Balsam is a plant that is very popular among both indoor floriculture lovers and summer residents, as it is very unpretentious and is able to delight with its flowering for a long time. The process of reproduction of this flower does not require any special skills: it is enough to break off a branch of the variety you like and root it. So how to properly propagate balsam in this way? When should this be done, what preparatory work should be done, how to transplant and root the cutting in soil and water, and what further care is required? And finally, what can only threaten a transplanted cuttings? The answer is in the article.
Features, pros and cons of the method
Cutting is a vegetative way of propagating a plant, that is, propagating it in separate parts - cuttings... This breeding method has several advantages:
- Cutting makes it possible to completely preserve all the varietal characteristics of the flower, which cannot be done when propagated by seeds.
- The technology of propagation by cuttings is quite simple: even a novice florist can handle it.
- The results of the cuttings can be seen soon. If you cut balsam in early spring (March), then in the summer the already formed plant will be ready to bloom.
- This method of reproduction is effective: only rare cuttings do not develop a root system. The main reason for such phenomena is improper rooting conditions or non-compliance with all the requirements for this procedure.
But not all varieties and types of balsam can be grafted: this propagation method is good for perennial flower varieties (for example, New Guinea hybrid or Waller's balsam), but annuals reproduce only by seeds (you can find out how to grow garden balsam from seeds on your own here) ...
How to cut at home?
Cuttings are usually carried out in the spring. This time of the year helps to accelerate all metabolic processes in the plant. It is in spring that plant cells begin to divide, forming new ones, and therefore roots easily appear in cuttings. And spring weather conditions only favor the rapid establishment, growth and development of a new young balsam.
Reference! Cuttings cut in summer and autumn can also be rooted. Balsam varieties, which bloomed all summer in the open field, are subjected to such cuttings; in this way, they will remain in the winter season.
- Cuttings... A healthy plant is selected, from which the tops of young twigs with 2 - 3 internodes about 8-10 cm long are cut off. The shoot should be without flowers, and if they are still there, then they must be removed. The leaves that are located at the bottom of the cutting are removed, the upper ones must be left. Before the rooting process, you can dip the tips of the petioles in a phytoharmonic solution.
In order for the cutting to root without problems, the mother plant from which it will be cut is recommended to be fed with complex fertilizers a week before the procedure.
- The soil... Moistened sand or a mixture of peat, vermiculite and perlite in a 1: 1: 2 ratio is suitable for rooting the cuttings in the ground. Peat will nourish the shoot, and perlite and vermiculite will give the soil looseness, air permeability, prevent overheating and hypothermia of the developing root system.
When a rooted shoot is planted in the ground in a permanent place, you should take either a special soil bought in a store, or a mixture prepared by your own hands (garden soil and sand are mixed in equal parts; leaf soil, peat and river sand are mixed in a ratio of 2: 1: 1 ). The main condition: the soil must be low-nutritional and sterilized.
- Pot... To root the cuttings in the ground, you can use ordinary plastic cups, but do not forget to make drainage holes in them. Transparent plastic will make it possible to monitor the state of development of the root system of the balsam seedling. The pot into which the stalk will be transplanted after rooting may be made of plastic, ceramics, clay.
The main condition for the container is the obligatory presence of holes at the bottom of the pot and a small volume, the diameter of the vessel. Balsam actively blooms when the pot is too small for it. If the capacity is too large, then all the forces of the plant will be directed to building up the root and leaf mass, and you can forget about flowering. Alternatively: several rooted cuttings can be planted in a wide container at the same time, then the balsam bush will be lush.
- Prepare everything you need for planting balsam:
- rooted stalk;
- Fill the bottom of the pot by 2 - 3 cm with drainage, the rest of the space is filled with a substrate.
- Make a small depression in the substrate with your hand, which is equal in volume to the volume of the young root system of the cutting.
- Lower the seedling into the recess, while gently straightening the roots. If the stalk was rooted in the ground, then it must be transplanted by the transshipment method: remove the shoot from the old pot and, without destroying the earthen lump, place it in a new pot.
- Cover the rooted shoot and voids with a substrate, lightly crush it with your hands to fix it in the ground.
Balsam can be rooted in water and substrate.
Cut cuttings are immersed in room temperature water, which is poured into a container made of dark glass or plastic. Attention must be paid to ensure that the lower leaves of the cutting do not get into the water in any case., as they can cause the decay process.
In addition, water should not completely fill the container: there should be room in it for air, which, together with water, will contribute to the process of root formation. A vessel with a stem is placed in a bright and warm place (not lower than + 17C). Rooting in water occurs after 7-14 days.
We suggest you watch a video about rooting a cuttings in water:
In the substrate
- A small pot is filled with drainage, and then with wet sand or a mixture of peat, vermiculite and perlite.
- With the help of a pencil, a small depression (1.5 - 2 cm) is made, where the cut and processed by "Kornevin" stalk are placed.
- The soil around the cutting is slightly crushed.
- The pot is placed in a warm (not lower than + 17C) and bright place. The root system in the soil is formed after 1 to 3 weeks.
Attention! A prerequisite for the rooting of balsam cuttings in water and soil is the creation of living conditions close to greenhouse ones: high temperature and humidity.
Therefore, be sure to place the container with the handle in a mini greenhouse. A greenhouse can be a plastic bag, a plastic food container with a tight-fitting lid, or a cut-up plastic bottle. With the appearance of the first roots, the greenhouse can be removed. But it is also important to remember that such a greenhouse should be opened daily for ventilation, otherwise the shoot may simply rot.
After the rooted cutting has been planted in a pot, it must be watered with slightly warm water with the addition of potassium permanganate. It is necessary to ensure that the soil in the balsam pot is constantly moist.... But stagnation of moisture should not be allowed so that the roots do not rot.
For better access of oxygen to the roots, one should not forget to sometimes loosen the upper layer of the substrate to a depth of 1 cm. The container with the plant must be placed on the windowsills of windows facing east or southeast. Balsam prefers partial shade, it is desirable that direct sunlight does not fall on its leaves.
Changes in temperature during the day and at night can destroy the plant, it is necessary that the thermometer does not fall below + 16C. When the plant adapts in the pot and begins to grow, then it should be fed 1 time in 10 days: you can use a special fertilizer from the store, or you can simply alternate nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.
What environmental conditions are considered ideal for balsam, as well as the rules for caring for a flower, read our material.
If something went wrong
- Infection of young seedlings with infections (for example, gray rot) (we talked about what balsam's diseases are, their treatment and prevention, we talked about here). It is this disease that causes the death of balsam seedlings. And the spores of this fungal infection can most likely be contained in the soil, which is used for planting already rooted cuttings. Therefore, it is necessary to use a commercially available substrate or treat the mixture prepared by yourself with fungicides or thermally.
- Rotting cuttings... This is possible if you systematically forget about the daily airing of the "greenhouses" in which the rooting of the plant is carried out.
- The stalk withers in the water... It is possible that the cut has dried up. It is enough to get the petiole out of the water and update the cut. And also make sure that direct sunlight does not fall on the escape. Cutting is the best way to propagate balsam, which does not require special skills and time consuming. In this way, you can constantly extend the life of the variety you like, as well as ensure the flowering of this flower all year round.
We suggest you watch a video about the propagation of balsam by cuttings: