Successful Propagation of Vegetative Annuals

James L. Gibson1 and Kim Williams2

1North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Box 7609, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
2Kansas State University, Dept. Horticulture, Forestry, & Rec. Res., 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS 66505-5506


This website serves as a supplement to a two part series on propagation of vegetative annuals published in the Ohio Florists' Association Bulletin.


Propagation Photos

Bottom heat improves the rooting success of vegetative annuals by providing the optimum root zone temperature. Electrically-heated wires run through this rooting mat. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
A collection of vegetative sun coleus that has been successfully propagated. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
A rooting bench filled with vegetative sun coleus. Note the overhead misting emitters. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
Fungus gnat larvae have eaten the roots of this strawflower cutting and have migrated into the stem giving the cutting a wilt-like appearance. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
Careless propagation technique has led to poor rooting percentages and cutting death in these trays of scaevola. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
Cuttings of nemesia are rooting in OasisÒ foam. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
The first three stages of propagation demonstrated with argyranthemum. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker).
This well-rooted New Guinea impatiens cutting represents Stage 4 of propagation. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson).
Fungus gnat larvae have been feeding on the tender roots of this geranium cutting. Note the black head of the immature fungus gnat. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
Most rooting stations today are required to have screening to avoid infestations of disease-harboring insects. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
The automatic mist system should have a timer and a mist regulator. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
This type of mist emitter has a metal hammer that distributes the water as small droplets over the cuttings. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
This photograph demonstrates the effect that FlorelÒ has on flowering and leaf area of New Guinea impatiens. Cuttings were harvested two weeks after treatment with concentrations of a) 0, b) 250, c) 500, d) 750, and e)1000 ppm. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
These rooted scaevola cuttings have been growing in the propagation tray for too long. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
A collection of ornamental sweet potatoes under mist. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
Successfully propagated cuttings of vegetative strawflower have healthy roots and shoots. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
Rooted cuttings that have suffered from nutrient stresses in the propagation phase do not produce desired results in the final container. These osteospermum cuttings are suffering from iron and boron deficiency. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
The top row of scaevola cuttings are the reproductive shoots which will not root optimally, but the bottom row of vegetative cuttings will. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
Monitor the root zone temperature with soil thermometers at multiple locations throughout the propagation bench. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)
These misting nozzles are important to have in the propagation area as they can provide emergency mist to rooting cuttings. (Photo courtesy of Brian E. Whipker)
Root zone temperatures should be lowered significantly when roots reach the bottom of the tray. (Photo courtesy of James L. Gibson)

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