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Propagation literature & advice
Winter rooting of cuttings / • Making potting soil / • Repotting / • Oh, no! Rot!
Cut ends must first be dry
Store cuttings in a warm, dry place—never a cold, damp one. In the warm spring or summer you can easily dry the cut end, then root in potting soil. But during rainy weather the cut ends can get moldy. Take cuttings inside the house where you can set up an electric fan to dry the bottoms.

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36" tip


Set & Forget


18" tip


General Info

Repotting a Peruvian Torch seedling
Peruvian torch, when grown from seed, may overgrow their neck support and lean. In the wild they often lay along the ground; then the tip grows upward from the horizontal section.

Young plants can be made more stable by burying the neck deeper. I always do this with seedlings. It greatly improves stability with resulting growth. Try it.

By providing a supportive rock mulch (rough pebbles) will work. The skin will not rot, but adapt to being underground by ceasing production of chlorophyll. Don't use decorative polished pebbles as they are slippery and will not provide support.

Here is a basic repotting tutorial.
Do not rot the neck
• Use a well draining mix such as 50% perlite and no clay soil
• Use a rock mulch
• Allow soil to dry between watering.

In time the newly buried skin will transition into that tan colored skin that indicates lack of chlorophyll. It will adapt to being support tissue.

In the wild wind naturally strengthens necks. My experience in seed growing is that you have to bury deeper to remedy top heavy growth.

Check out this repotting tutorial.

Propagation of mature column sections
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You can create a mature new plant from a mature limb cutting if you know how. This is the perfect way to multiply established plants without having to slowly start from a single "tip" cutting.

(Right) This is how you can tell that the plant has a good root system—see the swollen ribs?

This column section was cut in winter, 2004. It was planted for rooting in early spring. For that first year it slowly developed roots while growing a nice tip from the end.

Here is is in May, 2005 when it has a substantial root ball with forearm sized tip on top. I harvested an 18" tip from this and rooted it into a new plant.

Notice the full, fat, firm, swollen ribs? That is how the plant tells you it has plenty of roots so you can pour on the water & fertilizer.
Containers are essential for the cold regions of the USA. You have to move these specimens into a garage or home for the winter to keep them above 26 degrees. More...
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