Propagation of Bracteantha bracteatum (Strawflower) Vegetative Cuttings in Terra Plugs

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-4-46-29-pmVijay Rapaka, Ph.D.
Corporate Grower Research & Technical Support Manager
Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, Ohio, USA

Brenton Williams
Greenhouse Research Technician
Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, Ohio, USA

The following is the general procedure for Propagation of Bracteantha in Terra Plugs:

  • Saturate the Terra Plugs and place them in a disinfected propagation area
  • Insert the cuttings on the same day they arrive. If necessary, cuttings can be stored overnight at

    temperatures between 7° C to 10° C (45° F to 50° F)

  • Bracteantha roots easily and rooting hormone is generally not required. However, application of a rooting hormone (1000 ppm IBA as dip) can improve the uniformity and speed of rooting
  • For the first 24 hours, mist cuttings on a regular basis through the night. Thereafter, mist between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. as required, to keep the cuttings turgid
  • Do not let the cuttings wilt during the course of propagation
  • Do not over-mist or over-water as it results in leaching nutrients from the media
  • Maintain daytime air temperature of between 65° F (18° C) and 75° F (24° C) and nighttime air temperature between 65° F (18° C) and 72° F (22° C)
  • Provide the bottom heating between 72° F (22° C) and 76° F (24° C)
  • Maintain pH around 5.8 and provide an EC of 0.75 and 1 mS/cm
  • Two weeks after insertion water with complete nutrient solution with 125 ppm N
  • Propagate cuttings under diffused light with light levels of between 200 and 250 μmoles. m-2. sec-1 during the first week. After second week, the light levels can be increased to 300 μmoles.
    m-2. sec-1. Cover the propagation area with shade curtains when the light levels go beyond
    350 μmoles. m-2. sec-1
  • Apply PGRs as required to keep the cuttings compact. Pinching is not required during propagation
  • Generally, cuttings will be fully rooted and ready for transplant in 18 to 22 days after sticking
  • Do not let the Terra Plugs completely dry out during the course of propagation
  • Follow general transplant procedures

Research Update:

Research trials, demonstrated no significant differences in rooting response between Standard and Dry Terra Plug Mixes in the case of bracteantha. Therefore, the Standard and Dry Terra Plug Mixes can be used interchangeably depending on the location, season, and greenhouse conditions.

The following are examples with Bracteantha ‘Dreamtime Jumbo Rose’

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-4-48-00-pm

Photos: Bracteantha ‘Dreamtime Jumbo Rose’ 21 days after inserting into 104 count Terra Plug Standard Mix and Terra Plug Dry Mix (from left to right) – photos showing shoot growth (top) and rooting response (bottom)

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