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I took cuttingsof abelia three weeks ago,and put them in plastic cups with plastic bag over and fastened round with rubber band and placed on windowsill. They seem to have produced a few new leaves and what looks like small buds. They do not seem to be very well anchored in the compost so I dont think there are many roots there. Should I leave them in the plastic bags for a bit longer or can they be left on the windowsill without the bags over. Hope someone can help. - thanks



Hi Muddy,

Most cuttings will take considerably longer than 3 weeks to develop anything like a good root system - 3 months is more typical, even for an easy rooting plant like Abelia, and some will take far longer still. They can and will produce leaves and shoots without having rooted properly, so try not to disturb them too much for a while.

Definitely leave the bags on until you are happy that they have rooted properly, and when the time is ready don't just remove the bags in one go or the young plants will suffer from a huge shock from the massive drop in humidity. Instead pierce the bags to allow some flow or air, and keep them like that for a week or so before removing for good.

3 Jul, 2010


Thank you Ilex for the info. I have taken the plastic bags off and put a little water on, then fastened the rubber band round the bag again.
Should I keep doing this or just leave them alone on the windowsill.

Muddy shoes

3 Jul, 2010


Hi Muddy,

If the plastic bags are fully sealed by the rubber bands then you won't need to water them at all. The function of the bag is to create a little mini greenhouse with close to 100% humidity and no water loss.

Every time you take the bag off the humidity drops and has to be built up again, so it's best not to take it off too often. If the compost looks like it's drying out then the bags aren't fully sealed and moisture is being lost so try to get a good tight seal if possible. The main thing to watch out for is that fungi/moulds don't develop, so do remove any leaves or dead parts (if any) that fall off the cuttings, and you should be fine.

3 Jul, 2010


Many thanks for your help and quick response. I will do as you say and keep a good eye on them. Hope I am successful as they are a lovely plant that I have only just discovered.

4 Jul, 2010

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