Excerpt from Gardening for Pleasure, Algrove Publishing,
2000. (First published in 1883.)
The "Mud" or "Saucer System" of Propagating
Take any common saucer or plate, into which put sand to the
depth of an inch or so, then prepare the cuttings in the usual
manner, and insert them in the sand close enough to touch each
other as in fig. 14. The sand is then to be watered to bring
it to the condition of mud. The saucer with the cuttings is
then placed on the shelf of the greenhouse, in the hot-bed,
or in a sunny window of any room in the dwelling house; in each
case fully exposed to the sun and never shaded.
But one condition is essential to success— until the
cuttings become rooted, the sand must be kept continually saturated
with water and always in the condition of mud. To do this
the saucers must be watered at least once a day with a very
fine rose watering pot, and the watering must be done very gently,
else the cuttings may be washed out. There is every probability
that ninety percent of all cuttings put in will take root, provided
they were in the proper condition, and the temperature has not
been lower than 65 degrees nor above 100 degrees.
By the saucer system a higher temperature may be maintained
without injury, as the cuttings are in reality placed in water,
and will not wilt provided the water is not allowed to dry up.
Still the detached slip, until rooted, will not endure a long
continuation of 100 degrees, and we advise that propagation
be done at such seasons that the cuttings, wherever they may
be, will have as near as possible an average temperature of
75° or 80° in the sunlight.
The cuttings will root (according to kinds and the temperature),
in from six to twenty days. Verbenas, Heliotropes, Fuchsias,
etc., take root in a week, while Roses, Carnations, or Azaleas,
take two, three, or four weeks. When rooted they should be potted
in light soil, (such as recommended in the article "Propagating
of Plants by Seeds,") in pots from two to three inches
in diameter, and treated carefully by shading and watering for
two or three days.