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So, I am trying to grow some plants such as rose, and jasmine from stem but I keep running into the insects-in-the-soil problem. As you see in the picture, the plants grow some and then eventually turn brown and die. I blame the insects so I have decided to spray the whole with diatomaceous earth. Is this the right solution for this problem?

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One thing is that the amount of moisture allows the insects to thrive. Also the use of root stimulant is not mentioned. If you have not used this yet, please purchase some and plant the cuttings in perlite. You will notice a world of difference. The plants may not take (show new growth) for a few weeks BUT you'll also notice they won't be dying either. I have experimented with propagation for a long time now and have found this approach to work best for almost any plant type. The lighting conditions should be fare without too much direct sunlight. Watering should be executed with caution. I mist my plants several times a day to provide ample hydration while avoiding the tendency to over water. If your schedule does not permit such insanity I recommend a 1/2 - 1 in layer of peat moss at the base of your pot. Make sure your stems reach to just far enough to where they are right above the moss, but not stuck down in it. I propagate in recycled jars. The glass allows me to see what is going on and to judge if I am over/under watering.

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For propagation you can increase the chances of success with:

  • start with sterilized soil mix. If you have soil you suspect put it in the oven at 220 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty to thirty minutes. (Keep the fan going as it can be a bit stinky)
  • provide strong indirect light
  • provide good ventilation, a muffin fan is about the right size
  • bottom heat is a great advantage, especially for hardwoods. A soil heating cable can be buried in sand and the trays placed on top
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