A "root conundrum"....

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Here is a situation that has me puzzled and I am asking around to see if there are any answers.

1. Involves the same genus - Hoya.
2. Involves two countries: Australia and USA (Hawaii)

Problem: Cuttings from one of the country's growers root immediately after a long distance trip. The other growers' cuttings almost never root (not anyone in the usual thread of suppliers...just a little choice grower around here). This has been going on for years...and I cannot figure out why.

Both growers have beautiful plants. Both growers fertilize regularly and water as should be.

What would be the cause of the difference in the ability to root?

Carol

Thumbnail by AlohaHoya
Kea'au, HI

This is a wild guess - the long distance grower dips his cuttings into a rooting promotion chemical to hedge his bets, and the local grower doesn't.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

No...I don't think so. Could be that the hard to root cuttings are from plants low on calcium?

noonamah, Australia

I thought that phosphorus was a main root promoter.

Kailua Kona, HI(Zone 11)

i have been getting a large amount cuttings from my neighbors some grow some don't, everythings supper clean new soil new flats.last week I was watering cuttings after watering noticed that i watered with RO water, three days later new growth on all cuttinds and both pineapple tops in water clean out the old tap water refilled with RO water roots everywhere.after three day and no mold.

Keaau, HI

Hey Carol, what is a Conundrum, and where can I get one?

Is it possible that one grower lives in a dry climate, and the other is in a wet climate?

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Australia is N. Queensland with a definite wet and dry seasons. The other grower is on the E. side of the island... Nah, I think it is nutritional. Calcium for cell structure...Phos. a good possibility too... HMMM

I have a number of conundrums, Dave...you are welcome to any of them!!!! lol

noonamah, Australia

David Liddle is out from the rainforest and is in a bit of a rain shadow. Not sure of his actual rainfall, but it's less than Kuranda which is just up the road from him.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

I don't know that temps and rainfall have that much to do with the ability of a plant's cuttings to root. I talked with the PhD in plant pathology today and he hadn't a clue!!! Talked with a local guy (also UofH) who is a plant pathologist and also an orchid grower and he felt it was more nutritional on the part of the mother plant. I, actually, have had better rooting success with almost anyplant I root...even my own...grown in the same environment!

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Hey girlfriend!

I know this sounds kind of silly...but I also know that it has a basis in truth: Perhaps the cuttings were taken at different phases of the moon. Some efficacious, and some not so much. Just throwing out my 2 ruppia.

Laugh if you wish, but it works!

Dave, I have a few extra conundrums and an enigma or two I would be happy to send your way...let me know.

Yokwe,
Shari

This message was edited Jul 8, 2009 9:35 AM

Keaau, HI

Sure, I'll take the conundrums and enigma, but only if they root easily!

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Are you kidding??? Just look at them with a particular gleam in your eye, and off they go! Some get so big that you would swear that they were grown in a quandry! Best thing ever for growing labyrinths and cryptograms though.

Yokwe,
Shari

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

I have the toughest time keeping my quandry clean! Have found that soaking it in oxymorons helps, but only when they are home.

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

I empathize Carol...it is tough keeping those critters around! Hanging some military weed or govormentus beaurocratis does help somewhat. My oxymrons are always out playing with the anacronyms from next door. I must admit though that I hadn't thought to use them on the quandry! Great idea!

Yokwe,
Shari

Keaau, HI

I have Cryptograms and they're doing quite well!

Thumbnail by Metrosideros
Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Well Carol, I find if you take your quandry to the dry humour cleaners things turn out much better.

Wayne and I find that temperature makes a huge difference when we do cuttings. Our best cutting time is late spring when there is more light, a little humidity, and still fairly cool. 80's day time 60's night time.

Keaau, HI

Above 60 F and below 80 F seems right for tropical cuttings to root.

mulege, Mexico

I have read that cutting the slip under water with a drop of Superthrive helps. When cut in the air it can get an air bubble. Probably another viscous rumor.

kb

Keaau, HI

Hey Katiebear, that sounds like the lore about Roses.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Carol, try a bubbler on the cutting and see if it does anything...
put cutting in cup, then a small aquarium pump with the hose in the water...delivers o2...have had some success using this in the past.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

We are talking about a number of folks with the same problems with the same growers....and we are all over the US....can't be coincidence.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

ooooh..secret no propagation sauce...I get it

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

I think I have been told the answer....or close to it. This came from one of the Extension Agents who deals with the cut flower industry...

Carbohydrates are built up in the plant as a part of photosynthesis... When a cutting is made, the carbs/hormones rush down the cutting to store at the node at the bottom of the cut (where the roots will be formed) and at the cut end of the mother plant to make new growth. When a plant is cut consistently and often, the mother plant is depleated of carbohydrates...and she cannot 'do her job'. The solution is to give that plant a rest...months to a year...to build up the supply of carbohydrates.

In our 'situation', the grower in Austrailia was coming off summer and the plants were slowing down growth. There is a good concentration of carbohydrates.

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Fascinating! And it makes perfect sense. Thank you Carol for posting the answer...good info for all of us who make/take cuttings. Carbs...who woulda thunk it?

Yokwe,
Shari

noonamah, Australia

So no Atkins diet for Hoyas? ;O)

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

I've written to David Liddle to see what he says...it would explain alot.

Keaau, HI

Hey Carol!

That is a very descriptive explanation of how cuttings make roots. And good evidence for feeding plants!

Cuttings are always more successful during the Spring flush of growth.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Dave... a further question to this question: By increasing the IMO in the soil to raise the 'brix' of vegetables, I add Molassas in water with Fish Fert or Chicken Poop. Raising the brix is raising the sugar content, right? So would that same process raise the carbs in the plants?

Carol

Keaau, HI

Hi Carol, plants take Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen from air and water and manufacture carbohydrates. They are convenient little factories, producing 10 times more carbs than they need to survive; this allows us to eat!
I don't know that adding carbs to the soil would increase carb production in a plant though. Molasses provides a good source of potassium, iron, and calcium for plants. The carbs might stimulate bacteria and mycorrhizae in the soil, which would help the plant.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

HAHA....I was running around worried about all the 'white fuzzy mold' in my vegie bed when someone told me people kill for that sort of thing!!! Shudda thought of that...as the vegies grow like gangbusters!!! I think maybe I will try it anyone...on two plants: one with/one without.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Little late coming in (what's new - LOL) fascinating conversation though...would love to hear how that experiment goes, Carol. God knows I have enough fish emulsion and black strap molasses sitting on my counter....part of that witches brew cocktail the plant enjoy....

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