My annual lesson in perserverance

l4nsky

Aspiring Mad Genius
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
506
Hola,

So I've literally been at this for so long, that I don't know what attempt number this is (I'm guessing its north of 8, I was thinking it was only 5 or so until I looked at my past calendars). I'm referring to propagating lilacs from cuttings. Back when my parent's moved in '04, my mom had to leave her prized lilac bushes behind. They're some heirloom variety that tends to grow a main trunk (with the occasional offshoot) instead of a whole bunch of smaller ones and they are extremely fragrant, heavy bloomers. They are old, atleast 35 years, and they don't put off a lot of new growth year over year. All of this, combined with the fact there is a very small window to take cuttings (right after the flowers fall off) makes this rather difficult and I've been doggedly pursuing this for awhile, changing tactics as I read more and more. This year, I setup my greenhouse specifically for them. I have 3 seedling mats regulated to 80 degrees and an ultrasonic humidifier controlled by a calibrated humidistat. There are LED grow lights on each shelf as well, currently set at 25% power on a 12 hour cycle.
20210513_125832.jpg
And here's the greenhouse. I have 53 cuttings this time. Go big or go home I guess. Man, I hope this works lol.

Thanks,
--Matt
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
rooting for you 😉😉😉

Oh prop jokes :troll:

anyway truly good luck! Don’t break TOS but where did you get the stand up greenhouse? I’ll send you a pm for more details.
 

l4nsky

Aspiring Mad Genius
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
506
Big box home improvement store, fill in the blank: Highs and L___s. It was like $40 I believe, I used to have it setup as a fruiting chamber for fungi, but I haven't done a spawn run in maybe 5 years.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
Big box home improvement store, fill in the blank: Highs and L___s. It was like $40 I believe, I used to have it setup as a fruiting chamber for fungi, but I haven't done a spawn run in maybe 5 years.
Thanks!! Will have to check it out!! Do you have a specific soevies and or .var /cultivar that they are. I’d be happy to ask my old professor if he has any tips.
Have you done a run testing different ppm of rooting hormone?
 

l4nsky

Aspiring Mad Genius
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
506
Thanks!! Will have to check it out!! Do you have a specific soevies and or .var /cultivar that they are. I’d be happy to ask my old professor if he has any tips.
Have you done a run testing different ppm of rooting hormone?
We don't know what cultivar they are unfortunately. If I did, I would just buy seeds or young plants, and not mess with the cuttings lol. I've tried a few different gels/powders over the years, but I haven't broken the process down to a rigorous experiment. I've ID'd a few failure points for some of my attempts and I've made the necessary adjustments for those (lower humidity leading to dessication, cuttings too old and not new growth, waiting too long after the flowers drop, too many leaves left on the cutting, too much light, not enough nodes in the ground, etc). I'm hoping I have everything worked out this time.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
2,123
We don't know what cultivar they are unfortunately. If I did, I would just buy seeds or young plants, and not mess with the cuttings lol. I've tried a few different gels/powders over the years, but I haven't broken the process down to a rigorous experiment. I've ID'd a few failure points for some of my attempts and I've made the necessary adjustments for those (lower humidity leading to dessication, cuttings too old and not new growth, waiting too long after the flowers drop, too many leaves left on the cutting, too much light, not enough nodes in the ground, etc). I'm hoping I have everything worked out this time.
With genetic testing as cheap as it is, I wonder if there's a lab you could send a sample to to get these guys IDed? There's probably a genetic library of lilac cultivars somewhere. A couple years ago sequencing cost $6/sample, though obviously I have no idea if your lab is set up for DNA extraction.

