Rooting orange tree cuttings?

I have rooted lots of plants and shrubs like Oleander. Now I am trying to get some orange tree cuttings to root. I cut off a growing branch end several inches long at a diagonal, and remove the leaves. Then I dip the freshly cut end in rooting hormone powder, then stick it in a 6 in pot with miracle gro, sand, peat moss. They all are turning completely black, like they are surely dead. How do you get these rooted?
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Jim Caldwell wrote:

First of all, citrus is usually propagated by grafting the desired variety onto seedling root stock.
More important, the presence of nutrients in the potting mix (MiracleGro) encourages the microbes that cause rot. Without roots yet, the cuttings cannot possibly use any of the nutrients. Further, the nutrients dissolved in soil moisture tend to create osmotic pressure that draws moisture out of the cuttings at a time when you want the cuttings to absorb moisture.
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David E. Ross
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to
with
like
Those are great points. What do you recommend for a rooting medium?
chaz

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chaz wrote:

Equal parts washed plaster sand and peat moss. (The "washed" is a process done at the source, not something you do. You have to specify "washed plaster sand" when you buy it.) See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html for details. Just omit all nutrients until after the cuttings take root and you repot them.
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David E. Ross
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trying
end
the
pot
Where does one buy washed plaster sand at?
chaz

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chaz wrote:

I've seen it at a local nursery in sacks, but it seemed a bit pricey.
I take a 5 gallon bucket and go to a local building materials yard. They have it in a large mound. For about $1, they let me scoop it myself to fill the bucket. Scooping it myself, I get to see that it is really clean (no mud or gravel). I store it in a clean trash barrel.
This is NOT Home Depot or Loews. This is a place where they have mounds of sand, gravel, etc. They have slabs of various decorative stone, cubes of brick and concrete block, 20 foot lengths of rebar in all diameters, stacks of stepping stones (round, square, and rectangular), etc. If you want a large amount of washed plaster sand, you can bring a pickup truck; they have a bulldozer to scoop and dump the sand. Or, for a delivery charge, they can dump it on your driveway.
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David E. Ross
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I start a lot of shrubs for our gardening group plant sales each year and find that bagged play sand from Wal-Mart works well as part of the peat/sand starting mixture. This is the fifth year I've used play sand and usually have 50% - 75% success, although I will admit that hollies have been a complete failure.
John
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often reasons are for size and soil suitability of the rootstock.
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