Cloning plants at home is a fun thing to do, particularly when you have limited varieties of a specific plant. Most people find cloning confusing, whereas it is as simple as transplanting a seedling.
Plant cloning dates back many years ago and is an effective method to keep one’s garden in uniform growth. Whether you are new or experienced, you need to clone your plants from time to time as a gardener.
Cloning has taken stride with the invention of versatile cloning machines that allow multiple clones at a time. They promote healthier generations of plants with lower mortality rates.
What Is Plant Cloning?
Plant cloning is a process of creating genetically-identical plant species from an original plant.
Basically, cloning involves clipping or cutting a part of a plant and growing it elsewhere.
Within 1 to 3 weeks, you should see signs of new roots emerging. It means the plant survived the transplant. If not, then the plant will probably die because it didn’t survive.
Benefits Of Cloning Plants
- Cloning is a straightforward and affordable way to make a new generation of plants
- Cloning allows you to keep identical plants as the mother plant
- Cloning is an effective way to grow new plants many times and still keep the original plant producing
Preliminary Steps To Cloning
Before you dive into replanting your plant parts, you need to prepare the setup to kill the plants out of delay and inadequate facilities.
- A healthy plant
- Sterilized sharp cutting tool
- Rooting gel/powder/liquid (optional)
- Plastic/humor dome for covering the cloner (optional)
- Cloning mechanism
Preparing the plants
1. Selecting. Use a healthy plant for cloning. It shouldn’t look sick or diseased at all, so as not to create weak plants. You can cut as many branches as you like off the plant- make sure that they are off the main stem, closer to the roots, and are actively growing.
2. Cutting. New cuts in plants are usually sensitive to microorganisms. And so, you must sterilize the cutting tools you are using, whether a knife, or blade, etc. Cut close to the main stem at a 45-degree angle and not into the actual stem. That way, roots can sprout faster, and new branches can replace the main plant’s cut. After you make a new cut, immediately place the plant into a water container to keep it from exposure to oxygen. Note that the cutting should be at least 4 inches long.
3. Trimming. Trim off the excess leaves and branches at the cut’s sides to control energy and water usage. Leave only the bunch of leaves at the top to encourage photosynthesis during the first stages of rooting. You can also trim the top leaves if they are too long to avoid excess evaporation.
4. Rooting hormones. Plants naturally produce their rooting hormones (auxin) to establish their roots. But in some cases, a rooting hormone, such as honey, should be introduced to induce root formation.
Effective Plant Cloning Methods
There are various ways to clone a plant, but we will be discussing some of the most effective ways to do it:
- Cloning with Rockwool.
Rockwool has very high pH levels, so it has to be soaked for a few hours to be neutralized. If you’re using rooting hormones, dip the tip of your cut plant part into the hormone for 15 to 30 seconds in a moist form. It doesn’t have to get to the upper stem of the plant.
Place the plant stem into the Rockwool and ensure it sits firmly. Place the cloner under regular sunlight or grow lights and mist it daily.
- Cloning with potting soil
Potting soils, unlike Rockwool, do not need to be soaked overnight before planting.
Dip your plant into the rooting hormone for about 15 to 30 seconds and place it into the soil.
Spray very little water and keep the soil moisturized.
- Cloning with water
Fill a cup or bottle up to ¾ of its volume with distilled water. Place the water down for about 15 to 30 minutes before starting to get it to room temperature. Also, check that its pH level ranges between 5.5 and 6.0.
Take a plastic wrap and trim it to fit the container. Wrap it tightly over the top of the container. With the tip of a pen or any sharp object, make a hole over the wrap and push the stem into the hole. Ensure the hole is smaller than the stem so that the plant sits while inside the water. The stem of the plant should also be submerged at about 5 cm into the water. Place your growing pot under sunlight o powerful grow lights. You don’t need to water it.
- Cloning with machines
Using a cloning machine makes plant propagation easier and more effective. First, your cutting doesn’t get drowned in water but gets constant low-pressure water. Not only does this avoid rot, but it also keeps your plant from possible diseases. Second, there is always enough space for multiple clones at the same time. And third, the roots will get plenty of oxygen.
To use a cloning machine:
- Follow the manual as a guide to setting it up.
- Add water as indicated.
- Dip your plant cutting into rooting hormones and the neotypes.
Once your cloning machine starts running, you’re good to go!
Read Also: How To Take Care Of A Garden Healthy & Happy
Cloning plants at home is not the most difficult or easiest thing to do. It simply depends on what method you are using and how well you do it.
The best way, however, is by machine cloning. Although it is relatively expensive, it saves your time and increases the chances of having multiple healthy generations of plants.