Group Title: Horticulture Department mimeo report
Title: Information on mist propagation
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Information on mist propagation
Alternate Title: Horticulture Department mimeo report - Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; 54-2
Physical Description: 5 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Sharpe, R. H.
Griffiths, Austin, 1922-
University of Florida -- Dept. of Horticulture
Publisher: University of Florida, Horticulture Dept.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1954
Copyright Date: 1954
Subject: Mist propagation   ( lcsh )
Plant cuttings -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "Hort:RHS/gr ; 300 c/5-26-54"--Leaf 5.
Statement of Responsibility: R.H. Sharpe and Austin Griffiths, Jr.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094982
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 436441559

Full Text
Subtropical Experrmen cr
1e Route 2,o -

Horticulture Department Mimeo Report 54-2

R.H. Sharpe and Austin Griffiths, Jr.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Mist propagation refers to the use of a fine water spray over

cuttings to keep them healthy and turgid. It contrasts strongly with

the methods generally in use where shading, covering with glass, frequent

watering, and constant attention are needed to keep cuttings from drying.

The need for trained labor in watering and ventilating beds is

eliminated with the mist method. Only an occasional check is required to

see that the mist nozzles are running properly. Also unnecessary with

the mist method are the glass-cover and shading facilities needed with

the older methods.

Other advantages for mist that we have found during our four

years of experience with it are virtual elimination of loss from damping-

off disease, easier handling of large or very soft cuttings and, in many

cases, higher percentages of rooting Some plants root well only from

very soft growing tips; for these mist is especially valuable, being the

only method we know to handle them successfully.

In mist propagation, a simple arrangement of suitable nozzles

is used to provide constant protection for cuttings at least during day-

light hours. Three satisfactory nozzles we have used are: -

l1 Monarch H-261, size 3.00 standard 900 angle. Monarch Mfg. Co.,

2501 East Ontario Street, Philadelphia 34, Penna.

2. Thompson baffle-spray nozzle 215-A (1/2") or 216-A (3/""),

Thompson Mfg. Co., 2251 East 7th Street, Los Angeles 23, California.

3. Fog-mist nozzle 550-A, Sprayers and Nozzles Co., 2575 28th

Avenue, N., St. Petersburg, Floridao


Their listing is not intended as an endorsement of these types only.

The principal need is for a simple nozzle that cannot readily clog or

get out of adjustment. Our experience indicates that about 4 to 6

gallons of water per hour per nozzle may be needed at high pressures.

More exact specifications for varying water pressures are available

from the manufacturers. These nozzles have given trouble-free service

with a hard water supply when cleaned annually. They require 30 or

more pounds pressure for good operation.

The nozzles should be spaced about 5 feet apart in the lines.

For single-line installations, the line is set over the center of the

bench with nozzles directed upwards and discharging about one foot

above the surface of the media. A better distribution of mist can be

obtained in larger installations where several parallel lines are

placed 8 to 10 feet apart. In such cases, it is suggested that the

lines run between benches of 5- to 6-foot width with nozzles set

perhaps 3 feet above the bench except for the outside lines. The out-

side lines should be set just above the cuttings to prevent strong

steady winds from blowing beneath the mist and drying cuttings along

the outer edges. Valves should be installed to cut off the water as


Benches of standard types, flats and raised ground beds on

open sandy soil have all been satisfactory. Excellent drainage of

beds and media is the essential requirement. Several media were used

which gave about the same degree of rooting. Good rooting has been

obtained in old pine sawdust alone or combined with peat, perlite,

or vermiculite. Peat in combination with sand, perlite or vermiculite

has also been satisfactory. The usual type of propagation sand has

been fairly satisfactory; but rooting has been slightly better in


mixtures using peat or sawdust. When 1/8-inch mesh hardware cloth is

used for bench bottoms, mixtures including peat or sawdust do not go

through the bottom as does sand.

Rooting under mist in mid-winter has been unsatisfactory in

initial tests at Gainesville, when temperatures of 600F. or lower were

generally recorded for both water and media. An attempt was made to

maintain 700 or higher temperatures with electric cables in the beds

in a warm greenhouse but it was not very successful, as the cold water

kept the media at about 600 except in a small area near the cable.

The possibility of using gas or oil heaters under the beds or the use

of warm water has not been studied.

Beds can be placed wither in full sun or partial shade. There

is some evidence that loss of color from leaves is greater in full sun

than in partial shade and further studies are in progress on this point.

Windbreaks may be desirable in small installations, though we have not

found them essential in most of our tests. It is recommended not to

use more water than necessary to keep cuttings in good condition as

we have noted poorer rooting of some species in areas immediately under

the nozzles, apparently due to excessive water. Intermittent-mist

controls have not been available for study. Manual or automatic cutoff

of mist at night is suggested in order to reduce water consumption,

although rooting has been good when mist was allowed to run constantly.

We have had little wilting trouble from 5330 PM to 7:30 AM with mist

turned off.

Examples of plants considered difficult or impossible to root,

which we have been able to root successfully under mist are dogwood,

muscadine grape, blueberry, peach, oriental magnolias, several hollies

and others. We still have not been too successful with feijoa, Cattley

guava, a few of the hollies, and some native plant materials like tar-

flower and rosemary. Many soft herbaceous annuals and perennials have

rooted well but leaves of some were in poor condition at the end of the

rooting period and low survival was obtained. Dormant hardwood cuttings

generally have not rooted satisfactorily under mist. Plum, blueberry

and several others have typically developed weak, chlorotic leaves and

none or weak roots from dormant cuttings. Softwood cuttings of azalea,

camellia, pyracantha, ligustrum, ixora, gardenia and many others which

root fairly readily have given good to excellent results under mist.

We have not generally observed much faster rooting compared to standard

methods except when more succulent leafy cuttings were used to advant-

age. It is possible under mist to maintain a large leaf surface and

consequently to obtain better root development in some cases.

Good aftercare of rooted cuttings is extremely important.

Compared to standard methods, the cuttings may lose color and become

hardd0" Chemical analysis shows a severe reduction of NPK content

of leaves by the time cuttings have rooted. To insure survival, the

rooted cuttings should be removed from full mist promptly and planted

in fertile soil. Although only a few species have responded to hormone

treatment with faster rooting, it has been of distinct benefit with

those that respond since the cuttings can be removed more quickly from

the mist. We have found it desirable to give the transplanted cuttings

careful protection from wind and sun and in most cases to apply soluble-

type fertilizers to hasten thrifty growth.

As with any new technique, much testing and improvement of

practice under varied conditions must be done before we know the full

usefulness of mist in propagation. We have had very promising results

with some hard-to-root plants and like the ease of handling those which

root readily The full potentialities, we feel, are just now being


A few readily available published articles suggested for

further reading aret -

1. Gardner, E. J. Propagation under mist.

Amer. Nurseryman, May 1, 1941. p. 5-7.

2. Griffiths, Austin, Jro, H.N, Miller, and R.H. Sharpe

Constant-mist propagation of camellia cuttings.

Amer. Camellia Yearbook, 1953; 206-212.

3. Wells, J. S. Outdoor propagation under constant-

mist. Amer. Nurseryman, June 1, 1953t p. 14,


Hort RIS/gr
300 c/5-26-54


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