To successfully clone plants, you will need the following materials:
- Fluorescent light
- Plastic tub
- Liquid rooting hormone
- Sharp knife/scalpel
- pH tester and adjuster
Step 1: Selecting and Preparing Cuttings
- Choose cuttings from clean, disease-free stock. Healthy cuttings should have equal length foliage and consistent color, without any deformities in leaf growth patterns.
- Select cuttings from the most vigorously growing portion of the plant, where auxins (growth hormones) are most concentrated.
- Opt for green barked cuttings without woody bark, as this indicates age. The finished cutting should be around 4-5 inches in length.
- Leave three or four small, well-formed leaves intact on the cutting.
Step 2: Preparing the Propagation Area
- Clean the propagation area and all containers to reduce infection risks.
- Fill a plastic tub or suitable container with clean water, without any fertilizer.
- Adjust the pH of the water to 6.4 (a range of 6.2 to 6.6 is acceptable).
- Add Superthrive at a ratio of 10 drops per U.S. gallon.
- Maintain the water temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius).
Step 3: Cutting and Submerging the Cuttings
- Cut the selected cutting at least 1 inch longer than the desired final length, using a sharp knife.
- Immediately place the entire cutting into the pH-adjusted water.
- While submerged, cut the cutting to its final length at a 45-degree angle to the stem. If an internode is present at the cut point, cut directly below it.
- With the cutting still submerged, remove any excess leaves.
- If there are no internodes at the cut, make three or four shallow vertical slits (no deeper than the outer bark) upward from the cut along the stem, about 1/2 inch.
- Ensure all secondary cuts are made underwater to prevent air embolisms, which can slow the rooting process or even cause death.
Step 4: Applying Rooting Hormone
- Remove the cutting from the water and submerge the cut end in a liquid rooting hormone.
- Ensure at least 1 inch of the cutting is placed in the hormone.
Reducing Cutting Stress
To minimize stress on the cutting and promote root development, control light levels, humidity, and temperature:
- Keep humidity as close to 100 percent as possible.
- Maintain water and substrate temperatures between 70 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29 degrees Celsius).
- Avoid extreme light and temperature levels.
By following these steps, you can successfully clone plants and ensure healthy root development.