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doricdragons

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Reply with quote  #1 
When you are rooting your cuttings do you have them in a warm place or cool place? Do you give them bottom heat or all round heat? Light or dark?

I have several cuttings in a propagator with bottom heat of 19 deg. celsius in clear cups filled with barely moist perlite. Most of them are showing strong roots. The propagator is in a greenhouse, which is vented during the day, to prevent heat spikes.

During the last coùple of days the weather has been quite warm and the leaves on a couple of cuttings grew fast but are now wilting. The rest are fine. I removed some of the leaves to slow down transpiration and have misted them.

Anything else that I can do? I think maybe they should have been kept cooler to stop the leaves breaking too early but this is my first time with hardwood fig cuttings, although I have rooted many other plants.

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Kelo

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Reply with quote  #2 
I started rooting fourteen Kadota's today. I put them in my parrots egg incubator set at 24C which is probably a tad high but there is a thermostat on it that I can change and maintain a steady temperature. They are also sharing grow lights I have for other plants around them. I have several rooting in my frost free greenhouse with my orchids and the cuttings I took last year look as though they are growing well (?) with the first leaves appearing.

Cutting the leaves in half can be done, too, to slow down transpiration.

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doricdragons

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Kelo, the ones that I removed leaves from have perked up again. From searching the forum, most people seem to be rooting, and initially growing on, in plastic crates and relying on heat coming from the surroundings. Maybe figs don't really like bottom heat.

I had hoped that some of those people who have been growing figs for a long time might have helped with some of their experiences on the effect of temperature and light on rooting. I shall just have to experiment.

I will try half the next batch, when they arrive, in a slightly cooler environment and put something over to keep out the light until they root and the other half I will treat the same but give light and see what happens. I am hoping that excluding light and keeping them slightly cooler will delay leafing out until the roots have developed enough to cope.

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"It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won’t hold up the weather." Louis MacNeice
Kelo

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Reply with quote  #4 
I bought a heater for a vivarium off of ebay. They're very cheap and cost pennies to run. If you want to give them light without the heat you can get a 65K cool white CFL bulb and that will help enormously. I use them for growing mangroves under my marine fish tank. I use the equivalent of a 100Watt bulb. I'll PM a link to you.
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jrdewhirst

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Reply with quote  #5 
Heat, yes.  I try for temps in the high 70s F but marginally higher might be better.  Bottom heat may be preferable, as it may give roots a slight edge over leaves.  Search on this thread and you'll find tons of discussion.
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doricdragons

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks Joe, would you keep them covered or allow light? On the ones that wilted the leaves they put out were huge. They had a good set of roots but I think that the big leaves along with the higher temperature caused them to lose too much moisture. Anyway the big leaves have been cut off and the rest of the leaves have now perked up.
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NE Scotland

Wanted:  Gentile, Goutte d'Or, White Marseille, Longue d'Aout, Bourjasotte Gris , Blanche d'argenteuil, Ronde de Bordeaux, anything else suitable for short season area.

"It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won’t hold up the weather." Louis MacNeice
jrdewhirst

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Reply with quote  #7 
I haven't done any scientific research, but I keep the cuttings dark initially.  My assumption (and that's all it is) is that light may encourage leaf growth.  I'd prefer not to have leaves before I have roots.  And anyway, I doubt that light is required for good roots, so it doesn't seem that we'd retard rooting by keeping new cuttings in the dark.

[Someone more knowledgeable may argue that hormones in buds/leaves encourage rooting.  I know that this happens in springtime in plants.  If it also works in cuttings, then you would want to encourage leaf growth.  But I haven't seen any evidence of this interaction in my cuttings.  And you can get the benefit of hormones without leaf growth by using a rooting compound.]

Until there are decent roots, I keep the cutting humid.  But after I've put the cutting in a cup, as soon as I see decent roots at the sides of the [transparent] cup I remove any covering and expose the young cutting to open air.  I figure that the roots have the job of supplying needed moisture.  

