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?
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.
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
details. Just omit all nutrients until after the cuttings take
root and you repot them.
I've seen it at a local nursery in sacks, but it seemed a bit
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
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
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