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I know it was quite some time ago chiral but you wrote that it's better to take

cuttings in cooler months to avoid etiolation. That sounds great but I'm wondering

if the remaining plant then becomes more susceptible to rot. If I take cuttings and

it rains on the open wound is this going to be much of a problem?

The plants are echinopsis/trich.

These plants are in the ground so the only way to avoid them getting wet would be to

cut when the weather looked clear for a couple of days and hope for the best.

Sola

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Generally, city water supplies seem to be on the alkaline side. Get an aquarium test kit and try and drop the pH a point or two to ~6. A small splash of vinegar or lemon juice in a 10 liter bucket seems to do the trick.

Cover black pots in summer time. Roots can get way too hot if in black pots during summer. Wrap them in some white shade cloth and throw some white pebbles on the top of the soil. It will keep the roots cool and keep the bacteria in the soil healthy and happy.

Edited by Dale Cooper
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never ever had any problems with rot...i cut on an angle and in general winters here are quite dry spring is when it rains most i find and humidity and warmer weather encourage rot faster than cool and dry.

:)

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I read on some other forums that roots in pots can get cooked when it gets hot. Makes sense as they dont have the natural insulation of the ground. Does anyone have any experience with this kinda thing happening. I know it doesn't seem to bother cacti too much (bless their spiny little hearts) but a lot of my herbs, acaicas and other ethnos seem to require a lot more care.

Although, i haven't heard of it happening to much, so am i underestimating the power of plants?

cheers

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i often point out the dangers of "cooking the roots", but obviously not often enough, good point yawning man!

the culprit is mostly the morning or afternoon sun, hitting the pots from the side.

this danger can kill a plant or make it struggle a lot, because of the extreems both of heat and waterstress.

than, a person often tries to compensate with more waterings, but that often will only lead to the already damaged roots, to recieve another problem which might be root rot, caused by suddenly too much water.

i use boards of wood to shield the pots, sometimes i use aswell (flat) stones for that.

the lizards love those hiding places, and reward us with eating a pest animal once in a while.

i think i saw them even catching fungus gnats!

another methode could be to fill some more pots with gravel or soil (without plants in them) and put them down as the first row against the sun. morning sun recieving locations are some of the best spots to grow plants, but make always sure the sun doesn't heat up the pots!

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another methode could be to fill some more pots with gravel or soil (without plants in them) and put them down as the first row against the sun. morning sun recieving locations are some of the best spots to grow plants, but make always sure the sun doesn't heat up the pots!

this can also help in colder climates/seasons to keep some residual warmth around your plants at nite as the black pots with gravel retain the heat longer keeping the pots directly adjacent to them warmer at nite.

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Cheers planthelper. I only recently heard of this so was unaware you had posted info about this subject before. Thanks for the ideas, all practical, easy approaches to the problem. I have found the pots to be very hot in the arvo sun, hot enough that it starts to feel painful if you hold on for too long.

Just to add to the collective info here:

When sewing cacti seeds, i lay down a mixture of 50/50 sand and soil, drop the seeds in, then get an old kitchen sieve (sp?) and dust the finer sand and soil particles on top. This way they're just below the surface, can recieve water from the top and easily break the surface.

cheers

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A couple of things i've noticed you may or may not be aware of is that soil wetting agent is just a high dose of dish washing detergent i've been using it for years on my lawn and bonsai works a treat just don't over do it, and also people dont put two and two together but most planter pots are black, and doesnt black attract heat and sunlight, perhaps painting the pots white? or wrap them with white plastic ?

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soil wetting agent is just a high dose of dish washing detergent

Not true. While it may work well in the very short term, dish washing detergent breaks down far too rapidly to be of sustained benefit. Fine for bonsai as you are carefully watering daily and fertilising fortnightly so it's not inconvenient to chuck a squirt into the watering can. But for the garden, a longer lasting synthetic or organic wetting agent is the go. Modern dishwashing surfactants are specifically chosen because they are rapidly decomposed in soil and in waterwater treatment plants.

Good suggestion for keeping the pots cooler.

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Thanks for the heads up, i was just following on advice from an old bonsai teacher of mine, perhaps i'll retort to my old soil wetting agents for the garden beds and lawns :)

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#3 - Propagation (Cuttings):

Generalised Vegetative Propagation Guide:

Just like the seed propagation guide I posted on page 5 of this thread, this is adapted from conventional horticultural industry techniques.

Containers:

The choice of what types of pot should be used depends largely on the type of cuttings you are taking and how many you wish to propagate. For example if you plan to take a number of cuttings I'd recommend using a 5” squat pot, which as the name suggests is a shorter version of the typical 5” pots we're all used to. The main reason for this is for drainage purposes.