Either way, this is a very exciting project! Good luck with it.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
With genetic testing as cheap as it is, I wonder if there's a lab you could send a sample to to get these guys IDed? There's probably a genetic library of lilac cultivars somewhere. A couple years ago sequencing cost $6/sample, though obviously I have no idea if your lab is set up for DNA extraction.
Im about to post in a list of cultivars, not new ones but judging that these were prized older ones maybe one of these on these lists might fit!
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
Ahh poop, bear with me something happened let me redo all of these.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
I texted my friend and this is what he said, "Yes, it's quite difficult”. ;)


in looking back over prop notes from Dirr under S. vulgaris he says “if only a plant or two are needed simply divide and replant sucker(s); for commercial considerations are S. meyeri; tissue culture has been successful with this species. See McCulloch, Proc. Intl. Plant Prop. Soc. 39:105-108 (1989), for a good paper on tissue culture propagation of French hybrid lilacs and respectable literature citations of Syringa vegetative prop”.

under S. mereyi “...root from cutting and timing is critical; ideally softwood cuttings should be collected before end leaves mature, treat with 1000-5000 ppm IBA talc or quick dip, well drained medium and mist; my successes with various Syringa species are minimal; Dirr and Heuser, 1987 offer a detailed discussion of the vagaries of lilac propagation

what my friend sent me:

11349AFE-7B6D-4C6E-80B9-AADAB25AA67A.jpeg 015F1BEA-DFE6-40CB-85E0-EFB679D5F667.jpeg 39914969-45FE-4F9B-9371-E7A124605C24.jpeg B54A530E-53B7-4B75-9424-8E9C22BC620C.jpeg
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
List of cultivars: 7184FBD3-86F8-45B0-9E68-EF92EEFA5E9E.jpeg 50E23CF2-08B6-4266-BB60-82D9778797E0.jpeg 819DB81B-018A-4C36-94EB-D60102C82CE3.jpeg 0679BA48-6269-416E-9067-14107B55C8CA.jpeg C233027E-C9E9-452D-9F5C-D823D169425E.jpeg
also I4insky if you send me a picture of your plant and good shot of the flower my friend may be able to ID for you
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,900
Shouldn't the title of this thread be My perennial lesson in perseverance?
 

l4nsky

Aspiring Mad Genius
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
506
I texted my friend and this is what he said, "Yes, it's quite difficult”. ;)


in looking back over prop notes from Dirr under S. vulgaris he says “if only a plant or two are needed simply divide and replant sucker(s); for commercial considerations are S. meyeri; tissue culture has been successful with this species. See McCulloch, Proc. Intl. Plant Prop. Soc. 39:105-108 (1989), for a good paper on tissue culture propagation of French hybrid lilacs and respectable literature citations of Syringa vegetative prop”.

under S. mereyi “...root from cutting and timing is critical; ideally softwood cuttings should be collected before end leaves mature, treat with 1000-5000 ppm IBA talc or quick dip, well drained medium and mist; my successes with various Syringa species are minimal; Dirr and Heuser, 1987 offer a detailed discussion of the vagaries of lilac propagation

what my friend sent me:

View attachment 384834 View attachment 384835 View attachment 384836 View attachment 384837
List of cultivars: View attachment 384838 View attachment 384839 View attachment 384840 View attachment 384841 View attachment 384842
also I4insky if you send me a picture of your plant and good shot of the flower my friend may be able to ID for you
Thank you soo much for all of this. I've scoured my archives and realized I don't actually have a picture of them in full bloom. My mom might, but I don't know if it'll be digital lol. I'll reach out directly when/if I get a suitable picture for ID. If I can't get 8 or so from this go, I'll definently look into the flood method for next year and see if I can't source the chemicals advised. That sounds pretty straightforward and promising.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
Thank you soo much for all of this. I've scoured my archives and realized I don't actually have a picture of them in full bloom. My mom might, but I don't know if it'll be digital lol. I'll reach out directly when/if I get a suitable picture for ID. If I can't get 8 or so from this go, I'll definently look into the flood method for next year and see if I can't source the chemicals advised. That sounds pretty straightforward and promising.
Yeah no problem! I’ve done a lot of prop, but I realized I had never done any Syringa prop and I knew it had a lurning curve so I figured I’d text my friend to see if he could add anything and gave you my resources as well! Get some IBA, it will greatly increase your chances, and do a few wounded and hormoned. Keep this thread updated with how it all goes and what methods you use, I’ll be sending you positive rooting vibes!
 

