Category Archives: Propagation & Cloning

Propagation & Cloning

Factors Influencing Plant Cloning Success Rate!

Plant cloning may appear as a daunting task for many novice growers. But the truth is that anyone can indulge in this plant propagation method to grow clones successfully. It is not all at difficult if you utilize the right conditions to make it happening. Well, there are surely certain factors that can influence cloning success rate to greater extent. Here are some of them:

Factors Influencing Plant Cloning Success Rate!

  • Parent Plant: Cloning success rate is highly influenced by the condition of parent stock. Before taking your cutting from it, you need to make sure that it is disease-free because even if it genetically suitable but is infected, it is useless. Never select a mother plant that has dead spots, wilted or discolored leaves as it will produce bad clones with poor health. Instead, choose the parent stock that shows the best resistance to pest and diseases, has greenest and firmest stems and offcourse a good yield. Also be sure to take your cuttings from a new plant every year as cuttings taken from new plants root faster. If you want to take cuttings from your favorite plant that is bit older, just take the cuttings from its base.
  • Rooting Hormone: The quality of rooting gel you use greatly affects the propagation of cuttings. Best is to use Olivia’s Cloning Gel for fast and rapid root development. It is also known to eliminate transplant shock from cuttings that you grow indoors or outdoors.
  • Presence of Leaves/Buds: Presence of leaves and buds on parent plant are crucial for root formation in the clones. Many researches have claimed that parent plants that do not have any buds or leaves cease the process of root development in cuttings. This is because absence of foliage will not let photosynthesis happen and the absence of the process will not produce necessary carbohydrates essential for cloning. So, you should pick a young stem that has sufficient green leaves and buds.
  • Rooting Medium: A good rooting medium is the one that has the capability of retaining moisture or air well enough. Besides this, it must provide a firm support to the cuttings. It should also supply essential nutrients to cuttings for their successful propagation. If you are cloning plants in hydroponic system, choose more advanced media like Rockwool.
  • Light: Giving correct lighting to cuttings is another factor that influences success of cloning. Generally, when the cuttings are new and no root development has taken place, they require soft light which can be given through fluorescent lights or compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Humidity: Adequate range of humidity, about 70 to 80% is also crucial for successful cloning. This is because when you take cuttings, you cut the supply of water for them. And to supply them adequate moisture, you have to elevate the levels of humidity in grow room. For this, use humidifiers or humidity domes. If you can’t afford to buy those humidifiers, routinely spray your cuttings with a mist.
  • Temperature: You should maintain an optimum temperature range of 72°F – 80°F for your cuttings. And also, the root zone temperature should vary between 76°F and 80°F. This warmer zone makes cuttings take root faster. If you are cloning during winters, place your cloning system on a heating mat with its temperature set to 80°F. As far as water temperature is concerned, keep it to 83°F in summers. For winters, make sure water in the pipes reach room temperature before it is given to your cuttings.

Rooting Hormone for Plant Propagation!

Plant propagation through cuttings is one of the ways to grow species identical to the parent plant. And to allow cuttings take roots successfully, treating those cuttings with a good rooting hormone is of utmost importance. These hormones facilitate the process of producing root cells that are in turn required for their successful propagation. The following article gives apt information about rooting hormones, their important role in root formation, steps of usage and more. Read on to know:


What is Rooting Hormone?

Rooting hormone is a synthetic compound that helps plant cuttings to take roots after they are treated with it. Although plants can thrive without a rooting hormone, its application increases the chance of plant’s successful & rapid rooting. Apart from this, it increases volume of roots that helps in increasing growth potential of your cuttings, and eventually their life potential after setting in the soil. So, it’s recommended to always treat your cuttings with a good rooting hormone like Olivia’s Cloning Gel. It promotes faster and healthy root development of your plants.

Types of Rooting Hormones

Rooting hormones are available in three forms- gel, powder and solution. Rooting gel is in gel form whereas rooting powder is a talc-based powder. Rooting solution is a liquid concentrate which is premixed with water or alcohol or requires delusion with water before application.

How to Use a Plant Rooting Hormone?

Start the propagation process with a freshly cut branch or stem. Before starting the process, remove any leaves from the cutting (if any). Take the rooting hormone in a container and dip your cutting about an inch in it. But make sure to take some rooting compound in a separate container and dip the cutting in it to save the original container from getting contaminated.

If you are talking rooting powder, dip the cutting in clean water and then its tip into the powder. Dust off the excess powder. For rooting solution, dilute the solution in water according to the instruction label given for the product. Then soak the growing medium (Rockwool or soil) in the solution and adjust the pH of the medium using Olivia’s pH Adjusters ‘Up’ or Olivia’s pH Adjusters ‘Down’ for desired alkalinity or acidity.

