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tylerj

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Reply with quote  #1 
This is one method I really like especially when rooting cuttings in the fall that will have to stay indoors for 4 or 5 months. The 2 litre plastic pop (or Soda for you US folk:) ) bottle works well because it has enough volume that the cutting can be left alone for as long as you like in this setup. Last year I left a cutting growing in one for almost an entire year. With 100% perlite you don't have to worry about fungas gnats either. The top of the pop bottle has a ridge just as it tapers to the cap. I cut just below the ridge so that I can still place the detached top back on it tightly to create I humidity dome for the new cutting. I also cut holes in the bottom of the bottle for drainage.

One very important step when using perlite is to sift the dust and small particles out of it. If you don't the dust with collect around the cutting which will stay too wet and rot the cutting. Unfortunately the perlite in my area seems to have a lot of dust and small particles in it. I end up losing quite of a bit in quantity but it is worth it in the end. I just use a colander for separating out the larger pieces only. I do this outside and avoid breathing the dust (which is not good for you!).

I score the cutting in a few spots and apply liquid rooting hormone. Once potted up I water it good and let all the excess drain out. I put the top on and put in a warm location. I take the top off once a day to let it air out a bit. Once it starts leafing out and you see some roots I first take the screw cap off to gradually let it adjust to drier room air. After a few days I take the top of completely.

The nice thing about perlite is that its easy to tell when moisture is getting low as it is very light when dry. With the plant I let go a year I would just wait until the leaves started to droop a little and then give it a good watering.

Getting a cutting to root is often the easiest part and many cuttings are lost at the potting up stage for various reasons - overwatering.. shock.. roots being damaged, etc. This method eliminates all these problems. Once it has a very nice root structure it is much more stable to pot up when convenient.

I bought a bag of oil-dri and might try a few cuttings with adding some to the perlite to give it a bit more moisture retention but still give it the nice aeration which is good for the cutting.

Anyways for those new to rooting I'd recommend giving this a try.
Tyler

Rootinginperlite1.jpg 
rootinginperlite2.jpg 



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cis4elk

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nice instructions, seems simple.

At what point do you introduce dilute nutrients, and what sort of nutrients do you use?

The first few times you water after you have roots, do you just water thoroughly and let drain or do you use a spray bottle and water sparingly?

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snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #3 
Pretty cool!  When does winter hit your area Tyler?
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tylerj

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Reply with quote  #4 
Calvin I would start using nutrients once its leafs out well and good roots showing. I am going to start adding some with the one on the left as it has a lot more roots now from when I took this picture a week ago. I just use MG 10-10-10 water soluble.  I don't use a lot though because honestly I am not wanting this to grow like crazy since its indoors for such a long time. I should be waiting until December or January but this gives me something to do year round lol.

With the watering I add enough that it drains out the bottom. I think if you have the right size perlite it shouldn't be an issue because it won't retain too much.

Dennis things usually don't get bad here until at least later in November but we get snow in October occasionally too. Honestly our area can have crazy fluctuations one year to the next with the weather.

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ricky

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Reply with quote  #5 
I am wondering that How long it takes for cutting to plant like this in your picture?


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tylerj

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sorry Ricky I'm not sure what you are asking there lol.. The cutting on the left was started in August and the other in September. Or are you asking when can you remove it for planting in a larger pot?? My reason for using the larger container here is so that I can just leave it as is for as long as I want over winter. If you want to just use perlite to root the cutting and then pot it up to a larger container using a soil mix I would use smaller cups initially rather than a 2L bottle.
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figlayla

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the detailed instructions...  im def going to try this as soon as i can get some cuttings.  were do you store your bottles when indoors?  this will be the first time i try somthing indoors during winter months and this is only my first year with the obsession.  thanks again.  hopefully everyone who tries this will have some good pics to share in a short while.


