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Thread: Recut This Cutting?

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    A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous. CorneliusSchrute's Avatar
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    Recut This Cutting?

    I received this N. Miranda cutting during the summer and it has made slow but steady progress since I potted it in living sphagnum upon arrival. I realize now, with this being my first cutting, that I should have cut it down to a few nodes instead of leaving it full length. Since it is making new leaves would it be more help or harm to recut the thing to the freshest nodes and repot again in live sphagnum?

    I am a noob and apologize for my noobishness.

    Corey Bennett

    My cultivated vegetation, carnivorous and otherwise...

    Formerly cbennett4041

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    Sgt Sarracenia SgtSarracenia's Avatar
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    Personally, as long as it is doing well as is, I would leave it alone for a while. In my experience with Neps, the more you mess with them, the more that can go wrong. There are far more people with far more experience that may have better suggestions though. It looks healthy and I see nothing to worry about.
    "Only when you live to learn, will you learn to live"
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    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    If you tug *gently* at the stem, do you feel resistance? This could be a good sign that it has rooted and you don't have to worry. If it comes right out, (with roots either being too small to grip the media, or simply nonexistent) then recutting it might be an option. When I do cuttings, I tend to make the stem on the short side. I feel like getting the growth point closer to the high-humidity environment that is around the media helps reduce stress.
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    theplantman's Avatar
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    The more tissue the cutting has, the more energy it has in the form of nutrients, carbohydrates, and raw materials that it can turn into root cells. A smaller cutting is only for the sake of convenience or ease of shipping or cramming it into a sandwich bag rubber-banded over a pot--artificial concerns. Thus, you actually have better chances of success with a slightly larger cutting.

    However, you have to balance this with the fact that a larger cutting with more leaves also uses more water to stay alive. So, there is always a risk that a bigger cutting can dehydrate and die before rooting. If you are able to keep humidity at or near 100%, no problems should occur. I am fortunate enough to have a misting bench for rooting... I could easily take a 12-foot cutting and root it in that environment because there's no way for it to dry out. Normally the causes of death with rooting are dehydration, pathogen invasion on the cut surface, or incorrect soil temperatures that prevent root formation. Soil temperatures need to be around 70F and I strongly recommend bottom heat if you don't have it already. If you get all those variables right, you'll be fine.

    If you notice the leaves curling or turning paler--typical signs of drought stress--then simply nipping off a half inch or so of each leaf is a much better and less stressful way to help the cutting. If you still notice it drying out too much, nip a little bit more. I would caution you against recutting because the plant will start putting all its energy into defending that new wound, sealing it up, and will waste all of those resources that it's already putting into making roots. It will be left in a weakened, drained state and may not root at all.

    Most cuttings will not form new leaves until they have formed adequate root systems. When the root/shoot ratio of a plant is out of balance, the plant's hormones tell it what tissues it needs to concentrate on making. It may sound silly but a cutting knows it no longer has any roots.

    Since yours is growing, I imagine the tug test will tell you that your plant is rooted just fine and needs no pruning. A 1/8 strength fertilization might stimulate it to grow faster.

    Hope this helps you for future rootings

  5. #5
    A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous. CorneliusSchrute's Avatar
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    The info! The info! What great responses, friends. Thanks to all of you.

    I did give her the tug test after deciding that I would not mess with it. I didn't feel much resistance, which emboldened me to yank her from the pot and play surgeon. I will try to get a picture up later, but suffice it to say I cut the woody part off the bottom (it had only formed two little root nubs no longer than a quarter inch in the last five months) and made two nice-ish cuttings from the top green part: one from the growing tip and another two or three node slip of stem. I have them "sphaged and bagged" to use an orchid term; I suppose time will tell.

    I have been tempted to cut the longer leaves. Being now in damp-to-moist moss and completely bagged, I figure transpiration is a non-issue, but again, I am quite new to this.

    Speaking of my next cuttings, I did go ahead and chop up a two foot long stem of N. x 'Wrigelyana' while I was at it the other day. I made four or so nice cuttings from it, trashed the woody stuff, and have it similarly potted and bagged up. I do feel better about this pot going in with the knowledge you folks and the ICPS website have provided me.

    Again: thanks!
    Corey Bennett

    My cultivated vegetation, carnivorous and otherwise...

    Formerly cbennett4041

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