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Propogating plants with stem cuttings
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Satish
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March 22, 2011 - 11:25 am
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This is a wonderful and very exciting way to growing plants ! In particular I feel that beginners (like me !) in gardening will find this very exhilirating ! When you see a stem that you 'stuck' into a medium sprout with life and grow new leaves it is as wondrous a feeling as seeing seeds sprout and grow into large productive plants. I believe one can grow new plants from even leaf-cuttings and/or even root cuttings. So far I have tried only stem cuttings and found it rather easy and thus a moral booster when I am surrounded by all sorts of failures with seeds and what not !! So far I have successfully worked with Jasmine, Bougainvilla, a succulent decorative plant (name not known to me !) & Hibiscus. Am planning on trying Peepal, Banyan and Bottle-brush now. Any other ideas ? Our next door neighbours have beautiful Poinsetta bushes and one day I will try & muster the courage to seek their permission to take a few cuttings from them !! Keep your fingers crossed for me ! I am told almost any plant can be 'replicated' with stem cuttings. People propogate Dahlias this way too. I will try that next season too. Awaiting some new ideas from all of you and if I succeed with your suggestion I promise to mail you a picture of 'your idea in bloom' ! Regards.

Satish

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geekgardener
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March 22, 2011 - 1:41 pm
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Hello Satish,

Another approach to stem cutting is air layering. This method reduces the shock and results in 100% success.

The way you do is, select a stem that has the thickness of a pencil. Mark a ring around the stem and mark another an inch below. Shave the bark off between these two rings.  You will see green stem between the rings.

Now take some rooting powder/liquid and smear it where the ring begins i.e where the cut started and the cut ended.

Take a polythene sheet wrap around the stem little below the bottom ring and tie it with a string. Now stuff the polythene with moist peat, moss or coco fiber and tie the other end also. It should look like a chochlate wrapped in polythene around the stem.

In about 3-4 weeks, rooting will start. Once roots appear on the sides, slowly shave off the stem every week below the bottom ring and as you remove the stems, the plant hardens itself and starts using the roots in the polybag.

Once the roots are big enough, cut the plant and pot it up.

 

I know I didn't do justice by this write up I really have been planning to make a post with pics. May be this weekend I will come up with pictures.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Fruit trees such as Guava are done using this method.

gg

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Satish
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March 22, 2011 - 3:49 pm
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Hi GG:

Thanks a lot for finding the time to write so promptly on the subject ! I tried doing this with some plants last year but did not succeed for some unknown reason. I had kept the stem still attached to the mother plant. Instead of the polythene sheet I used a poly bag open at both ends. I don't know what I did wrong. Maybe your post with the pics will enlighten me. Sometimes the coin takes a while to fall ! Regards.

Satish

P.S.: And THANKS for starting this section.

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geekgardener
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March 22, 2011 - 5:30 pm
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Interesting. Though this method takes a little more time it does work for me. Making cuts on the stem is important as it forms callus tissues there which becomes root.

I will definitely make a post on this and may be an update when it rooting happens..

Thanks for suggesting this section. Propagation is so much fun isn't it?

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Satish
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March 22, 2011 - 9:45 pm
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Hi GG:

Now I remember what I did differently while I tried to propogate some plants with the 'air layering' method. I did not shave off the bark from a certain area. Instead I had made a diagonal cut into a stem with detatching it from the mother plant. I had then applied rooting hormones on the surfaces of the cut and inserted a small piece of a tooth pick to keep the two surfaces apart. THE REST OF THE METHODOLOGY WAS BY AND LARGE THE SAME AS SUGGESTED BY YOU. This time I will attempt to do it the way you have described it. Most likely I will be successful too !! It is better to be optimistic is it not ?!! Regards

Satish

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AmitChugh
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March 22, 2011 - 10:30 pm

hello satish,

the method you describe is also air layering, and should work fine.

i have a list of plants/tree that can be propagate through stem cuttings,

plumeria-champa

mexican oleander - kaner

jamine

banyan-barh

peepal-scared fig

pomegranate

motiya-bela

gulmohar-flame tree

crown of thorns-euphorbia mili

bottle brush

china rose

neem

mulberry-shahtoot

and rose

i have a access to all these plants, i can get cuttings without any problem.

the problem is that, cuutings doesn.t success for me. i dont know where is  the problem. anyone plz help.

