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Experiments on health of plants, flowering, and fungal diseases

strawchicago z5
8 years ago
last modified: 8 years ago

Thanks to a friend who sent me 7 rose-rootings, I did some experiments to see the effects of mulching. These roots are VERY TINY, like thin strands of hair, less than 2 inch. First I put cocoa mulch (pH 5.4) in the pot. Four broke out in rust, except for Prairie Harvest. The acid and wetness of cocoa mulch induced rust.

Then I scraped that off, and mulched with COMPOSTED horse manure (taken from bottom of heap). They broke out in salt-damage (leaves burnt with brown tips). One rooting died. So that scraped that off, and topped with potting soil mixed with alfalfa pellets. They all sprout new leaves. It's important to MIX potting soil, plus beneficial bacteria with alfalfa pellets .. to help alfalfa break down, otherwise alfalfa gunks up on top.

Here's a series of pics. to show the progression of Prairie Harvest. This was taken July 17, 2015, after I scraped off the horse manure, you can see the salt-damage yellowish leaves, both from the high pH of manure (over 8), and the salt.

Below is Prairie Harvest 1st bloom, with 1/2 cup of NPK 4-10-7 (blood meal, fish bone meal, sulfate of potash, kelp meal) mixed into the potting soil, along with 1/2 cup gypsum.

Will post pic. of Prairie Harvest 2nd bloom later. This week I start watering it with molasses to deepen the bloom. I might use Azomite, since "Researcher reported statistically significant increases with Azomite for five trace elements concentrations. Those elements included copper, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and manganese."

Comments (55)

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Jim: I knew that the acidic group (cracked corn, brewer's yeast) will be lousy, and yes, it made Mary Magdalene cut-bloom wilted in less than 3 hours. God made rain acidic at pH 5.6, to help with acidic-phosphatase & extract minerals from the soil for blooming when it's cool with lots of water. But when it's hot & dry, alkalinity helps to retain calcium & potassium, which regulate water-osmosis to keep plants firm and perky. It's known that when the pH drops, less calcium and potassium are available. I wilted a few roses one summer when I lowered my alkaline-tap with vinegar. Another summer I saw the leaves wilted in hot sun when I put too much acidic cracked corn in the planting hole. And most recently with ACIDIC brewer's yeast at 1 tablespoon per 2-gallon, resulting in a few leaves wilted.

    Here's Mary Magdalene, freshly cut this morning:

    Here's Mary Magdalene, after being dunked in rain water plus a few spoons of acidic cracked corn (pH 4). Wilted after only 3 hours, the normal-vase life of Mary is 3 days:

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I ran a red-cabbage test with 1/2 cabbage and rain water (pH 5.6) to see the resulting pH of many samples: Top group of 4 are: sulfate of potash mixed with molasses (acidic, pinkish brown), dolomitic lime (bright blue alkaline at pH 9.5), Azomite (alkaline at pH 8), and gypsum (acidic, pinkish pH 5).

    Second row of 3 are: cracked corn with rain water (acidic at 5), pea gravel (alkaline at pH 8.5), and bagged top-soil (alkaline at pH 8).

    Third row of 2 are: composted cow manure (alkaline at pH 8), W.S. 2000 planting hole (alkaline clay soil at pH 7.7). The stain on the white background is rain water boiled in red-cabbage, pH 5.6.

    NOTE: This smaller particle gypsum I bought from the feed store gave a more acidic result than the cheap-gypsum fro Menards. See the thread Red-cabbage testing below:

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/2134007/red-cabbage-ph-test-of-blood-meal-corn-meal-compost-etc?n=25

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  • jim1961 / Central Pennsylvania / Zone 6
    8 years ago

    Interesting PH testing Straw!

    strawchicago z5 thanked jim1961 / Central Pennsylvania / Zone 6
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Growing healthy roses means keeping a healthy balance of nutrients. I don't recommend any particular nutrients, but I see the importance of BALANCE of nutrients, so I re-post this vital info:

    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7465.html

    Table 2. Suggested Values for Nutrient Levels in Rose Tissue. Nutrient (unit) Low to High in %. Phosphorus is needed in very small amount 0.2 to 0.3%

    Nitrogen 3 to 5 Phosphorus 0.2 to 0.3 Potassium 2 to 3

    Calcium 1 to 1.5 Magnesium 0.25 to 0.35

    In ppm (parts per million): Zinc 15 to 50 Manganese 30 to 250 Iron 50 to 150 Copper 5 to 15 Boron 30 to 60

    *** From Straw: For low-ratios, it would be 3 Nitrogen, 2 Potassium, and 0.2 Phosphorus, plus 1 Calcium and 0.25 magnesium. For ppm it would be 15 zinc, 30 manganese, 50 iron, 5 copper, and 30 boron. Zinc is the strongest anti-fungal agent, so it makes sense that zinc is found at 15 ppm, versus only 5 for copper. Iron is needed most at 50 ppm.

    For high-ratios of nutrients in rose tissue, it would be in %: 5 nitrogen, 3 potassium, 0.3 phosphorus, 1.5 calcium, and 0.35 magnesium. For ppm it would be 50 zinc, 250 manganese, 150 iron, 15 copper, and 60 boron.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Pea-gravel (pH over 8) is good stuff with a variety of minerals, but when too much was put into a vase with rain-water at 1/2 cup per 1 cup water, it caused IMMEDIATE wilting of the bloom, plus yellowish crinkled leaves when soaked for more than 3 days (from the high pH).

