I have received a very interesting email from a reader (Mr/Ms H. M.L.) with questions as per captioned and whether I add Epsom salt &/or coffee to my soil.
In reply: I have never tried forcing “baby roots” to grow but you have actually triggered my curiosity with that question. I think it’s time for a new experiment. No, I have not added Epsom salt and yes, I do add used ground coffee to my soil.
However, IF you have 2 very matured plants and are willing to try getting “babies” out of them, you have 2 options.*
Land-babies sprouting from a chopped off “old” stalk which has had its trunk and aerial roots buried about 1 ft in rich composted manure and then mulched to retain moisture,
or Aqua-babies, which are growing from a stalk being rooted in water. These small plants were just green spots when the stalk was submerged and to me that indicated potential growth.
These will grow in (yes, under) water until they are tall enough to be exposed above soil when I bury all the water cultivated (white-hair like) roots in soil.
We have just had the Summer Solstice and I think the Pandan plants are feeling the Moon’s magnetic charge. See some of the parent plants with their “babies”.
So, Mr/Ms H. M.L., I can’t answer your main question about forced growth of baby roots yet but … that will be my experiment for 2018.
Thank you for igniting that flame of curiosity. 😉
*Forewarning: If your plants die because of poor handling, bad soil, infertility, etc … don’t blame me. Try at your own risk.
I, with my simple vocabulary range, will just call it re-using. How about that?
Yes, I have found some of those discarded plastic containers of great use and they can be used multiple times too. Be it the Paris Agreement or Global Warming concerns, it is just my nano contribution to slowing down the flow to the recycling plant.
Apart from the general hose-watering, I use this method to water slow and deep in areas which do not get rained on – keeps my Daikon & Carrots happy. 🙂
Feeding liquid seaweed fertilizer this way gets it right where it’s needed. No spraying around causing soil-splatter on leaves.
These bottles have been in my possession and used for over 2 years yet they are still in very good condition.
To start seeds in winter, even the not-so-chilly Florida winter, I would still need a greenhouse-of-sort. I don’t have seeding lights, warm mats and other expensive stuff avid gardeners use. I use supermarkets’ salad containers which I call green-boxes.
My seeding “boxes” – (R) is box with lid 4″ high & (L) is box over box 8″ high.
You can start with boxes in their original form – box & lid, but as the seedlings get taller, the lid can be peeled off (for next use, again as lids ) and another box can be used as cover giving the plants growing space. These boxes are 4″ high so with 2 boxes together (see pic above; left item) seedlings can happily stay there longer.
The Pandanus Amaryllifolius (not any other Screwpine) ~ Pandan for short breaks into a growth gusto when Spring is about to turn to Summer. It must feel like the Tropics to them so ‘babies’ and aerial roots appear at a crazy rate.
This is the time to carefully check between leaves because unless you separate the leaves and inspect, chances are, small young plants will not be seen until too late ~ dehydrated and stunted. Cut the long leaves hiding them if required, be merciless, as the ‘babies’ need light and growth space.
Pandan “babies” just springing up from parent plant and leaves cut off giving them breathing space.
A thick healthy root is about to spring forth.
When that healthy root grows up to 2″, it will be ideal to remove the baby plant from the parent to have more subaerial roots develop in water.
With so many leaves cut off today, what do I do with them? Continue reading
My routine of cultivating the Pandan plant (Pandanus Amaryllifolius) from matured ones is to carefully clip off the babies which have strong aerial roots and (as in an earlier post) develop more roots in water.
Of late I have been receiving inquiries about what happens thereafter, what containers would be best to use and how to know when the roots are matured enough to be repotted or planted into the ground. This is not professional advice or what nurseries might do ~ it’s strictly my method, OK? (So no finger pointing and lawsuits please, try at your own plant’s risk.)
After sufficient roots have developed in water (in about 3 weeks) I plant them in potting soil with a pinch of epsom salt. I use disposal drinking cups as I find them deep, thin, pliable, light and reusable. I make a small hole in the base for drainage using a hot skewer.
The depth allows roots to grow with gravity ~ downwards.
And these soft cups allow me to wet the soil, gently press their sides and slide the “baby” plants out to monitor their root growth.
Nice long matured roots …
When the roots reach the cup’s base and grows in shape of its circumference, then I know it’s ready to leave its nursery-cup to go into a pot.