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Misting Propagation - How to...? Where can I find...? How much...?

11 years ago
last modified: 9 years ago

I've added this whole thread to the FAQ, because there is just so much useful information here aboutmist propagation.

My misting bed for you newbee rooters
Posted by mytrid z8b Florida (My Page) on Sun, Apr 20, 03 at 0:12

This is my misting bed. I started it last year after loosing tuns of cuttings in baggies!! Angie is the one that origanally dicovered it. This method is so sucessful and easy. I would say 90 percent.

We bought a misting set that was designed to cool like an umbrella on a outside table. I bought pvc and made a frame and hammer ends in ground a few feet, taped misters on to the pvc. We bought cheapy plastic containers at walmart and drilled hols in the bottom and use construction sand bought from lowes. I use exspensive rooting hormone from rose emporium, but I here dip and grow is good also. Just stick your cuttings in the sand. I turn my mist bed on around 9-10 am. and off when I see the sun starting to go down. I have it in almost full sun for most of the day. Now if I gotta leave early and woln't be back to turn em on I just turn em on before I leave.

They take about 2 weeks too root in the hot weather. When they have about 3 good roots I pot them in potting soil and put them in almost full sun and keep em watered. If home I may mist them once or twice a day.

You can get mister and tubing at lowes and walmart you just gotta look hard sometimes. Just look for fine mist nozzeles. I got mine on Ebay but the are getting clogged to easy so I will buy better ones when these poop out for good.

This is the best method by far in my opinion if you really wanna root a bunch of cuttings.

feel free to ask away on questions I will try to help if I can.


Follow-Up Postings:

Posted by: Cristi 7 West Texas (My Page) on Sun, Apr 20, 03 at 3:05

Thank you so much for sharing!! This is my first year at roses and I'm already addicted!! Questions:
1. You don't put anything in the sand? It's just play sand. Would contruction sand work?
2. How deep is the sand?
3. Do you reuse the sand or toss it each time?
4. How long are most of your cuttings? Are you just putting 1 node under the sand?
5. How do you know you have 3 good roots? Are you pulling them up and looking at them?
I didn't mean to make you write a book, but thank you for your help!!

Posted by: judi_va z8 va (My Page) on Sun, Apr 20, 03 at 7:29

would a vaporizer on a timer work in a mini greenhouse?thanks!


Posted by: RoseLover_5b z5b KCMO (My Page) on Sun, Apr 20, 03 at 11:28

Great information! Question on the misting system: does it use lots of water over the course of a full day of being on? My water bill is already too high in the summer, just wondering if it would go up much more with this. I love the vaporizer idea!

Posted by: mytrid z8b Florida (My Page) on Sun, Apr 20, 03 at 13:01

Cristi, I don't mind answering questions that why I put up the post, not only that I know how it feels to wanna root and loose so many with that dang baggie method!!
1. I put nothing in the sand It is just construction sand from lowes, from the bag to the container nothing else!

2. As far as depth, ahhhhhhh heck I just make a rough estimate of a few inches in the containers! About 2 and a half 3 inches.

3. I do reuse the sand untill it gets to much dirt in in or just looks like it needs replaced. You'll be able to tell!

4. I always try to put in cuttings that are not too thin, ones with at least 2-3 leaves sets above the sand. Yes I almost always put a leaf node belove the sand. I cut at an extreme angle below node and score the other side with a knife right below node then dip in hormone.

5. Do I pull em out........heck yea, I'm an impatient woman "I wanna see roots!!" You can gently pull them out whenever you think you may have roots, if roots aren't long enough you think to plant em just gently put em back in. You will see calous first before roots.

I put some in my mist bed about 2 weeks ago and I have probably checked them I'd say about 6 times already. Some are HTs some are english ones, They usually root in 2 weeks but I think these didn't cause we had a cold snap for around 3days and I think that put em behind, but they have started forming their calous and have no doubt they will have great roots next weekend!!

Judi, I don't know about the vaporizor idea, my understand is they need water not only to keep leaves and stems from drying out but to keep that sand moist! From what I been told the professionals use above misting system with a timer that is on ever 10 min or so for a min or two.

By the way some cuttings you will loose all the leaves, but thats ok after they have roots they put out more!

Rose lover, I have a well as I'm sure you guessed but I do not belief it uses much water at all. I bearly have to turn water on for the misters to start. And the well bearly ever clicks on for it. Not only that you can choose how many mist heads you use also. You could probably just use one container and two mist heads, ( oh by the way they are the plastic shoe box containers by rubbermaid ) I would try it if I were you I really don't think you will see much of a difference in your water bill. Just use only the misters you need and turn them off as soon as the sun starts to set.

I hope this helps, ask away if there are more questions. I can post pic within the week of one with roots also!! Its so fun to see the roots!! I may not till the next weekend cause I gotta go back to work and cannot take time to potup rooted ones except on days off.


Posted by: roselust z10 socal (My Page) on Sun, Apr 20, 03 at 18:00

I too run my mist all day. Mine is placed on top of a table and I catch the run-off of water in a garbage can and channel it elsewhere. I collect about one garbage can of water/day (32 gallons). That is about 25cents in my water district. I figure again as much evaporates, so that is 60 gals/day, and about $15 per month for water when all misting heads are on low.
I contacted the maker of my misting heads and they said they used one half to 4 gallons/hour each head. There are 6 misters per line so assuming 10 hours turned on per day, that is between 30 and 240 gallons/day. Hence my usage of about 60 gals/day. I keep mine turned as low as possible to get adequate mist -- enough to keep the leaf surfaces wet in the full sun. When I dont have too many cuttings, I only use one or two misting heads and use much less water.

