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KayDog's Follies - Cloning

KayDog's Follies - Cloning

Being able to make successful cuttings - or cloning - is one of the most useful skills you can acquire in growing your plants.

It is also known as a method Asexual Propagation (there are several methods).

With skill and care, you can enjoy your favourite plant for a long time - very cheaply.

A suitable plant to take the cuttings from is called the Donor or Mother Plant.

('Mother' because this plant will be female - as it is buds you want. You could take cuttings of Male Plants equally if you wished.)

There are as many ways to take cuttings as there are growers. It took a while for me to find my technique and I'm pleased to share it with you, here.

Don't be disheartened if your attempts fail; just try another way an you will find one that works for you.

Cutting has a valuable asset a seed cannot give you. Time. Flowering depends on a certain extent of the age of the plant.

A Donor plant will have spent time growing to that stage. That 'age' is carried on with the cutting you take.

This is why it is possible to put a cutting into 12/12 Flower once the roots have firmly established.

However, I like to wait until there are 6 sets of true leaves before I start flowering.

However - no matter how you do it - cleanliness and working quickly is utterly vital to your success.

Here's what I do:

1-2 I have an old electric heated propagator with no control other than on and off. Despite the permanent

marks on the base, I am certain it is scrupulously clean. During the cleaning, I can check the lid, base, flex

and plug.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   1 Clean Heatable Propagator

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   2 Start with empty propagator

3-4 A single layer of expanded clay pebbles in the propagator base reduces the trouble heat spots cause.

Later, when I add 100ml of water, the base heat will spread out in the water, evaporate

that water and give life-support to the cutting.

Having a tight-fitting cell tray also means your plugs will be more secure, not fall over - and as the roots grow,

keep them from the light.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   3 Put A single layer Of expanded clay pebbles In The base

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   4 Place cell tray In The base On Top Of expanded clay pebbles

5 Select your Donor Plant. Sometimes we don't have a choice about the plant we want to take cuttings from.

Where possible, it should be the most healthy specimen you can get with the bud qualities you want. I believe

it also helps giving the Donor Plant a good watering a few hours before cutting. This will fill the stems and leaves

with water during its most vulnerable period.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   5 Select Suitable Mother Donor Plant

6 Now get your Knife, Cloning Gel and Root Media ready. For years I've used bare razor blades but a bad cut

has shown me why a scalpel is better. I've used all kinds of rooting hormone and found the powders to be the

worst and gel to be so much better. I prefer the Rooting Gel from the Grow Shops because they are fresher simply

due to the high turnover compared to other Garden shops. Lots of people don't use a rooting hormone so you

might want to experiment to see what works for you.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   6 Get Sterile Knife, Cloning Gel And Root Plugs ready

7 I'm not a fan of popcorn bud and so stems from the base are my first choice of cuttings. The energy

that small bud would have had can now go elsewhere in the plant.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   7 Select Suitable Cutting Site

8 This is that basal cutting: it happens to have 3 parts. The top two are viable for cuttings while the bottom

one has been discarded.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   8 Trim Each Cutting Off The Single Site

9 I've trimmed the excess leaves and stem away. I've also lightly scraped the bottom of the stem on one side only

to wound that area to help encourage rooting.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   9 Excess Leaves And Stem Cut Off

10 I put that cutting immediately into some rooting gel. Some people like to pour a small amount of gel into a shot-glass

and keep the bottle pristine. The remains in the shot glass would then be thrown away. I'm happy to use a brand

new, fresh bottle and then use the remainder for the back garden. I like to leave the cutting for at least 30 seconds

and up to its first node. The reality is I will take another cutting while that one is sitting in the bottle.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   10 Dip Cutting In Cloning Gel And Leave For 30 seconds

11 Now we can prepare the Root Plug.I'm using Root!t for the first time as I'm curious to see if this will help

my efforts. I'm hoping it will be cleaner and quicker.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   11 Get A Soil Plug Ready

12a/b The pre-made hole in the Root Plug is not as great as it might seem. Sometimes that hole is too big

and the cut-stem simply flops around in it. I like the cut-stem to be firmly gripped by the hole. So I use a chopstick

to extend that hole a little further down, nearly to the bottom. I've shown the depth in 12b. To help, I

place my fingers at the required depth on the chopstick and then push. When my fingers touch the Root Plug

I know I'm at the right depth.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   12a Poke A Stick In The Soil Plug To Re establish Hole

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   12b Suggested Depth Of Hole

13a This is the cutting in the premade hole with no prodding about. It is too loose and likely to fail.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   13a Place Cutting Carefully Into The Soil Plug Take Care Not To Bend Stem

13b This is the same Root Plug but with the chopstick extending the hole and the gap on top closed up with a

piece of Root!t sponge pinched off and plugged in the hole. The cutting is now firm and snug.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   13b If There's A Hole At The Top, Pull Some Soil Plug Off The Corner And Push into The hole To Seal

14a/b/c Another example of a cutting. In 14b we see the two pieces to the left and some bottom stem being discarded.

In 14c we see the cutting in the Root Plug as it should be. The dirt is left on the knife to show you the stem

has been scraped a little to help with rooting. The knife will be cleaned in between each cutting. Some people do

a quick wipe while others use a form of alcohol.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   14a Another Cutting Example   Whole Site

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   14b Another Cutting Example   Site Trimmed Off

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   14c Another Cutting Example   New Cutting In Soil Plug

15 I like to place the cuttings so fewest leaves touch each other. I also sprtiz each cutting on the leaf-underside

to allow the stomata to take in water while the cutting is at its most vulnerable state. The glass shows

100ml of water which will be tipped into the propagator base to spread the heat and to allow water evaporation

for the stomata to take in water in its gas form. Later, this can be seen to be working when you see condensate on

the propagator lid. I'm trying to keep the humidity high - around 80-90%. I don't give the cuttings any nutrients at all

and any dry Root Plugs are given water from within the propagator.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   15 Cell Tray with Cuttings Put 100ml Of water In prop base Spray Cuttings with water

16 The Propagator lid is replaced and the light switched on. The lid vents are also closed to minimise water-loss.

I will leave this setup for at least 7 days before taking the lid off again to have a look for roots every day

afterwards. When roots appear the cuttings are placed in a Vegging Tent to harden off. Discard any

unhealthy or dead cuttings immediately. Your cuttings are likely to look sad for a period and then pick up - so

don't be too quick to throw them away! After 3 weeks, I bin any that are left and not rooted and clean my setup again

for the next time.

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   16 Replace Propagator Lid And Light And Switch Both On And Wait 1 2 Weeks

17a/b Shows my last efforts in cuttings about 14 days ago. These were done in pure coco. A healthy root system can be

seen and these will be put into their final pots very soon to begin its life producing beautiful, sweet bud!

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   17a Previous Example Of Successful Cuttings In Coco 14 days Old

KayDog's Follies   Cloning   17b Previous Example Of Successful Cuttings In Coco with Roots.JPG

Stay Safe.

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...and an update on how those actual cuttings went..

rooted clones

I think I like the Root!t sponges.
Stay Safe.
Edited by KayDog
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