Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reality Check

I was outside today, rearranging and assessing the cuttings on my propagation bench, and things are not looking good.  For some reason I cannot explain, I am having catastrophic loss of cuttings ... with only about a 25% success rate overall.  I have some varieties, most of which I have rooted successfully in the past, where every single cutting has died!

After I finished sorting, I had 4 flats of dead cuttings, one flat of live not-yet-rooted cuttings, and half a flat that had roots.  Percentages like this will NOT make for a good inventory next year.

I had hoped to have a good propagation this summer, so I wouldn't have unrooted cuttings to heat in the greenhouse over the winter (like I did last year).  This, obviously, is not going to be the case.  I guess the only thing I can do is to take more cuttings and see what happens.  If I knew what went wrong, this would be a whole lot less stressful.

Alice, looking out the window.

On a brighter note, the kittens are settling in very nicely.  I began their transition into the rest of the house on Monday evening.  We sat in the family room watching TV, while the kittens explored and I reminded the dogs not to make eye contact with them.  Emma and Daniel have always been supremely cat safe in the house, but I feel it's important to reinforce this.  We don't want their instinct to chase taking over as a kitten goes flying through the room, like kittens do.

Dorothy, scratching on her cat tree.

We had them out again yesterday evening, with run of the family room and kitchen/dining room.  The dogs are doing fine ... it's our other two cats who have their noses out of joint.  We've had a bit of hissing and spitting, which is to be expected.  Eventually, they will work out the house rules among themselves.  As long as we take it slow with the introductions, things shouldn't get out of hand.

Thank you for all of your kind comments and emails about Emma. She had a really bad couple of days on Sunday and Monday, and she began to show signs of improvement on Tuesday. Our vet figured that she got herself all worked up and totally over-stressed when she was staying at our friends' house last week while we were out of town. Today, she is much better ... eating well, walking better, and is definitely on the road to being her old self.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)


  1. Could it have been the extraordinary heat that did in the cuttings?

    Glad Emma is feeling better. It's so scary when one of the animals seems below par. Wish they could talk.

  2. I am so sorry your cuttings didn't do well. I hope this next batch do better.

    Glad to hear Emma is better an the the little girls are settling in!

  3. That is one thorny cutting to the center right! I know that with a commercial side only 25% cuttings is not a great stand, but my few every year are placed outdoors with a milk jug to cover and I'd be thrilled with a 25% rate (got 2/6 plants this year!)

  4. That's good news about Emma! Pets do get stressed when their world changes around them. Hope she is resting nicely now. :-)

  5. Connie,
    My first thought was the extraordinary heat DAY AND NIGHT we had for some time this summer.
    I saw a garden show about a year or so back and Armitage(can't think of his first name at the moment, Allan?) was interviewed and he said when the daytime temp gets into the 90's, the plants are stressed but will recover IF the night time temps go back to the low 70's (I think he said 75.) But, if the nighttime temps are above 75, then it is hard for them to recover. I believe the high temps keep the stomates fully open so they are transpiring water faster than they can take it in.
    Lost a alba semi-plena and a William Baffin that were rooted and in pots since the spring (suckers)Remember we reached the 100's day after day and were in the low to mid '80's at night.
    Jim P

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  7. I am so sorry!! I am stressed just thinking about all the sad little plants not to be!

  8. Connie, did you take the cuttings during a dry/hot spell? How long do you leave them in the misters?

  9. I am glad Emma has made a come around.

  10. Hannes (Vienna/Austria)September 2, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Sorry to hear about your cuttings. I've had similar experiences this July because of the extremely hot weather. At least this is what I suppose was the reason. I'm absolutey with you: not knowing what went wrong is worse than the losses.


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