Creating Motherplant for Hydroponic Root Cuttings
I intend to do as much propagation as I can in order to reinvigorate and expand my collection instead of buying new material. This provides me with incentive to experiment with propagation techniques and growing methods.
Today I walked to my local hydroponics store and purchased 14 pots that were entirely perforated with holes. These holes would allow roots to grow out of the main ball and into the surrounding media. These, I believe, are then advantageous for plants set aside for root cuttings.
I found that the perforated pots suspend perfectly from mason jars. The only remaining step is to plant whatever plant in media in the pot and suspend it in the jar, filled with water, so that roots would grow out and about the jar, ready for cutting. This is purely experimental. I plan to change the water every three days, and keep the jar dark so light won't enter the water where roots are designed to grow. If this succeeds with my D. multifida 'extrema' then I will try other plants, namely capensis and spathulata, on the method, and onwards. I chose a member of the binata complex due to its famously durable root system that won't succumb to collateral issues and will prove to me that roots can survive in pure water in this experiment. Any suggestions for improvement are welcomed!
Of course, obligatory pics.
One of the pots I picked up.
The pot fits perfectly into a mason jar. The sundew awaiting transplant, D. multifida 'extrema', sits before it.
The finished product. I put a layer of sphagnum on the bottom, if anyone was wondering if I tried to stick some roots out through the holes there. The entire plant is contained in the sphagnum at the time of writing, none of it outside the confines of the pot. The root system is submerged in water, but only the bottom portion of it. Water does not reach the brim of the mason jar. It reaches perhaps 4cm below the brim.
Does anyone think I should use sphagnum/any other sterile media besides water here? Perhaps more sphagnum than water? Different arrangement?
Another version I created involved a smaller perforated pot, a regular plastic pot of larger size, and a plant (slightly smaller than the one above) of the same species. The regular plastic pot was filled with sphagnum, with room made in the middle to nestle deeply the perforated pot. The plant was put in the pot, covered and packed with sphagnum, and treated like any other plant. I expect that removing the small perforated pot will be easier than digging up the gosh-darn thing just to get some roots.
You can see the perforated pot nestled in the sphagnum inside the regular three-inch plastic pot, D. multifida 'extrema' specimen to be used below.
Tell me your ideas. I want to do some more similar things, I want to get better at cuttings in general, and I am interested in all media, not exclusively hydroponics. Temperature? PH? Hormones? What say you all?