As to speed of rooting, I get roots at about 3-4 weeks or so, but dont transplant till later -- maybe 5 to 6 weeks depending on mass and health of roots. I like to see lots of roots before removing from the misting table. I suspect the difference in speed of rooting is the difference between sand and the 50-50 potting soil-perlite I use. I am now using individual bottomless bands for each cutting so I dont transplant at all anymore once roots have formed.

Like Deanna, I also on occasion will pull out the cutting to look at rooting progress. As long as you are gentle, there is no problem. I love to see the callus tissue. Containers in which I have seen roots, I place a toothpick next to so I wont have to look anymore at that cutting.


Posted by: dmaivn NSW Aust (My Page) on Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 7:10

Buy a batery operated water valve. It costs about 15 USD and a pair of Alkaline battery will last for at least 3 months. You can set the interval and length of the spray. It would be crazy to keep it on all day.
You should add some peat into the sand, it will increase the moisture retension dramtically while the mix is still free draining. I root mainly roostocks like Multiflora with 100% sucess rate consistently. Other roses depends on the type, I typically get 90% of mini roses, 90% on iceberg, lower on some others.
The only reason why you would keep teh misters running more frequently (every 10 minutes)is when you root in full Sun. In FUll Sun the roots probably come out in 3 weeks. In shade it takes 6 weeks to produce lots of roots (over 12 roots per stem) and the misting is in frequent, about 3 times per day in day time.


RE: My misting bed for you newbee rooters
Posted by: AngieAnders TX 8a (My Page) on Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 14:04

I have mine in full sun, with a timer that keeps it on during the entire time that the they are exposed to the sun. (11am-7pm.) Intermittent timers are just too expensive. I use wind to my advantage. The misters are set high enough above the cuttings - and the mist is fine enough - that the water is blown away from the cuttings periodically, giving them just enough time to dry a bit before being misted again. It works great. These mist heads that Deanna and I are using are not like those used in professional sand beds. They produce a finer "floating" spray, and use less water.
Coarse sand works great for me, all by itself. The cutting I've linked below rooted in 11 days. I photographed it as I was potting it up directly from the misting bed. This was when my bed was in full shade. I can't wait to see how fast they will root in full sun, this year.


Posted by: deborah2003 z7B/8 SE VA (My Page) on Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 15:09

Sorry - I am new to misting....and would like to set one up.
What department in Lowes would you find mister heads?
How does the mister attach to the water source?
Is the water source on all day?
Does it mist constantly or intermittenly on a timer like the grocery store veggy misters?


Posted by: mytrid z8b Florida (My Page) on Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 19:04

I am not possitive on lowes having them, I am sure they do if you look hard enough. Also last year when looking for a watering system for my established roses in at wal-mart I did come across where they have joint for on PVC pipe that already had the mister attached. I am sure if you look hard enough you can find them also, if not at lowes, try wal-mart or home depot. And if you still can't find em try the internet!!

Me and Angie leave ours on all day because the mist is fine and we have our cuttings in full sun for most of the day! the misters I seen a wal-mart look just like mine. I also plan on getting them when mine poop out!

The timer you would need to turn on and off constantly is too exspensive. Those 15 dollar ones you can only program at the most for 4 times on and off, that isn't enough. So I would personally sujest just try to find a fine misting system and putting cuttings in full sun.

The misting system Angie and I got last year on ebay was designed for cooling around an umbrella on a patio set. I looked on ebay for you and I do not see them on there. So you will need to look in the stores.



Posted by: dmaivn NSW Aust (My Page) on Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 22:23

It sure looks like you can buy much more stuff in the US! The misting nozzles are made of brass rather than the plastic ones in Australia.
I am not sure about "expensive" automatic timer? The one I have is about $14USD. It's Australian design made in China. It allows settings of interval 1,2,3,4 hours then 6,12 hours then 1,2,3 days then 1,2 weeks. The other setting is for the length of watering starting from 1 minute to 30 minutes. There is a digital one that allows settings to minutes and seconds which is suitable for intermittent misting in full Sun. This one costs just over $60 USD.

I got the cheap one. I always set to turn on every 3 hours for 1 minute in Hot summer time. Late Summer it comes to 4 hours for 1 minute. And Autumn it comes to 8 hours for 1 minute. This is good for rooting in shade.

If you want to do it yourself, here are the steps

Buy the parts: one battery operated timer valve, a length of horticulture poly pipe, a few nozzles, a few pipe terminators, square joins, straight joins (all under $1), some metal wires, adaptors that hook the pipe to the timer valve (and if not already provided, the timer valve to the water tap). I grab one of the shop assistant, within 10 minutes he gave me the lot!

1- Straighten your pipe! Take it out to full Sun, string it out straight for hours for the heat to soften it and get it really straight. Otherwise after you fix the nozzles on, in 1 few days the positions are all wrong!

2- Hammer down a few wooden stakes where you want to set up the misters. Then hang the poly pipe on the stakes, use the angle joints if needed.

3- Hook the pipe to the timer and the timer to the water tap, insert the batteries and adjust the setting. Use the metal wire to secure the pipes against the terminator. Also use metal wire to secure connectors between pipe and timer and timer and water tap because cheap connectors tend to pop out when the water pressure arrives.