If you only plan to take a couple of cuttings then you can use things like those square punnet type containers that are maybe 3” tall or so that you often buy your herbs in at the nursery, and just put one cutting per pot. This is often a beneficial way if the size of your cutting material is quite lengthy.

It is important that if using previously used containers that they are thoroughly cleaned beforehand. If you want to get extra picky then rinse in a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide to sterilise followed by a rinse under water.

Choosing Material:

A lot of the time it is advised to research the correct time of year to propagate the plant your choosing. Whilst not necessary for all plants it is definitely crucial to other plants unless you have an indoor set up where you can control the light cycles. As a general rule of thumb never try to take cuttings of plant approach or currently in the flowering stage of it's cycle.

Also you should research what type of cutting should be taken for the plant of choice. For most things I find semi-hardwood to be what I end up using but it really depends on the plant.

When taking the cuttings it is best to use the healthiest and straightest stems from the plant. Ensure that you use clean and sharp secateurs, and cut it just under a node.

For those who don't know the difference I'll quickly go over the main different types of cuttings you'll need to know..

Soft wood cuttings consist of growth from this season's vegetative growth... to distinguish the difference you just look for the changes in colour and stem texture as you move down the stem. Softwood will usually be green in colour and will start at the tip.

Semi-hardwood is the next part of the stem below the soft wood. It is from the previous season's vegetative cycle and has the first stages of coarser bark material on it.

Hardwood is yet the next stage and is self explanatory.

You might also see the term 'Heel Cutting' around. This is a primarily softwood cutting with a semi-hardwood base. You usually only have about an inch or so at the bottom as semi-hardwood. An example of an ethno that is best propagated by heel cuttings is Brugmansia spp.

Tip Cutting refers to a cutting taken with the growth tip remaining intact, which although is not necessary all the time, it is beneficial when wanting to raise straight tree like plants.

The best time to take your cutting material is early morning whilst it's cooler. If you don't intend to immediately propagate the material taken then it can be temporarily stored in the fridge.

Preparing Soil Mix:

The components used to make a good cutting mix are identical to what is required for your seed-raising mix – only the ratios are different. Cuttings require a much better draining mixture.

Prepare the peat moss the same way by making sure there are no clumps and it is thoroughly moistened. Do not breathe the dust when pouring perlite out and then mist lightly before attempting to distribute through the mixture.

A good general mix to use consists of 1 part Peat Moss, 4 parts Coarse Propagating Sand, and 1 part Perlite.

This is perfect for semi-hardwood cuttings however you may need to alter it slightly for soft or harder material. If using herbaceous tip material you'll want it to hold more moisture so add in an extra part of Peat, and likewise add an extra part of sand for harder material.

Preparing Material:

It is vital that non diseased and healthy material is used. The material should be cleaned and rinsed of any bugs etc.

Leaves and shoots should be taken off majority of the cutting leaving only a couple of leaves at the top. This reduces transpiration loss and thus will reduce stress whilst rooting and give you a better chance of a successful strike rate. If the remaining few leaves are soft and particularly large, it can sometimes be good to cut them in half.

Ensure that the bottom is cut just below a node and not above it. And you will require at least 3 nodes to be present on the cutting (2 to root, 1 shoot).

Hormones:

Some plants don't require hormone at all, and some don't require being propagated by this style of method. Using Brugmansia again as an example, this plant is best propagated by submerging the bottom of the cutting in a few inches of water and left until it develop nodules – then placed straight into potting mix. Sally D is often recommended to be propagated by this method however I've successfully done it both ways.

Majority of plants though need or greatly benefit from rooting hormone... cheap rooting powder is a basic option but when using make sure that the cutting is damp so the powder can stick to it. With this stuff you want the nodes and stem that will be placed under the soil to be nice and consistently coated.

I recommend forking out for a gel product like Clonex (I think its called). That way you can also buy different strengths depending on whether you're using soft, semi-hard or hard material. All you need to do with this stuff is dip the part to be rooted in and away you go.

Making up your pots:

Fill up your pot all so a mound of the medium is present over the top. Press down lightly onto the medium until it is consistently compact and level with the top of the container. Place it on a level surface with drainage (i.e. on top of a rack or upside down seed tray) and water with a can and fine rose attached from above until it has been overflowing for a few seconds and allow to drain completely. This step is important as it moistens the material as well as creates a consistent aeration level throughout the medium.

Pay close attention to the next part of the process because it stops the hormone from getting rubbed off unlike just sticking the cutting into the medium.

Dip your cutting into rooting hormone, holding it in one hand whilst holding in the other a thin wooden stick like a skewer or something.

