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Winter propagation?

Posted by a1pha_fema1e 4 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 21:35

I think I read around here somewhere that it wasn't a good idea to re/up pot or propagate our houseplants during the winter? Is this true? Cause some of my plants are getting kinda leggy/need to be trimmed/want to plant the baby spiders... And I am kinda in planting withdrawal, watering them as seldom as they need it is not giving me much satisfaction... I live in WI... Is it due to the light? Would putting a plant light on them help? Or should I just wait patiently til spring? Thanks!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Winter propagation?

For plants that don't have woody trunks (and roots,) I think it's fine to repot or attempt propagation during the 'off season.' As long as the conditions you have (light, temp) are within acceptable range for growth. "Leggy" in general though is a sign of insufficient light.

Moving spider plant babies to soil isn't really considered propagation, to pick the gnat poo out of the pepper. The roots are already there - or should be. Babies w/o roots yet aren't ready to be separated.

The others you didn't mention by name, so can't really relate specific experiences w/o knowing what else you want to mess with. Some plants I propagate in winter because I have pieces saved from frost.

RE: Winter propagation?

Most plants have slowed down in growth now, so it's not a good time to propagate them, also there's still too little daylight to support such efforts.

Without knowing more specifics, I'd suggest waiting patiently.

RE: Winter propagation?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 30, 13 at 15:32

I'll take the middle road. Everything definitely works better when the cutting has a lot of stored energy and was separated from a plant that was still making lots of energy (long days - bright light) so it can root quickly before rot sets in, so if you're someone who would rather not be disappointed, I'd wait. That said, you might get lucky and have a high % of strikes, so there is no harm in trying. Plus, like Tiffany said, spider plants come with preformed root primordia, which makes them among the easiest to root. Do yourself a favor, though - root them in moist soil instead of water. It's faster and you'll have a well-rooted plant much sooner.


RE: Winter propagation?

Thanks everyone! The spider babies definitely have roots, and the mama is in need of up/repotting, not to worry I root in soil not water. I'm not sure if I'll up or repot the mama yet, haven't decided which to do. I also have wandering jews that are getting long (I meant long when I said leggy), my cats will be able to chew on them soon which is why I was hoping to be able to make some cuttings. I also have a pothos that is making a waterfall effect on my wall and almost touching the floor. While it is pretty, I fear the stalks/leaves closer to the soil are dying and are in need of new soil. Well, technically they all need new soil cause they are still in Miracle Grow. I'll be switching to one of the more oft suggested soils as I repot them.

RE: Winter propagation?

You're right, elongated normal, healthy growth isn't the same as etiolated, which is what most assume by leggy, though it's not technically a technical term. Leggy = likely too weak to propagate successfully. Your Pothos plant just needs a trim to suit the space and goals you have for it. It sounds like you knew why I brought it up.

If your WJ is Tradescantia zebrina or fluminensis, those should do fine now, and nothing lost if you need to trim them anyway. I'd have more confidence in the T. zeb than the other. Sticking them back in the same pot takes the guesswork out of watering. A pic could help you ID which you have if you are not sure.

I don't know much about the substances in Pothos, but I would make efforts to keep pets/kids separated from Tradescantias. It's one of the plants I'm recently allergic to, in regard to suddenly getting contact dermatitis from its' sap. So I would advise you to not get that stuff on your skin as well. Easy to avoid by that simple act. ASPCA page on plants toxic (and not) to cats, really hard to look at, and lists diff Tradescantias as toxic and not, depending on type.

Pothos, no reason not to put some cuttings in water now, then soil when you're ready. It's one of the few plants you could have mentioned for which I wouldn't follow the above advice about putting cuttings in soil, skipping the water step. Water's an unnecessary move, and just less successful for most types of plants, like the other one you mentioned, the Tradescantia.

And we see, right off the bat, the directions diverge even though they both happen to be plants OK to propagate now. Glad you came back with specific questions because, in a quirk of irony, they happen to break the excellently stated conventional wisdom above, (and I happen to have different personal preferences for these two.) I'm not contradicting it. Looking around the room, most are plants I would not attempt to propagate now.

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