General Discussion:

starting cuttings now/how?

Messages posted to thread:

Vic13-Feb-05 06:30 AM EST 2b   
Nancy15-Feb-05 02:14 PM EST 5   

Subject: starting cuttings now/how?
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 13-Feb-05 06:30 AM EST

I lifted a lavender and a scented geranium last fall when frost was arriving. The geranium froze to the ground, but both have grown well under lights this winter. Is it possible to propogate them from cuttings now? How is it done exactly?

Thank you!

Subject: RE: starting cuttings now/how?
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 15-Feb-05 02:14 PM EST

Hi Vic,

It's probably a pretty good time to start cuttings of these.

You will need a sharp knife, clean containers (preferably sterilized with bleach), a light seeding/cutting mix, some rooting hormone (Stimroot 1 should be good) and a plastic bag.

1) Use the knife to remove cuttings about 3 to 4 inches long max. from non-blooming stems. Trim the stem just below a leaf node. Cut off the bottom leaves as close to flush with the stem as possible without damaging the stem (cut - don't rip off the leaves). You'll only want to keep a few leaves on the cutting. If the geranium leaves are fairly large, trim the leaves in half with scissors to reduce the moisture loss from the leaf surface.

2) Prepare your pot with moist cutting mix. Use a pencil or stick to make a hole for the stem.

3) Dip the prepared cutting into your rooting hormone, then tap or blow off excess powder. More is not better and may actually inhibit growth if there's too much. Put into the hole in the cutting mix and firm the mix around the stem. Don't use the stem to make the hole, as that may damage the stem.

3) Put the pot and cutting into the plastic bag and close up the top. Try to keep the bag from touching the cutting. This forms a little greenhouse for the cutting which will help retain moisture until it starts to form roots.

4) Put the bag in bright, but not direct light and wait at least two weeks before you check for root growth. If the cutting gives resistance to a very gentle tug, you have roots formed. Be careful.... if you do it too soon or too hard, you can break off the tiny roots that are just forming. When you have confirmed that there are roots, take the pot out of the bag and you're done! Let the cutting go fairly dry on before you water, or you'll have them rot on you.

Geraniums usually root pretty fast, but I don't have any experience with lavender. Take at least twice as many cuttings as you think you'll need, there's always a pretty hefty attrition rate. Maybe somebody else can add to this.

Good luck and have fun.

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