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Free Propagation Literature
Start with properly drying a cut section
To prevent mold, or to fix a section infected with mold you need to store cuttings in a warm, dry place--never a cold, damp one. In the summer it is easy to dry cut sections in the hot, dry California climate; I do it outside in the shade without problems. But in the winter it is a different matter! Once the rainy season starts cut ends will mold. So during the winter, or in a humid location during summer, you may have to dry cuttings indoors.

An electric fan works wonders! The strong flow of air dehydrates the cut end faster than mold can set in.

Happiness is a dry cut:

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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.

Young plants and be made more stable by burying the neck deeper. By providing a supportive rock mulch the skin will not rot, but adapt to being underground by ceasing production of chlorophyl.

Here is a basic repotting tutorial.
Do not rot the neck!
Use a well draining mix such as 50% perlite -no clay soil
Use a pebble 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´┐Żsee 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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