Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rooting with the Texas Two-Step

A rooting process with two stages

The purpose of describing rooting in this way is to put more emphasis on the duration prior to committing a cutting into the rooting or potting mix


·    Cut-end dries and callus is formed
·    Through-out this Stage the cut-ends can be easily inspected frequently which allows for early intervention in case of a cut-end necrosis
·    At the end of this Stage the cutting is swollen near the cut-end
·    First roots may be seen emerging from the vascular ring
·    Duration of Stage One is from 3 to 8 weeks depending upon cultivar and time of year
·    Open air is recommended for first two-weeks after which cuttings can be stood up in a container with a loose media
o  Container media stores heat and maintains humid air spaces
o  Media can be lava rocks, pine bark, perlite or wood shavings
o  The cuttings can easily be withdrawn for inspection and reinserted

Stage One cuttings that can have rooting end easily inspected

Stage One - callous tissue is seen emerging around the vascular ring

Stage One - cuttings more than ready to throw out roots
Cuttings like these can complete Stage Two
or fill a bag with roots within 16-days


·    Roots emerge from callus or vascular ring
·    Small rooting container allows for early confirmation of success and for earlier potting up to a large container
·    This stage is complete when the rooting container is crowded with roots
·    Duration of this stage is often from 16 to 32-days with proper conditions and if Stage One was thoroughly completed
·    Rooting media provides fast drainage and humid air spaces
·    Rooting media should be from 80-88 F for rapid root development
·    Rooting media must not be allowed to remain saturated or wet and cold 
·    Fertilizer is not used
End of Stage Two - Bag rooted cutting ready for potting up
Stage Two - tube rooted cutting standing in wood chips

End of Stage Two - tube rooted cutting left too long in wood chips

Stage Two - gang rooted cuttings standing in shallow bed of pine bark
secured in place with lava rocks

Stage Two - cuttings rooting in tubes in tube rack
After massaging the tube, turn the cutting upside down. While slowly pushing up the tube with the thumb of the hand holding the cutting, push down on the roots through the hole at the bottom of the tube with a little finger or Sharpie Pen.

Using the hand that is not holding the cutting, gently take hold of the roots with your thumb pointing down. With both hands employed turn over the rooted cutting and place into prepared pot and mix.
A group of imported grafted plumeria have had their roots restored in a shallow mix of sphagnum moss and lava rock. Pure pine bark or a mix using pine bark and sphagnum moss also works fine.

End of Stage Two - gang rooted cuttings in mix of peat, fine pine bark, perlite and red lava sand. The lava rocks were to secure the cuttings in position.

Gang rooted cuttings. A shallow depth is adequate and recommended for climates with frequent rain.

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