from cuttings. (I have one mulberry from seed but I guess a cutting from a tree with known good fruit would be better)

In the northern hemisphere, is Jan-Feb a good time to take mulberry cuttings and try starting them?
 
Scott Charles
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I'm about in the middle of NY, up where the mountains start and right at the border of zone 4 and 5 depending on how bizarre the weather is in any given year  Where I grew up there was a gorgeous old mulberry growing from a bank over a creek where a few of us kids spent a whole lot of time in the summer.  When I got into propagating later on I went back and snipped a bunch of softwood cuttings from the newest growth and used the method with an upside-down 10 gallon aquarium over a tray filled with peat moss and coarse sand to start what was probably 30 or so cuttings.  

If I remember correctly the aquarium was painted with a light covering of white spray paint except for two strips near the bottom (which becomes the top when flipped over and placed on the tray) where I'd used masking tape so there'd be two narrow clear bands to let light in.  The cuttings went in and I misted well, and every couple days I'd take the tank off to check on things, mist if needed with my spritzer, and remove any cuttings that had failed (which I usually replaced with a quick cutting of a spirea or something easy to not waste the space).  

This would have started in May or June probably since that's when the new growth kicks off on most things around here.  The covered trays were kept on the north side of my shed where they didn't get any direct light since that'd turn then into ovens.  

By the end of summer the roots were at least a few inches long and the cuttings got moved to old reused nursery pots up on shelves in my little lean-to greenhouse where they'd got some direct sun for an hour or two.  If I remember right the mulberries were one of the things I kept the new growth trimmed on, so they'd put most of there energy into rooting - and because they grew quick.  Pink pussy willow, butterfly bush, red twig dogwood, and some others done this way can put on new top growth a lot quicker than you want when started from softwood cuttings in spring and you really want them to put more into roots than tops until you get a nice clump of roots on each.  Then before the ground got too cold I moved them to one of my nursery beds or a much bigger nursery pot. Doing them, and many other woody shrubs, bushes, and fruit trees from softwood cuttings in the spring this way is a lot easier and usually a bit faster than hardwood cuttings from dormant growth from my experience, at least in colder areas - and the success rate is higher.  Plus you have the benefit of being able to go back for semi-hardwood cuttings a few weeks later if the first batch meets some misfortune.

 
Scott Charles
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Those mulberry starts would have been big gorgeous trees full of delicious fruit by now if not for the winter of the demon rabbits...  
that was the one of the years when rabbits infested the garden and enough got past wire fencing and wrapped deer netting and avoided snares and traps and even my freezing my butt off hiding in the bushes with an air rifle (no firearms area so beefed up BB guns was the only option) to decimate my beds and pots of cuttings.  We had some heavy snows that let them up and over the 4 foot fencing, and they were tenacious once they realized how many tasty things were in my gardens.   And what the rabbits didn't chew off above the snow was stripped of bark and girdled below by mice or voles or whatever evil vermin decided to have a go at my plants.  It was a maddening winter, and I honestly almost gave up gardening altogether after the spring thaw showed just how bad the damage was.  

When I did go back to that creek for more cuttings a few years later to try again the tree was gone and the area cleared of brush with only sad grass left behind.  I may try again if I find another tree like that somewhere, or just buy a new mother tree once I get more are cleared and improved and fenced in here at the new place we moved to.  I never did figure how that old mulberry got there in the first place, since there aren't any others anywhere around here that I can remember seeing since then.  It had a very thick and stubby main trunk that branched off into three angled splits not far above the ground, which made it great for climbing in as kids.  Later on I thought this might have been because it was mulberry scions grafted onto a hardier local tree, since mulberries are commonly sold as grafted trees and there used to be a lot of grafted fruit trees all around town.   This was right near the famous Erie Canal and there had been some sort of business across the road that went back to that time period, so from the size of the tree it's possible that someone had lived on the property and planted the tree by the creek back then.  I never had much luck with grafting myself but it's something I may try again in the future now that I'm probably where I'll stay for the duration.

Before I do though there will have to be some serious thought to fencing and such since at the new place rabbits are only an occasional passing nuisance quickly managed by fox and coyote, and the constant danger comes from deer that are much harder to control and much, much more destructive.   My poor apple trees....
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