i took two cuttings of rose. i use Stardix Hormone Rooting Powder. i put one cutting in the simple soil mix and second in the mixture of sand and soil, 1:1 . i water it when the upper surface of potting mix dry. i put the pots in shade but in open. both cuttings dried away after a month. then i check for roots, there were not a single root.

what i did wrong? any help...

at the same time i also put cuttings(softwood) of banyan and mexican oleander. they are still green, but no change or growth.

whta should i do? is my medium is not good.?

one more thing, seed that i sow in soil takes more time to germinate. i put tamarind and orange seeds on 23 feb, tamarind seed germinate today, and still waitnig for germination of orange seed. it takes almost full month to germinate. is it normal?

late germination of seed and not developing roots from cuttings has any connection ?

plz help...

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Satish
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March 23, 2011 - 11:59 am
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Hi Amit:

Thanks a lot for the list. Some I have already 'done' but will attempt some others from your suggestions soon. Sorry, I can't put a finger on what is causing failure of your stem cuttings. What I can do though is describe in detail how have done it and achieved reasonable success. Please give me a day or two to do this. Germination of orange or tamarind seeds is even more than Greek & Latin to me !! May be GG will help you. And why don't you try the method described by GG above ? His method has an advantage: the 'cutting' remains attached to the mother plant and can derive its nutrition from it till it itself develops roots and is ready to take nutrition from the medium where it is planted after being detatched from its 'mother'. I am going to try this one of these days. Good Luck !

Satish

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AmitChugh
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March 25, 2011 - 9:41 pm

thanks satish for the help. i am waiting for your detailed description...

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Satish
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March 26, 2011 - 3:46 pm
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Hi Amit:

Here goes:

https://picasaweb.google.com/108184095189913552151/NewStemCuttings?authkey=Gv1sRgCMKBwYjy1szErQE&feat=directlink

Propogating plants with stem cuttings:

1.     Collect all the items required for ‘planting’ a root cutting as under:

    (a)  Very sharp pruning scissors.

    (b)  Very sharp knife/blade.

    (c)   A clean nylon cutting board.

    (d)  A small container for water.

    (e)  A small container for rooting hormones.

    (f)    Containers for ‘planting’ the stems that need to root. It is better to have rather tall containers as they ensure that the medium around the stem is well drained.

    (g)  Potting mix and/or sand.

    (h)  Rooting hormones. These can be purchased from gardening stores.

    (i)    Some pebbles (about 1”) of broken bricks or stone.

    (j)    A plastic bag or some ‘contraption’ e.g a tent made out of 50% shading net to not
    only provide shade to the ‘planted’ cutting but also protect it from the drying
    effect of the environment.

    (k)   A ‘misting’ spray.

2.     Cleanliness and sterility are key to the success in planting cuttings. The scissors, blades, knives and the container should be absolutely clean and free of any kind of infection.

3.     The container in which the cutting is to be planted should preferably be tall. This ensures a rooting zone that is ‘just moist’ as there is sufficient space for any excess water to drain out quickly.

4.     Now to ‘assemble’ the rooting container proceed as under:
    (a)  Ensure sufficient drainage holes at the bottom and in the lowest part of the sides of the container.

    (b)  Place a 2” layer of the pebbles at the bottom of the container.

    (c)   On the pebbles put a thick layer of dry leaves and thereupon the planting media that you have decided upon.

    (d)  Now ‘drench’ the medium with water containing a little Bavistin.

5.     After the ‘excess’ water has drained out make a deep hole in the centre of the medium. It is advisable to have the size of this hole at least twice the
diameter of the cutting.

6.     Select a healthy plant to take a cutting from because the mother plant’s genes and
health will be replicated in the new plant.

7.     While taking a stem cutting from any plant you must bear in mind that cuttings from
the growing apex have a better chance of ‘rooting’ than others. But one long
stem can be divided into a number of cuttings. Each section though must have a
node at the lower end and a few leaves. In large leaf plants these can be
partially cut. Retaining some leaves is important because the ‘plant’ needs
nutritional support till it strikes roots.

8.     Cuttings taken from lateral branches rather than the basal branches are more likely to
root. Also the chances of the stems striking roots are much higher in those
that have been taken from comparatively younger plants.

9.     The best time to take a cutting is early morning. It is best to ‘plant’ cuttings
immediately after the cutting is taken. If there is delay, protect the cutting
from dehydration by keeping it in the shade and even in an opaque plastic bag.
Transparent plastic bags build up too much heat inside leading to a dehydration
of the cutting.