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Rooting Unknowns Now


tylerj

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Reply with quote  #8 
I started these in the cupboard above the refrigerator. Once its colder and the furnace is running on a regular basis I would start them in a plastic tote that would sit an inch over the floor register. Once leafed out and growing they will go under my T-8 grow lights in the basement.
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Jerry_M

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Reply with quote  #9 
Once plant is to be up potted, what difficulties do you encounter, if any, removing it from the pop bottle?
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Luzzu

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Reply with quote  #10 
very nice Tyler
I've also been doing cuttings in straight perlite and had good success.
mine were in cups but I like your idea

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pacifica

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Reply with quote  #11 
Good post !!! I am going to try this as well.
tylerj

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry_M
Once plant is to be up potted, what difficulties do you encounter, if any, removing it from the pop bottle?


None really since you can squeeze the plastic fairly easily to force out the root mass.

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Marc

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Reply with quote  #13 
Nice Tyler, I will try this.
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Reply with quote  #14 
Do u put in any drain holes in the bottom?
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pino

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Reply with quote  #15 
Tyler
Nice simple way of rooting cuttings and many people are having success with this method!
I may switch to using pure sifted perlite this year for growing cuttings and hopefully prevent the heart break of losing cuttings to rot.

In the past I thought by maintaining a 80/20 mix (perlite/soil) the plant would be better conditioned to the soil when up potting to regular container soil mix. 
Do you find the fig has any problems adjusting when moving it from the perlite to your soli mix?
Do you bare root the fig tree and lose all the perlite before up potting to your container?
Thanks 

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tylerj

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Reply with quote  #16 
macmike.. yes I put holes in the bottom for drainage.

Pino, the plant I eventually potted up had a root mass that filled the bottle. I tried to shake out whatever perlite I could but there was still a fair amount within the roots. It has done fine since potting up so there were no issues going to potting soil.

I think perlite is great for rooting. Again though the only reason I am going with a larger container is I plan to leave it in there for at least 5 months. I'm likely sacrificing growth and vigour by not potting up in 1 gallon potting mix once I have roots but I'm ok with that. If you just want to root the cutting and pot it up as soon as possible I would just go with a large clear cup.

There are a lot of ways to grow out a cutting and with any of them maintaining the right moisture level is key in preventing rot and sifted perlite works well to regulate that.

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ricky

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Reply with quote  #17 
I wish that I can see your post earlier.

I am newbie, I did my 1st fig cutting at Aug with multiple mistakes, I put fig cutting in 1 gallon pot with potting soil and let it sit on windows sill, it does roots but plant is very weak with penny size ( less than 1" leaf) after 2+ months, your method is much better, It produces more healthy plant.

I did my 2nd fig cutting using 20 OZ plastic cup, I can not find " perlite" at Home depot here, I bought potting soil with " perlite", It does roots but plant is also weak with 2" leaf after 2+ months, it is still not too good.

now, I do face with problem on how to take care of them during winter indoor with low maintenance , My house do not have furnace, outdoor temperature will go down to -7 C ( 20F), indoor temperature will go down to 12C ( 53F).



My Mistakes
- Wrong fig varieties - Only get known sweet fig cutting, It has wasted me 5+ years for figs due to wrong unknown fig varieties.
- fig cutting too long, 60% cutting above container, It sucks out moisture and reduces successful rate and produces un-healthy plants
- not using " Perite"  - maintenance moisture/air/softness in soil and give good condition for root development. 
- Container without cover  -- E.X. pop bottle, large "Star buck" cold drink with dome cover, Etc, It keeps moisture and it increases successful rate.
- Clean cutting with mild soap - it reduces mold and yeast eating cutting as well as very young roots at high moisture condition.
- do not use rain water - it contains more mold.









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coop951

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi Ricky,( and other newbies)
Think on the positive side. You have learned much by your mistakes. I don't think there is a single person here on the forum who hasn't made a mistake at some point during the learning process especially when it relates to propagation.
Keep on keeping on, read older posts through the search option. There is tons of information relating to rooting cuttings, and many different methods.
I root my cuttings in tupperware containers with coco coir or long sphagnum moss and have terrific success.
Check out the many approaches, as perlite is not your only option

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joann1536

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Reply with quote  #19 
Thanks.  This looks good, and very easy.  Because I usually start cuttings in smaller drink cups, I might try to use plastic bottles smaller than 2-liter.
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Charlie

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Reply with quote  #20 
I'm envious of people having success in perlite with domes on their containers.  Every single one I tried like this last year molded and only two survived.  
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kennyrayandersen

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie
I'm envious of people having success in perlite with domes on their containers.  Every single one I tried like this last year molded and only two survived.  


yeah, there is SO much conflicting information. I read were some folk really came down hard on Perlite -- No! you got to use Vermiculite! etc. The problem is I think there are so many variables and varieties that it is is difficult to know which advice is solid.

