The idea behind stem scarification is to increase the surface area of your cutting, providing more opportunities for root growth and potentially enhancing your rooting success rate. To perform stem scarification, you will need a sharp razor blade and a flat surface.
The Scarification Procedure
- Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle: Begin by cutting your clone at a 45-degree angle, which exposes both the inner and outer areas of the stem. Place the cutting on a flat surface afterward.
- Visualize and mark the scarification point: Imagine a point about an inch from the cut end of the stem and place your razor blade at this point.
- Gently scrape the stem: Apply minimal pressure and gently push the blade towards the end, removing a thin outer layer of the stem. Be patient and take your time, as there is no way to reverse this process. Continue scraping until you can clearly see the internal tissue layers. Congratulations, you have successfully scarified your cutting!
Cloning Your Scarified CuttingFollow your regular cloning methods with the scarified cutting. Dip the stem into your preferred cloning solution, ensuring that both the tip (the 45-degree angle cut) and the scarred length are covered. For demonstration purposes, cloning powder can be used to clearly show the application on the cutting.
Rooting Your CuttingThe image below depicts a successfully rooted clone using the scarification method. Notice that roots have emerged from the entire length of the scarring, not just from the bottom. This can improve your newly rooted plant's initial growth rate and chances of survival.
This method is particularly helpful for hard-to-clone cuttings and woody stems that struggle to root easily. To further increase the chance of rooting success, consider cutting the bottom of the stem into quadrants or scarifying two or three sides of the stem. However, remember that removing too much material from any one surface can lead to failure.
Applying this method can potentially reduce rooting time for some plants from 8-10 days to just 5-6 days.
Additional Tips for Successful RootingBefore preparing your cuttings for rooting, soak them in a glass of cool tap water for 15-20 minutes. The chlorine in the water helps kill any bacteria present, while the cool, oxygen-filled water is absorbed by the plant, providing additional strength for root growth.
With these tips in mind, good luck and happy rooting!