The Experiment Begins!

I think I may have been a mad scientist in a previous life. Yep. Pretty sure. The only convincing an outsider would need is to peek into the storage area under our house. It is filled with random wire, pieces of PVC, storage bins cut into weird configurations, hand saws, various old glass jars, and gifted life-sized Halloween monsters. It’s creepy down there guys.

My current experiment is definitely less creepy than the one-eyed monsters and broken glass left by previous tenants. I am testing the theory that two of the most common “natural rooting agents” have a positive effect on growth in propagated cuttings. That’s a mouth full. What I am doing is using three cuttings of the same length from the same blueberry bush, dipping them in different rooting agents, planting them in soil, and then watching to see what happens.

The idea behind propagating cuttings of a tree or bush, is that you are able to promote root growth on the cutting and start with a large, advanced sapling rather than starting from scratch with a seed. You can easily skip ahead a year or two worth of growing time and get to the good part. Most people use a “rooting hormone” or natural rooting agent, such as cinnamon, to protect the end of the cutting from unwanted disease and bacteria and to promote root growth. I will be testing the two most common mediums, cinnamon and honey, in our natural composted soil against a “control”.

All three of these cuttings were taken from the same branch of one of our blueberry bushes. All three cuttings are of healthy growth from this year. Some studies say that it is easier to propagate from woody branches over one year old and some say it doesn’t matter. Since these are all from the same branch, I don’t think that is going to have a major effect on my experiment.

The first branch is my control. Meaning that it was not dipped into any mixture. It is “plain” if you will.
The second branch is lightly moistened with filtered water and dipped in ground cinnamon.
The third branch is dipped in our own natural honey.

All three cuttings are planted into the same sized jars with rocks lining the bottom of the jar for drainage. All three cuttings are planted in the same composted soil mixture and are each watered the same volume of filtered water. Hopefully this will help cut down on the amount of variables I encounter.

And so, the experiment begins! I will keep you updated on how well the cuttings do or do not grow. Luckily I thought ahead a little and put them in clear glass jars so that we can all see any root growth that develops. Fun stuff ahead!

8 thoughts on “The Experiment Begins!

  1. You know how I LOVE experimenting as you seen from all my “twigs” n my kitchen lol I completely forgot about dipping in honey, oh well next time. Oh also starting with a cutting also allows you to get a true replication of the parent tree or Bush meaning the fruit will taste the same when you start with a seed even though it came from that tree there is no way to be certain the fruit will be as good as the original. PS. I need cuttings from you whatever trees and bushes you would like to share.

  2. I’ve never heard about honey but I have cinnamon. Also you should try willow branches, I hear they have the best rooting hormone and all you do is soak the willow branch in pieces then use that water to start what ever cutting you have. I’ll be looking forward to your results

    • I have heard of soaking them in willow branch water before too, but haven’t tried it. Maybe my next round of experimentation will be a control cutting in water versus a cutting in willow water. If I can find some willow around here, I can get that started and it won’t be too far behind the soil experiment. I just wanted to try soil first. Thanks for your comment!

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