Instructions for GEL Dispenser
- Any suitable clean container can be used, e.g. a standard plug cell tray (one cutting per cell) or a yoghurt pot (up to three cuttings). As always, ensure that containers are clean. Approximately 40ml per cutting needs to be used.
- Up-end the bottle a couple of times to ensure even distribution. To dispense into an appropriate, clean container (e.g. plug tray or pot), up-end the bottle and shake gel into nozzle before opening. Open the flip-top lid and squeeze gel into your container until nearly full. The gel will set almost instantly and is ready for the next step.
- Take fresh cuttings and insert them into the gel as soon as possible, ensuring that the base of each cutting is at least 10mm below the surface of the gel.
- Place in a vented propagator. Keep the bottom of the tray moist to provide a humid atmosphere. Alternatively place the pots in a tray and loosely cover with a clean polythene bag or sheet. Allow for some ventilation.
- Position the propagator somewhere light and warm (ideally 18-21°C during daytime and not less than 10°C at night) avoiding direct sunlight. Avoid placing in greenhouses which, especially in summer, can become very hot.
- Check the gel for signs of evaporation and top up as often as necessary.
- Most cuttings should be well rooted within 4 weeks or so (see Plant Listings above for a listing of a wide variety of species/varieties).
- Leave cuttings in the gel until there are obvious roots. Provided the gel is kept topped up, they may be left in their containers until you are ready to pot them on.
- Once rooted, gently lift cuttings out of the containers and pot-on into soil/compost in the normal way; there is no need to remove any gel attached to the roots.
Handy hints for taking cuttings
Do take soft stem cuttings of new healthy growth
Do remove flowers, flower buds and very large leaves to encourage root growth
Do use a clean sharp knife or blade to trim the cuttings
Do place your cuttings in the propagator somewhere warm, ideally 18-20°C and no colder than 10°C.
Do place the propagator somewhere light but not in direct sunlight.
Do Not place in a greenhouse which, especially during summer months, can become very hot.
Do Not use hormone rooting powder. It is not needed and will possibly kill your cuttings.
Do Not allow leaves to have too much contact with the side of the propagator lid. You only need a few small leaves on any stem cutting.
Types of Cuttings
Different types of cuttings are summarized below. Make sure you take the correct type of cutting from each plant (see Plant Listing above). Generally for plants that have several leaves growing along each stem it is a stem cutting that will root. For plants mostly formed from leaves, i.e. one leaf per short stem or several leaves growing from the same point on short stems, leaf stem or leaf cuttings are likely to root.
Stem cuttings are commonly used to propagate plants with distinct stems e.g. Fuchsia, Coleus and Geranium. The cutting should be taken from a fast-growing stem from the current year’s growth as these shoots are most likely to produce roots.
Take stem cuttings approximately 12 cm (about 5 inches) long, from healthy plants, remove the lower leaves and cut to approximately 9 cm (about 3½ inches) just below a leaf joint. Only a few small leaves are needed on any stem cutting. Immediately put the cutting into gel to avoid wilting.
Leaf bud cuttings
Leaf bud cuttings are taken from plants with long trailing stems e.g. Ivy and Scindapsus. Take a section of stem by cutting above and below a leaf joint. Insert the stem that is below the joint into the gel. Roots will grow from the stem and new shoots will grow from the bud at the leaf joint.
Leaf stem cuttings
Leaf stem cuttings are taken from plants that consist mainly of leaves with short stems, i.e. African violet (Saintpaulia) and Peperomia. Take a healthy adult leaf, normally from the base of the plant, and trim the stalk to 2 - 4 cm long. Insert the cutting in the gel. Roots will grow from the stalk and new leaves will grow from the base of the leaf.
Leaf cuttings are taken from plants that consist mainly of leaves with little or no stem e.g. Begonia and Streptocarpus. Choose a healthy, mature leaf and cut sections across about 3 cm in height, including a main vein. Insert the cutting upright so about half is in the gel.
Some species produce miniature plants at the end of flowering stems e.g. Chlorophytum and Tolmiea.
For further information, please contact Charley's Customer Service at 1-800-322-4707.
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