A Note On Holding Cuttings
Reid M. Denis, Great Falls, Virginia
It has been known for some time that azalea cuttings could be held in an ice box without deteriorating and that they would root when put in a propagating medium. The author inadvertently demonstrated that this principle also applied to rhododendron cuttings.
A number of cuttings from about fifty different clones were taken prior to the first killing frost in October of '65. Most of these were planted out in the greenhouse bench within the next month. One large batch, however, somehow was pushed to the back of a little-used ice box where they had been stored. They were not discovered until February - three months after being taken. Since none of them appeared to have rotted, they were all wounded, treated with Horomodin #3, and put in a greenhouse bench with bottom heat and misting equipment. The percentage of take seems to be just as high as with those that were planted relatively promptly. At least a dozen varieties were included in this lot and leaf size of the clones varied from the smallest to the largest. It would appear that cuttings can be made at any time they are ripe and held almost indefinitely without deterioration, or without adversely affecting the likelihood of rotting.