4- The misting nozzles would probably designed with a sharp end and screw spiral. Just punch it into the soft poly pipe and screw it in firmly, about one mister for each 1.5 feet. I only use 2 nozzles for the area that will accept 300 cuttings.

Now turn the water on and adjust the settings of the timer to see the action.

In a week, the direction of the misters would have changed because the poly pipe finally settle into a it final shape. You will probably find the mister rotate a bit. Take one of the straight join, split the pipe and connect it back. Use the metal wire to secure the join so that water pressure will not push the pipe slipping from the join.

I would recommend against keeping water on all the time. I am sure that a suitable battery operated timer will not cost more than $20. With a decent timer, the water usage is negligible.

Posted by: roselust (My Page) on Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 23:03

Keeping the water on all the time works very well when rooting in full sun. Before I tried it myself I too was fearful of the idea. In fact one of the real benefits is the almost total lack of cuttings rotting. If you have had trouble with black stems, death of cuttings, or have had to resort to extra steps using bleach or other poisons, you might try getting a very inexpensive hose end misting system and going for it. The simplicity and effectiveness of it is amazing.

Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Tue, Apr 22, 03 at 1:52

Deborah: Look in the plumbing department of Lowes for their display of components for drip irrigation systems. They'll probably be adjacent to the display of automatic lawn sprinkler system components. The only mist head I found there is the "Mister Landscaper 3 in One Swap-Top Mister," model number MLM-404 (not MLM-236, which looks very similar but is more of a mini sprinkler than a mister). I like them because they fan the mist out almost horizontally and cover a much larger area than the other mist heads I've tried. They're also less prone to clogging, but they do use more water than the little Orbit brand mist heads they sell at WalMart. You may not want to use them without an intermittent timer. Or maybe you would, since you can get by with fewer of them. Two Mister Landscape misters cover more area than 6 Orbit misters set at the same height.
The third place I've found misting heads was the local True Value Hardware, which had the Raindrip brand. They're the same general type as the Orbits, but they're more substantial looking and come with 4" risers. One thing I didn't like about the Orbit misters is that the actual nozzle assembly is in two pieces. The outer yellow covering has a tendency push up and away from the core after a while because of the water pressure, causing the nozzle to emit a solid stream of water rather than mist. I didn't actually buy any of the Raindrip nozzles, so I'm not positive, but it looks like that part of the assembly is in one piece.

Other components you'll need to set up a system similar to mine (minus the solenoid and timer):
1/4" drip irrigation distribution tubing. Be sure you don't pick up 1/4" soaker hose tubing by mistake.
A 1/4" adaptor to attach the tubing to your water supply.
A 25 PSI pressure regulator, unless you want to risk blowing the mist heads out of their fittings with excess water pressure.
Some 1/4" barbed T connectors to attach the mist heads.
1/4" barbed end plugs to close the system.
You should be able to find everything at any store with a reasonably well stocked display of drip irrigation components.

Mytrid: I put together the business end of my misting system on the cheap and then splurged on a good dual timer from an industrial surplus site. For $45 I now have the completely absurd ability to independently and precisely set my mist-on and mist-off times to any interval from 50 milliseconds to 10 hours. That's serious overkill, but I figure if I use it for more than one season it will save enough on water bills to pay for itself and for the inexpensive solenoid it controls. The way I have it set up now it delivers 4 seconds of mist every 10 minutes from 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening.

Note to anyone worried about setting up a mist system without a timer: You can add a timer if and when you decide you want one. The "Mach I" misting system I set up last summer initially lacked any sort of automatic timer, and I had little choice but to run it all day because I had to go out and make a living. No one was home during the day to turn the water on and off but the dog, and he couldn't quite manage it. It still worked a LOT better than any propagation method I'd tried up to that point. Intermittent mist is even better, but this is something you can do in stages.

Posted by: mytrid z8b Florida (My Page) on Tue, Apr 22, 03 at 3:47

You have a point, if I could find a timer like you have it sure would pay for itself, I don't have a water bill but I do however have an electric bill for when the well has to come on!!

I sure would like to know what the name of the timer you have is and also the site where you got it if you don't mind!! That set up of coming on every 10 min for so many seconds is ideal!!

Well folks I mainly made this post for everyone who has recently got seriously addicted to this rose bug fever. With or without a timer this method is has a VERY high success rate. If you want to root a bunch of cuttings you can't go wrong with this system!!

Good luck


Posted by: Millie_36 Z6b MO (My Page) on Tue, Apr 22, 03 at 7:57

You might try looking for personal cooling they use overhead in outdoor theme parks where people walk.
As Mytrid and Angie are saying, it is a very light mist....not a spray. The ones used in greenhouses are called misters, but really shoot a spray pattern of water that would not drift.

Posted by: dmaivn NSW Aust (My Page) on Tue, Apr 22, 03 at 7:58

Yeb, you cannot go wrong. The time it takes to root is so quick so you always win the battle between root or rot. Also the cuttings are fully harden after they root, so they grow faster and survive well. You can then focus time on learning the art of budding anf grafting which will take the fun to a new height. Now I am focusing solely on grafting as rooting is no longer a problem.


