Author Topic: Propagation of Catha edulis (Khat)  (Read 20270 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Planter

  • Administrator
  • Seed
  • *****
  • Posts: 18
  • man!
    • View Profile
Propagation of Catha edulis (Khat)
« on: March 02, 2011, 08:18:52 PM »
Cuttings:
Catha edulis is a plant that may be difficult to start from seed, so a common method is asexual propagation via cuttings. Green, herbaceous stem material of this species will not be able to produce roots and is not viable material, the stem must have some woody tissue. The most successful method is propagating the suckers that the plant will often produce, and suckers can be easily induced with BAP (Benzylaminopurine, a cytokinin plant growth regulator) applied to the base of the stem. It helps greatly if you can remove a sucker with a small amount of roots on it.
These suckers were taken off a plant that was infested with spider mites, and you can see the damage, but they will root out just fine.

You can see the woody parts at the base of the suckers, and a few small rootlets on some of them. The larger leaves were removed, and the cuttings were sprayed and washed down well to remove the spider mites.

As with propagation of herb cuttings, the suckers are treated with rooting hormones. I soak catha for 10 mins in a solution of IBA (1tbsp of hormodin 3 in 250ml water) and then plant them. Since catha is a desert plant, is requires a very porus media for good growth. For rooting is has to be even more porus. I start out with 1 part rice hull mix or standard potting mix and add 1 part turface or pumice. this should be a good porus mix to root out our cuttings.

Plant the cuttings after they have soaked, about 1" deep in the mix, and then water them in with the hormone solution they were soaking in. Then mist them down lightly.

Now they are ready to be placed into the rooting chamber (see here for more gen. info)
They will take 2-4 weeks, then they need to be repotted. You will see new growth once the cuttings/suckers have calloused and started to root out.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 04:07:46 PM by Planter »
"Once you establish yourself, they got to accept ya!"

Planter

  • Administrator
  • Seed
  • *****
  • Posts: 18
  • man!
    • View Profile
Re: Propagation of Catha edulis
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 03:04:14 PM »
Repotting:
6 weeks later....
The cuttings took a little longer than usual, probably because they were stressed and damaged prior to planting, and one croaked (3/4 aint bad).
You can see the new growth, and the one that became infected and wasnt able to root (the stem started to shrivel, theres no hope for it at this point really, you can see it is wilted, as the plants were allowed to sit outside the humidity chamber for a few hours to see if they were ready, if they arent they wilt)

The mix I am am repotting them into isnt quite as turface heavy as the rootin mix but it is still a very porus media. its about 2/3 rice hull blend, 1/3 turface with some extra large chunk perlite and a touch of extra bark for increased porosity, and some sustane 4-6-4 slow release fertilizer.

When the cuttings are ready you will see either the new shoots forming (if the cutting isnt a tip) or growth will begin to resume slowly and then it will increase in speed (small leaves will grow first, and then they will get big) and roots should be visible coming out of the bottom of the plugs, and the cutting will be rather firmly in place (gently feel the stem and see how secure it is in the soil). This one doesnt have too many roots but its enough, it helps to allow more roots to grow as they help keep the root ball intact during the transplant. If the root ball falls apart, continue with the replanting but just put it in the humidity chamber for a day or two or in very low light (if it doesnt wilt in low light, if it does, humidity chamber) and let the root hairs regrow and it will be able to support itself again.

Line the new pots with the appropriate amount of soil. When repotting smaller cuttings like these that aren't rooted terribly deep, I like to plant the new root balls so that there is 1/4-1/2" of new media on top of the old root ball. The stem will produce new roots here where the stem is touching the soil, and will also help later in the plants life with the development of suckers. Then I water them in gently with a spray bottle on a mist setting so as not to mix up the media in the pot and disturbed the newly transplanted roots too much.

They will sit in low light for a bit, I keep an eye on them to make sure they transplanted fine. if they wilt they go back into the humidity chamber for another day or two, but if you can see roots like in 3rd pic above it should be fine given there isnt too much leaf. That is another option, to prune a few leaves or cut some in half to reduce the leaf surface area and amount of transpiration. Once I know they are good to go, I start to give them more light, and in a couple days they will be fine under full light.

"Once you establish yourself, they got to accept ya!"