    Too much of anything isn't good, since it upsets the equilibrium and causes imbalances. In a different vase I used only 1 tablespoon pea gravel per 1 cup of rain water, and the result is excellent, no wilting of leaves, no black spots, even after prolonged wetness. Neutral pH plus just enough minerals is the key to health, see below perky & healthy leaves of Barcelona, 4 days of soaking in water. Also the bloom still smells good.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The one with 1 Tablespoon Azomite per 2 cups of alkaline-tap broke out in blackspots after 4 days of soaking. Perhaps my tap water at pH 8.6 can't unlock Azomite's minerals, will have to run the experiment again using rain water at pH 5.6. PLUS for Azomite: extend vase-life, petals are firm & leaves are perky. Timeframe for leaves to break out in black spots when soaked in a vase: within 1 day if soaked in rain water (pH 5.6), and 2 to 3 days if soaked in alkaline tap.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I was concerned that dolomitic lime would fade the color, but that's NOT the case, see below BEFORE pic. of Mary Magdalene's bloom, versus AFTER being soaked in dolomitic lime overnight. I used 1 tablespoon of gritty lime per 1 cup of water. Leaves are perky & petals are firmer. gritty lime is slow-released, rather than fast release like gypsum.

    Freshly picked from the garden:

    After 15 hours of soaking in dolomitic lime:


  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    1 tablespoon of gypsum per 1 cup of rain water DID NOT retain the color as I hope for. Before picture of Christopher Marlow, freshly picked:

    After overnight soaking in gypsum & rain water, the color is faded:


  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Re-post how I changed the color of Christopher Marlow to deep-purple by weeks of watering with Azomite and molasses (using rain-water). "Purple" Christopher Marlowe cluster lasts very long in the vase, thanks to Azomite. Light pink is Evelyn, and deeper pink is Comte de Chambord:

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I use Wholesome Organic Blackstrap molasses with zero salt, 20% potassium & 10% calcium, plus 15% iron and 8% magnesium ... perfect ratio as recommended by hydroponic site. I tested other molasses before, and the result wasn't good, since some brand has salt.

    The right ratio of nutrients really enhance the beauty of blooms. Can't tell if Pink Peace bloom is deepened, but it's an improvement in looks. Before picture of Pink Peace, freshly cut at near 90 degree temp:

    After soaking for 15 hours in molasses, here's the result. The vase of white Mary Magdalene is soaked in Azomite after 3 days, blooms are still perky:

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Here's how acid-burn look like on a rose. Excellenz von Schubert has been clean in my garden for 3 years, but it's stingy lately. I gave it brewer's yeast (pH 4) and sulfate of potash (21% sulfur) in rain water (pH 5.6). It immediately broke down in black spots from drastic drop in pH. I post this pic. so you'll see how acid-burns look like. The same thing happened years ago to very clean Christopher Marlowe, I piled up acidic cocoa mulch (pH 5.4), and lower leaves became yellowish with black spots. I reversed that piling up my clay at pH near 8 & rich in minerals on top of Christopher, and he became clean again within a month. Below is Excellenz von Schurbert rose, known as VERY disease-resistant.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Above pic. shows Amozite (pH over 8) dissolved well in rain water (pH 5.6) to become a cloudy solution. White blooms are Mary Magdalene and Bolero. Barcelona is the dark-red behind. Color of Mary became faded to white. 24 hours soaking: still look good.

    Remember the Christopher's cluster made purple with molasses & Azomite, which lasted 4 days in the vase? In contrast, Christopher Marlowe, soaked in 1 tablespoon of gypsum (17% sulfur) in rain water became wilted after 24 hours. Below pic. shows end of experiment result from the left: Azomite in tap water DID NOT dissolve well in tap water, the solution remained clear on top (4 days in the vase for white Mary, plus broke out in black spots).

    Middle is Christopher wilted with rain water & gypsum in 24 hours. Rightmost is white Mary in rain water soaked with garden lime (3 days in the vase), leaves are clean. The winner is NOT pictured here, it's Barcelona (dark red) posted earlier in 1 tablespoon pea gravel soaked in rain water. That lasted 4 days in the vase, NO black spots breaking out. To buffer against acidic rain, plus perky leaves, I would choose pea gravel (pH 8) first, lime (pH over 9), and lastly gypsum (pH 6.8).

    I re-test Azomite in rain-water, it dissolved well, will report the result after few more days in the vase:

  • jim1961 / Central Pennsylvania / Zone 6
    8 years ago

    Cool experiments Straw!

    strawchicago z5 thanked jim1961 / Central Pennsylvania / Zone 6
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Some tips to prolong the life of cut-flower, see link below:

    " You might have heard that aspirin or vinegar will help prolong the life of cut flowers, but it doesn’t really have much of an effect. One thing that does seem to work is using lemon-lime soda. Word on the street (from an elementary science fair project) is that filling a vase with straight 7-Up instead of water will keep roses looking fabulous for up to 2 weeks. Wow!

    - There’s an old wives tale about putting a penny in the bottom of a vase of tulips to keep them standing up straight. It really seems to work!"

    http://www.designmom.com/2013/03/living-well-10-secrets-for-extending-the-life-of-cut-flowers/

    More info from livescience.com link: " Whether aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can effectively lower the pH of water and extend the life of fresh-cut flowers is up in the air. Some studies have found a positive benefit to using ground-up aspirin, while others have not.

    A sugar solution can provide food for the flower, but it will also promote the growth of microbes. You can add bleach to the solution to control microbial populations, and citric acid to lower the water's pH.

    Citrus soda, such as 7 Up and Sprite, can effectively make flower water both acidic and sugary, Susan Han, a UMA plant physiologist, told Scientific American. Han recommends concocting a solution of one part soda and three parts water, along with a few drops of microbe-killing bleach."

    http://www.livescience.com/38901-keep-cut-flowers-fresh.html

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Essential oils of oregano and fennel also zap soil bacteria that cause dampering off (seedling turns black and die). Last year I had a giant Oregano plant, I should had tested the many leaves as mulch.