RE: My misting bed for you newbee rooters
Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Wed, Apr 23, 03 at 3:17

Deanna: The timer came from Young's Surplus USA. To see it go to this page and scroll down to Inv# 8034, ATC Dual Timer Module 342A, then go here for a data sheet on the timer. If you decide to go for it and need help setting it up, let me know and I'll walk you through it. My timer appears to be new (or at least never used) but it didn't come with any sort of manual. I'll admit to having a few moments of fear and trepidation before the solenoid kicked in for the first time and mist appeared.
Millie: The cheap plastic nozzles I bought at WalMart look a lot like the nozzles on the spray bottles that household cleaners come in, and don't produce particularly fine droplets. The "Swap-Top" misting heads from Lowes are deflection type heads that shoot a stream of water from a pinhole aperture onto a flattened cone about 5 millimeters above, causing it to fan out at a shallow angle into what looks like a solid sheet of water as it leaves the nozzle. Several inches out the sheet breaks up into gazillions of fine droplets that do drift. I can't really see the mist at the level of the cuttings unless the sun hits it just right, but I can put out my hand and feel it. From what I've read on the subject, deflection type mist heads don't produce as fine a mist as the other type when you're talking about professional grade brass components used at high water pressures, but the opposite appears to be true when you're talking about cheap plastic components in a low pressure system. The deflection head is such a simple device that they'd really have to work hard at the engineering to mess it up.


Posted by: roselust (My Page) on Wed, Apr 23, 03 at 16:50

I second and third all those who say using a mist system is the most effective fast fool-proof way to start cuttings. It beats the baggie method by miles.
If you want to set up a very very rudimentary one to prove this to yourself you can do it very inexpensively. You might have to do abit of running around, but you only need three simple components -- one misting nozzle (50 cents each from a complete drip irrigation distributor) This type will make a complete circle of mist up to afew feet in diameter. A segment of quarter inch line, non soaker hose as mosaic mentioned, Or you can even use clear aquarium line bought by the foot at a pet store-- get at least 3-4 feet, and a hose end adaptor, female end with tiny quarter inch male end purchased at home depot for under $1,50. (called a 'faucet adapter' which connects 1/4inch drip tubing to faucet or hose thread) Hook these three components together, attaching the misting nozzle end to anything solid (such as a chair or table or stake driven into the ground) above the cuttings with a clothes pin or twine and slowly turn the water on till a mist or light spray enough to keep the leaves continuously moist is formed. Place your hormone treated cuttings under the mist in the fast draining medium of your choice in a container or containers with good drainage, and leave mist on during daylight hours. Turn off at sunset. Turn on in the morning when the sun is up. In afew weeks, check for root formation. Use clear plastic cups with holes melted in the bottom if you dont want to dig up the cuttings to see roots. Make sure this set-up is positioned in as much sun as you can. From dawn to dusk is not too much.

If (when) you get satisfactory success with this simple inexpensive method, you can then move up to more fancy tables and timers and other water saving devices.

I myself really would like that timer that would turn on every 10 minutes for full sun rooting.

Posted by: Maureen1953 Z4 Central NY (My Page) on Wed, Apr 23, 03 at 22:18

What do you guys do when it pours rain for days on end and your containers fill up....or is the medium so fast draining that doesn't happen? Will the cuttings rot with that much water?


Posted by: roselust z10 socal (My Page) on Thu, Apr 24, 03 at 0:37

When it rains or drizzles as it has this past winter, I turn off the misters. Even with rain and cloudy weather, the medium I use is fast draining (50-50 potting mix and perlite) my containers never fill with water (I use individual bottomless bands), have a slanted well draining table top, and have no rot problems. But in all fairness, I live in a comparatively dry, cool, low humidity environment compared to some areas -- coastal so. california.

Posted by: slomo 8/9tx (My Page) on Thu, Apr 24, 03 at 22:20

How do ya'll keep the mist nozzles from plugging?


Posted by: AngieAnders TX 8a (My Page) on Fri, Apr 25, 03 at 0:08

It's hard to keep them from plugging, after a lot of use. I have found that if mine even touches the ground, and something gets into the line, it will plug up a mist nozzle. For this you can unscrew it and flush the line out. I blow into the mister head as well, to get any particles out of it before screwing it back in. We have hard water, and after a while the nozzles will stop up due to nothing more than mineral build-up. You can soak them in vinegar to help reduce this, but after a while they will need to be replaced. Thankfully the kind I use are not expensive, and can be replaced once a year without too much bother.


Posted by: TandC 9a (My Page) on Fri, Apr 25, 03 at 17:22

Wow, I am SO excited! I've never had much success with rooting anything besides succulents. I'm going to try the temporary set up to see how I like this.


Posted by: epiphany z5b PA (My Page) on Sat, Apr 26, 03 at 9:38

Excellent thread! As soon as Spring has really sprung I will definately be setting something like this up.
Thanks roselust, dmaivn, and mosaic for the details. I am getting about 50% rooting in my plastic containers indoors but this sounds so much better!

Posted by: wild_garden virginia z6b (My Page) on Sat, Apr 26, 03 at 15:52

this is so great! i have been very curious about misting systems and read a fair amount about them and just happened to stumble on this post. this is a great looking system! :) so i went to lowes and invested a small amount of money in the basic kit and a pressure regulator and some misting nozzles. i hooked up the pieces to test out the mist and it is a great fine mist! :) i am very excited! now i want a timer! lol. i see in the posts that it will work without a timer but for some reason i will feel better about having a timer i think. i also need to get some hose to carry water all the way out to where i want the mist system to be set up in the garden where it is sunny. i am very impressed with how quickly your cuttings are rooting. i am just now trying the baggie method of propogation, my cuttings have been in their baggies and seem to be ok but it is only the third day now. they still have all their leaves and look perky. a misting system would be much more exciting i think! i also need to set up the support to hold the misting system above the plants with the pvc pipe, maybe i will use some wood i have sitting around and put it together with twine and use that. what a great idea. i really did like that fine mist it was more mist than i thought would come out of that little piece of plastic, and the mist nozzles were very inexpensive i could get more if it clogs up. i wonder how many mist nozzles everyone uses at one time ? how many cuttings can you root per mist nozzle ?


