Help my plant!!

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by DamienO'Connor, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    okay, i got a cutting from my mums moreton bay fig tree about a week ago. i used plant hormone powder, although at the moment i dont have any good soil mix because im only just starting to grow plants, so i used very ordinary soil i found in her garden.
    ive attached a photo and as you can see over the last couple of days the leaves have started to go brown and dried up a little.
    can someone give me any advice on restoring my plant? help would be appreciated.
    thank you....

    by the way i heard that instead of hormone powder you can soak the cutting in water until it roots - which method is better?
    how long does it take for the plant to root.
     

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  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Damien, sticking a cutting in whatever soil doesn't work very well for most plants. You need to have a sample of smaller, new growth from the ends of branches, and the rooting mix is better if it's a 50/50 mix of perlite and peat (with bits of water added as you stir constantly because the peat takes a while to 'wet' properly) or even all perlite. Then the whole thing should be squeezed out like a sponge til it no longer drips at all. Excess powder needs to be flicked off the (1") dunked part before being stuck 2" into the soil and then a stick 4-5" taller than the pot also put in there to prop up the clear plastic bag you cover it all with. The pot should not be left in the sun because condensation from inside the bag will grow mold instead of a plant, and you should check every couple of days to see if a few drops more of water needs to be added. Some things can even take months to root (trees in partic) so patience is important. It may take a while to get a feel for doing it altogether, so don't be discouraged. Spring is the best time to try (even for indoor plants).
     
  3. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    oh alright, because i cant find perlite should i just use aquarium gravel? is the peat moss/gravel mix basically for all new cuttings/seeds? - so will i repot into an appropriate soil later on. how do i know when to take off the plastic bag? will i keep the plant indoors until then?

    thank you.
    Damien..
     
  4. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    What Rima describes is the ideal procedure for cuttings but I have started lots of cuttings in plain old garden dirt and with no hormone powder at all. But success then depends on selecting plants that root easily, and also mimicking some of the conditions that make special soils so successful - good drainage and air penetration of the soil, I would think. I have no idea how easily figs will root, but even if they're easy I would always take 5 or 6 cuttings rather than just one. For this one, wait and see if new growth emerges from the leaf nodes.
     
  5. grannysmith

    grannysmith Member

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    Hi, fig cuttings usually root easily. Dont be in a hurry to throw this one away. It will drop all the leaves and appear to be dead for quite a while. Then it will suddenly put up new leaves if it is going to grow. In your climate you should have no problems, but as was suggested you should always take several cuttings if you can.
     
  6. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    well thats good then, i didnt really want to end up with more than just one fig tree (im only 15 so i havnt got much space) so will i go with the plastic bag idea for now, and should i repot it into better soil now (or wait till it gets a little healthier)? because i havnt got peat moss at the moment can i use 1/2 potting mix, 1/2 aquarium gravel? (should i continue to use this mix once rooted?) how much should i water the fig at the moment and once rooted?
    thanks again for your help :) :)
     
  7. grannysmith

    grannysmith Member

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    Hi Damien, I would not disturb it now. Just leave it until you can see that it is growing. Then transfer it to a bigger pot with some good potting soil and some slow release fertilizer. The sooner you can get it out in the garden once it is well established, the better it will be. If leaving it in a pot you will need to keep moving it up a pot size as it grows. You can sometimes get rooted suckers from a fig tree, so this migt be another option for you.
     
  8. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    yeah ok, at the moment most of the leaves have fallen of as you said it would, except for the little leaves and sprouts that were there. i am planning on keeping it in a pot. is there any benifits of slow release fertilisers? can i just use like a soluble fertiliser etc. can i mix slow release fertiliser with the soil mix as well as another fertiliser (thrive or something) is a 20-20-20 fertiliser like an all rounder fertiliser (works with most plants) have you got any fertiliser suggestions?
    how long will i have to expect for new growth to appear on the tree?
    when and how much do i water it
    thank you for your help :)
     
  9. grannysmith

    grannysmith Member

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    Dont use any fertiliser until it starts growing. You want it to send out roots looking for food. I use slow release fertiliser once plants are transplanted as it gives them a constant supply of nutrients over an extended period. I use osmacote. You mix it into the potting mix before you put the plant in. You can also use a liquid fertiliser as well if you want. This does help to boost growth and healthy leaves. It is hard to say how long you will have to wait for new leaves. Gardening often requires patience. I grow lots of things from seeds and some of them take 2 years or so to come up, many take at least 1 year.
     
