6 Step Cloning Hack
Each and every plant has a unique beauty, I can stare at plants all day completely mesmerized by them, but what if you want more of the same plant yet find it very hard to locate another live specimen or germinate from seeds?
The only option left is to try and take a cutting (clone) of the plant.
Sounds like a sinister experiment and I wish it were, but it. Is not.
Well below I’ve written a few tips to help you become the best mad scientist/propagator you can be.
What is cloning?
Cloning is a method of propagation; once our “Mother” plant has hit sexual maturity we can now take genetically identical cuttings that once rooted will be considered fully mature plants, and genetic replicas of the mother plant.
The reason cloning is so popular is because of the inconsistency amongst seed stock i.e. we could plant 10 seeds and only 1 of those seeds will have the sought after characteristics, whether it be oil production, yield, pest resilience or vigor the idea is to isolate these plants as mothers, all work done with the variety should be carried out on the clones, whether it be a breeding experiment or just preservation of the rare genetics found, it’s always a good idea to hold onto your best performers.
Woody stems are hard to clone, so choosing the newest (greenest) shoots is the most preferred method.
Clones are usually removed from the midsection of the plant down, as the stems are the softest in this section of the plant.
Cup or glass to store removed cuttings
5L Jug to soak cubes if needed
Soak all propagation cubes/sponges in the 5L jug with a low dose of your cloning solution/rooting hormone, also if the bottle says 0.3ml per L for seedlings I usually play it safe and would dose at 0.1ml per L when making this mix. Using a digital pH pen or manually adjust the pH of your solution to 6.5
Using pruning shears carefully (and cleanly) remove all cuttings from your favourite plant and place in glass or cup of plain pH’d “6.5” water.
Remove cubes from solution, gently squeeze of excess moisture (they do not need to be saturated I’d say about 80% holding) and place into your humidity dome.
Take around 500ml-1L from the 5L jug you had the cubes soaking in, pour this into a separate bowl.
Using a sterilized scalpel take the cuttings one by one and make the final 45-degree cut “under water” in the solution, some growers like to go straight from the bowl into the cubes or sponges straight away and others like to dip in their favourite cloning gel on the way to the cube. Either way, both methods are extremely successful.
Place the lid on the humidity dome and close all vents, some growers like to mist every few days with a weak N or NPK solution. Usually this method takes around 6-14 days if done correctly and conditions are maintained.
“From here it’s just a little bit of patience and positivity, as tempting as it is to go and check on them, try to leave them untouched for as long as they can go before requiring some attention.”
Once your cuttings/clones have formed roots it is time to transplant them into their new homes – soil, coco or hydroponics, they will assimilate to any hydroponic system even an outdoor garden how cool is that!