Propagation: Cloning is easier than you think
If you are tired of buying or collecting seeds each season. Cloning is the answer for you as its very easy to learn how to clone and many plants likes roses, fruits, veg and other household plants can be cloned. The cloning process is inexpensive and only requires a few supplies that will save you a bunch of money in the long run.
Cloning is the process of taking a cutting from your plant and getting it to grow into a new plant that is genetically identical to the original.
In this article we discuss the process so you can also reap the benefits of cloning.
Supplies you will need:
- Blade or Scalpel
- Rooting hormone (gel)
- A medium to clone to (Coco Peat or Rockwool)
- Propagation Dome (to keep the humidity up)
- Rubbing alcohol (to sterilise tools between cuts)
- A mother plant to cut
When it comes to general house plants the gender of the plants are not a concern. However professional growers or hobbyists should be able to identify the sexual orientation of the plants, choosing the plants you wish to clone wisely.
Take all your tools to a comfortable area to position yourself for the cloning process. Be sure to clean your cutting tools with rubbing alcohol before you start. You don’t want to use dirty utensils as this can introduce issues to your clones and spread decease.
First you will need to decide where you are going to take you clones. We find that three nodes down works well with most varieties. The stem should be of an adequate thickness to withhold during the cloning process.
Allow new plants to grow about 4 weeks before you clone them. Once they have reached an adequate age use a sharp clean blade to cut a few stem clones. Cut your clones at a 45° angle.
To prevent an air bubble (embolism) from lodging in the stem where the cut is, place the cutting in a bowl of water until you are ready to transplant it into your cloning tray or cloning system. Make sure to always keep the tip of the cutting moist. Continue to get as many cuttings as you want/need for this cloning session.
Remove each cutting individually and create a fresh cut a 2-3 centimeters above the original cut, just above or below the node. You want your cut to be at a 45° angle to expose as much surface are as possible. Do not use scissors to make the 45° cut as scissors have a crushing action when they cut which can make it difficult for new roots to grow.
Dip the freshly-cut cutting into your rooting hormone. Follow the directions for rooting solutions carefully as they can burn the cutting if left too long. Never dip your clone in the container, always decant a portion for use in another container to reduce the chances of contamination.
Insert the clone into your medium of choice an keep your clones in a propagation humidity dome and place under fluorescent lighting for 18 to 24 hrs.
Always leave a small layer of water at the bottom of the tray, halfway filling up the grooves along the bottom. However you do not want to let the cubes sit in water. The idea is to keep the humidity levels high without over-saturating the plugs. Monitor the cubes throughout the week. Make sure they stay moist.
After a few days you may notice that some of the leaves are beginning to turn yellow; this is a natural process (however this doesn’t always occur). It also tells the gardener that rooting is about to begin. The yellowing will disappear once the roots have formed and are being fed a light nutrient solution.
Inspect your trays after 7 to 10 days rooting should have started to develop.
Once the cutting has rooted introduce it to a ¼ strength nutrient solution (50-200 ppm). Keep the pH at around 6.0-6.3. Within a few weeks a strong rooting system should be established and clones should be ready to be transplanted to their regular growing area.
Simply follow the same cloning process for as long as you need but be sure to never reuse your Peat Pellets or Rockwool Plugs.