Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Treatment of Cuttings Propagation Results

Last fall I took cuttings from my Acadie Blanc and Marechal Joffre in preparation for propagation this spring. Now as these plants originated from cuttings that came from Nova Scotia, the CFIA wanted me to treat these cuttings to ensure that there is no pest on them when I move them to BC.
I took the cuttings in late fall and they appeared good. However, when I took them out of cold storage they were very dry. I probably did not wrap them in enough damp paper towel an they dried out a bit over the 3 months they were in storage.
In early March two CFIA agents came to my house and watched as I put the cuttings through a hot water treatment. Basically the cuttings are immersed in a hot water bath for 5 minutes at about 43 Celsius then they are transferred and immersed in a second bath for 5 minutes at 52 Celsius.
After the treatment I let them sit in water for 24 hours to rehydrate some them planted them in 50/50 peat moss-pearlite mixture. They sat in a climate controlled room at about 10 degree celcius air temperature and on top of a warming mat that kept the root zone at about 26 Celsius.
After 6 weeks none of the Joffre cuttings showed any signs of life and two of the Acadie cuttings did bud out however, they both died a few weeks later.
Now that the vines that the cuttings came from are budding out I see where some of the problem came from. There are only a few Joffre buds on the original plants coming out and they are secondary buds. The Acadie has a few buds on the mother vine coming out but most are dead.
I think that the canes were damaged with the quick hard cold snap that occurred in early October. The temperature dropped over a few days from the mid 20's to minus 12. Also, with the Joffre this vine has a tendency to continue to grow vigorously late into the fall when it should be going dormant.
The result is that the cuttings that were treated did not produce any plants. I don't think the propagation results were negatively impacted by the hot water treatment of the cuttings. I think the cuttings were damaged when I took them in the fall and further deteriorated as i did not keep them moist enough.
Oh well, I will probably try this again this fall.