Plant Propagation from Cuttings using Rooting Hormones by HortusUSA
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Selecting & Care of Cuttings used to Propagate Plants

Cutting Types     Cutting Care   Cutting Selection

SELECT THE BEST POSSIBLE STOCK PLANTS
• The best stock plants produce the best cuttings used for propagation. During each growing cycle, growers must select plants that exhibit the best growth characteristics; these are selected as ‘stock plants’.
• ‘Off-shore’ cuttings are from selected and maintained stock plants. The same selection process can be done at one’s own growing facility.

JUVENILE CUTTINGS
• Cuttings taken from the juvenile parts of many plants can better produce roots compared to older parts.
• Shoots at the tops of the plant are physiologically older (more mature) than the shoots at the bottom of the plant (more juvenile).
• The top shoots have the characteristics of the more mature parts of the plant from which they originate.
• Juvenile cuttings require lower plant rooting hormone rates compared to the ‘older’ cuttings.
• To maintain juvenility, annual and perennial cuttings should be taken from young stock plants. These stock plants, often a half year old, are used to produce the next generation stock plants from current cuttings.
• For woody plants ‘hedging’ can be done.
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THE 'BEST' TIME TO TAKE CUTTINGS
• Some plants, especially those which go dormant, have different rooting ability at different times of the year.
• Timing of a few weeks in taking of cuttings may have success or failure.
• After maturing to a certain age, often years, cuttings taken from certain plants may not be able to produce roots.
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TYPICAL TIMING TO TAKE CUTTINGS
• Herbaceous cuttings from greenhouse crops, annual and tropical plants: anytime.
• Deciduous and evergreen plant cuttings: early summer through early fall.
• Dormant hardwood cuttings: fall or winter.
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PREPARATION AND CARE OF CUTTINGS
Before taking cuttings, stock plants must be provided with good light and fertilization. This will boost stored carbohydrates used to feed the newly formed roots.
• Herbaceous plant cuttings should be treated and stuck soon after being taken. To prevent heat damage, in hot climates cuttings are put in coolers soon after being cut. Perennial and annual cutting suppliers may have offshore stock plant nurseries. When shipped, cuttings from these nurseries are kept chilled during transit using special cartons that protect the cuttings from temperature variation. The cuttings are packed in plastic bags to assure continued hydration. Shipping time is kept short, assuring prompt arrival at the rooting facility. Certain plants do not ship well; to assure propagation success, those stock plants should be grown near the rooting faculty.
• Winter woody cuttings taken in the fall can be treated with rooting hormones, kept in plastic, stored in cold storage, then planted-out in the spring.
• Growers usually take plant shoot cuttings from plant growth of the current growing season. Generally, thin cuttings will root more easily than thick cuttings. No one cutting type is useful to propagate all plants.
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USE PLANT ROOTING HORMONES.
• Do inspection.
• Reduce wilting during rooting.
• Maintain the appropriate environmental controls.
• Practice good sanitation.
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HANDLING OFF-SHORE UN-ROOTED CUTTINGS
• After receiving cuttings from off-shore sources, open all boxes immediately. Inspect the un-rooted cuttings for damage, dehydration, heat or freeze damage, breakage or rot.
• Report any missing items or damaged cuttings to the vendor. Do not allow the boxes to remain in sunny or hot places, or below freezing temperatures.
• Growers should stick the un-rooted cuttings into pre-moistened, well drained, soil-less media with 5.5-6.5pH. If it not possible to stick the un-rooted cuttings immediately they can be held for several days in a cooler between 35-45F. The cuttings will deteriorate rapidly at warm temperatures.

WOUNDING
• Hardwood cuttings may root better if a 1/2 to 3/4 inch long notch, “wound,” is made at the basal end before applying the plant rooting hormone.
• Tropical and other herbaceous cuttings are not 'wounded'.
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MEDIA
• Stick cuttings as soon as possible after either taking cuttings or receiving off-shore cuttings.
• Use pre-moistened, well drained, soil-less media with 5.5- 6.5 pH. ‘Airy’ media allows oxygen to stimulate root growth.
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STICKING DEPTH
• Stick the cuttings just deep enough that the medium anchors them. Thin cutting may be stuck 1/4-1/2 inch deep.
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TRAY SIZE AND DIRECT STICKING
• Tray sizes range from 36 to 128 cell. Larger cells are used for cuttings scheduled to remain in the starting tray longer. Un-rooted cuttings can also direct stick in the finishing container or sometimes beds.
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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?
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