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Cloning Plants For Beginners

I chose to write about cloning to be able to teach anyone including beginners and experts exactly what I have learned through my own personal experience along with research as an information backup. My methods are easy and inexpensive. Once you begin cloning plants it will save you from having to purchase more of the same. Everyone loses cuttings and knowing this is normal I want to encourage you to try my techniques so that you will become a plant enthusiast like I am. You will get back the effort you put into properly cloning plants. The rewards are abundant!

You will need to start with a professional starter soil purchased at a nursery or plant store, or you can make your own soil. Next, plastic pots are my favorite, but as long as you properly clean your plant containers and make sure the pots have plenty of drainage, you can use just about anything. A very sharp single-edged razor blade should be cleaned carefully with rubbing alcohol by pouring it over the blade while standing at the sink. I always encourage adults be present when children are active in this project.

To have the cuttings retain more moisture I use clean, clear plastic shopping bags secured with a large rubber band to cover over the pot. Make sure your cuttings get plenty of air and that you have plenty of room so the leaves are not touching the pot or the clear plastic. Proper light and heat are also crucial. You also need to mist your clones with water at least 3 to 4 times a day. One of your most important purchases will be rooting hormones. I prefer liquid or gel over powder since the successes are higher. Liquid and gel solutions are easy to use, penetrate stems evenly, and are consistent. You should never put a clone or starter into cold soil.

Before cutting the stem at a 45 degree angle, you will need to get the pots ready. I just fill up the clean pots with the starter soil or soil-less mix to the very top and I use a chop stick, or unsharpened pencil, and poke it down the center of the pot, about 2 or 3 inches depending on the size of the pot and the size of the cutting. You should have at least one inch of soil left on the bottom of the pot to give the roots plenty of room. You want at least a half-inch to one and a half inches of the cutting to be inserted into the hole after dipping the stem into the rooting hormone.

For plant cloning, I take a stem, or branch tip (but not from the top of the plant) about 3 to 4 inches long (and itís really best to cut from a mature branch, like those near the bottom), and this stem should have 3 to 4 layers of leaves growing out from it. It is best to cut the part of the plant you want to propagate at a 45 degree angle using the single-edged razor blade. Never use scissors! When cutting, hold the stem carefully in your hands and be careful not to squeeze it. And finally you will need to move your clone into its proper environment. Remember through trial and error, comes wisdom!

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