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Old 06-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default Gonna try my thumb at propagating stem cuttings, any tips?

I recently discovered that the huge vine growing up through the tree next door is a American Wisteria (frutensca). I asked my neighbor about it and he didn't have a clue what it was nor that it was slowly devouring the tree.

I have, sneakily, been lopping heavy vine that I can reach in order to save the host tree but my neighbor had me back there and I can see nearly half a dozen places where this vine is coming up so, unless he gets to whacking it may be a lost cause.

My wife has always wanted a wisteria so I though I'd get several cuttings to propagate. I have asked the neighbor and he has given me permission. So, I plan to take them this weekend.

Additionally, another neighbor has an unknown clematis that my wife always comments on. I also have their permission to get a cutting.

I have read online resources extensively on general and specific practices of stem cutting propagation and I will get myself some rooting hormone before I start. I also have some plastic coffe cans for pots and clear plastic bags for the mini-greenhouse effect. But, I have some questions for anyone who does this.

Are the gel type rooting compounds preffered?

Anyone use the willow tree homemade compound succsessfully?

Where do you get your cuttings usually (steal from nursuries, public gardens, friends, etc....)?

What is your succes rate and, how many cuttings do you usually try to root to achieve the desired final number?

Cheers and Thanks.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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its easy

find the green shoot parts at the end of the limbs and make smaller cuttings on the green wood instead of larger cuttings on the brown wood

cut it at a long angle, instead of striaght across at a right angle

also, don't cut it all the way off the plant - only cut it like 3/4 of the way off and the wedge the cut open with a little stick

dust the cut part with Dragon Rootone then get a handfull of wet peat moss and use a strip of burlap sack to wrap the peat moss around the cut and tie it off with string

when the roots start to show through the burlap, then you can go ahead and cut the cutting completely off the plant

I have nearly 100% success with that method, but you can also just cut the cuttings right completely off the plant in the first place, dust them in Dragon Rootone and stick the cutting in those little peat pots or pellets - just keep them wet and out of the direct sun and most of them should take

that Dragon Rootone is good stuff, if you use it on the green part of the plant you can root anything

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Old 06-19-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
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.....also, don't cut it all the way off the plant - only cut it like 3/4 of the way off and the wedge the cut open with a little stick

dust the cut part with Dragon Rootone then get a handfull of wet peat moss and use a strip of burlap sack to wrap the peat moss around the cut and tie it off with string

when the roots start to show through the burlap, then you can go ahead and cut the cutting completely off the plant
This sounds like "air layering". Do you find this more successful than standard layering or true stem cutting rooting?
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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yeah its "air layering" . I think it does work better than cutting the entire stem off and rooting the stem, but that does work too as long as you keep it wet and in the shade till it gets going.

either way, the real trick is using the rooting hormone and picking a part to take the cutting that is still "green" like a shoot and not yet woody like a vine - try to cut a part that is growing upwards and not a part thats growing sideways

if you're doing wisteria, it really won't matter - that stuff roots like crazy - cut some off and throw it on the ground and it will probably take off on its own

might also look at Wal-Mart, I saw 5" pots of Wisteria for two bucks there at lunchtime today, for only two bucks its not worth the trouble to make cuttings

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Old 06-19-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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might also look at Wal-Mart, I saw 5" pots of Wisteria for two bucks there at lunchtime today, for only two bucks its not worth the trouble to make cuttings
Yeah. Have seen them too but, I have never seen one in bloom there and there is a risk that they were prop'd from seed which means it could take 10 years to see blooms.

This Wisteria appears to be an American and from what I have read both Am varieties bloom from last years new growth (as opposed to the Asiatic blooming from old wood). And this one bloomed as of this spring so, with a properly rooted cutting I "could" have blooms for the wife in a year or 2.

Thanks for the tips.

Care to share anything from the other ?'s...?
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:46 PM   #6
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oh yeah I forgot one other thing... if you decide not to air layer them and want to just cut the cuttings - make sure you make a cutting that is not only green, but has a bud or a branch on it - thats important because the roots will want to start coming out where the bud is and not so much where you made the cut, so if you cut an inch or so below where a green stem forks and buds you'll be golden

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Old 06-19-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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oh yeah I forgot one other thing... if you decide not to air layer them and want to just cut the cuttings - make sure you make a cutting that is not only green, but has a bud or a branch on it - thats important because the roots will want to start coming out where the bud is and not so much where you made the cut, so if you cut an inch or so below where a green stem forks and buds you'll be golden

Yup. Got that from the readings on-line. Thanks for the tip tho'.

What about this "sterile rooting media"? Is that REALLY needed or can plain-ole potting soil suffice?

My plans are this;

-Take the cutting as suggested. And prepare with hormone (I will look for the Dragon Rootone).
- Root the cuttings in the coffee cans (plastic with holes drilled in the bottom)
- Bag the bottom watered pots with the clear plastic sacks
- Set the sacked pots outside in a protected, filtered light location.
- Open the bags every day to mist and "change the air".
- Test for rooting by "gently tugging" after 3 weeks.
- If rooted, contiue as before for another week and then remove the bags leaving the rooted cutting for another 2 weeks.
- Transplant the survivors to a larger pot
- Plant the cuttings in the ground late summer to allow them to root the new plot through fall.

Sound about right?
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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Here is what you want to use for the rooting hormone - this stuff will grow roots on anything

Dragon Chemical » FUD8640 - Surf the Turf!

you shouldn't have much trouble with the clematis either, our yard we have a lot of hard red clay which is not really ideal for clematis, but its very hardy and doesn't seem to mind - in fact the real struggle is keeping it pruned back because it really wants to take over, it will invade the yard if you let it

Clematis is another one you should maybe look out for at Wal-Mart, my daughter and I bought a large planter with two varieties of Clematis in it back in the spring for $10 for our front porch and its already outgrown its container

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Old 06-19-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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What about this "sterile rooting media"? Is that REALLY needed or can plain-ole potting soil suffice?
plain-ole potting soil will do - depending on what kind of soil you get you might think about mixing a little perlite into it

when I've done Azaleas and Rhododendrons, I've used those little peat-pellets - you know you drop them in water and they expand into a little pot filled with peat moss ? Just keep them moist and in the shade till you see the white roots coming out the peat and then put them in a bigger pot or right in the ground
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:20 PM   #10
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We have one Group 2 already. It was a transplant and poorly located (roots in the shade and it grows on the ground to find sun). Pruning isn't a problem as I spend every day out in teh yards doing something (usually tending hops) and I am making a wire trellis this weekend on the face of my old shed.

I want to get a copy of the neighbors Clematis for my wife. When that house was for sale she wanted me to go "steal" the plant and I refused. Now, i am good friends with the Owners so, if need be, multiple cutting til I get a taker won't be an issue.

The lawns and garden are becoming a sort of second hobby of mine and I'd like to fill in some spot with some specimen plantings. If my thumb can do it well enough I may achieve this by taking cuttings here and there. we have a lot of nice plants now that I have only just learned myself on and I think I may be able to help them become better now.

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