Posted by: roselust z10 socal (My Page) on Sat, Apr 26, 03 at 18:32

How many cuttings per nozzle depends on what sort of nozzle you are using, the wind conditions in your area, and the type of containers you are putting your cuttings in to root. I use bottomless bands (just under 3inches square) and with my particular misting head(s)can put about 50 to 75 under one drip-type mist nozzle. When I am rooting several hundred cuttings at once, I use a similar misting line of 6 nozzles as seen in the original post in this thread. Each of these nozzlesin a cooling mist system puts out a smaller amount (o.5 to 4 gallons/hr), but gives greater reliable coverage to more cuttings.
As to unclogging mist nozzles, if its a mineral deposite and all else fails, if you are strong of heart and comfortable using chemicals, you can try briefly dipping the clogged nozzle in muriatic pool acid, or a dilution of that to disolve the build-up. (remember: A before W -- add acid to water, not the other way around)

One other thing that would be helpful in the very simple misting set-up I use would be a hose end on/off coupleing. One of the inexpensive ones, or even a 'y' coupling so you can more easily regulate the water emitting from the nozzle. You actually dont even need an actual mist. A fine light spray will also do and use less water. All you need is enough water to keep your leaves wet during the day.

Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Sun, Apr 27, 03 at 23:53

wild_garden: I used an ordinary garden hose to carry the water out to my mist system until last week, when I finally felt certain enough about the placement of the system and got tired enough of tripping over the hose crossing my patio to replace it with 1/2" drip distribution tubing buried along the edges of the concrete slab. There's no difference in function, but it looks a lot better.
About the support needed to hold the misting system above the plants: Unless you're a lot more handy with wood and twine than I am, do yourself a favor and skip over all of that and go directly to the sort of PVC pipe frame that appears in Deanna's photo once you've settled on a location for the system. PVC pipe and the elbow joints for the corners are cheap and easy to work with if you have the pieces cut to length at the store. I don't know how Deanna installed hers, but I just went out after a thunderstorm and hammered the two uprights a couple of feet into the rain soaked earth, then stuck the elbow joints on the tops and inserted the horizontal pipe. A tap tap here and there with the hammer to tighten the joints and it was ready for the misting line to be mounted. Quick and easy.

RE: My misting bed for you newbee rooters
Posted by: mytrid z8b Florida (My Page) on Mon, Apr 28, 03 at 0:43

Tee Hee yep, you got it right exactly!! Not only is pvc easier, it is cheaper then wood and woln't rot. I hammered em in the ground about 2-3 feet......ahh heck maybe even more, cause when I bought the pvc I wasn't sure on high i would want em so I just hammered till it looked good. I think the pvc and the pvc glue for the elbow joints at best came to 5 bucks! I use duck tape to hold the tubing and hey it lasted all year. Hey if I can save a penny, you best belief I am gonna do it!!

Look all this isn't like the baggies, it doesn't have to be perfect to work. Really it is easy and you end up with great success!!

I have put 36+ cuttings in over the last 3 weeks and have only lost 3, for god knows why. But about 10 are showing roots already!

I don't care what anyone says, to me this IS the best easiest and cheapest!!

The best part is you don't have to really harden them off, if your mist bed is in full sun they root faster and are hardened off!

Good luck all, make sure you post and let us know what ya think!!

Posted by: wild_garden virginia z6b (My Page) on Mon, Apr 28, 03 at 20:52

this is great i am so excited! :) my timer isn't here yet i will wait for it before installing everything. i like the idea of using the small tubes to go out to where the misting will be instead of having yet another garden hose across the grass lol. it is such a small hose i could bury that really easily, run it through the flower bed. :) i also will get the pvc pipes and make the stand that sounds like it is the prefered method. i will post again when i am well on my way! thus far i only have the misting parts and am waiting for the timer and will go and get the pvc and the extra tubes. what tubes should i get to go through the yard instead of the garden hose, just the same tubes that is there with the drip irrigation supplies ? i am excited i hope to be able to set this up and put my cuttings under it and just leave on a trip and not worry about them until i come back. :)


Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Tue, Apr 29, 03 at 0:38

wild_garden: Unless it's a very short distance, you'll probably need the 1/2" drip irrigation tubing to carry the water out to the mist system. The 1/4" tubing is likely to be too small for that job. The various adaptors required to make all of the necessary connections differ somewhat by brand, so you'll have to study the available parts and try to figure out what you'll need. If you see fittings of both the compression type (the end of the tubing fits into the fitting) and the barbed type (end of the fitting fits into the tubing), use only compression type fittings upstream of the pressure regulator. That's so expansion of the tubing under pressure tightens the connection rather than loosening it. Downstream you can use either.
mytrid: How large is your frame? Mine is just under a yard high (above ground) and about 8' long, made with 3/4" PVC. I made it so long so I could back one end of it into a relatively shady area where I hope to root camellias and hydrangeas and such without frying them. The three deflection type misters are on 42" centers, and when all three are turned on they easily cover the full length - and well beyond - and I don't know how many feet out to either side. These babies really cover a wide area.

