Rooting question - Umbrella plant

kate_gardengirlJune 17, 2009

I have water rooted my umbrella plant several times without any problems. Both cuttings did well - the stem left in the soil always branching off with new shoots and the stem that was put in water rooting pretty quickly to be repotted with the parent plant.

I've been entrusted by a friend to fix her umbrella plant that was too top heavy. It was 3 stalks about 12 inches tall each with a beautiful mound of smaller leafed branches. Hope I explained that correctly. I cut the stalks in half putting the top halves in water. The potted halves have already sprouted new growth but the halves in water haven't done a thing. They're still green as can be but no growth - no roots or no growth on the plants. I did this about a month and half ago and the new growth on the potted halves came in about 3 weeks ago.

Her plant is a different variant than mine - her plant has the smaller leaves and stems and the stalks are much thinner than my plant. When I prune and root from my plant the new growth typically starts about the same time as the roots on the plants in water so I'm getting worried. Am I worrying for nothing or is there something I can or should do?


Thanks in advance!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Zone 6 plants that are just coming out of winter normally aren't exactly just bursting with energy, and the amount of stored energy in cuttings has a huge influence in how quickly or in whether or not they root. Be patient. As long as the plants haven't yet collapsed, they will probably root. Change the water every few days, though.

It would have been better, however, if you had stuck the cuttings in a well-aerated and sterile medium (like perlite or screened Turface) to root. Roots that form in water are different and more brittle than those required to grow in soil, so water roots often break or make the transition to soil poorly, which means that you almost start over from scratch when you transition plants to soil. Roots generally appear faster in a well-aerated medium (over water) and there is no transitional shock, which normally puts the plant started in soil weeks ahead of those started in water.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Thanks for the help! You are correct plus when my friend gave me her plant I should have waited a few weeks before taking the cuttings. She kept it in a low light area. I keep mine in almost direct sun. There probably wasn't much energy in the cuttings.

I typically do water rooting since I've never had luck with the soil rootings. I know soil rooting is better for the transplant but I compensate by being pretty careful in the transition process and until I know the new plants have successfully taken to their new home.

Again, thanks

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 8:49PM
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