Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

February 23, 2009

First try at propagation

I guess you could say that the title says it all huh? I tried my hand at both softwood and hardwood propagation this weekend.

Propagation from softwood cuttings is the re-generation, or more to the point the re-creation of a plant from new growth cuttings that were still actively growing when they were cut. The cuttings from my moms Meyer lemon tree were the subject of this first try. The planting medium that I put them in is a 50/50 mix of some vermiculite and peat that I had on hand (It's considered a soil-less planting medium.) that had been completely dampened and them had the excess squeezed out.The first thing that I did was to strip all the lower leaves from the cuttings that I had other than the top two leaves just where the piece was growing. Then, I made cuts to the stems just about 1/8 inch below a leaf node leaving a section that was about 4-5 inches long. That reminds me, did I show you my Valentines gift from the greatest wife ever? Check it out, pruning shears that actually cut!Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so I made a cut to the stem just below the nodes. Then I dipped the stem piece into some rooting hormone powder and inserted them into the planter. The label on the hormones says that I should see roots appear within 4-8 weeks.
The other kind of propagating that I tried this weekend was on hardwood cuttings. These were from her pomegranate tree. I figure that since pomegranates grow naturally in very arid areas of the world, like the mid-east, that they should do wonderfully here in the arid Utah weather as long as I can keep them warm through the winter.

I treated these cuttings exactly the same way, with the exception of removing leaves. Since these trees had been pruned earlier this winter by my mom, they were just now starting to bud out. All I did was to trim them down to about 12 inches in length by again cutting just below a leaf node. I also dipped these into the rooting hormone and put them into the same type of soil-less growing medium.The last step was to place them in a warm spot. (enter the top of the fridge again) and to cover them to keep the humidity in. For this an old plastic grocery bag was called into service.

For those curious about why I made the cuts just below the leaf nodes here's why. The leaf nodes are essentially places where the plants cells that are able to create new growth have congregated. Under normal conditions, these cells are programmed to create leaves. When the rooting hormone is applied, it tells these cells to change their plan and to grow into roots. Some plants, like willows for instance, naturally have these chemicals in them and can easily propagate. (stick a cutting from your willow tree into the ground if you don't believe me...) Others, like these plants, need to be told what to do.

Hmm... I guess some of that Master Gardener course is rubbing off. I'll let you know how these test plant turn out as time moves along.
Thanks for dropping in, catch you tomorrow!


spelled with a K said...

excellent, I would be careful putting more than one "stick" per pot. I did that with some grape cuttings I took and severely damaged the root systems when it came time to separate them and transplant. This time around it will be one stick per pot for me. But then again, your mileage may vary.

did you make a straight cut or diagonal cut on the rooting side?

Chiot's Run said...

Great. I've had great luck propogating hydrangeas this way. I hope your lemon trees work. I'm hoping to buy one this year to see if I can get some fresh citrus here in NE Ohio.

Chiot's Run said...

Like Spelled with a K, I would also do only one stick per pot. I usually use straight perlite for my first go around, then when I see roots I transplant to soiless mix.

P~ said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I plan on keeping an eye on them for when the roots start to get growing and then move them into separate pots. I am limited as for places to put them so I made due.

k~ I made a straight cut. was I wrong?

Robbyn said...

Careful, or you'll get addicted to this...my husband did! I'm all for it, so I guess you could say there will be no 12 step in our future in the near future for us, ha :)