A cutting, also called a clone, is a genetically identical plant produced asexually from a parent plant. Identifying a plant with a desirable trait that you would like to reproduce is the first step. Once you’ve identified a trait you would like to preserve, it’s time to take a cutting, but first make sure you have all the right tools for success!
The ABC’s of cuttings
A. Always keep all equipment fully sanitized before, during, and after taking clones. Cuttings are vulnerable to plant pathogens which out-compete the plants for nutrients, and can infect and kill the cutting.
B. The maximum length of the cutting should be 5”.
C. Use a razor or shears with a very sharp blade(s) to limit the stress on the plant. Always disinfect the blade before each use. Never use dull scissors. They can bruise or damage the cells that are being cut, which causes unnecessary stress. The less stress the better!
Blade (do not use dull scissors)
Rooting gel or liquid clone solution
Cut kit tray or aeroponic cloner
(both with or without a dome)
Medium (peat plugs, Rockwool, coco plugs, neoprene
Sealable watering container
Seedling mat, with automatic thermostat
Caring for your new cuttings
- If using an aeroponic cloning machine, the pump should run 24/7. Do not use a cycle timer to turn the pump on and off.
- Use a vented clone dome to allow for better air flow, and to help prevent overheating.
- At least once per day spray the leaves of the clones with pH adjusted water (5.8-6.2) to keep them well hydrated. Cuttings do not yet have roots therefore they cannot uptake enough water to keep up with their demands.
- If growing in a kit tray check your cloning substrate daily to make sure it stays moist.
- Monitor reservoir pH regularly and adjust as necessary.
- Roots should form in approximately 2 weeks.
- When a fibrous root system has formed transfer clones into your grow substrate.
– Douglas Marvin