  10. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    ok thank you thats a big help. all the big leaves have fallen off today :( i dont know whether it will survive though. also how much do i water new cuttings. should i put the plastic bag over the plant.
    thanks for your advice...
     
  11. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Don't overwater; probably once every three days is plenty, or even too much. And I doubt it needs a plastic bag. I don't know your climate so I don't know if it's in a hot or cold, heated or unheated environment. But especially when it's hot, the plastic bag will just promote the growth of molds and such.

    As a general rule, though, if this is an outdoor plant in your climate I would plan on growing it outdoors. But if you do want to grow it indoors you should get a book, maybe from the library, on how to grow indoor plants. That will give you info on soil, fertilizers, trimming, seasonal changes, and so on.
     
  12. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    great thank you. i better cut back on watering then. :p
     
  13. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    tomorrow it will be 3 weeks since i first got the cutting from the parent plant. at the moment it has no leaves except for a few dead sprouts on a few branches, how long do i have to wait for it to sprout new growth? (i dont want a stick in some dirt thinking it will grow) i have been keeping my cutting outside on the hot water system where it gets quite a bit of sunlight and then bringing it in at night because it has been cold. is this necessary for next winter when/if the plant develops - is it better to keep it outside during the night? (and are all plants like this?) i have been watering about once a day, ive tried to cut back on watering but the soil dries up quite quickly.
    is everything im doing okay :)
    thanks for your help.
    damien...

    by the way i can send a pic if you want one.
     
  14. andy7000

    andy7000 Member

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    I think it would be more productive if you get a new cutting, but keep this one just in case. To get decent results you should;-

    1) use a peat compost and perlite mix (60/40 peat or just compost).

    2) wound the cutting by slicing just a small section of the bark off where the cutting is in the compost.(sometimes promotes root growth).

    3)use rooting hormone(not totally needed to be successful).

    4) keep cutting at around 21C constantly. Anything less will hinder root growth.(dont let it get too hot it will die).

    5)Water frequently but little water each time, 2-3 times daily should be o.k(just to keep compost moist not wet) DONT let it dry out.

    6) Keep in sunny position but not direct sun.

    Oh and forgot to mention that you can cut the leaves in half to let the cutting conserve water and it will still produce food by photosynthesis giving a better chance of it rooting. As this tree is evergreen the leaves shouldn't fall off but even if they do it still has a good chance of rooting if these methods are followed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  15. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Damien, to figure out what this plant will need once it grows you need to look at some gardening books, ideally Australian ones, to learn what zone you are in and what zones the plant is rated for. If it grows as an outdoor plant in your zone, you can keep it outdoors year-'round, and propagation is best done outdoors too. For common plants you can figure this out by seeing what is growing outdoors around you.

    As for "(i dont want a stick in some dirt thinking it will grow)" I'm afraid this pretty much describes the process of propagating from cuttings :-) but you do develop an eye, with practice, for distinguishing a dead stick from a live cutting, even once autumn hits and leaves drop from even live plants. Key word: "practice."

    And you ask whether you should be bringing it in at night - sorry, most of us probably don't know what constitutes "cold" in your part of the world. But again, it depends on whether this is a hardy outdoor plant for you, which you haven't told us yet. Is your mother's plant outdoors? If it is, the cutting can take the outdoor temperatures.
     
  16. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Figs will root just in water - have you tried that?
     
  17. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    i havn't tried that yet. i wanted to know whether one method is better than the other. if this cutting doesnt survive i might try the water method. do i just use a glass and just put the cutting in there -is there anything i should know? im hoping my cutting that i have now will survive. :)
     
  18. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Yes.. glass/water.
     
  19. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  20. DamienO'Connor

    DamienO'Connor Active Member

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    thanks newt, good information.
     
  21. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Damien, you are very welcome!

    Newt
     

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