I have had horrible luck with my tomato root stimulator cuttings.
I get less than half of them to survive. I make a 4 inch cutting
from the live plants I want to propogate(Ugly Tomato) and dip the
wetted cut end in the rootone powder and shove it into a 4 inch pot
with potting soil in it. I keep it moist for 2 weeks and look for
growth, but usually there is no growth and no roots when I pull it out
and throw it in the trash.
I haven't had much luck with the rooting hormone stuff (in general)
either; somewhere I read that the shelf life of that stuff is
microscopic - by the time you buy it, there's no life in it. I'm sure
other folks have better luck with it.
Re: tomatoes, my spring seedlings seem to want to get up out of their
pots sometimes; they develop the rootlings waaaayyy up their stems.
You might try a couple things:
I have successfully layered a mature plant before - tip a branch down
to the ground, scrape the branch a little where it will be under the
soil, pile on some dirt, give it a few weeks et voila, cut the little
guy offa the main plant.
You can try this with a less mature specimen by dropping some moist
soil into a baggie and tying it around the tomato branch - esp. if the
main plant is too young to tip over or have large enough branches to
reach the ground. Bring the soil to it, as it were. The baggie
should be cut open 'cause you're wrapping the soil around the plant,
like a dirt bandage. A large enough plant could support more than one
of these, I imagine.
A good substitute for rooting hormone is ground willow twigs. Just place
some willow twigs in a blender with a little water & chop finely. Pot your
cuttings & soak with the willow water. They always root quickly for me.
Do a Google for "willow water". There's actual science behind that
old wive's tale. (Auxins are abundant in willows.)
I tried it on an apple softwood cutting this spring. It didn't work,
because I didn't plant the cutting in a sterile medium. My bad.
I learned something though... : )
Jan in Alaska
When I worked for my Botany professor in the college greenhouse about 27
years ago, he had me do some tomato pruning and propagating.
Without using any rooting compound, I just stuck the cut pieces into a
bucket of water and left them in the greenhouse.
They in turn were under daily sprayers.
I managed to make 40 plants out of 6.
Try some fertilized water vases like you would propagate ivy.
When they sprout a good set of roots, pot them in very wet soil and go
from there. Be sure to mist them for at least a few days.
Hope this helps?
Several years ago, during the way-late caging process, one of my favorite
heirlooms was cut in half, literally split down the middle of the stem to
the ground. I pick up the piece that was detached from the roots and put
it in a bucket of water where it grew roots. A month after I planted it,
it was "in pace" with its identical twin, both plants produced very well.
It's amazing how hardy tomato plants are . . . . unless the chickens get
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