Sometimes the transition from humid to dry needs to be gradual if the cutting has leaves.  Pores in the leaves will be open in humid conditions; when conditions becoming dry, it may take a couple days for the pores to close to conserve moisture.  With too quick a transition, you will see wilting.  So you may have to engineer a way to make the transition gradual.  For example, I may open but not remove a cover for a day or two before removing it entirely.  Use the condition of the leaves as a guide -- given any sign of wilting, you will want to increase humidity.  

That all assumes good watering.  Before there are well-developed roots, too much water can cause mold and rot.  But it seems that once a cutting is well rooted (and assuming the potting medium is porous and the pot has drainage holes), you can water without much worry.  And you don't want the roots to dry out.  That will cause wilting just because conditions are too dry.

Hope this helps.

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Joe D
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Reply with quote  #8 
I root at 75 - 82 F.  Those leaves make food for the plant so cutting them off would be a last resort for me.  I don't use a humidity chamber so my leaves are accustomed to the normal environment as they form.  My cuttings are buried in rinsed perlite with just the tip sticking out.   I root in the dark but as soon as leaves start to form they get as much light as I can give them.  If your cuttings have leafed out in high humidity they will require a gentle transition to room air as Joe said.  

Bottom heat and all around heat both work as long as the temperature at the cutting is in the right range.

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Reply with quote  #9 
I've found that some heat really helps. very noticeable, positive effect on rooting. 

One caution... My pre-rooting method now is in a sealed unit so I don't lose moisture. If you're rooting in an open container you'll want to monitor carefully. "Heat" can often come with "dry". I've lost cuttings to this. 

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doricdragons

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thank you so much everyone for your replies, it is very useful to hear about the methods that others use.

I haven't had the lid off the propagator for any longer than it takes to check if anything needs watering, I don't think it is time to do so yet, although I will start opening the vents slowly next week.

We woke up to snow this morning, after a week of windy but mild weather, nothing new there! It will be a while yet before temperatures outside are decent, so even once the cuttings are acclimatised to a bit less humidity (this is Scotland) they will live in my unheated polytunnel.

The cuttings are now looking well. I only removed the huge leaves, they still have plenty of smaller ones, so should be ok for food.

I think the problem may have been too many heat spikes. We had strong sunshine on the days they wilted but I couldn't open up the greenhouse as the wind was too strong and would have torn it to bits. I will make sure to to add shade on similar days in future, until they are bigger.

Thanks again for your help.

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NE Scotland

Wanted:  Gentile, Goutte d'Or, White Marseille, Longue d'Aout, Bourjasotte Gris , Blanche d'argenteuil, Ronde de Bordeaux, anything else suitable for short season area.

"It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won’t hold up the weather." Louis MacNeice
Diamond_72

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hey guys what about underfloor heating inside?

I put my cuttings in spaghnum peat moss in shooeboxes and put it over my underfloor heating inside. Any opinion?


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Kelo

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Reply with quote  #12 
Should work OK.
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Reply with quote  #13 
that's basically what i do. i have forced air gas. i place book over the vent so it doesn't get too hot then the cutting container on top of that.
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figoffrandy

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Reply with quote  #14 
I think my heating mat might overheat my cuttings (inside humidty bin) because I have actually seen better results without the mat, I have pretty good luck at ambient temp of 72ish, but I think a few extra degrees would probably be the sweet spot. However when it comes to sprouting seeds, my heat mat has stuff germinating in 3-4 days!
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Reply with quote  #15 
That could be... This is definitely a relative thing. It depends on how warm the environment is already... In cooler months, I would often need to heat to get to 22C (72F). For me the application of heat has always been beneficial this time of year. My target is about 27C to 30C. I've found that's worked best for most of my cuttings thus far. I suppose it depends on the cuttings as well....
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AZFig

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Reply with quote  #16 
image upload

Yes, good to use lots of heat. Next winter I may purchase a ventless gas heater I can mount on the wall and get rid of my heat mats. The heat mats are good but they dry out the soil too fast.

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Diamond_72

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Reply with quote  #17 
Look I have 20-22C in my environment inside. The underfloor heating produce up to 24C. Now I will give the box every day fresh air and put the lid on th boxes. I hope that is a good approach.
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Kelo

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Reply with quote  #18 
Any heat will be of benefit to cuttings or seedlings and giving them fresh air will also be good for them.
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