Propagation: Mulberry cutting rooting in water- what to do?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by knaderi, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. knaderi

    knaderi Member

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    Hello,

    I got a few mulberry cuttings in August and put the in a jar of water (prepared with willow branches as rooting agent) and kept them inside house. As you can see in the picture the mulberries have rooted .
    What should I do now? It is the beginning of Winter now and I am afraid they might die before the spring arrives when I can transfer them into soil or something.
    Could you please let me know what I should do to keep them alive?

    Best Regards
    Kaz
     

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
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  2. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I've never done them in water (though have seen some sources that do so, at least initially...I've always just rooted hardwood cuttings in perlite) but those white bumps aren't roots--yet--but appear instead are likely either 'root primordium' or swollen lenticles (further info at at http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fig/msg0219043917735.html, for primoridium as well as a discussion of lenticles. The article is about figs, but it's broadly applicable, especially as mulberries are in the same family). They aren't, at this point, roots. I'd suggest you're best served to get them into a rooting medium with bottom heat (though you might find that during the transfer, these sites will be damaged). There's various ways, but one of the best is to lay out a strip of plastic (about 6"-1' wide, maybe a couple of feet long), spread perlite on the surface of the plastic strip (say around 1/4" deep), lay the cuttings gently on the perlite/plastic strip (perpendicular to it, and evenly spaced), and very gently roll the plastic/perlite/cutting bundle up. Wrap the roll with tape or twine, and stand it up (the cuttings sticking out of the top) on a heat table, or somewhere with bottom heat. Leave them alone until later spring, at which time you can carefully unroll the bundle and see how the roots have developed, when they're well established you can pot up.

    High potential along they way for loss, however, so be as gentle as you can with them at this fragile phase, and they might be at this point be too waterlogged and simply rot over the winter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  3. knaderi

    knaderi Member

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    Hello,

    Thanks for your quick response. I went to the garden center in West Vancouver today and they had Vermiculite instead of perlite. Does Vermiculite do the job?
    They also suggested using Stim Root 0.8% rooting powder. They did not have heating table. I am going to check the Garden Works in North Van tomorrow.

    Do you advice using the above?

    Thanks again

    Kaz
     
  4. knaderi

    knaderi Member

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    Hello,

    Thanks for your quick response. I went to the garden center in West Vancouver today and they had Vermiculite instead of perlite. Does Vermiculite do the job?
    They also suggested using Stim Root 0.8% rooting powder. They did not have heating table. I am going to check the Garden Works in North Van tomorrow.

    Do you advice using the above?

    Thanks again

    Kaz
     
  5. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Vermiculite tends to hold too much moisture, unless you get a very coarse grade (which you might have). You could cut it with some very coarse sand if it's the finer stuff, but make sure it's coarse sand: regular sand will fill the air spaces between the vermiculite and reduce the air flow to the roots which is critical. You're aiming for a sterile medium which holds enough moisture, but not too much, which also has good air space for roots to develop. Perlite on it's own usually does it for me, but as mentioned you can make vermiculite work if you pay attention to the requirements just mentioned.

    Heating cables (which would be laid beneath your bundles on the table) seem to be getting hard to find. Hardware stores sell heat cable meant for wrapping around exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing, and in a pinch, one of these could work. Failing that, just put them somewhere where a heater beneath can provide warmth to the bottom of the bundles and watch they don't dry out...
     
  6. knaderi

    knaderi Member

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    Hello, Thanks for all your advice, my mulberry tree cuttings have rooted and I am thinking of transferring them to soil. The water the cutting is in now has a ph level of 6. I have bought an organic potting soil from home depot that has peat moss and perlite in it. Is this soil good? Should i be worried about the ph level of soil? I read somewhere i can replace the water with soil gradually. Do you advise this and if your answer is yes can you please tell me how? Should i use a different medium completely like perlite?
    Maybe i should wait another month or so before i do all the above. I do not know.

    I have attached the picture.

    Thanks for your help
    Kazem
     

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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  7. knaderi

    knaderi Member

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    Anyone has any advice on my last questions? I appreciate it in advance.
     
  8. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd pot the rooted one(s) up now, the mix you've purchased should be fine (though I typically add a bit more perlite to these mixes), just be very gentle with those roots when doing so. I wouldn't get too caught up in pH, as long as the root(s) come through the transplant intact, you should be fine. Bottom heat would be good, if you have (or can find) a heat cable, but not essential.
     
  9. knaderi

    knaderi Member

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    Great, thanks for the response. I will let you know the result by spring.
     

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