Problems Rooting Santolina Cuttings
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: JHK
Posted on: March 21, 2004

1. We took a cutting and planted santolina stems. I don’t know the reason why but, they withered slowly, their color changed and they died. We watered them suitably. I guess it would be connected with watering. Can you tell me the reasons and how you treat baby santolina, please?

You have to let the ends of the cuttings dry out slightly to prevent rot from setting in. The cuttings would root best if planted in damp, cooled, boiled sand (boiled to sterilize it) then covered with a clean plastic bag and put in a bright spot out of the sun. The sun would cook the cuttings in the bag! When they start to grow, gradually remove the bag and then plant in richer soil. Never allow to dry out, but don’t have the soil soggy wet either.

2. After the heliotrope’s blooming, its leaves withered, turned dark and the plant lost its beautiful shape. I think it might be the lack of fertilizers. How can I keep the heliotrope’s shape even if it starts blooming?

Heliotrope is not a heavy feeder, so I doubt that lack of fertilization was the cause. The do want good light. Your problems sound more as if the plant was suffering from severe lack of light. It would try to reach for light and get tall weak and skinny -- and its nice compact shape is gone. Cut it back and gradually increase the light. Also do not overwater. The plant likes to be just moist, not soggy wet.

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