10.  It is best to take cuttings immediately below a leaf node.

11.  From the selected cutting remove excess leaves retaining only a few. If it is a large leaf plant cut off a part
of the leaves to reduce transpiration losses. Remove any flowers and/or buds
from the cutting.

12.  Cut diagonally through the lowest node of the cutting.  13.  Immerse this
cut end in water, shake off the excess water and ‘roll’ the moistened end in
the rooting hormones.  Again, shake off the excess hormones & now just stick
approximately one-third of the cutting into the hole you had earlier made in
the medium ensuring that the hormones don’t touch the sides of the hole while
being inserted into it (this is why we made a rather wide hole). Now just press
the medium gently around the cutting. Please ensure that the cutting is not
inserted up-side-down.

14.  Place this assembled rooting device under whatever protective tent or
‘contraption’ you have made (These ‘protections’ can be for individual
containers or for a number of them) and place them at a spot with indirect
light.

15.  Every few days, lift the ‘protection’ and mist the cuttings with clean
water containing a pinch of Bavistin.

16.  Each morning just cross your fingers, hold your breath and look for some
sign of new ‘life’ in the cutting.

17.  A few days thereafter you can test for ‘rooting’ by tugging gently at the
cutting. If ‘rooting’ has occurred, you will feel the slightest of resistance!

18.  Shout ‘VOILA’ and enjoy your success!

NOTES:

1.     As you can see from the pictures I used a discarded 2-liter cold drink
pet bottle as the container by cutting off its top at a position that ensures
that the top I” of the ‘container’ is tapering inwards.

2.     I used another similar bottle as the ‘tent’ or ‘protection’ for the
planted stem cutting. For this I cut the other bottle at a point just before it
starts tapering towards the neck of the bottle making it about an inch shorter
than the one that will hold the stem cutting. Thereafter, I made four 1” slits
perpendicular to the cut edge. I then just pushed this ‘tent’ on top of the
container with the stem cutting. To make these slits visible in the pictures I
inserted pieces of paper into them.

3.     You can replace the pebbles at the bottom of the container with broken
pieces of Styrofoam packing that one gets as the packing material with all
electronic items. I preferred the stones because their weight lends ‘stability’
to the entire ‘assembly’ and prevents it from tipping over or being blown away
by a minor gush of wind.

4. There might be some things that I have forgotten to mention or I am doing wrongly or I have not been able to explain. I am happy to keep my learning process on each day. THANKS.

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Satish
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March 26, 2011 - 3:51 pm
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Hi Amit:

I wrote the foregoing in MS Word and pasted it here but it obviously did not go very well. Sorry.

 

Hi GG:

I really got impatient and made a mess of it! Please feel free to either remove the foregoing post or 'rectify' it if you can. My apologies. Thanks & regards.

Satish

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AmitChugh
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March 26, 2011 - 4:42 pm

thanks satish,

thats what i want. a picture tutorial. nice sir.

i have some quetions

1. may i use sand alone for mix, ( normal sand which is used in concrete mix with cement)

2. where to put that pot, in shade or ?

3. because you cover it with another bottle as tent, doesnt it stops air flow inside ?

4. what is the purpose of covering it with bottle ?

5.
in picture, newly grown stem is used, which is best softwood/green or
hardwood cutting, newly grown stem or some times old stem ?

6. i would like to grow banyan, it has big leaves, what should i do with leaves ?

sorry to put so much quetions. but i just clearing my ignorance.

and yes , you did a nice work, and give me new ideas. thanks for sharing.

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Satish
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March 26, 2011 - 8:34 pm
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Hi Amit:

First of all let me convey my heartfelt gratitude for not making an issue of the mess I made while posting the post! Secondly, please appreciate that I am NOT A PROFESSIONAL in the field and am just as much of an amateur gardener as you are. On this blog we just have the opportunity to exchange our experiences, our aspirations and even our fears! Even then, I will attempt to answer your questions to the best of my ability:

1. I have successfully used sand earlier for stem cuttings of Bougainvillae. There is what I consider a slight disadvantage with this medium: You will have to transplant the cuttings to another (nutritious) medium as soon as they strike root.

2. Avoid direct sunlight. Otherwise it will become hot like an oven under the 'tent'. We have to protect the 'cuttings' from dehydration because they are as yet unable to take up moisture due to the absence of roots.

