Time to pot the cuttings

As I mentioned recently, the cuttings that have been rooting in clay pellets (and water) have been looking a bit yellow, a sure sign that they need to get into some potting mix and soak up some nutrients!


Time to do that and find out how this rooting method worked!


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This was my main concern with this idea, that the roots would grab the pellets too tightly:


But it turns out that they came out pretty easily, with just a shake or a brush of the finger:


That's a nice root system, and seems to be more branchy than the roots I would have gotten in water alone!

Into a pot it goes:


With all the rest soon following:


I like bringing my wheelbarrow into the garage for this, as I can get as messy with the potting mix as I need to. It also raises the pots off the ground so I don't have to get down onto the floor. (I should make a potting bench.)

The Tradescantia zebrina cuttings were the reason I tried the clay pellets in the first place, as their long horizontal stems made rooting in a glass of water tricky:


Again, I like the way the roots formed!


The pellets got a little rinse...


...but I'll leave the thorough cleaning until it warms up outside. Although that may just be another way of saying "I'm not going to clean these".

All potted up, and ready to go back inside under the lights:


I really like using the plastic storage boxes for potted plants indoors. It makes watering carefree as there's almost no way to spill, and if the plants really need a deep drink I can just pour a couple of gallons of water anywhere in the box and they'll soak it up from below. It also makes moving them around a breeze!

These plants will be getting annoyingly large in about a month (depending on how heavily I fertilize) so I hope spring doesn't hold off too much longer!

Verdict on the clay pellets as a rooting method: Success! I'll definitely use this method again instead of jamming the cuttings into a glass of water.


(I bought these pellets at a hydroponics supply store, in case you're wondering where to find them.)

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Alison  – (March 17, 2013 at 11:41 AM)  

Thanks for this review of the clay pellets, I might try them next year. I love using plastic storage boxes for holding square pots, they work great for watering from below. I use them outside as well, I just drill four holes about an inch or so up from the bottom for drainage. Works great!

Lisa  – (March 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM)  

Awesome ideas all around! One question - what exactly is a hydroponics store?

Alan  – (March 17, 2013 at 9:28 PM)  

Lisa: a store that sells supplies for growing plants hydroponically. For instance, one local store in St. Louis is Worm's Way http://www.wormsway.com/

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