Mold on Turface?

nallred91November 17, 2011

I recently put some rooting jade leaves into 100% turface in a plastic plug tray. I cut the tray up and put parts of the tray in a tupperware bowl and added some water so they would have a constant water supply. I did this for about 4 days. Then I decided to ditch the constant water supply because it looked like a lot of my leaves were getting some fuzzy mold on them. Now, a few days later, the fuzzy white mold is apparent all over the tray.

If I let the turface dry out for awhile will it die? Is it something I even need to worry about or will it not effect my rooting leaves?

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I'm not sure why you chose to do this with Jade leaves.

Perhaps talk to Jade Man (Doug), and compare your set-up with his to see what conditions
might be different.

Jades don't need moisture to root. Infact, adding moisture can be counter-productive
in many situations. Turface, by itself, holds perched water in the lower layers, so yes
get rid of the excess moisture and allow it to dry out.

Yes, this could easily affect the rooting of the leaves.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:10PM
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I actually chose this because of Doug. I've been talking with him through email and he has suggested simply watering them instead of using a constant water supply. but, he told me he got the best results by using a constant water supply setup just like this.

Overall, the turface setup is working well. its just this strange white fuzz that I am unsure about. I think the mold may be resulting because I have them in my basement. Maybe a fan to help circulate the air would help.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 5:16PM
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If you insist on rooting jades this way, then you might want to add at least 15 hours of artificial lights within inches from them and use a fan that will encourage that turface to dry out rapidly.

Some I know water their cuttings with no problem at all, but because they provide lots of sunlight within a very warm greenhouse or hours of artificial light, they might have a much better successful rate at rooting.

The average person tries to root their jades in anything but ideal conidtions because they can not provide the above, so therfore use very little water if any at all until the leaf or cutting takes root and starts to grow.

I consider 'Josh', 'Greenman28' the Guru of jades, so I would not delay with his suggestions! After all, it was him that helped me to get a 100% survival rate on mine.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 5:49PM
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I've set up a fan that has already dried the top layer of the turface. The plants are by the basement door as well, so they are getting some sunlight. The only thing missing is warmth. while it's not really cold... it isn't warm either.

Also, all of my leaves have a decent amount of roots. Some of the leaves even have little plantlets about half an inch tall. And then some seem to be stuck where they were weeks ago, with just a leaf or two sticking out of the tip of the mother leaf. So I'm not sure if I'd say they are still in the "rooting" stage. But they certainly aren't mature plants.

The only reason I switched to this method is because in my other more rocky mix roots appeared to be drying out and dying. Now, in the turface the roots seem to be thriving. Almost all of the new roots I can see by moving a few little pebbles have nice root hairs and seem very healthy.

But I will certainly take your advice and allow the mix to get drier between waterings. Could the constant moisture be a reason some of the leaves haven't had any new growth in weeks?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:12PM
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Warmth promotes root growth in a timely manner, and is more important than light when we're talking about most cuttings without roots. Once roots begin to form, light takes on a more important role.

I use a small heat mat to help promote root growth, and I do most of my cutting rooting on the lower shelf of a unit that gets rather dim light. I would certainly want to keep the cutting out of direct sunlight. Once roots appear, I move the plant into bright light and begin to give it the water it needs.

Each plant type will require different humidity amounts while still without roots... for example, an orchid without roots will require a good deal of humidity, so I would enclose the plant piece in a ziploc baggie along with a moistened paper towel or moistened long strand moss. Other plants that are not succulent will benefit from an enclosure to keep humidity surrounding the cutting, such as a baggie placed over the pot to form a tiny greenhouse-like environment.

Cacti and succulents, like Jades, are not my specialty, but I wouldn't think they'd require too much in the way of humidity. I would think that warmth would be more important during the rooting process.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 9:46AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, ya'll!

Mike, you're too kind! Guru status is beyond me, I'm day, perhaps!
If I ever learn the secret to blooming a Jade (other than living in the right climate),
then I'll take the title of Guru rightly upon me ;-)

Nallred, looks like the issue is under control now, yes?


    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 8:52PM
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