Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chop 101

First you have to decide if the plant you just paid good money for is worth the sacrifice, because some times this procedure will kill it. This Pachypodium saundersii in a 10in pot was $75 from Nick Wilkinson of 
Grow while at the Intercity show last year

Remove the soil to see what you are working with (looks like there was some rot recently)

Remove topgrowth to balance

Determine where you want the base to be

and cut!

Slice through with a sharp knife (hope she doesn't go looking for the Pampered Chef ). 

As a rule of thumb, for every inch of diameter cut the plant should dry at least one week. This plant having a diameter of 5in needs to callus for a minimum of 5wks, possibly longer depending on your conditions. Place in an area with good air circulation and out of direct sun during this time.

 This was cut 4wks ago and is drying nicely. Once completely callused place in a deep pot (drains thoroughly compared to shallow) with pure pumice, perlite or 1/4" red lava. Place in a warm area with air movement and bright light, no direct sun. Water, let substraight dry thoroughly before adding more moisture. This is the most vulnerable time, watch the caudex. If it starts to plump you've had success, if it wrinkles check the base. Could be rotting. If the latter remove decayed material and start the process over. Rooting should take place within 3-6wks, some times longer.

If all goes well it will have abundant new roots, this 3yrs post chop

Occasionally the old base can be saved, depends on the species and size. The piece from this project will probably not make it due it being small but I will tray all the same

 Demonstration purposes only!
The result, impressive! Anyone can stage in a deep pot, but takes some skill and patients to do it a 1.25in shallow container.

3yrs post chop

Also works great with Fockea. I been working on this beginning in 2002



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Low fire tester

Now to find the right plants to fill it