Last post discussed how I sprouted some JBP seeds, and this post will deal with making seedling cuttings. I do apologize in advance for the large amount of photos but I wanted to give a step-by-step account for record keeping. I pretty much followed the procedures in the Stone Lantern Pines book to make the cuttings. I used a useful tip from Jonas at Bonsai Tonight, which uses a piece of PVC pipe to help make a channel to put a layer of sand in the middle of the other soil. The sand is there to help keep the cuttings moist and stable.
First I filled the cutting containers with a drainage layer of stone, followed by filling to about half of the container with the coniferous soil from NEBGS
Then I inserted a piece of PVC pipe to fill with sand. The general idea is to fill the tube with sand, fill around it with the regular soil, then when you pull the pipe out it leaves a pocket of sand for the cuttings.
And the finished product.
When the seedling’s stem turns a violet color, the seedlings are ready to make cuttings. I had a few I could do so I got to work. The date that this was done was June 10th, 2012.
I pulled the seedling from the soil and must have broke off any tiny roots pulling it out. No matter, as it was time to use a razor knife and make the cuttings.
I tossed the cuttings into a large bowl with water just like in the Pines book. This prevents them from drying out while making the other cuttings.
I should mention that I forgot to water all the pots that I filled before starting the cuttings. The thought behind this is that you don’t want to wash the rooting hormone away when you water. I did after the first cutting, water the rest of the pots in preparation.
I made a hole in the sand with a stub of bonsai wire, and applied rooting hormone. Then I used a chopstick and put the cutting in its place.
And the finished products after the first wave of cuttings.
At the end of the day, I ended up only making 6 cuttings. Some others needed some more time to grow, and I let them be. The problem is, that I never got around to doing anymore cuttings. I made 6 and lost 2, so now only 4 survived.
Here is an update of two of the survivors, about a month and a half later. Signs of growth, which hopefully means they have taken root and I’ll actually get to work on them one day.
Next year I’ll probably try another round of seedlings and see what I can come up with. I think I learned enough this year that the process should be more successful in the future. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed.