Cultivating Tips from a Master Grower
I can only tell you what has worked for me...
Cuttings- New shoots make the best starts. I recommend spring water or distilled early on and CHANGE THE WATER DAILY WHILE ROOTING! Some water is high in minerals and has a negative effect on young plants.. Rooting compounds are a waste of time and money here. In about 7-10 days when you have an ¾” roots, pot them in potting soil, keeping it moist for about 3-4 days until it acclimates to soil life again…
If during the rooting process one or more cuttings turn black on the stem (rot) DISCARD IT! , CHANGE THE GLASS AND WATER YOU ARE ROOTING IN. This happens on rare occasions.
Cuttings need have 3-4 roots, one half inch to 1 inch long , then potted in supersoil once they are rooted. You will likely have to keep it WET for about 3-5 days as the cutting adjusts to being in soil vs. water, or it will wilt. Cuttings should be planted 2" deep or more as roots will continue to emanate from the stem. In this regard they are like mint, if you lay them in the shade and water them they root and grow!
Increase the size of the container every two weeks or so. I prefer to have them in the ground after they get established and are actively growing. Keep them moist NOT wet once established.
Pests- snails ,white flies and cutworms are a problem for young plants but don't seem to have an effect on my mature plants. The trick is de-bug and de-snail BEFORE you put them in the soil.
Placement- this is a shade loving plant. All shade is not good, it needs some a.m. sun, an east exposure with 1 to 1-1/2 hrs daily and has worked great for me.
Fertilizer- Fish emulsion has worked best for me as a fertilizer follow directions on product. Once a month is best during the growing season which is when its warm.
Support- After your plant reaches 1-2 ft. support it with stakes and ties.
Cuttings- purpose of: At about 1ft you will want to take cuttings. YOU will have to gauge when the right time is by the size of the plant. This varies depending on how well your plant is doing. My point here is to begin cutting on it to encourage branching this makes a leaf producing plant!
Watering- Remember: moist NOT wet. Again I recommend spring water or distilled early on with young plants . Later on as they get larger, use city water. If you plan to keep them in pots the minerals will build up. I suggest you use spring water or distilled water for potted plants. Add the minerals and fertilizer you want.
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