3. Yes, that is the very purpose of the tent: to insulate & protect the cutting from the dry environment. When you 'mist' the cuttings every few days you will be removing the tent and automatically 'aerating' the cuttings. During the monsoon period you can punch a few holes in the 'tent' to provide air.

4. I think I have already answered this in 2 & 3 above.

5. This is a million dollar question and please let me know the answer if you ever find out. I have had success in Bougainvillae with both both softwood and semi-hard wood. Hibiscus, Raat ki Rani & Jasmine wesre fine with softwood (green branches). I think you will either have to go through a process of trial & error or take the advice of some expert. My personal feeling is that most plants will be ok with either semi-hard wood cuttings or soft-wood cuttings. It is said that cuttings from the growing tips of lateral branches of 'younger' plants are more likely to strike roots as they have a higher percentage of 'auxins' available in them.

6. Yes I have also been wondering about this. The 'tent' for these cuttings will have to be a little larger since it is important that the leaves do not touch the tent. Please do let everyone know once you have thought of something.

Thanks & regards.

Satish

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Satish
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March 28, 2011 - 12:29 pm
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Hi Amit:

I have been thinking a lot about your last post---and not only because I was really 'taken aback' by your instantaneous recognition of the cutting from 'Raat ki Rani'! Believe me I was really awe struck! This kind of knowledge can only come from a very keen observation and experience. You seem to have spent a lot of your time with plants! Why don't you tell us more about yourself? In addition I remembered something I had not mentioned in my post about cuttings. While putting the 'tent' on the other container it is important to take care that no part of the 'cutting' comes in contact with it. Your question about large-leaf plants also provoked me to think about it and I remembered that last year I had taken a 'runner' (rather large) from a succulent ornamental plant in the house and just 'stuck' it (with rooting hormones) into a container with a potting mix (quick draining) and just left it in a cool spot. It struck roots rather quickly and is doing very well now. In fact, new stems have started appearing next to the original one. I will try & post a picture one these days. Another succulent plant I grew the same way (without covering it with a 'tent') was 'Ajwain' which also is doing very well. The point I was trying to make is that may be the succulent plants can manage even without a 'tent' AND that it might be possible to treat 'Peepal' and 'Banyan' as a succulent. They are surely very hardy to say the least. Want to try? Even then, I will try to fabricate a 'tent' for such plants. Regards.

Satish

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AmitChugh
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March 28, 2011 - 6:11 pm

hi satish.

thanks so much for the whole detail. i searched a lot, found many usefull things. but i did not find full detailed explaination with pictures. but u did it. i am heartly thankfull to you.

thanks for ignoring my poor english.

thats true i spent more time with plants. i am always in search of plants, to recognize them, and find them on net to know more about them. but i know just a few plants. i know raat ki rani just because i had it few years ago. my knowledge is limited. i am here to develop it. i just follow everyone, and learn. as i follow you. have a look at it.

https://picasaweb.google.com/111339169415239870112/StemCutting#

howz it ? it is not clean as your, but i tried and hope for the best. i change tent to a polythene as you write leaves should not touch the tent. i cut the big 4 leaves to half. actually it is to early to post it here, as my all past cuttings was failed. but i think this time i will taste the success as i directed by you.

actually i alway tried without any tent. i will search for secculent plants. this is a new term for me. i had already potted a stem of banyan in a pot. it was softwood new branch, has two leaves. i just applied rooting harmone and burry it in soil ( nothing else mixed ). i put it in open, it gets direct sunlight for 1 hour everyday. let see what will happen to it.

i think the main problem with me is , my soil is not drained well, i am looking for coco peat, but nobody knows about it in my area.

at last i am waitng for the roots, if successfull this time will try many more.

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Satish
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March 28, 2011 - 6:41 pm
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Hi Amit:

Super job! This is the lease one can say. And the quality of pictures is fantastic too. I dont think you need such a large cutting though. 3-4 inches is more than enough. Polythene bags can be used as 'tents' but they need to be supported by some sticks or a frame because otherwise the bag might just collapse on to the cutting. Take care.  Yes, there are many ways of doing any thing. What I described was just one way to go for planting stem cuttings. There are any number of different containers that can be used and at least an equal number of ways to make a 'tent'. And the media that can be used are as varied too. In a few days I will try to  provide some pictures to show the variety. Thanks & regards.

