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Killing heat for azalea and Rhododendron cuttings

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  • Mike Creel
    While most of my cutting domepots are fully protected by a large medium density Coolaroo shade cloth (which restricts sunlignt by 64 to 70 percent), I do have
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2007
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      While most of my cutting domepots are fully protected
      by a large medium density Coolaroo shade cloth (which
      restricts sunlignt by 64 to 70 percent), I do have a
      few "vented" domepots in sun and part shade, AND one
      (soon to be two) DomeBeds with cuttings stuck in a
      soil/pine humus mix inside a closed dome (a 66-quart
      clear storage box with two plugged vent holes in the
      top.

      The DomeBed is in an area of tall pines and shaded
      with a narrow (box width, lapping over ends in length)
      piece of medium density shadecloth. I have been
      concerned about the DomeBed getting so hot that heat
      kills the cuttings. Before that happens I may need to
      replace the small shadecloth with one that covers all
      sides of the dome/box.

      I have been daily monitoring temperatures via a
      thermometer inside the dome and the appearance of the
      cuttings (possible wilt or cupping of leaves).
      Yesterday the air temp rose to 70 F, and the temp
      inside the dome rose to 85 F. This is the highest the
      temperature has risen to since I stuck cuttings inside
      it in early December. I think this indicates that the
      DomeBed will overheat on hotter days unless I use a
      larger, better covering shade cloth or remove the
      plugs in the 1.5 inch vent holes.

      My questions are: In greenhouses what is the minimum
      killing heat/temperature for azalea and Rhododendron
      cuttings? At what temperature does the automatic mist
      system turn on?

      Mike Creel, SC USDA Zone 8a
      Nature is my Greenhouse
      Join the Azalea Society of America
      http://www.azaleas.org
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