ROOT TO SUCCESS - Step by Step Guide to Cloning your favourite plants
Taking cuttings is one of the most rewarding and in a lot of cases the easiest activity you can do in the grow room.
The ability to create multiple plants from one single variety is an incredibly useful tool to either preserve genetics or create large numbers of plants, all of the exact same genetic material.
Cultivating clones of the same variety (mono-crop) is the best way to generate high yields with the greatest ease. As the plants you have created are all from the same genetic material they will all have the same preferences in regards to environment, nutrition and pH levels, as well as all having the same structure and height. Growing plants from seed is always exciting.
Seeing, smelling and feeling the differences between each plant is very interesting but as plants vary in appearance so do their environmental and nutritional preferences. Growing for yield from seed is a challenging task as it is much of a guessing game to give your plants exactly what they require as every plant will have different preferences.
Pictured below are cuttings taken from a Lemon Scented Geranium. These plants do not require a propagator like most other plants that have glabrous (smooth, not hairy) leaf surfaces. Geranium plants have a fine covering of short erect hairs that trap moisture around the leaf surface that minimises water loss through transpiration. Plants that have a glabrous leaf surface require a propagator to create a humid environment to minimise water loss and prevent wilting.
First choose a healthy vigorous growth tip and remove it from the mother plant.
Remove lower leaves and offshoots to create a bare length of stem, usually around 1-2 inches depending on the size of the cutting.
At the end of the stem create a 45 degree angle cut.
Cutting the end of the stem at this angle exposes a greater surface area of living cells for the rooting gel to make contact and for roots to develop.
Lightly scrape the outer surface of the stem to expose more living cells.
The outer surface of stems are comprised of dead cells that are unable to generate root growth.
Apply rooting gel to the planting hole or directly to the plant stem
In this case we have used Root !t Cloning Gel which is designed to be applied into the planting hole.
Carefully insert the cutting into the planting hole and gently firm the soil around the base of the plant to keep the cutting in a static position (not turning or falling from side to side).
Rockwool cubes or rooting sponges are generally firmer than planting in soil so there is no need to compact them. Using smaller cubes will allow you to fit more cuttings within the same size propagator and most pots are too high to fit in a propagator so small cubes are the preferred rooting media for most growers.
Like I mentioned before these plants do not require a propagator but if you are propagating a variety that does, we would now place the cuttings into a propagator to maintain a high humidity and keep them in a cool low light area.
Different plant varieties will produce roots at varied rates but you should expect to see roots from a 1.5inch cube anytime from five days up to three weeks.