    Here's an excerpt from below link: "Both essential oils significantly inhibited the fungal growth in soil, thereby increasing the number of surviving tomato seedling by 69.8% and 53.3%, respectively."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17897206

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The above Duchess de Rohan was taken this Sunday, Sept. 6, in extremely humid weather. It's clean, 3 of them are basal shoots from the Mother-plant. The left-most one is the cutting which I stuck in the ground. The ground is saturated with red-lava-rock and gypsum.

    I rooted Duchess de Rohan by sticking segments of her into various mediums: Next to the Mommy plant topped with red-lava-rock & gypsum (rich in potassium & iron & boron, and gypsum for calcium) ... that rooting has zero black spots. One cutting went to Sta-Green potting soil, broke out in blackspots immediately (too wet). One cutting went to 3/4 coarse sand and 1/4 potting soil, also broke out in blackspots.

    Red-lava-rock has many anti-fungal agents: copper, zinc, and boron. I'm going to soak red-lava-rocks in water, soften that, then crush with a hammer and get the dust to top my rooting area. Those rooting areas already have gypsum mix in, but I need potassium in equal amount, either through sulfate of potash, or mineral-rich red lava rock.

    Madame Isaac Pereire is known as a BS-prone rose. It's in a shady & wet bed. Broke out in BS during last month humid weather. So I trimmed it down, topped with alfalfa pellets and red-lava-rock, grew 100% clean. Will post pic. of that later after this rainy spell stop.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    " I already tested Pink Peace blooms first in rain water (pH 5.6) .. leaves shrank in size, holes get larger, plus breaking out in black spots. But the Pink Peace bloom in alkaline tap (high in calcium, at pH 8.6) stay healthy, after 5 days in the vase.

    The vase with 1 Tablespoon Azomite per 2 cups of alkaline-tap broke out in blackspots after 4 days of soaking. Perhaps my tap water at pH 8.6 can't unlock Azomite's minerals, will have to run the experiment again using rain water at pH 5.6.

    Result: PLUS for Azomite: extend vase-life, petals are firm & leaves are perky. Timeframe for leaves to break out in black spots when soaked in a vase: within 1 day if soaked in rain water (pH 5.6), and 2 to 3 days if soaked in alkaline tap."

    *** Re-post the info. from previous year to remind myself to test cut-roses in the vase, to see how fast leaves break out in blackspots upon prolonged soaking in various medium.

    For 2016 I'll use rain-water only, and dunk different stuff in to see how fast leaves break out in blackspot: 1) Azomite 2) pea-gravel 3) dolomitic lime 4) sulfate of potash 5) gypsum 6) high-iron molasses 7) pine-bark at pH 4 and lastly, fermented "sour" alfalfa tea (a few folks report blackspot with that).

    ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS? Thanks.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Will order potassium silicate from Amazon for $10 just to test .. really like how thick the stems, and how THICK the leaves of own-roots received from Roses Unlimited. But their leaves are pale, so I suspect the use of potassium silicate (alkaline) in irrigation to suppress both mildew and blackspots.

    From Wikipedia "In horticulture, potassium silicate is used as a soluble source of potassium and silicon. It makes the growing medium more alkaline.

    It is also used as a supplement (in conjunction with normal fertilizer) for the numerous benefits that increasing the availability of silicon compounds has. Silicon-containing compounds are valuable to a plant, and serve to support the plant. Stems thicken, the plant becomes more tolerant to drought and resists wilting, and the plant gets larger leaves and fruit (because the stem can support more weight)." Wikipedia.

    *** From Straw: It haven't rained for nearly 2 weeks, and I want my roses to be more drought-tolerant. Potassium silicate is well-known to decrease mildew, google that and you'll see many studies on many crops. Below is one abstract on how potassium silicate decrease blackspots.

    http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/38/6/1144.abstract

    Abstract

    Roses in nursery and landscape settings are frequently damaged by black spot, whose causal agent is the fungus Diplocarpon rosae F.A. Wolf. Potassium silicate was assessed as a media-applied treatment for decreasing the severity and incidence of black spot infection. Roses were treated with 0, 50, 100, or 150 mg·L-1 silicon as potassium silicate incorporated into irrigation water on either a weekly or daily schedule. Five weeks after treatments were initiated, plants were inoculated with D. rosae. Roses began to show visual symptoms of infection §4 days later. Roses that had 150 mg·L-1 silicon applied on a daily schedule had significantly more silicon present in their leaves than other treatments as measured by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray analysis. In addition, roses that had 100 and 150 mg·L-1 silicon applied on a daily schedule had fewer black spot lesions per leaf and fewer infected leaves than any of the other treatments by the end of the experiment 7 weeks later."

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Straw: Excellent thread and very useful experiments. It is such a great feeling to be at a place where people do experiments and quote out of their experience instead of just reproducing a research from somewhere without even knowing that in what environment / specific condition that research was carried out. It took me some time to read it but it's a weekend and I could spare some time. Unfortunately, Azomite is not available to us here (as per my knowledge) but I would check it out.

    Could you also experiment the bloom and leaf life with 1 tea spoon of fresh mint finely ground in a chopper. I would have tried it myself but most of my roses have small sized insignificant looking blooms.

    best regards

    strawchicago z5 thanked Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Khalid: Fantastic suggestion of dunking cut-bloom with leaves in pureed mint. THANK YOU !!

    I note some brown spots on my roses after giving them sour & fermented alfalfa tea along with mint pureed. I'm NOT sure if that's from the acidity of fermented alfalfa, or from the mint.

