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New to rooting cuttings  RSS feed

 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I am working on rooting lemongrass, vietnamese coriander, and Thai Basil. Right now they are sitting in water in glass jars inside my house. I do have a greenhouse, should I root them there instead? Would it be better to root them in soil instead of water? Should I use rooting compound?

Thanks
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2392
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Yes, rooting compound is a great boost and can make the difference between success and failure. If you don't want to use the synthetic chemical version, there is a natural version -- willow tea. You could also use the growing tips of young corn leaves, but that is only available a couple of weeks after the corn is sewn in the field.

Rooting them in the greenhouse is a good idea, because usually the greenhouse has high humidity. The enemy of new cuttings is drying out. They should be kept as close to 100% humidity as possible until they develop enough root to keep the plant supplied with water. On a pot by pot basis, this may mean inverting a clear plastic cover over the pot after watering the cutting in good. When you see condensation on the inside of the plastic cover, then you know you have 100% humidity in there. Even if cuttings are sitting in a glass of water, if you live in a dry desert area, the air may suck more water out of the leaves than can migrate up through the cutting. This is why it is recommended to snip a lot of the leaf surface off of your cutting.

It takes a lot of trial and error, but the two things to watch for are drying out, and if you have your cutting in water, how the new roots are developing.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Thanks. I do live in a very low humdity area. I really appreciate your feedback.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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There is a big difference between hardwood and softwood cuttings... hardwood cuttings can be pretty simple. I wrote a thesis on field planting hardwood cuttings, but there is a fact sheet and a literature review of the theory of adventitious root formation...
http://www.stewardshipinstitute.info/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Live-stake_research
 
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