I'm also struggling with the transition from the moss, which seemed to work well, but it is slow (IMO) to potting in the clear plastic cups. I used vermiculite mostly, with maybe 25% of the moss, since that's just what the cutting came out of. I lost a couple of little leaves, but the took the top cup off, and it sort of seems like it is turning around. I think it was too wet, despite the holes in the bottom. My biggest question is how do I know I have enough water in there, but not too much? I guess if there is water condensation on the inside of the cup there is enough moisture?

I'm also going to start using a cloner a buddy of mine built, but even then I worry more about the transition, than the initial spouting.

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levar

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Reply with quote  #22 
I almost always use plain perlite and I've rooted stuff that is ill with FMV like Hative de Argentile. I got like 6 of them to work but I only kept 3.

Apparently Grise de St. Jean is also hard to root, but all three of the cuttings I got a month ago are now in gallon pots. Idk, I really like Perlite.

2582944.png 
I got the cutting on December 26th and took that photo on Friday or Saturday. Its two siblings are growing similarly well. 

In the past, I've used promix with mycorrhizae a few times but I can't say I noticed any remarkable benefits. Don't give up on perlite, I guess.


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kennyrayandersen

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Reply with quote  #23 
levar -- I notice you don't have a top on the cup? How big do you let it get before taking the top off? Guys using the cloners claim they get better results without a top on it... Wondering if this might not be the same?
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angelad

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Reply with quote  #24 
Tyler,

This sounds like a great method to try on my next few cuttings.  However, I will have to use clear cups though since I don't have pop bottles.

In late December-early Jan. I started to root some cuttings using coir and some perlite.  This seemed to be working and so I decided to recently start a lot more cuttings the same way.  Well now the method that I had success with is no longer so successful!

My most recent cuttings have white fluffy mold and the coir seems to be sticking quite a bit wherever there is a node.  I cleaned the cuttings and let the coir air out for quite a while to remove a lot of the moisture before putting the cuttings back in.  I think my mold problem was caused by too much moisture in the coir or it could be due to something else.  I really hope it's not too late to save these cuttings. Now I will be checking them twice a day!

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #25 
There's an unanswered question that's come up a few times when discussing rooting in straight perlite. That is, what method, medium and level of moisture do you you use when potting up the first time? The issue some (me included) have found is that while cuttings root very well in the perlite, they quickly rot when potted up to mix. What are the specifics on the next stage?

I'd be sold on perlite if this part could be clarified....



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haslamhulme

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Reply with quote  #26 
I would like to second what TorontoJoe has asked,same issue.Thr only way I have found that seems to work most times is to pot up with the same mix(% coir to % perlite ) I use for rooting,any higher coir % seems to result in rot.If using straight perlite what mix would you pot that up in to?
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #27 
I potted up from straight perlite to 50/50 Fafard Seedling Mix and perlite - still got rot. I used minimal water too. I can't imagine what could be lighter and faster draining...This what got me back to straight Fafard Seedling Mix. Initial rooting success rate is not as high but they survive the pot-up...

I just started some more in straight perlite - Hoping for a bit of intel before they're ready to move on up...



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tylerj

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Reply with quote  #28 
The problem with any method of rooting a cutting and potting it up is that those young roots are fragile and break easy. They also seem to be susceptible to transplant shock. I haven't used straight perlite much since I posted this. For those doing it I would let that root mass get as big as possible (fill the entire cup) before potting it up so that the roots are not as disturbed.
Tyler

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paully22

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Reply with quote  #29 
After my cuttings are rooted, they go directly into a mixture of soil and perlite in the approximate ratio of 30% soil & 70% perlite.
Thereafter the next move is when I get a good root mass - moving to either a 1 gal pot or a slightly larger pot(depending on root ball size).
I maintain high humidity at all times and I do not start rooting early. Best timing for me to start rooting is March as I prefer to move
Plants to benefit from outdoor sun.
rcantor