Use the stick and with a circular motion create a hole in the potting medium approximately the depth of the hormone dipped part of the cutting.

Whilst in the soil tilt the stick gently to create space and insert the cutting in next to it. Remove the stick and gently depress the mix around the cutting down so it's firmly held in place.

If using multiple cuttings per pot then try to keep them equally spaced. A good way to do it is in a semi-circular pattern, that way it's easier to put in the second half of the cuttings without knocking the cuttings around. In a 5” squat pot you can put up to 15 small cuttings in.

Water the same as when you watered the medium previously making sure that it becomes thoroughly saturated.

Follow on:

Keep in a shaded spot and mist cuttings and soil surface adequately a couple of times per day. Depending on size of pot and weather you may need to re-water it properly once every 5-14 days.

Be creative in your ways to attempt to replicate specific conditions suited to the plant in order to increase your strike rate... juice bottle greenhouses for humidity, putting pot in a metal tray and placing on your computer or clothes dryer for bottom heat etc.

The time it takes to root cuttings varies entirely on the plant. Some take days, some take months. Signs of leaf\shoot growth is often a good indicator that the plant has begun rooting.

Transplanting:

Potting up from a cutting per pot is straightforward... gently pour out the contents of the pot, gently shake and brush the roots clean.

When multiple cuttings are in a pot remove like explained in the seed-raising guide using a thin stick to remove them individually without damaging.

Put into pots also like described in previous guide.

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nice writte up indigo!

the nice thing with gardening is that it get's never boring and one always still learns something new.

there are two things i want to stress out as fairly important, when taking cuttings,

first, when you take the cutting material from your mother, store the cuttings in a bucket with water or in a sealable container (take away container) right away!

this will keep them crisp, till you plant them out.

when i prunne back the leaves, again i take the cutting wood out of one bucket or container and place it in another.

the second thing is similar, again it's all about water, don't let your pot's or punnet's containing your cuttings dry out!! if you forget to check on the moisture content, and the medium dries up too much, most cuttings will not strike. some plants are more forgiving, and the already mentioned brugmansias make ideal cuttings for the first timers.

the most common cause for cuttings to fail, is not enough water.

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Ive wondered about that myself (the ACT & SA 'legal to grow' rumours). I think it is more a case of the weed being decriminalised for individual consumers, and if you get busted you will be fined (like a parking ticket) but not formally charged (like you would if you belted someone).

I like WA's 'fine or education session' option if being caught with small qty. Shit, is that a Clockwork-Orange style reprogramming or what ??? Creepy.

I've been in Adelaide over 10 years now, and still wouldn't really know - definitively - whether Cannabis is legal for 'personal use' here, but it doesn't make any difference.. ..glad you asked ..

Whether it's legal or not, police aren't the ones you need to worry about: It's other citizens junping your fence and ripping-up your plants.

While people are willing to jump a property-lines and steal plants, they will be stolen; so everyone still keeps *top-secret* about everything anyway.

Thieves are more a problem than cops, is my point.

..I normally would've worded that much more efficiently, but all the joints again last night seem to have - mm altered my mental agility somewhat.

*drinks coffee*

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#3 seed, cuttings probagation

when i take leaf cuttings, of psychotria, i make sure that all the leaves are placed into the pot's, in exactly the same fashion, meaning all "leaf sails" face the same direction.

when placing the cuttings, i make sure the upper side of the leaves is facing the light.

than when i repot those plants, i will make sure that they get placed, towards the light, in exactly the same fashion as they were before. which in this case is easy, if the leaf is still intact, as it will tell you how the plant was positioned towards the sun or light.

i make sure i do this, with all of my plants, and all of the time when i repot.

i place a marker in the pot which points towards the point of the most light, or i remeber how the plant grew.

why i do this is clear, some plants hate it if, suddenly after repotting, the midday sun is in there backs instead the fronts!!

plants get used to where most sun comes from, and where not.

all leaves are build customs, and leaves build for shade might suffer if the suddenly get too much sun.

another thing which is very easy to do, is to, just simply try again...

if you failed taking cuttings one time, this should never stopp you from trying again.

:)

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Thanks for the tip about light directiom PH :)

I used to rotate a lot of my potted plants 90 degrees weekly... especially when I wanted them to grow a straight upright central stem i.e. when I grew a big Brug cutting as a standard with a nice straight single trunk and a big canopy on top.

--------------------------

Also I don't think it has been mentioned yet but just for noobs to plants I should outline the correct way to write the botanical names.

1. Botanical names should be written in italics, failing that (especially when hand writing) it is permissible to have then underlined.

2. Genus before species obviously. Genus always with first letter capitalised and species first letter under-case - Genus species

3. When referring to a single specimen from a particular genus (like in the case when you don't know the species name) the notation is 'sp.' and is not in italics.... for example "I found a Brugmansia sp. around the corner the other day".