Satish

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AmitChugh
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March 30, 2011 - 4:25 pm

hi satish.

i had a problem with my cutting. today i observe my cutting at 7 a.m. it was ok. but when i again look at it at 10 a.m. it was like that, please have a look https://picasaweb.google.com/111339169415239870112/StemCutting#5589822834686126498

then i remove the polythene tent. but no improvement till 4.30 p.m. is it dead ? or it will be fine after some time. ? what i did wrong ? do you have any idea ?

thankx

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Satish
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March 31, 2011 - 9:35 am
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Hi Amit:

Sorry your cutting didn't do well. Its very difficult to make out the reason or reasons for this. But as I mentioned earlier, your cutting seemed to be too large and had too many leaves. This would have meant a lot of transpiration while because of the absence of roots the cutting is not able to take-up water from the medium. I do not know what time of the day you took the cutting from the mother plant. It is best to take cuttings early morning when they are still turgid. It is also very important to 'plant' the cutting as soon as possible and to keep it cool till then. Were any of the leaves touching the tent? In that situation also the cutting dries up. And I hope you kept the 'assembly' in a cool spot with only indirect light. And did you ensure very good drainage? Don't lose heart. These things happen when you attempt something new. You will soon realise what you did wrong and then it would be smooth sailing and very pleasurable too! The 'raat ki rani' cutting I planted is doing fine till now but I am still keeping my fingers crossed because you never know how 'nature' will react to our 'intrusion'. Regards and BEST OF LUCK in your next attempt.

Satish

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AmitChugh
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March 31, 2011 - 11:22 am

thanks satish for the response and help.

yes it is big and has few more leaves.when i was useng tent of plastic bottle, but when i see leaves touching the tent i change it to polythene tent. i took the cutting in noon. i place it in indirect sunlight. but i think main problem is growing medium. i use 2 part sand and 1 part soil and 1/2 spoon vermicompost. it is not a well drain mix. i check the mix it is very tight.

but i have one more chance. if you notice, there is a small cutting also along with big cutting.

https://picasaweb.google.com/111339169415239870112/StemCutting#5589046096881835234

it is the lower part of big cutting. i cut it to reduce its size. instead to throw it i burry it along the big cutting. it was just 2 inch long with 2 nodes. 1 node is inside the soil . the upper node hase 2 very small leaves (komple ). so i think it is still live and working.

i am still waiting for both cuttings. i will not throw them untill they  turn dark brown. hope for the best.

please, inform us when your cutting groe roots. also post the picture.

hey, can you tell me one thing. do you know where can i get coco peat in delhi ?

thanks.

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Satish
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March 31, 2011 - 8:18 pm
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Hi Amit:

Sorry to see your 'Raat ki Rani' in trouble! You are the 'Doctor' on the spot and are best equipped ti diagnose what went wrong. I have provide all of my amateurish knowledge in this field to assist you. Anyhow, may be some of the following comments might help you:

1. As I said earlier your 'cutting' is too big. In fact its almost a plant. I am afraid you are getting impatient to have a full-grown plant. Such a large 'cutting' can not possibly support its water requirements without roots. Just think of the water loss through transpiration from so many leaves.

2. Please check the drainage system in the 'assembly'.

3. Try with a small cutting taken early in the morning.

4. Did you ensure proper hygiene & did you use Bavistin or some other good fungicide?

Surely, I will keep you posted about the 'health' of my cuttings. The 'Raat ki Rani' is doing fine and is hale and hearty. I am planning on planting some Rose, Bougainvillae and Hibiscus cuttings. Might even do a Poinsetta if my neighbours agree to give me a cutting!

Regards.

Satish

P.S.: Cocopeat is available in almost all nursery shops in Delhi. I am familiar with some in South Delhi. Most centrally located and easily reachable on the Metro (Jorbagh Station on the line from the Uni to Gurgaon) is the Jorbagh Nursery. Let me know if you need more info.

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AmitChugh
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March 31, 2011 - 8:31 pm

hmmmmmmm. . i choose that size because it was thick enough from the bottum, if i reduce the size it will become thin which is not good, according to me. can i also cut the stem from up side ?

drainage was not so good. how to achieve good drainage ?

no i did not use fungicide.

but i am still hoping for the small cutting. what you think ?

actually i am not familiar to delhi. can you tell me easy root to any nursery where i can find coco peat and contact number. i can reach the ISBT through bus.

thankx

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