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Reply with quote  #30 
I've been rooting this way for longer than I've been alive!   ;)

I wait until the roots are ay least 1.5", more is better.  If the roots are turning yellow I'll poke a few holes in the bag to make sure they don't rot.  If they're headed toward brown I get the cutting out and in to soil.  I pot into promix HP with bio-myco moistened then squeezed out and fluffed up.  If you're using minimal moisture in your potting soil then I wonder if it's the way you unpot then repot.  I do one of 2 things.  If I have an individual cutting I slit the bag while holding it upside down.  The roots are stronger in this position and less likely to break.  As the bag opens up, perlite slowly falls out and just the pieces stuck to the root are left.  That way there's less weight hanging on the roots.  They go into a pot that's already waiting for them with moist pro-mix in it.  The soil looks like a bowl with the bottom of the soil about 2 inches from the bottom of the pot.  I hold the cutting in place and gently let the soil fill in around the roots.  I do not tamp the soil down.  The roots need those air spaces in the soil to survive.  For the first few weeks I either water it from the bottom or use a spray bottle to water it from the top.  Both of these methods preserve the air spaces in the soil.

If I'm doing a mass rooting in a sterlite box with holes drilled in the bottom then I put that in a bigger box, run the hose over the perlite and keep the box with the cuttings submerged.  The perlite will float en masse, taking the cuttings with them.  I scoop off the perlite that floats free and keep doing this until some cuttings float free (they turn horizontal.)  I get all the perlite that's floating free away from the cutting so I don't pick up any excess weight.  I support the cutting and lift it out.  I never touch the perlite stuck to the roots.  It goes right into the pot with the roots and will help provide air spaces.  I have the pot waiting just like in the other scenario.

I bury the whole cutting in perlite except the very tip is always visible.  I do not use a humidity dome.  That way the leaves bud out into dry air and they're used to it from the start.  No transitioning needed and no plant loss from leaves that couldn't adapt quickly enough.

The bio are beneficial bacteria that eat the pathogens that thrive in overly wet, air deprived places that rot roots.  The myco are fungi that combine with the roots to make them more healthy.  I think they're very important.

One of the crucial things about perlite is that you have to get rid of the dust.  If you don't it will cling to the cutting, attract water and drown the cutting.  I usually rinse through a colander to minimize dust.

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rcantor

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Reply with quote  #31 
Also, if I'm using a soda bottle or gas station cup I never squeeze it.  Before I put the cutting in I slit down one side then across the bottom just past the center.  Then I tape it to look like it was.  When it's time to free the cutting I gently untape with the seam up.  Once the tape is off I'll hold it upside down and slowly let the perlite fall away while holding the cutting or put it in water and float the cutting out.

For me rooting typically takes 3 weeks.  I scrape the bark and add clonex.  Having the majority root by 3 weeks means I can float out a whole box and 75% will have rooted and the rest get re-evaluated and if not rotted, rerooted.

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Qhluvr95

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Reply with quote  #32 
I am fairly new here (and to fig growing in general) and mostly lurk and learn. Rooting from cuttings has always interested me, yet feels intimidating!
This is a thread I will definitely follow and try!

Since I never really introduced myself,...I am in the Columbus,Ohio area and started a handful of fig plants last spring. I have been lurking on this site the entire time gathering tips and information. (I thank everyone for sharing their knowledge!) My plants are in a dark ,root celler-ish  part of the basement, and I'm anxiously awaiting spring and hoping they are surviving! (So far they seem to be ok)

 Francie  :)
mfehmi

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcantor
I bury the whole cutting in perlite except the very tip is always visible.  I do not use a humidity dome.  That way the leaves bud out into dry air and they're used to it from the start.  No transitioning needed and no plant loss from leaves that couldn't adapt quickly enough.

.


Very nice info!! I have used perlite with mixed results. I have a couple of questions.
1. How much of the tip is visible? 1 inch?
2. The burried cutting will develop any leaves? Probably not, but I have to ask.
3. You do the rooting process in a dark place? Or light doesn't affect since the cutting is burried?
4. Do you use any specific amount of water vs the amount of perlite? Like how many ounces of water per cup of perlite?
Thanks in advance!

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