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Old April 18, 2018   #1
JerryHaskins
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Default Rooting cuttings in plain water?

I have seen folks root cuttings in plain water over the years.

But I have several books on plant propagation that discuss various rooting techniques---but none mention rooting in water.

Nor do any of the Youtube rooting videos I have watched mention rooting cuttings in water.

What I have seen is (mostly ladies) who took a cutting from a plant and stuck it in a glass or something filled with water and left it on the window sill.

Pretty soon there were lots of roots.

Then they stuck the rooted cutting in a pot.

Anybody know about how to do that or why it does not get discussed?

Just curious.

Thanks.
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Old April 18, 2018   #2
Worth1
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It gets discussed here all the time and it works just do it.
If I root I do it in very moist soil because that is what most plants live in.
Not water.
If you want to see the roots do it at the very edge of a clear container so you can see the stem.
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Old April 18, 2018   #3
clkeiper
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It can work but I never do it. the roots are very brittle due to a lack of oxygen while growing and tend to just rot off when I plant them up. I use rooting compound and a heavy on vermiculite media mix... not vermiculite.
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Old April 18, 2018   #4
rxkeith
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i usually will root in water, at least until i see the start of roots forming. you don't need a jar full of roots.

my mind thinks that if you just stick a stem in dirt, it will shrivel up and die before new roots will have a chance to grow.
now, if you have a stem that has root bumps on it already while attached to the plant, i would be more confident of quick root growth than i would from a smooth stem cutting.
what i need to do to prove to myself it works, is start a cutting in moist media, and skip the water step altogether.
there is always more than one way to do things in the gardening world. success happens because of our efforts, and sometimes in spite of our efforts.


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Old April 18, 2018   #5
Labradors2
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I love to root things in water so that I can check on the progress. Word is that roots formed in water are different to those formed in soil and that it's not the best thing to do, but I've never had any trouble with plants transitioning from water to soil. Tomatoes are really easy to root!

The exception to the above was when I bought a two-pack of rooted lettuce, grown hydroponically. It turned out to be several plants which were very root-bound in their tiny little pots. I dumped each clump into a pot of soil and shocked them immensely, so that I figured they wouldn't even survive. I had some die off, but 2 weeks later, they seem to be doing really well and I now have some cut-and-come-again lettuce growing on my kitchen windowsill .

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Old April 18, 2018   #6
Dutch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxkeith View Post
i usually will root in water, at least until i see the start of roots forming. you don't need a jar full of roots.

my mind thinks that if you just stick a stem in dirt, it will shrivel up and die before new roots will have a chance to grow.
now, if you have a stem that has root bumps on it already while attached to the plant, i would be more confident of quick root growth than i would from a smooth stem cutting.
what i need to do to prove to myself it works, is start a cutting in moist media, and skip the water step altogether.
there is always more than one way to do things in the gardening world. success happens because of our efforts, and sometimes in spite of our efforts.


keith
Yep!
"more than one way to do things in the gardening world"
"success happens because of our efforts and"
"sometimes in spite of our efforts"
Dutch
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Old April 18, 2018   #7
brownrexx
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I broke one of my tomato plants last year when transplanting and didn't have a back-up so I placed it in a jar of plain water and it rooted fine and grew into a really nice productive plant in my garden.

Mom always rooted her forsythia plants in plain water and she planted an entire hedge of them with no problems.

Sometimes people like to make things more complicated than they need to be.
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Old April 18, 2018   #8
JerryHaskins
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Thanks everybody for the great replies! This forum is the best!

I think I will try rooting some lantana cuttings in water.

The only thing I see as a potential problem is the inability to use powdered rooting compound if the stem is in water. I suppose the rooting powder would wash off . . . maybe not.
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Old April 19, 2018   #9
Cole_Robbie
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If you have a willow tree around, they contain a naturally occurring rooting hormone. Here is one link about making "willow water" for rotting purposes: https://preparednessmama.com/willow-rooting-hormone/

Alternatively, powdered hormone is cheap, and using it with some sort of plug that the roots can grow into will give you very good results. Then you plant the plug, and that avoids the problem mentioned above of the roots collapsing. Plugs can be made of rockwool, coco peat, or just a bit of moist pro mix. Anything can work as rooting media, as long as it holds air and water.
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Old April 19, 2018   #10
AlittleSalt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryHaskins View Post
Thanks everybody for the great replies! This forum is the best!

I think I will try rooting some lantana cuttings in water.

The only thing I see as a potential problem is the inability to use powdered rooting compound if the stem is in water. I suppose the rooting powder would wash off . . . maybe not.
Jerry, - Lantana - you just caught my attention. I am very interested in knowing your results.

I successfully rooted up a lantana cutting using potting mix that I kept wet, but not super wet. I just used a 16 oz. party cup and bottom watered just like potted up tomato plants.

The smaller lantanas are generally hybrids. Growing from cuttings is a good idea.
The larger lantanas are native from Texas through the warm areas in Mexico and south America. They are drought tolerant. (I'm not sure about the small hybrids?)

We bought four different colors of lantanas this year and will be planted out today, April 19th. We are going to try rooting some of those when they grow big enough.
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Old April 20, 2018   #11
JerryHaskins
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Originally Posted by AlittleSalt View Post
Jerry, - Lantana - you just caught my attention. I am very interested in knowing your results.

I successfully rooted up a lantana cutting using potting mix that I kept wet, but not super wet. I just used a 16 oz. party cup and bottom watered just like potted up tomato plants.

The smaller lantanas are generally hybrids. Growing from cuttings is a good idea.
The larger lantanas are native from Texas through the warm areas in Mexico and south America. They are drought tolerant. (I'm not sure about the small hybrids?)

We bought four different colors of lantanas this year and will be planted out today, April 19th. We are going to try rooting some of those when they grow big enough.
Thanks. Will try to post results. I have rooted New Gold, Sun Rise, and Sun Set lantana in the past. I did that in potting soil, and it was pretty easy.

My problem has been that they root, then I repot the little plants in 6-inch pots. But by the time they are large enough to set out in the yard, it is getting too hot and dry (around July) to do so.

So I try to overwinter them in pots. I don't have a greenhouse; so they freeze.

Here in zone 8 lantana in my yard dies back to the ground every winter but comes back great in the spring. My New Gold lantana is already blooming. My Sun Rise and Sun Set has leafed out but is not blooming yet.
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Old April 20, 2018   #12
JerryHaskins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
If you have a willow tree around, they contain a naturally occurring rooting hormone. Here is one link about making "willow water" for rotting purposes: https://preparednessmama.com/willow-rooting-hormone/

Alternatively, powdered hormone is cheap, and using it with some sort of plug that the roots can grow into will give you very good results. Then you plant the plug, and that avoids the problem mentioned above of the roots collapsing. Plugs can be made of rockwool, coco peat, or just a bit of moist pro mix. Anything can work as rooting media, as long as it holds air and water.
Great info regarding plugs!

Thanks for the tip.

I have some rooting hormone and have used it in the past.
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