l4nsky

Aspiring Mad Genius
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
506
Two week update: I'm afraid its starting to look like this year will be par for the course. I pulled 22 dead/dying out of the greenhouse, meaning I'm just under a 50% fail rate. It's definently moisture related this time, as I lost 10 on the top shelf, 7 on the middle shelf, and 5 on the bottom shelf. The bottom shelf is where the mist collects when the humidifier runs, and I guess the way I staggered the trays to capture some of the falling water vapor wasn't enough to keep moisture up, even with twice daily misting. I'm doing a quick, 15 min soak for each pot and moving all the remaining cuttings to the bottom rack. Since I'm a bit of a pessimist when it comes to these, I'll start sourcing pure IBA and reading about dosages (8000 ppm is stated above, so I need to figure out how to measure that) as the rooting gel I used this year was only 0.31% IBA. I'm also going to look into tissue culture as I have all the necessary equipment and experience from my mycology work.

@Smotzer, can you share any knowledge about IBA dosing and tissue culture? For tissue culture, would you happen to know if the tissue has to be harvested in a certain time frame, like the cuttings? My gut says no, but I haven't been able to confirm that yet.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
There’s no dosing you need to do, you just need to buy the right strength or ppm of IBA talc. I think my rooting hormone is at the greenhouse I let you know what brand it is. For example Look up Hormex #8 that is 8000ppm. The numbers #X are the ppm or the dose, you don’t need to do anything but buy it. You want the hormone to be talc IBA, no gel or liquid for that. I would also suggest getting some quick dip hormone, which my stuff was always 10-12,000ppm but it’s a liquid, it comes concentrated I think a brand I have used before off and on
is “Dip and Grow concentrate” which is 10,000ppm IBA 5000 NAA. When you do cuttings with the hormone take a fresh 45^ angle cut on the bottom so give yourself xtra length to work with when you take them off the mother plant, and wound the sides of the cuttings with a sharp, I always use my folding grafting, knife a few times along the cutting, do that immediately before doing IBA. Run all cuttings with a fresh cut, run a few unwounded and some wounded, and immediately dip in talc get it really nice and on there don’t be afraid of the stuff. Sometimes it helps to wipe it with a moist paper towel so that the talc sticks. Premake the hole you will stick the cutting in, with the cutting amd wiggle it around in the soil a bit, take out , and then fresh 45 cut, wound, and IBA, you premake it that way when you insert the cutting you don’t rub all the IBA off. With the quick dip do the same but stick it in the liquid and out fast don’t let it soak in it, unlike the talc which you want to really get it all on there 110%.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2,672
Also I wanted this in a separate post I’m not sure tissue culture will work for you easily because what makes it easier is if you have a containerized plant already growing in sterile conditions and your initiation stage will be your toughest stage if not already sterile, but your mycology work will help some. My friend gene does tissue cultures for his orchid breeding business and its fairly involved, more involved than myco cause he does what I mentioned above. There is also some serious considerations or learning you will need to do in PGR’s ( Plant Growth Regulators) which are Auxins, Cytokynins, amd Gibberellins, and also macro/micro nutrients for use in. growth mediums. It’s a lot different than basic agar work with mycology basically you need to entirety of all factors needed for plant growth in the medium, and understanding of PH to make those available when you need them. These factors will also greatly depend on S. vulgaris needs and style of tissue culturing. Not sure what reading you have done but most intros into tissue culture are meristem culturing, working off of the apical meristem. Is that what you were planning on trying?. But in a round about way I also wanted to add that per your question you need to take the tissue during active growing season.
 
Top