Posted by: TandC 9aFlorida (My Page) on Tue, Apr 29, 03 at 19:34

I was so enthusiastic about this when I saw it the other day that I went out and set up a temporary misting system right away. I just used my garden hose with the nozzle set on Mist and attached it to a piece of rebar I'd hammered into the ground. The same day I stuck about twenty rose cuttings, some hydrangeas and in my enthusiasm even put in a little seed bed using a boot box my hubby was tossing out. I NEVER have any luck starting seeds so figured I'd give that a try too.
So far I'm LOVING this. Nothing has even started to wilt and the hydrangeas even tried to put out a new leaf (I clipped it off of course).

Later this week hubby is going with me to pick out parts to put in a permanent one. I go to bed each night with visions of all the plants I can now grow from seeds. Ahhh.

Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Tue, Apr 29, 03 at 23:32

TandC, that sounds a lot like the primitive mist system that showed me the path out of the wilderness of baggies and white kitchen trash bags last summer. I used an old garden hose attachment my dog had chewed up (had to use vice grips to set it to Mist) and hung it off the back of a lawn chair. My very first misted rose cutting had a tiny root in only EIGHT DAYS!! That was unusually fast as it turns out, but I was - and still am - well and truly sold on mist. I'll never go back. Now, if I could just find some more roses to root...


Posted by: iDixieRose z8b Coastal SC (My Page) on Wed, Apr 30, 03 at 19:49

I saw a mist nozzle that screws onto a standard garden hose.
Output is .5 gallon/hour.
What if I fasten hose and mist nozzle on a post about 4' above the mist bed. Leave it on dawn to dusk. Add a timer to turn it on in the morning and off at night. If clogged nozzle becomes a problem, put a filter on the water line.

Am I over simplifying things here? Would it be a bad idea to leave it on day & night?

Posted by: roselust z10 socal (My Page) on Wed, Apr 30, 03 at 21:30

Sounds good dixierose. The only thing I would suggest is to put the mist lower and closer to the plants at first such as one or two feet above. Attach the misting head, turn it on, look at the mist pattern, then decide if you need to move it up or down from there.
As to leaving mist on day and night, you dont need to do that, esp if you pay for water. Most of the water a plant uses (about 95%) is inadvertently lost thru little pores mostly on the undersides of the leaves that are open during the day to allow for exchange of gases for metabolic activities. These microscopic pores automatically close at night so the plant hardly uses any water when dark.

Posted by: wild_garden virginia z6b (My Page) on Wed, Apr 30, 03 at 21:31

"out of the wilderness of baggies and white trash bags" hahaha that was funny mosaic. the baggies so far are working for me, the cuttings still look perky after 5 or 6 days. white trash bags, i tried that, tried putting the cuttings into pots of dirt and putting sticks into the pots and covering with white trash bags. that was terrible! i had about 30 cuttings and they all died! i am still waiting on timer part for mist system but i am convinced misting is the way to go. :)


Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Wed, Apr 30, 03 at 22:53

The only unqualified 100% successes I ever had with pots of dirt in white trash bags were with gardenias and big leaf hydrangeas, both of which need a little shade and like a rich rooting medium. Roses, no... They rot.


Posted by: dmaivn NSW Aust (My Page) on Thu, May 1, 03 at 2:33

I see that most people have gone crazy about misting. It's true that misting is required for (1) Rooting in full Sun (2) Grafting of stems with leaves onto a host plant. But Misting is an overkill for rooting roses in general. I would say that automatic watering is sufficient. You can simply set up a timer and point your hose to the corner where you place cuttings to root. Set it to spray 2 times/day for 1 minutes in daylight and you would have excellent results without wasting water.
In Autumn and early Spring you don't have to water automatically at all. You only do that late Spring, Summer and early Autumn if the weather is still too warm. Seting up misting system is an over kill really. However regular watering is essential to avoid the cuttings drying out. Misting general wastes a lot of water and not recommended for doing under 100 cuttings.


Posted by: mosaic z8 LA (My Page) on Thu, May 1, 03 at 9:38

dmaivn: That depends more than a little bit on the local climate. Watering only twice a day for one minute would be a sure recipe for failure where I live. The humidity simply isn't high enough to prevent the cuttings from wilting in warm weather long before the next watering is due, and I live in Louisiana - not exactly one of the more arid states in the US. Why do you think the baggie method is so popular in North America? Believe me, it's not because we enjoy fartzing around with plastic bags. Or maybe some do, I don't know...
BTW, my mist system is currently set to run for a grand total of 3 minutes and 36 seconds a day. I don't use it to water the cuttings so much as to water and cool the air around the cuttings.

Posted by: AngieAnders TX 8a (My Page) on Thu, May 1, 03 at 23:27

I had to laugh at the term "overkill". LOL. Since I started using mist, I haven't overkilled very many cuttings at all. ;-) The point I want to make is, whatever works best for someone, should be used by them, and even more importantly, should be shared with others. I am not particularly fond of grafted plants but I think it's great that you are doing what you love, and doing it well, Dmaivn. I hated doing baggies, but I know a lot of people on this forum who have gotten the mix down and have great success with that method. More power to them with their baggies, and to you with your grafting, and to me with my misting bed. More power to us all, as we do what we love.


