Hardwood Cuttings

by Sandra
(Zone 5 USA)

My husband is getting ready to make me a bubbler (rubbermade tote, air stones,..) The primary use for this is for me to propagate mostly woody shrub and tree cuttings, possibly some soft stemmed herbaceous perennials as well. I am a bit confused, as somewhere in my various readings on different sites and forums, I read that you should not use any nutrient solution until your cuttings get white roots. Meaning, use just plain water, I guess, or maybe with some B-12 in it?

Do you have any experience growing woody cuttings? If so, can you help me with the process? How long would the cuttings need to stay before they could be potted up into soil? Jason, you have the best site of all I have visited, looking for hydro info! Thanks for your site, your time is really appreciated!

Answer: Sandra- it is true nutrient salts tend to prevent new roots from poking out on a cutting....but B1 is not a nutrient. B1 is both a vitamin and a growth hormone for the roots. I believe it makes the cuttings root a little faster.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of experience with hardwood cuttings. When using Dip-n-Grow, I know you are supposed to leave hardwood cuttings in the cloning solution for much longer than the softwood cuttings. I imagine the cuttings would take longer to root, also. From other cloning experience, I would guess to leave the hardwood cuttings in the cloner until they put a couple roots out....how long that would be I couldn't say!

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Apr 04, 2010
Number of Plants in Hydroponic System
by: rik

How many plants you intend to grow? He might want to build a few small units. I have found some plants roots may be much slower growing than others. The plant height you should consider. Depending on your light choice, tall plants will benefit (if not burned). Shorter ones will suffer, lacking the necessary light needed.

Apr 04, 2010
Woody Cuttings
by: Sandra

I should have titled my original question "woody cuttings" instead of hardwood cuttings, as that's what I meant. I would appreciated anyone who has experience using the deep water (rubbermaid tote/bubbler unit) to root shrub cuttings to tell me anything and everything they can. I am going to be trying it soon and know nothing. For instance, regarding the timing of cuttings, how long till rooting in general, lights, success with what shrubs (or not), all that. Thanks so much!

Answer: Sandra- I see no reason the totes/bubbler method would not work for woody cuttings (like shrubs). Dip-n-Grow has directions just for woody cuttings, but I've always preferred a cloning gel (which should be just as effective without having to soak the cutting for several minutes). Try to duplicate whatever light conditions the shrubs normally prefer--fluorescent lights about three inches above the cuttings is usually OK. The harder the cutting, the longer it will take to root....so be patient- maybe two or three weeks, but it's just a guess. As far as timing, just make sure the shrubs are in the vegetative state when you take the cuttings (13+ hours of daylight outdoors).

Apr 04, 2010
Hydroponic System Manifold Question
by: rik

I have used a "T" for the water being pumped in a drip manifold (sold at any hardware store). Run the 1/4 inch hose to the top of the plant. Experimenting with sprayers to drip nozzles. It helps speed up the process of root growth.

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