    In 2011 I tested cut blooms in Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) .. it was disappointing, the wonderful damask scent of Radio Times turned into sewage, and leaves became pale. Back then I didn't know that Epsom salt crystallizes upon exposure to air or high concentration, thus blocking the pores to the cut-stem.

    In 2011 I also tested cut blooms in calcium carbonate with zero result .. that didn't even dissolve in water. So I used calcium citrate (citrate is an acidic element to help calcium to be released) .. that was very effective in making petals FIRMER, plus prolonged vase-life by 1 more day. Will dig up those pics. if I can find them.

    Khalid: Since Azomite might not be available in your country, the best source of potassium & silica & phosphorus would be granite dust, sold as "granite shavings" at places that make granite counter for the kitchen. Another source of rock-dust would be from quarry. I'm next to a limestone quarry where they mine for dolomitic limestone, and they gave me tons of free dolomitic dust from their mining operation.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    7 years ago

    "Khalid: Since Azomite might not be available in your country, the best source of potassium & silica & phosphorus would be granite dust, sold as "granite shavings" at places that make granite counter for the kitchen. Another source of rock-dust would be from quarry. I'm next to a limestone quarry where they mine for dolomitic limestone, and they gave me tons of free dolomitic dust from their mining operation."

    Excellent suggestion Straw. Now I know where to go. Thanks a ton.


  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Sam: Dolomitic lime (20% calcium and 10% magnesium), the same gritty stuff that I got from quarry, is sold as Espoma Garden Lime for $10 per 5 lb. bag at Walmart, HomeDepot & local stores.

    Just found out that "Potassium Silicate" is sold $10 per 1 cup, that's too expensive .. I don't think Roses Unlimited use such $$$ stuff meant for hydroponics. I did check on natural sources of silicate, here's from Wikipedia: " Diatomite forms by the accumulation of the amorphous silica (opal, SiO2·nH2O) remains of dead diatoms (microscopic single-celled algae) in lacustrine or marine sediments. "

    Walmart-website sells Diatomaceous Earth 25 lb. Bag for $23, that's a huge amount. Walmart also sells cheaper 7 oz to kill ants & insects for $7.48. Folks use that to control insects, from bed bugs to termites. It's also used to control fleas in dogs and cats.

    Since diatomaceous earth is high in silicate, it would be cheaper form to use for plants than chemically-made potassium-silicate.

    There's also a food-grade DE, see below link: https://www.diatomaceousearth.com/diatomaceous-earth-human/

    " Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a gentle abrasive that's also highly absorbent. DE is almost entirely made of silica, an important component of human ligaments, cartilage, and musculature."

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    More info. on diatomaceous earth (DE), for insect-control and to strengthen tissue:

    http://www.mommypotamus.com/uses-diatomaceous-earth/

    "Because it is made up of tiny, sharp, very hard phytoplankton, DE works well as an abrasive. It attaches to the protective waxy outer coating of bugs/pests and absorbs it or scrapes it away, causing them to dry out and die."

    There are 2 kinds of DE—food grade and filter grade (used in swimming pool and other filters) Only the filter grade is dangerous to breathe. The “dangerous” part of DE is the amount of crystalline silica that is in it. Filter grade is 65% crystalline silica while food grade is less than 1/10 of 1%."

    *** From Straw: Since the food-grade DE is ingested by humans, that would be more SOLUBLE for plants as well. The food-grade works well to kill tiny insects like ants, bed bugs, fleas, and termites.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Re-post info. from 2015: But when it's hot & dry, alkalinity helps to retain calcium & potassium, which regulate water-osmosis to keep plants firm and perky. It's known that when the pH drops, less calcium and potassium are available. I wilted a few roses one summer when I lowered my alkaline-tap with vinegar. Another summer I saw the leaves wilted in hot sun when I put too much acidic cracked corn in the planting hole. And most recently with ACIDIC brewer's yeast at 1 tablespoon per 2-gallon, resulting in a few leaves wilted.

    *** Today is July 3, 2016: I dunk W.S. 2000 blooms plus leaves in 2 solutions: plain alkaline tap at pH near 9 versus tap-water made slightly acidic with vitamin C (acidic), plus sulfate of potash (21% sulfur), plus gypsum (17% sulfur) and a bit of molasses for iron.

    Compare that to 2015 result: Remember the Christopher Marlowe cluster made purple with molasses & Azomite, which lasted 4 days in the vase? Normal Christopher color is orange !! In contrast, Christopher Marlowe, soaked in 1 tablespoon of gypsum (17% sulfur) in rain water became wilted after 24 hours

    W.S. 2000 cluster in alkaline tap (pH 9) is fresh looking & perky & thick leaves. But the cluster in acidic solution WILTED after 1 1/2 day in the vase. However, bloom color deepened (thanks to molasses). Will test again with alkaline tap water versus molasses high in iron. Will post pic. tomorrow.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wonderful info Straw. I am reading this thread but it needs more time and concentration to comprehend the things properly (Not as good in chemistry as Straw. Have to do some background reading). Hopefully will have time tomorrow as my holidays start tomorrow.

    Great effort Straw

    strawchicago z5 thanked Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Picture on the left is tap water with molasses (W.S. 2000), and the scent is much stronger. Note how molasses deepened bloom color.

    But molasses plus acidic vitamin C plus acidic sulfate of potash wilted W.S. within one day. All the slightly acidic solution I tested wilted blooms !! The blooms on the right is dunked in tap water with pH near 9, lasted 4 days in the vase.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Repost the pic. of acid-rain to show as the pH drops, plants wilt and growth is stunt:

    I test pureed mint leaves, that wilted Mary Magdalene's bloom within 1/2 hour. Mary's bloom on the right is with alkaline tap water (pH near 9), lasted 3 days in the vase. Will check for reasons why mint cause fast-wilting. I put 1/2 cup of pureed mint, perhaps too much.

