Cutting variables

grog

Shohin
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I've been starting my cuttings in a steam heated greenhouse in sand beds. The steam runs underneath, gives some nice bottom heat. Cuttings generally strike very well.
Started running out of room in the little corner I've allotted myself so I thought I'd try some at home. I took some willow leaf ficus, hibiscus, and bougainvillea cuttings and stuck them in a mostly oil-dri mix under fluorescent lighting. I have a warm air humidifier running nearby and two humidity trays for some other tropicals.
That was about three weeks ago and I checked some tonight. Soft, soggy stems for the most part with a few having some white powdery gunk on them, mold/mildew presumably. I remember reading in several different places a mix like this along with sufficient humidity and lighting would be optimal for cuttings. So I'm unsure about which of the variables affected the outcome but most notable differences are the rooting media and bottom heat.
I'm going to bring some benjamina cuttings home from the greenhouse and try them in the same medium but with bottom heat and try some others with the unsifted sand from the cutting beds at the greenhouse also with bottom heat. I suppose for the sake of thoroughness I'll do a mix of the sand and oil-dri.
I'm predicting the pure sand to do best based on what works at the greenhouse (and how bad this batch did) but it'll be interesting to see what happens
 

Tachigi

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in a mostly oil-dri mix under fluorescent lighting. I have a warm air humidifier running nearby and two humidity trays for some other tropicals.
I'm wondering Grog what the condition of the oil dry was when you checked last night. Was it saturated with water?
 

grog

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The oildri was moist but not wet. I used a cell-pack type tray for the cuttings, each "cell" having its own drainage hole. I basically just wet the cuttings when the top was visibly dried out. I hadn't really considered that as a factor much despite the obviously rotted stems since drainage appeared to be pretty fast. However that may be something else to consider. Thanks for the thought Tachigi.
 

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