Plant Propagation from Cuttings using Rooting Hormones by HortusUSA
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Control of the Propagation Area

Inspection
Rooted cutting care
Light
Water content of media
CO2 & oxygen
Air circulation & temperature
Fertilization
Insect & disease control
Misting

Raising selected stock plants under controlled conditions is important. When growers give their stock plants proper care, the plants will produce the best cuttings. ‘Just taking’ cuttings from random ‘field plants’ leads to marginal results. The same way, control of the propagation house is equally important to the propagation of new plants. Always perform your own trials for your own plants, in your own facility, before doing large scale production.
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INSPECTION
•   Growers must inspect their crops regularly to observe both intended and undesired results.
•   Records should be kept that include information of the methods, materials, and plants used, and the quality of stock plants and cuttings.
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ROOTED CUTTING CARE
•   Early stage treatment of the cutting crop is essential to produce high quality finished plants.
•   Do not allow the rooted cuttings to become over-rooted, dried-out, crowded or under-fertilized. These situations may reduce plant growth.
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LIGHT
•   Growers should regulate the propagation house so that the cuttings are not under direct sunlight. The effect of direct sunlight and the resultant heat will cause stress to the cuttings.
•   Light is necessary for photosynthesis. Un-rooted cuttings are not able to engage in much photosynthesis; a small amount of light, 100-125 um PAR light, during the rooting process is sufficient. It is important at this stage is to provide a long period of light. A photo-period of 16-18 hours is adequate.
•   Artificial lights are useful to extend natural daylight hours.
•   Natural lighting or artificial lights may cause a rise in ambient temperature. Growers must control the growing area to avoid high temperatures from light sources.
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WATER CONTENT OF THE MEDIA
•   A plant must have a good root system in order for it to absorb water.
•   Water is crucial while the cuttings begin to form roots. If the substrate that is too dry, the plant will have cell death. Dead cells increase the risk of rot.
•   A very dry substrate encourages callus formation. Although many believe that callus is beneficial for root formation, this is not true. The callus hinders and slows root formation.
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CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) IN AIR & OXYGEN IN MEDIA
•   Photosynthesis is important for cuttings. Photosynthesis requires sufficient carbon dioxide (CO2), light, and water. An advantage of an increased level of CO2 in the air is that it reduces the transpiration, loss of water, through the plant. Cuttings in an environment with sufficient light and an increased CO2 level (800-1000 ppm) will form roots better. CO2 can be controlled using special generators.
•   Oxygen is necessary for cell division and crucial for root formation. Growers must stick the cuttings into a substrate that has a structure which is sufficiently open to allow air, containing oxygen, to reach the developing roots. Dense media inhibits oxygen stimulation.
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AIR CIRCULATION & TEMPERATURE CONTROL
•   Good air circulation is necessary when rooting un-rooted cuttings.
•   Shade to approximately 50% light conditions, or as required, to reduce temperature during high heat periods.
Soil Temperature
•   Soil temperature has a direct influence on the speed of rooting.
•   A soil temperature ranging between 68-77F is ideal during the initial rooting stage. After this initial stage, growers can allow the temperature to drop a few degrees.
Air Temperature
•   To prevent excess transpiration, controlling the temperature is important. To reduce aerial growth, air temperature should be a bit lower than soil temperature. The cuttings should be encouraged to use their energy mainly for developing roots. Above ground growth will come later.
Light and Temperature Relationship
•   During the winter, when there is a low level of natural light, with no artificial lights, use a lower temperature.
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FERTILIZATION
•   Follow fertilizer label instructions. Growers should fertilize un-rooted cuttings during propagation.
•   Apply a complete N-P-K fertilizer. For many plants, use a fertilizer containing 300 ppm of nitrogen approximately two to three times a week. Start on the third day after sticking or when the callus is starting to form.
•   Quality can suffer if the roots become rootbound.
•   Fertilize the cuttings when planting. Apply liquid fertilizer solutions at a rate of 300 to 400 ppm immediately after planting.
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INSECT AND DISEASE CONTROL
•   Good cultural practices and clean, well-ventilated growing space are your best defense against disease.
•   Botrytis, the chief fungal threat, thrives in a moist, stagnant environment. Good air circulation and adequate light will reduce its harmful effects. Apply appropriate fungicides, insecticides, and other control products following label instructions. Humidity
•   Un-rooted cuttings must receive the highest amount of humidity.
•   Temperature influences the ambient humidity.
•   When the first roots appear, the humidity can be lowered; the rooted cuttings can adapt to the surroundings better.
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MISTING GUIDELINES
Apply mist immediately and frequently to maintain turgidity and minimize wilting while roots develop. Misting systems are made by Phytotronics.
1-3 DAYS AFTER STICKING
•   Mist during daylight hours in all stages and the night for the first 3-4 days helps keep the cuttings turgid for optimum rooting.
•   Mist 10 seconds every 5-10 minutes.
4-7 DAYS AFTER STICKING
•   Callus is being formed.
•   Mist 10 seconds every 20 minutes.
8-15 DAYS AFTER STICKING
•   Roots are being formed.
•   Mist 10 seconds every 30 minutes.
•   Depending upon the plant variety, under ideal conditions, mist can be off 10 days after sticking.
AFTER 14 DAYS
•   Fast rooting cuttings can be ready to plant.
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Introduction to Plant Propagation from Cuttings:
Site_Map   Introduction   DISTRIBUTORS 
Products:  Hortus_IBA_WaterSolubleSalts(20%)    RhizoponAA_DryPowder_RootingHormones   
Rhizopon_AA_WaterSolubleTablets
Methods:  Foliar_Methods-Overview    Total_Immerse_Method    Spray_DripDown_Method   
Basal_Methods-Overview    Basal_QuickDip_Method    Basal_Long_Soak_Method  
Dry_Dip_Method
    Rose_Ideas    TheCuttings
Rates:  Rates-Foliar    Rates-Basal_QuickDip    Rates-Dry_Dip    Rates-LongSoak
Other Information: Making_RootingSolutions-How_Much_Do_I_Need?
HortusUSA_CONTACTS