    I did taste the mint solution 1st, it tasted bitter rather than sour to me. My kid used salicylic acid soap for her pimples, and it was too harsh for her skin.

    Mint has salicylic acid, that's the acid in willow and is used for rooting. I did give my 10 small own-roots in pots some diluted mint-water .. they are OK, leaves didn't wilt whatsoever. Own-roots are wimpy, so the salicylic acid helped.

    http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/treating/improve-skin-with-mint3.htm

    What makes mint helpful in treating inflammations such as acne is its high content of salicylic acid [source: Web MD]. This acid, which is found naturally in mint, is an active ingredient used in many skin care products. The acid loosens up dead skin cells, allowing them to shed easier. That has the potential to prevent your pores from clogging up, resulting in fewer pimples and clearer skin.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Will have to try mint with salicylic acid in rooting roses, see below link:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S098194289880003X

    "Effects of salicylic acid on the growth of roots and shoots in soybean

    Abstract

    Aqueous solutions of SA, applied as a spray to the shoots of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Cajeme), significantly increased the growth of shoots and roots as measured after seven days of treatment. Shoot spraying of SA had no significant effect on photosynthetic rate. Growth increases were obtained in plants cultivated either in the greenhouse or in the field; SA-induced increases in root growth of up to 100% were measured in the field."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/03/salicylic-acid-skincare_n_5919712.html

    " Over-the-counter treatments with 0.5 to 2 percent salicylic acid are safe to use, according to Dr. Nussbaum.

    Due to the similar aspirin ingredients, people that are allergic to aspirin or have rosacea should steer clear."

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    7 years ago

    Straw: Wonderful info on mint and salicyclic acid and I will try it on rooting rose cutting this season too. And I agree, too much mint might be the reason for wilting of Mary Magdalene bloom. Might like to try it with a diluted mint solution but with salicyclic acid, I am not sure it would work.

    Thanks for sharing these experiments.

    best regards

    strawchicago z5 thanked Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Khalid: Just got a bunch of cut-blooms from Pink Peace. My last "mint" shake didn't count, since I put 1/3 mint + 1/3 basil + 1/3 lemon balm. I'll repeat the experiment this time, with rain water, and MINT ONLY in a small amount.

    If I see Oklahoma on sale at local store, I'll buy that. That one roots easily in a cup of rain water, so I can see if mint increases the rooting. I saw Oklahoma cheap (grafted on Dr. Huey) but didn't buy, since it's so thorny. But I have Marie Pavie (roots easily) so I can test it soon.

    Here's what I notice:

    1) alkalinity helps bloom to last longer in hot weather. Flowers last longest in my tap-water (pH near 9), but WILT fast in acidic solutions: Sulfate of potash (21% sulfur), or gypsum (17% sulfur), or acidic vitamin C.

    2) Yes, plants did perk up with mineral-dust high in calcium & silica, such as AZOMITE® (Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate or HSCAS), mined in Utah from an ancient deposit left by an volcanic eruption. Azomite is very alkaline with pH near 9.

    3) My Mary Magdalene bloom lasts 3 days in the vase, and the scent is strong if the soil is kept alkaline. Recently I gave it sulfate of potash, lots of cluster-blooming, but the blooms shatter fast, myrrh scent lessened. Will have to give that alkaline Azomite for instant calcium and silica.

    Sulfate of potash helps to induce blooming & helps with "acid-phosphatase" .. that's when roots secret acid to extract phosphorus from soil. But calcium & magnesium are what form solid petals so they don't shatter.

    My best blooms was when I mixed gypsum & 1/2 sulfate of potash in a molasses-solution FOR MY ALKALINE CLAY. But someone with acidic soil, it should be 2 part dolomitic lime to 1 part sulfate of potash to induce blooming with rain-water.

    Red-lava-rock as potassium is even better, no wilting despite 2-weeks of zero-rain .. I posted that pic. of my tomato in "Red-lava" thread. Will shave off red-lava-dust to test with blooms in rain-water.

    Last year I used sulfate of potash, I didn't like how my tomato wilted in the heat (even with plenty of rain).

    My tomato with red-lava-rock as potassium didn't wilt, but my neighbor's tomato with wood-ash wilted in dry & hot & no rain ... he put wood-ash plus lots of wood-chips .. so it could be from the wood-chips not retaining water.

    Khalid: your roses did fantastic in high heat with wood-ash. Wood-ash has 25% calcium and 10% potassium .. that's TWICE more calcium than potassium, plus wood-ash is very alkaline with pH over 11. The only drawback is the salt in wood-ash.

    I wilted many plants with my experiments with acidic stuff: acidic cracked corn (pH 4), acidic Brewer's Yeast, acidic sulfate of potash (21% sulfur), acidic gypsum (17% sulfur), and acidic vitamin C. The worst wilting was with acid combined with salt, such as sulfate of potash with salt-index of 42, plus sulfur.

    Those acidic stuff are best used with alkaline tap water, with pH 9 ... rather than with acidic rain at pH 5.6.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Red-lava-rock as SLOW-RELEASED beat mint-pureed and Azomite .. both are fast-released. From left to right, after 1 day of soaking in RAIN WATER (pH 5.6): Worst is mint pureed (I used 1/4 cup per 1 1/2 cup of water), leaves completely wilted. Next worst is Azomite (1 tablespoon per 1/2 cup of water) .. leaves are limp from too much Azomite (has 0.1 % salt).

