Effect of different media on vegetative propagation of Prosopis juliflora cuttings under solar-powered mist.
Vegetative propagation of trees under intermittent mist could be a valuable technique for developing countries, enabling the production of elite individual trees for reforestation. However, unreliable or unavailable supplies of electricity often make continuous mist propagation, which is essential for the survival and rooting of cuttings, impossible. A system is described that requires no external source of electricity, which consists of a solar panel, a storage battery and a 'mechanical leaf' for control of mist propagation. Such propagation requires porous, low bulk density media to allow rapid drainage, good aeration and easy root penetration. The system was tested in Haiti, and two locally available rooting media were compared with an imported commercial medium (perlite/vermiculite). A local coarse volcanic gravel (3 mm in diameter) was equal or better than the imported mixture for percentage rooting, root length and roots per cutting. Use of the local rooting media and the solar-powered mist system resulted in more than 90% rooting of Prosopis juliflora cuttings after 28 days.