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Gardening

How do I take clones from a plant?

jiffyPelletPropagation1. Select a branch or stem that has at least 2 or 3 sets of leaves.

2. Locate a spot on the branch between, or next to, a set of leaf nodes where your cut will be made (leaf nodes are where the branches come out of the stem). Leave at least one set of nodes above the cut.

3. Make a clean, neat, 45 degree slice with a razor blade or knife. It is important that you do not damage the branch while handling.

4. Remove the lower 1 or 2 sets of branches (stems and leaves), leaving the upper sets of leaves to be placed above the growing medium line. Trim any flowers or buds that remain (if necessary; refer to picture below).

5. To prevent an air bubble (embolism) from lodging in the stem where the cut is, immediately dip the base of the cutting into a quality cloning gel, like Olivia’s or RooTech. Place cutting into your growing medium.

6. Keep your growing medium moist and warm with bottom heat at all times for best results. Never let your growing medium dry out.

7. Check your growing medium and transfer cuttings once roots appear or a strong root ball is established.

TIPS ON CLONING:

* The quality of your water should be considered before taking cuttings. Reverse Osmosis or drinking water would be an excellent choice.

* The pH should be adjusted to between 5.5 and 6.2 by the time roots begin to develop.

* It is essential that your cuttings (clones) be taken from healthy plants.

* Rockwool should be pretreated by using Rockwool Soak, or soaking overnight in water with a pH of about 5.0.

* Be gentle when taking cuttings. They can shock easily when cut.

* Always use a sterile growing medium; be it rockwool, soil, vermiculite, perlite, sand, etc. Never use soil from your garden.

* Always keep tools clean to avoid transmitting disease to open plant wounds. Sterilize them before each use if possible.

* Keep your growing medium warm at all times for best results. Bottom heat (with a heating mat) will help cuttings root faster. Bottom heat: 75-85F (24-30C). Greenhouse/indoor temperature (air, bench level):70F (21C).

* High humidity, just until roots begin to emerge) aids in rooting your cuttings. A plastic cover (humidity dome or tent) will increase your percentage of roots cuttings.

* Don’t forget all plants need fresh air. If your cuttings show signs of wilting, cut some holes in your humidity dome/tent to allow air ventilation.

* Remember to keep your room temperature warm during the night or lights-out cycle if propagating indoors. Add a space heater if necessary.

* Excessive watering will kill your cuttings. Never leave any water standing in the tray (unless using an aeroponic cloning system). It is best to briefly water the plants and then transfer them to a dry tray.

* To achieve a uniform cutting you may trim the leaves. Try to keep all your cuttings around the same height. This allows each cutting to receive the same amount of light.

* If you are using outdoor sunlight, screen your cuttings from the direct sun or place in a shady area under a tree.

* If you are using fluorescent lighting you may (and should) place your lights within a few inches of the tops of your plants without burning them.

* If using high intensity discharge (HID) lighting, either sodium or metal halide, give cuttings a full 18 hours of light. A 6 hour night cycle is recommended for optimum results.

* Due to the amount of heat HID lamps put out, keep the lights within a safe distance above your cuttings or you will burn them.

* Once roots appear, your cuttings can take stronger, more intense light, either HID or outdoor sunlight. Place your lights as close as possible. In other words, the closer the lights are to your plants, the faster your plants will grow. Transplant as soon as vigorous roots appear.

FINAL NOTE:

Every plant and growing situation is different, so the length of time it takes roots to appear will vary from a week to a month or more depending on the type of plant (and environment).