It’s a mixed bag. Something is still killing off my rooted cuttings, very few are left and many of them look a little the worse for wear. I have lamented at length on this previously, so shan’t repeat myself. It’s either potting up too soon, or too deep, or the compost, or the propagating goblins. Who knows.
Here’s what’s left in the land of the living from that batch of over 30 rooted cuttings:
1) penstemon – just one, although it is looking pretty perky.
2) gaura – one that isn’t yet dead, but I think it’s heading that way
3) carnations – two, I think. I don’t even like carnations!
4) peony – a cutting I swiped from Greenwich Park back in May. It isn’t doing much, but it is still with us.
5) weigela – a few of these have rotted off but there’s still four or five left.These don’t look substantially different to when I took the cuttings way back, I’m not convinced they will amount to anything, we shall see.
Not a lot to celebrate so far, but on a more positive note, I have a few others brewing away.
Eryngium root cuttings. These were taken about 1 month ago, a little early in the year. They started to show signs of new top growth a week or two ago, and now have very visible little flushes of green at the top of most of the roots. I think this is just using the reserves in the root rather than evidence of new roots. Previous root cuttings of japanese anemone behaved like this but did not produce new roots for some months. I shall leave them to it, they are just on unheated staging in the greenhouse.
The next group of cuttings have all been sitting in their own enclosed environments, usually one pot per closed ziploc bag, sometimes two. The bags have been kept in the heated bench. In the main, the cuttings seem to be enjoying this. While a few have rotted off, the majority are looking good with lots of new top growth, and some early signs of roots emerging from the bottom of the pot. I am resisting the temptation to pot these on. I have opened up the bags as the first stage of getting them used to a less pampered environment, and I will give them all a little feed up with liquid tomato feed before I head off on hols this weekend.
They are as follows:
1) Gaura ‘passionate pink’, looking very perky, plenty of new growth and roots in evidence.
2) Geum, a little bit moth-eaten actually. I think a beastie has been in that bag with them. No signs of anything much happening otherwise although I could convince myself there are early signs of teeny top growth on one or two of the cuttings.
3) Verbena bonariensis, these have responded very quickly, lots of new growth and roots too.
4) Monarda ‘balmy lilac’ – not so hot, most have rotted off but still a couple that might make it, there are some signs of new growth. There are two or three pots of these, all in a similar looking state.
5) A mixed pot of penstemon and salvia, not sure which varieties. I liberated the stems from some damaged plants in a certain local DIY shed. They are looking happy enough.
6) Salvia ‘hot lips’. Several cuttings have bitten the dust, rotted off, but the remaining few seem happy, lots of new top growth. I am hopeful.
7) Osteospermum, looking nice and green and signs of new top growth.
I have also taken cuttings of some variegated pelargoniums, some of which are not doing well, some are. These don’t like to get too humid so they are bag-less and just sitting in the heated bench, the cover off. I’m going to take more as I bring the parent plants in for the winter.
Finally, I also have several batches of ceanothus cuttings on the go, all still looking OK, you can read more about those separately.
That’s the state of the nation cuttings-wise. On the whole, encouraging. If I can just leave them alone till the spring…
I’ll be back soon with more propagation shenanigans.
I try to keep my cuttings going in the greenhouse with minimal watering but some dilute plant feed once I know that roots have formed. When I think it is safe to pot on I use a compost mixed with fine grit and some mycorrhizal fungi which seems to have improved my successes. I used to lose too many cuttings until I adopted this method.
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Yes I have a few ideas too. Current approach not working. M.fungi is a good idea, I have some of that in the shed. I’ll do a trial next year I think.
It is interesting to see all the propagating that you do, far more than me, but when I take cuttings in Aug/Sep of Penstemons and tender perennials I always leave them in the pots in an unheated greenhouse until late Feb then if the weather is ok I pot them up. This is the advice given by Christopher Lloyd in one of his books and it works for me.
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Yes that is good advice. I have been guilty of potting up too soon. My latest batch will stay in their pots till early spring or until I’m certain there’s lots of roots.
Thanks for sharing, it’s always great to hear how busy you’ve been and see what’s brewing on the bench. I hope the propagation goblins don’t cause you too much trouble! And I must get a few verbena cuttings done myself, they’re star performers this year and I need more for next summer!
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Thanks! I’m pleased with how well they’ve taken. Looking forward to a good show next year…