Posted by: roselust z10 socal (My Page) on Fri, May 2, 03 at 0:24

If I didnt use a mist system in my location, I would also have to resort to using baggies for higher humidity and all the rot problems those bring. And I aint doin' that again (even though I had alot of fun using that method last year). If I tried a sprinkle of water 3 times per day even in the shade, uncovered cuttings simply wouldnt make it -- the dry wind where I live would turn them into kindling within days.
As to water waste, this is fine mist, not an indescriminate spray from the end of a hose. With the correct misting nozzles, the water usage is minimal. With a misting nozzle that puts out 0.5 gallons/hour, that is far less than 10 gallons/day for each misting nozzle used. And if you set up a system to retrive any excess, the usage is negligible. I have noticed no increase on my monthly water bill at all. And even if it did, I would be more than happy to take a shorter shower to make up for the extra water used on my misting table. Maybe I could even run thru the mist naked and not take a shower at all. But I digress...

If someone wants to set up a misting table simply for the experience of it, I say, go for it and have fun. It wont cost too much, and you will have the time of your rose life.

Posted by: wild_garden virginia z6b (My Page) on Fri, May 2, 03 at 0:27

i want the mist system. :) i don't know who recommends only using mist for more than 100 cuttings but i didn't get that memo lol. i am joking around. :) baggies are working ok, mist i think will work better. if i have a timer and set up a automatic watering system i don't know why i would use the spray instead of just putting mist nozzles on and having a mist system instead. :)


Posted by: AngieAnders TX 8a (My Page) on Fri, May 2, 03 at 1:17

Roselust, I can't quit laughing hysterically at the idea of running naked through the mist. Haaaahaaaa!!! What we won't do for our roses, eh? ROFL!!!


Posted by: roselust z10 socal (My Page) on Fri, May 2, 03 at 22:43

Thanks Angie -- Now you know our southern california reputation for eccentricity is true!
Tippy-tippy-toe thru the rose mist, thru the rose mist I go.......

Posted by: ShamanSherpa TX/USA/Mexico 8 (My Page) on Sun, May 4, 03 at 0:26

(I found this forum AFTER I built my misting system. about bad timing.)
I am pretty good at rooting most plants: Gardenias, Epiphyllums, Salvias, Dahlias, succulents, etc....but I could never get my rose cuttings to root to my satisfaction. It was hit-or-miss with more misses than hits unfortunately.
I also wanted to try my hand at propagating Japanese Maples so a misting frame seemed to be the solution.

I am pleased to report that my setup is a success. It cost me about $30 for the PVC pipes and the misting heads, and another $40 for the timer. The misting heads that I bought have little brass spray-heads that come pre-installed in a PVC coupler--5 in a pack. They are in the sprinkler section area of Home Depot or Lowe's....I can't remember which one.

I built it in the shape of a ladder. The "ladder" is 6 feet long and the misting heads are located on the "rungs" of the ladder every 18 inches apart. The frame is 24 inches wide and I placed it on a PVC stand that is about 18 inches high. I used PVC primer and cement to glue everything together. (My sprinkler system repair skills came in handy!) I also spliced a short segment of PVC pipe vertically to one end of my frame to accomodate the timer. This way my timer stands up vertically and is easy to read and adjust. There is a short section of garden hose that emerges from the top of the timer and runs to the tap. In short, I placed the timer at the end of the hose rather than at the beginning of the hose where it attaches to the tap.

I purchased a Melnor 3060 Electronic Aqua Timer at Home Depot for $39.50.

The best thing about this timer is that it has an automatic misting function pre-programmed already! It will turn on every 10 minutes for 2, 5, 10 or 15 minute durations. (I wish that it had a shorter misting duration of 30 seconds or so, but the two minute mist every 10 minutes works for me.) My misting heads put out .5 gallons every hour. Since the mist comes on 5 times an hour, every 12 minutes, (10 minute pause plus 2 minutes for the mist cycle) this means that it is releasing water for 10 minutes each hour; thus, each head uses .0833 gallons of water per hourly misting cycle. Multiply this by the four heads on my unit and you get one-third of a gallon (.33 gallons) per hourly misting cycle. I then set the timer to come on at 6 AM and turn off at 8PM on a daily basis. 14 hours multiplied by .33 gallons per hourly misting cycle results in a total daily water use of a little more than 4.5 gallons. This is VERY reasonable.

I really should post a picture, but I think that I described it well. Any questions about the frame or the timer? I'll be happy to answer them.


Posted by: ShamanSherpa TX/USA/Mexico 8 (My Page) on Sun, May 4, 03 at 0:35

There was some question in this forum about the length of the mist cycle. I did some web research and found out that it is better to have an intermittent mist cycle than have the mist on 24-7.
A University of California study explains:

"Intermittent mist--water spray used only part of the time on a regular basis--has been superior to continuous mist. Not only is less water used, but the resulting plants are superior."

It doesn't say why intermittent mist is better, but I assume that the dry period between mistings discourages fungal and algal growth; and it also has the advantage of slightly stressing the plant which encourages root formation.



Posted by: TandC 9aFlorida (My Page) on Sun, May 4, 03 at 16:10

What brand name are the brass misting heads that came preinstalled on the pvc coupler? I got bogged down in confusion when I looked at Lowes/Home Depot and went home empty handed.


