Hi Guys! Sorry for the long silence, my life has taken a somewhat different direction from what I had planned. I’ll probably do a post about that when I’ve finished processing it myself, but for now, I thought I’d keep you updated with the plants in my life at the moment.
I get a lot of questions about the heat pad that I use to propagate my cuttings and grow my seedlings on, so I thought I’d share a little bit about it. I bought my heat pad from the grow shop (growshop.co.nz) which has two stores in New Zealand, one in Henderson, Auckland and one in Christchurch.
This is the one that I bought ($35):
Plug it in, pop your cuttings and seedlings on it and you’re a go. It does say not to get the pad wet, so I have all my pots on container lids or at the very least paper to keep moisture off the pad.
The guy who sold it to me said that it took up less electricity than a light bulb and I think that’s about right. I kept a close eye on our power bill for the first few months having it going full time and I didn’t notice any difference. The heat from the pad is very subtle, if you place your hand on it you can barely tell its on but compared to other surfaces it is warm. It’s kept at the perfect temperature for root growth and I have noticed an increase in root production and the speed roots are established. With this heat pad, I’ve been taking cuttings all winter and seeing good results.
You do need to check in on your plants every couple days if you don’t have anything to stop moisture from escaping the containers because the pad will slowly dry out the soil. Especially on shallow pots.
An example of how fast roots are established (keep in mind that it was winter when I did this) I have a small string of pearls (variegated) that
my husband accidentally knocked over and it died off pretty quickly after that. I pulled out any surviving pearls and put them into a tiny raw clay pot (much like terracotta) and waited for about a month, maybe two for roots to form. Then I purchased the heat pad and took the remaining pearls that had no roots and placed them on the heat pad. I think they shot out roots within a week, it was that fast! I really recommend getting yourself one of these pads if you’re serious about propagating plants. My pad is so crowded with cuttings, I’m seriously thinking about getting a second one!