So if you're interested in trying some rooting experiments yourself, this easy little box will do the trick for you. It's not expensive to make, probably about $6-$10 depending on where you purchase the items for it, but it will create far more plants with no further expense.
There have been many variations of this little guy, but regardless, it's easy and it works. After experimenting around with different soil/soil less mixes, I've found the mix listed here to be the best for rooting.
What you’ll need…
- Clear Plastic container with lid – About $3-4 at your local Dept Store. I purchased the tall one, it's about 10-12 inches deep.
- Non Sealed / Non Painted terra cotta pot – About $1 at your local Dept Store.
- Cork or Silicone Caulking
- Sphagnum / Peat
Make sure you have plenty of height in your clear container, cause some cuttings need 6-8 inches in height, and the more space for circulation, the better.
If the cork you have is too large, it can be cut down with a knife or scissors, in order to fit tightly into the hole in the bottom of the terra cotta pot. As I did, you can seal around the cork, with silicone, if it leaks when you add water. Another method is to simply fill the hole with silicone and allow it to set up.
Place the terra cotta pot in the center of your box. Use a 3:1 ratio of Sphagnum/Vermiculite mix and place about 2-3 inches around the pot and smooth the mix out around the bottom of the box. The best filler is fluffy because it enables the roots to form more easily with space to grow. After a number of tests, the more dense the mixture, without air pockets, the less success in rooting. This is the exact reason I began using Sphagnum and Vermiculite.
Cover the top of the Sphagnum mix with about .5-1 inch of Perlite. Smooth out so the top is fairly level.
Fill the pot with water and this will gradually seep through the terra cotta sides and water the rooting mix in the plastic box. As you add your cuttings, be sure to cover completely with the lid. This will keep the moisture inside the box and the plants will only use what they need.