4. When referring to multiple species from a particular genus as a plural the notation is 'spp.' for example "The size and distribution of spines amongst Trichocereus spp. is variable".

5. When writing a particular variation of a species you write 'var.' in normal text and the variant after the species in italics i.e. Acacia longifolia var. sophorae.

6. When specifying a cultivar of a genus the way to present is to put the cultivar name in apostrophes after the genus, in normal text, and each word beginning a capital i.e. Grevillea 'Ned Kelly'. The shorthand when referring to multiple cultivars of a species is 'cvs.' i.e. Syzigium australis & cvs.

7. Cross breeds are notated with an 'x' in normal text between the two species.

8. Sub-species is written following the species notated by 'subsp.' in normal text followed by the sub-species name in italics i.e. Datura innoxia subsp. quinquecuspidata. Once again like with 'spp.' you can refer to multiple sub-species with 'subspp.'.

9. Just like with 'subsp.' there is also such thing as a sub-variant which is written as 'subvar.'.

...that's all I can think of. Feel free to add anything I've missed peoples.

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Actually indigo, the whole binomial (e.g. Homo sapiens) is the species name, not just the second (e.g. sapiens) bit. the second bit is actually the 'specific epithet'. however as you may be able to see by my lack of use of italics, i dont actually care about all this fiddly bullshit :P

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Excuse me all, I didn't bother reading the other posts but I'll post anyway. Excuse the double posts if they are any at all.

One naughty naughty plant I've observed that it is in Australia is Kalanchoe Delagoensis, or Mother of Millions as it is more commonly known. I believe it is ranked weed in Australia and most people are quite annoyed and cursed much on this plant. From where I come from, very few have even seen this plant.

Back to Australia, this horrible weed is very hard to control since it just produces plantlets over and over and over again for its whole life. I have not dealt with this kind of plant as a weed but as an ornamental instead but I may be able to hand you out some tips and tricks.

This plant is not sensitive to water and when you try to cut it it will most certainly grow even more shoots of stems from where it was cut so this is not advisable at all. Watering doesn't help at all as well. This plant requires much water to reproduce properly and effectively. A way to get rid of this plant totally is to pull as much plants of the species as possible, cut off the roots and "accidentally" rot the plants by putting them on wet soil, since they cannot reproduce when they have rotten.

Preventing its growth is an entirely different matter, of course. Like most weeds, the plantlets cannot grow is there is too little space because of other species growing round it or this is too little light and water for it to reach.it best to totally cover the field with other plants that you need to grow and just let them overgrow the K.D.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Volle

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#3 probagation and cuttings:

when taking cuttings, and using a rooting hormone (powder or gel), don't dip the cuttings into the original container/sachet, but rather clean a bottle cap, and than, put a little bit of your hormone into the very same!

like this, you don't pollute, your original hormone, and your plants and your wallet, will thank you.

if it's powder, clean a peanut butter jar, dry it proper, and than store the sachet with the hormone, inside and close firmly.

never breath in the powder, a person, i respect a lot (knows a lot) said once to me, i think i'm gay, because i was exposed to hormones a lot when young.

don't interpretate this wrong, i like gay people.

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It is good to be careful about accidentally inhaling rooting hormones,

Perlite dust, silica sand dust, and of course, pesticides......

There are many potential dangers in horticulture!

Edited by shonman

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Maybe somebody should chop this thread in half and leave only the gardening tips bit...? The first half seemed to be just random jibber-jabber, and the OP has been blanked out entirely :-/

Aaanywho, my gardening tip, that I just worked out today - SIFT YOUR POTTING MIX!

I would have been doing this all along if I knew how much shit was in there. It was around about 30% mulch - actual hard chunks of wood and bark that had not decomposed at all. So yeah, my advice would be to get one of those $10 plastic garden soil sieves and have at it. The mix at the end of that was gorgeous, and you can then still add your own inorganic/inert drainage materials that aren't gonna encourage the wrong kind of bacteria and fungi. Bellisimo!

Edited by gtarman
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A lot of potting mix, in some cases is BS wood chips.
Those just rob the soil of nitrogen.
Sometimes, potting mix, is bark, moss and various crap.

Edited by shonman

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Just thought I should add to the discussion re the "rumours" ...I'm pretty certain it use to be legal to grow plants in SA 15-20 years ago. It was based on the number of plants permitted per person. I think this was abused however, for example, 6 people living in a house but only one smoked weed, you see how it didn't really work that well...

Pretty sure the ACT has never had a similar law, they just allowed xxx pornography and fireworks long after their ban elsewhere...

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