    Yes, I used too much Azomite !!! That should be 1 teaspoon per gallon of water .. just checked with the web.

    Best is slow-released red-lava-rock, leaves are thick & perky ... firm petals. Azomite has 0.2% soluble Potash, 1.8% calcium, 0.5% magnesium, but with 0.1% chlorine and 0.1% sodium plus 0.002 % cobalt.

    Azomite did great in-ground, due to leaching of salt from soil, but salt and chlorine can't leach from a vase, so the bloom soaked it up. Same with mint .. it did fine in-ground since my alkaline soil buffered its acidity, but acid alone in a vase can really wilt cut-blooms.

    I saw Dee-lish (in a neutral potting soil) broke out in blackspot after 24 hours of rain, and it rained again, so I put 1 1/2 tablespoon of Azomite on top, then it rained for another day & night. Now looks good in 86 F, pic. taken July 8, after 2 days & 2 nights of constant rain & humidity. I also gave Dee-lish pea-gravel to raise the pH:

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Khalid: Did some research on rooting with salicylic acid, it works for a few species of plants that like it acidic, like Poinsettia which prefers pH 5 medium. See below link: "

    http://ijabbr.com/pdf_7381_e12e5a61b726370d40b6590e29419a50.html

    Statistical results showed that the hormonal treatments increased rooting percentages. Also the maximum percent of rooting was related to 300 and 200 mg.L-1 treatments respectively. Application of salicylic acid was promoted the rooting of Populus cuttings depending on varieties and concentrations (Bojarczuk & Jankiewicz, 1975). However it was ineffective in rooting of Tillia clones (Smith, 1975). The maximum No. of root, leaf and stem for 400, control, 200 and 400 mg.L-1 treatments respectively. Several studies showed that salicylic acid synergistically acted with IAA and promoted the root formation in mung bean cuttings.

    But it was or non effect on Acer cuttings (Kling & Meyer, 1983). salicylic acid combined with NAA synergistically promoted the root number and root lengths of the cuttings of several Poinsettia."

    *** From Straw: I did dump 2 gallon of pureed mint in a rooting pot. I also have 2 other pots which don't have pureed mint. This morning I check and the soil with pureed mint is MOISTER than the soil without. Putting pureed organics like alfalfa pellets did the same: it locks the moisture, so that kept pots wet below. I'm going to top my MOST PALE pots with pureed mint, and the less pale pots with alfalfa pellets. PALE leaves mean it doesn't have enough acid (or sulfur) to green up.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Khalid: Found another science abstract on how SA (salicylic acid) as in mint doesn't help with drought, since it UP nitrogen and phosphorus, but DECREASE potassium, which is essential for drought-tolerance. The below study was down with 2 wheat genotypes by Institute of Pure and Applied Biology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan:

    http://www.pakbs.org/pjbot/PDFs/38(4)/PJB38(4)1127.pdf

    "Cultivar S-24 was generally higher in N and P contents of shoot and root than that in genotype MH-97 under both normal and water stress conditions.

    Application of salicylic acid through the rooting medium significantly reduced the root K+ of two cultivars under both normal and water deficit conditions. Although, exogenously applied SA through the rooting medium had growth promoting effects under non-stress conditions, it did not mitigate the adverse effects of drought stress on growth of both cultivars."

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The above is the Start of my experiment for this week July 9, 2016. From left to right: Pink peace soaked in pea-gravel, Pink Peace and Mary Mag. soaked in 2 teaspoon of Garden lime (calcium and magnesium), and last vase if Pink Peace & Mary Mag. soaked in 2 teaspoon of gypsum. All with RAIN-WATER AT pH 5.6.

    After 8 hours, the Pink Peace in pea-gravel has the most firm & best petals & thickest leaves .. that confirm my previous year's result for pea-gravel in RAIN-WATER, with pH near neutral.

    Pink Peace and Mary Magdalene (myrrh scent) smell best in the vase with pea-gravel (neutral pH). Scents are gone in the acidic vase with gypsum (17% sulfur).

    Garden lime WILTED Mary Magdalene, and made leaves softer .. perhaps the high pH caused nutrients to be less available. Will post pics. tomorrow of 24 hours soaking in pH 5.6 rain-water plus 1) pea gravel 2) garden lime 3) gypsum.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Above is end of experiment, after 24 hours of soaking in ACIDIC RAIN WATER at pH 5.6, plus additives:

    Vase 1 has pea-gravel, leaves are firm & perky after 24-hours in acidic rain-water. Both blooms are perky. Pea-gravel is slow-released, so it neutralizes the pH slowly, yet supply needed minerals (calcium & copper) to keep leaves firm. Zinc, copper, and calcium are anti-fungal agents.

    Vase 2 has dolomitic lime (pH near 9) .. that dissolved too fast and made the solution too alkaline. Pink Peace (French Meilland) rose likes alkalinity, bloom looks good & more petals thanks to slower opening. But Mary Magdalene, an Austin rose, can't handle such alkalinity and wilted immediately.

    Vase 3 has gypsum (acidic with 17% sulfur) ... that dissolved immediately and brought the solution from pH 5.6 (rain-water) to very acidic below pH 5, which resulted in WILTING of Pink Peace, but Austin rose Mary Mag don't mind, bloom still perky. But leaves of both become limp & wilt in this acidic solution.

    I will keep them soaking until day 3 & day 4. Normally Pink Peace break out in blackspot if soaked in rain-water for more than one day. All leaves are clean, but I don't like how limp & wilted leaves are in the too-alkaline and too-acidic solution.

    Vase 2 has dolomitic lime, but calcium is NOT available due to tied-up with magnesium at high pH. Vase 3 has readily available calcium (gypsum), but the 17%sulfur component of gypsum is too acidic.

