Thursday, January 31, 2013

Making More Fuschia

With a mind to filling my window baskets, pots, and planters last fall, I saved several plants to propagate this year. One is a fuschia with a bloom something like the one pictured above.

I take a tip or stem cutting about 3" long. When taking this cutting, I try to make as nice diagonal to the stem cut so to expose as much of the thin cambrium layer as possible. I remove the bottom few leaves, any of the leaves on the bottom inch or so of my cutting. Alternately, I rip off a heel cutting growing from the main stem.

I prefer to let the natural plant enzymes released by the act of cutting the plant induce its need to repair itself by growing roots. As soon as possible, I dip the freshly injured stem into some rooting hormone. You can also use an infusion of willow stems smashed with a hammer in warm water as a natural rooting hormone. My choice is Rootone. I shake out a little into a container, this time an egg carton, rather than contaminate a whole bottle. I try not to use water as a wetting agent as it washes away the natural enzymes.

Before dipping in the rooting powder I trim off about 2/3 of the remaining leaves by clumping them between my forefinger and thumb
I use a cooking skewer as my dibbit to make a hole for the stem. I insert the cutting and press the soil down around it with my fingers. When I have filled a tray, often using 2-3 cuttings per pot, I spray with water to further insure good soil stem cutting contact.

Cuttings prepared this way root very quickly with bottom heat on my lighted grow rack. When the top grpwth begins the stem will have formed and callus. Within a few days, roots will begin to form around the callus. Within a month with lighting most cuttings can be transplanted to larger containers.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful tips. I tried this in Wisconsin and had success with it. Here in Tucson, these plants fry up once summer starts up:)