Experiments in rooting grapefruit cuttings

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Posted by Radishrain Radishrain
I've previously tried rooting grapefruit cuttings in water in a windowsill (probably about four times). Each time it failed. The cutting would eventually dry up and die, with no roots, after some weeks. I didn't use hormone-rooting powder, however (but that would dissolve in the water, rather than stay on the stem, unless I tried rooting it in soil).

I figure part of the problem is algae. Light from the window causes algae in the water to grow, and that algae may be competing with the grapefruit tree cutting.

So, my grapefruit tree was getting too tall for my room; so, I pruned off a couple pieces, which I'm trying to root as cuttings in water, again--except this time, I'm trying it in the closest where it's dark (instead of the windowsill). The rationale here is that algae won't grow in the dark, clouding the water, and coating the stem. Also, the sun probably won't dry up the leaves eventually (if they die, they might die a different way). So, maybe it'll grow roots, this time; yeah, it doesn't have light to feed the cuttings, but the cuttings probably have starches and stuff stored up in them (they are tree cuttings, after all), which they could use to grow roots.

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Re: Experiments in rooting grapefruit cuttings

Well, that experiment of rooting grapefruit cuttings in the dark ended, today. The cuttings didn't root. They did, however, last a very long time (until about today, in fact). After a long time of being in the water, they lost their leaves, and got a slimey substance around the submerged parts of the cuttings; they also got gray-colored mold on the parts of the stems where the leaves fell off. The leaves did not lose their dark green color, however; they looked great the whole time (except for a few incidences where one or two leaves got some mold growing on them (which I cut off).

So, I think a hybrid solution would be better (low light, but not no light).

I think I only needed to change the water once, and that was near the end of the experiment. So, the darkness did seem to keep the algae out. I'm unclear as to whether the slimey stuff was algae or not (but it didn't seem to be there until near the end).

The cuttings were probably still alive, but as they had slime on them, I didn't want to continue (I don't know that I've ever seen cuttings root after getting that slime on them).
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
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