Posted by: AngieAnders TX 8a (My Page) on Sun, May 4, 03 at 21:09

ShamanSherpa, thanks for sharing your experience and set-up with us! The mist is actually just to keep the delicate new growth on the cuttings from wilting, so it can cut off for five to ten minutes safely before the cuttings are hot enough to need the mist again. This is definitely ideal. Thanks for the link and info about your timer. I have looked all over for a timer at a decent price, but have not found one that would come on at ten minute intervals. This one doesn't SAY it will either - it just says it is programmable for up to six cycles, so I am very glad you mentioned the pre-program function. I will have to see about this. Thanks again!


Posted by: mytrid z8b Florida (My Page) on Sun, May 4, 03 at 21:36

Sorry I haven't been able to respond to messages, I been working 3rd and my time is limited. Walmart has ones made by arizona mist. They also have a web site.
As for how high my misters are they set roughly about3-4 ft high.

good luck all


Posted by: ShamanSherpa TX/USA/Mexico 8 (My Page) on Sun, May 4, 03 at 23:34

------What brand name are the brass misting heads that came preinstalled on the pvc coupler?-------
I don't remember the brand name of the misting system, but they are not marketed for horticultural use. They are supposed to be used for outdoor patios to cool down the ambient air in order for people to be comfortable in hot temperatures.

If you live in a very comfortable summer climate, I am not sure if your local hardware store would even stock this item. After all, there's not much of a market for these things in, say, Minnesota. But, these things are definitely hot-sellers in Texas and other Southern states. I think that you should probably ask a sales associate in the hardware store where their "Patio-Mist" kits and/or accessories are located. I hope this helps.


Posted by: TandC 9aFlorida (My Page) on Tue, May 6, 03 at 17:17

Thanks ShamanSherpa, I figured living here in Florida I'd have no problem finding one. But when I asked about patio misters everyone looked at me like I was out of my mind and pointed me to the irrigation department. Sigh.....thats Florida. Gazillions of people and still 30 years behind the times.
I'll just have to order online.

Posted by: iDixieRose z8b Coastal SC (My Page) on Tue, May 6, 03 at 23:36

ShamanSherpa, what's your experience been with the Melnor timer? It got mixed reviews on . A couple of people said it uses batteries frequently.
At any rate, I ordered one, since it sounds like it's the only one in its price range that has a mist cycle.

Do you have a filter on the line between the timer and water tap?

Posted by: ShamanSherpa TX/USA/Mexico 8 (My Page) on Thu, May 8, 03 at 2:08

I've only had the timer for a few weeks so I cannot confirm the review from Amazon that says that it uses a lot of batteries. The instructional pamphlet that comes with the timer says that a fresh set of batteries should last for one watering season. That said: I would not consider running a misting cycle for several hours a day to be "normal" use---be prepared to purchase batteries. But, a few bucks for batteries is a lot cheaper than paying full retail for some timers that I saw out there. (The more industrious gardeners among us might want to hook in a DC power supply and avoid this problem.)
The timer is loud and it uses some sort of gear-driven mechanism (I think) to close the water valve. This probably is responsible for draining the battery relatively quickly, but is a much better system than those employed by some electronic solenoid valve timers. Since the water pressure in a mist system is so high all the time it will not let flimsy electrical valves close. This happened to me with the first timer that I bought, and I ended up having to return it! The pressure is so high (because of the tiny mist nozzle openings) that the water will continue to spray out of the nozzles for about 30 seconds even after the valve has been closed. TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT when you purchase a timer.

The Melnor timer comes with a filter built-in at the point where it attaches to the main water line. I assume that you could add another filter if you want.

I'm not saying that the Melnor timer is absolutely perfect--it's not. But I will claim that it has worked well (for me, anyway) in regulating the mist cylce on my propagation bench and at a very reasonable cost.

Posted by: dmaivn NSW Aust (My Page) on Thu, May 8, 03 at 3:07

Intermittent misting is better because it simulates nature. The plants have the time to suck it in, and chuck it out to the air forming a natural cycle of water circulation. Similarly continuous intense Sun light is bad. Cloudy periods and shade of leaves ... would be good to regulate the temperature on the rose leaves. Photosynthesis happen best only at a cool range of temperature.


Posted by: rozanna z8a TX ) on Thu, May 8, 03 at 13:45

Have decided I just got to have a misting bed and have scoped out a place in the yard for hubby to build one. Needed a diagram, etc for him to build one from - pictures, etc since he hasn't the slightest idea what I am talking about. Found a good site with everything in case someone else needs this more technical information.

Here is a link that might be useful: mist propagation systems


Posted by: roselust (My Page) on Sat, May 10, 03 at 23:40

Dmaivn, you are correct. Intermittent misting about every 10-15 minutes is far better than continuous mist. Though sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.
You are off track however regarding 'water circulation' (whatever you mean by that- your description was quite creative tho), sun (roses are adapted to direct sun), and photosynthesis (cool temp. range better? basically not true. If it were true, plants would grow better in cooler than warm weather. Most dont. But its all relative -- what is warm vs cool anyway? Besides, plants growing under mist are having their leaves cooled continuosly -- that is part of the reason we mist. The leaf surface of cuttings misted in full sun might even be cooler than those misted in shade because of the effect of more rapid evaporation and cooling.)

There are MANY successful ways to root roses, including ways to mist. One single way is not necessarily the best for everyone. There are many environments in the world, each with their particular problems of seasons, sun, humidity, wind, water, disease, etc. Our task is to find what works most efficiently for us and our life-style, and to allow others to find what works for them for whatever reason, even tho their system might be different from yours, and to have fun doing it.


Posted by: wild_garden virginia z6b (My Page) on Sun, May 11, 03 at 9:26

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