  • ValRose PNW Wa 8a
    7 years ago

    Interesting experiment. I know cuttings in vases soak up quite a bit of fluid, ie the old "stalk of celery in the dyed water experiment". I understand the lack of available minerals at certain pH, but what do you think, from a chemist point of view, would inhibit the movement of water through capillary action? I'm assuming that the wilting is due to loss of water in the cells. Is it cellular destruction or could it have to do with ion's in the water or something else?

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Val: it has to do with pH level of the final solution and the buffering capacity against acidic rain-water. Pea-gravel REMAINS a solid, so it STAYS as a CONTINUOUS BUFFER for the acidic rain-water.

    Gypsum at 17% sulfur dissolved instantly in rain-water, such fast-release of acid (sulfur) really hurt plants' tissue. A tiny bit of vinegar is enough to wilt lettuce, so I don't soak my lettuce in vinegar .. it gets mushy. I put salad dressing (with vinegar) on lettuce, and eat that immediately, before it wilt.

    Garden lime (dolomitic lime) at pH over 11 dissolved instantly and SHOT UP the pH of acid-rain-water. Extreme alkalinity is just as harsh as extreme acid.

    Pea-gravel and red-lava-rock are winners in acidic-rain-water because they both SLOW-RELEASE minerals and serve as buffer to neutralize the acidic-rain-water, so the final solution is neutral pH & mild to plants, plus slowly re-mineralize plants' tissue to make leaves firm and flowers last long.

    In 2011 I used calcium citrate, slightly acidic, and it took forever to dissolve that in my tap-water (pH near 9) . that helped to neutralize my alkaline tap .. and blooms lasted 1 day longer in the vase. Calcium carbonate had zero effect, it remained a solid in alkaline tap, could not dissolve .. perhaps that would work better in acidic rain.

    I touch pea-gravel and red-lava-rock .. don't have to wash my hands. But gypsum at 17% sulfur is very caustic to my skin, it burns, and I have to wash my hands immediately. Garden lime at pH over 11 is also caustic, but not as caustic as gypsum. I saw gypsum killed earthworms, so I put rock-hard clay on face-up-garbage lid, take out the earthworms, then put gypsum in to break up clay.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    7 years ago

    Straw: Thanks for taking the trouble to post pics of your experiments. Very comprehensive and educative. Generally the results are better in alkaline environment but not for Austin roses.... is that right?

    best regards

  • ValRose PNW Wa 8a
    7 years ago

    Straw; Thank you for the detailed explanation.

    I have noticed that lettuce gets mushy quickly in vinegar dressing, almost like it has been cooked. So the problem, as I understand it is that these common soil amendments when mixed with rain water caused a drastic change in the ph causing injury to the plant tissues.

    strawchicago z5 thanked ValRose PNW Wa 8a
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Here's a vase filled with acidic rain water (pH 5.6) and acidic alfalfa pellets (pH 5.8), to make it less acidic, I dropped a tiny chunk of my black-gumbo clay (pH 8) .. the result is slightly acidic, around pH 6. Pink Peace HATED it, wilted immediately after 10 hours soaking (zero scent).

    Mary Magdalene, a white own-root Austin rose don't mind the slightly acidic solution. The stuff floated above is alfalfa pellets, the stuff at the bottom is my black alkaline clay:

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Above left-most vase is Pink Peace soaked in acidic rain-water & pea-gravel for 4 days in the vase, bloom holds up well, leaves are firm & zero blackspots.

    Middle vase is Pink Peace soaked in rain-water & dolomitic lime (Espoma Garden Lime) for 4 days in the vase, zero blackspots on leaves. Normally Pink Peace's leaves break out in blackspots if soaked more than 1 day in acidic rain water.

    The last vase is Pink Peace wilting after only 10 hours soaking in slightly acidic rain-water with alfalfa pellets & a bit of alkaline clay.

    THE WINNER is Pink Peace soaked in pea-gravel for 4 days in rain-water (pH 5.6)

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    For Sam: Above pic. is taken today, July 12, at the start of my experiment with Azomite on the left vase, and pea-gravel on the right vase. I have the leaves UNDER the water on purpose in the pea-gravel solution to see how long it will last without fungal diseases. Will post pics. after a few days later. The last time I tested Azomite I used too much, this time I used only 1 teaspoon per 2 cups of rain-water.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    2nd day in the vase for Pink Peace with a touch of Azomite in rain-water... leaves still firm & perky, same with petals. One website said to use 1 teaspoon Azomite per gallon of water, that works best.

    As to pureed fresh mint in a blender, I stuffed my blender filled with mint, pureed with water, and gave my rooting-soil that stuff. Zero wilting like in the vase, here's how my rootings look after 8 days with potting soil soaked with mint-pureed .. the other rootings without the mint are doing lousy. The mint-pureed kept the soil from drying out.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Week-long of humid weather, it rained today. I checked my 3 rooting-areas: In Smart-Pot with MG-potting soil, and in potting soil plus coarse sand, and in acidic pine-fines potting soil with mint-pureed (previous pic), the mint pureed have zero blackspots, but the other rootings either become yellow, or blackspotted after 8 days.

    Mint-pureed with salicylic acid caused wilting in the vase (no buffer, just acidic rain-water), but the mint-pureed WITH SOIL AS BUFFER is fantastic for rooting. See excerpt from below link: http://www.bluestem.ca/willow-article1.htm

    " Thomas Powell notes that gardeners reported all sorts of plants growing remarkably better when given regular doses of tiny amounts of aspirin (1 part to 10,000 parts water; larger doses actually proved toxic),”

    Plants make salicylic acid to trigger natural defenses against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Aspirin thus is an activator of ‘Systemic Acquired Resistance’ (SAR). However, plants often don’t produce the acid quickly enough to prevent injury when attacked by a microbe. Spraying aspirin on the plants speeds up the SAR response. Tests have shown this works on many crops, producing better plants using less pesticide.

    They’re also testing aspirin and other SAR activators which could be effective against non-microbial pests such as aphids and root-knot nematodes,” Powell says. “This may be the most important research of the century. Stimulating SAR defenses with aspirin or other activator compounds could result in increased food production and the elimination of synthetic pesticides.”

    He recommends we experiment by spraying some plants with a 1:10,000 solution (3 aspirins dissolved in 4 gallons of water), leaving other plants unsprayed. Tests have shown that the SAR activation lasts for weeks to months."

    *** From Straw: Let's see how long my rootings in mint pureed stay clean. Mint has salicylic like aspirin and willow-rooting-hormone. Another German reserach showed that Salicylic acid also help plants to tolerate salt-injury better:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21143731

    " Salicylic acid treatment via the rooting medium interferes with stomatal response, CO2 fixation rate and carbohydrate metabolism in tomato, and decreases harmful effects of subsequent salt stress."

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Re-post from the other thread. My next experiment will be Pink Peace in pine-bark at pH 4 versus alfalfa-hay. Just checked my rooting areas: rootings with pureed mint is doing great, but the other rootings in plain soil got yellow or blackspots.

    Above right picture shows Pink Peace dunked in 1 1/2 cups rain-water (pH 5.6) plus 1 teaspoon of Azomite give the best bloom after 3 days in the vase. Lots of petals too.

    But the Pink Peace on the left opened too fast, and wilted in 3 days. It's pea-gravel soaked in rain-water, I submerged the leaves under the water, zero blackspots. Pea-gravel BEAT other vases with rain-water and additives such as lime, gypsum, mint-pureed, cracked corn, and Azomite in high dose of 1 Tablespoon per 1 1/2 cup resulted in wilted bloom ... Azomite is best in tiny amount.

    Azomite in the right dose at 1 teaspoon per 1 1/2 cup rain-water produces the best result in bloom and perky leaves in hot temp. above 80 F, with acidic rain water (pH 5.6).

    Below is a side-view, note how perky & firm the leaves are in Azomite vase, at 1 teaspoon per 1 1/2 cup rain-water, after 3 days in the vase. To be safe, I would use 1 teaspoon per gallon of water as the web suggested. The dark-margins is from sun-scorch when I cut the bloom at 87 degree temp, full-sun. The wilted bloom is with pea-gravel/rain-water.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    7 years ago

    Straw wrote: Mint-pureed with salicylic acid caused wilting in the vase (no buffer, just acidic rain-water), but the mint-pureed WITH SOIL AS BUFFER is fantastic for rooting.

    This is a very important conclusion and I am going to make use of it when I plant my cuttings. Actually I did plant few cuttings today. This time I am planting all cuttings in ground because the success rate in ground is much higher. In my weather where temps can abruptly rise 10 to 15 degrees, pots are not safe. The most critical part of the day is noon and at that time, I am not home less on weekends to save the cuttings from this kind of abrupt rise and a negligence of 2-3 hours at 105*F is enough to kill cuttings that are yet not established.

    Straw, how do you suggest I should use mint pureed with cuttings. Plant the cuttings and then water them with a solution of mint pureed?

    best regards

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Khalid: I dumped 3 pitchers filled with mint-pureed & water into the rooting-soil 1st .. then it rained and soaked down further. After that I push rootings in. It's safe to let rain dilute that 1st. Here's the profile of mint, rich in B vitamins plus the below. 6% manganese and 7% of iron help with root-growth.

    Calcium 2% Iron at 7%, magnesium at 2%, phosphorus at 1%, potassium at 1%, zinc at 1%, copper at 1%, and manganese at 6%.

    Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/226/2#ixzz4ERYryryR

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Above pic. is begin of experiment with alfalfa hay & rain water (pH 5.6) in the left vase, the pH is below 5 (due to acid released by decayed alfalfa). It's fantastic mulch for my alkaline clay, but the acidity will wilt bloom.

    Right vase is pine bark (pH 4) with rain water (pH 5.6). It didn't make the water yellowish immediately like alfalfa hay, thus less acidic.

    Above is the result after 1 day, and 1 night soaking. Wilting for alfalfa hay's Pink Peace, and even worse wilting of Mary M. (white bloom) in pine-bark solution.

    I cut the white-bloom stem short so it touches the pine-bark .. that got wilted instantly by the acidity released by pine bark.

    CONCLUSION: Pine-bark is acidic, and best used for extremely alkaline clay like mine at pH 8. My alfalfa hay is half-decomposed, thus at "releasing acid" stage. The pine-bark is fresh, thus less acid is released. Will keep the vase a few days longer, to see how soon blackspots break out.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I'm done with dunking Pink Peace and Mary's blooms in various solutions. This year NONE OF THE LEAVES break out in blackspot, even after 3 days soaking in acidic solution like vitamin C, gypsum, sulfate of potash, pine bark, and alfalfa hay.


    That's a big contrast to last year when I tested Pink Peace and Mary in the vase .. leaves broke out in blackspots if soaked more than one-day in acidic rain-water. Why? My leaves this year are fortified with minerals: I soaked red-lava-rock in my rain-barrels. Red-lava-rock is high in anti-fungal agents of zinc, copper, boron, selenium and calcium. I also dumped pea-gravel on both bush. I also dug up Pink Peace and put 4 cups of dolomitic lime (calcium & magnesium).


    Thus how much alkaline minerals leaves get while being formed determine their health.

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