Next, plant the cutting in a pot filled with moist planting medium. Drape a clear plastic bag over the pot and keep it in a place that receive filtered light. Be sure to keep the cutting moist until leaves form. When they appear, it means the roots have developed and it’s ok to remove the bag at this stage.

Where to Buy?

Visit to buy the best rooting hormone for your plant cuttings.

Asexual Plant Propagation Techniques

One of the best ways to propagate plants or multiply them is asexual propagation, vegetative propagation or simply cloning. Other reason to rely on this technique is that clones involved in this process maintain genetic traits of previous generations unlike in that of sexual propagation. However, advantages of this method are numerous, so whether you are planning to grow a few tomato plants or want to start a nursery with millions of plant species; grow through this plant propagation method and fulfill your gardening dreams.

Well, to start growing plants through asexual plant propagation, you need to learn about the techniques associated with it. Read on this article in order to know them:

Plant Propagation Techniques

Asexual Plant Propagation Techniques:

There are numerous forms of asexual or vegetative propagation – from propagating using cuttings to division to layering and more.

Propagation by cuttings

Cuttings can be taken from plant parts like stem, roots, leaves etc. These cuttings are separated from parent plant and are allowed to regenerate under suitable conditions. To prevent any injury to the parent plant, use a sharp & sterile knife or blade. Also cover the cuttings with a wet paper towel and keep them in a plastic bag before inserting in rooting medium. Best is to take your cuttings on a cooler day and dip them in Olivia’s Rooting Solution for successful propagation.

Types of Cuttings:

  • Stem Cuttings: In this, a stem is separated from parent plant and is allowed to propagate. Best for ornamental plants and woody shrubs.
    • Softwood Stem Cuttings: Taken from the shrubs whose branches have not yet become woody. Best time to take – April thru June.
    • Hardwood Stem Cuttings: Taken from dormant plants after their tissue has grown woody. Best time to take – during winter months or late fall.
  • Leaf Cuttings: In this method, a piece of leaf is used for propagation. Best method for many indoor houseplants and herbaceous plants.
  • Root Cuttings: These cuttings are taken when the plant roots are full of carbohydrates or the plants are dormant.
    Tip – If the plant roots are small or fine, cover them lightly with a potting mix.

Propagation by Division

It is the simplest form of propagating plants through asexual means with almost 100% success rate. It involves digging up the plant from ground and dividing it into two or more clumps that are replanted individually. This method is used for herbaceous perennials like bee balm, daylilies or crown-forming plants such as bamboo, fern etc.

Propagation by Layering

In this method, a part of branch or stem of the plant is buried in the ground until rooting takes place. Here, the new plant takes food and water from the stock plant and once it gets established, it can be taken to another spot.

Types of Layering:

  • Simple Layering: Generally the plants with low growing stems/branches are propagated through this method. For this, bend the branch to the ground and place it in a hole of about 4” deep. Remove any side-shoots & leaves from it and leave 6 to 12” of its tip outside of the soil keeping the rest covered. Keep the layered area moist and after sometime formation of root mass will take place. Cut that section and transplant it somewhere else. Example – honeysuckle.
  • Compound Layering: It works best for vining plants or those with pliable branches. In this method, several parts of one stem are buried but are alternatively covered and exposed. Wound the bottom side of every covered section to promote rooting. Once the plants have developed roots, cut and replant them. Example – pothos.
  • Air Layering: This is advanced technique of asexual propagation that is used for many large houseplants. Select a site on the branch just below a leaf node and remove leaves or twigs both above and below this point. Make a 1-1/2” long cut through the stem and apply Olivia’s Cloning Gel to the exposed part. Surround the wound with moist sphagnum moss, wrap it with black plastic bag and seal the bag. When rooting appears, cut the stem from below the bag, pot the plant and after some time it will get ready to be transplanted outside. Example – guava, litchi.
  • Tip Layering: It is much like simple layering in which the tip of the plant is buried in a hole instead of keeping it above the ground. Here at first, this tip will grow downwards and then upwards after taking a sharp turn. Example – raspberries & blackberries.

Propagation by Grafting & Budding

This is also an advanced form of asexual propagation method which is widely used for the propagation of many trees. In this method, the scion (stem part) of one plant is joined with the rootstock (root system) of another plant such that they grow as a single plant. The place where both the parts meet or unite is called union and can be seen as a scar throughout the lifetime of the plant. Example – cacti.
In budding, a single bud from the plant is joined with the rootstock of another plant. Example – hybrid tree roses.

All these propagation methods have advantages of their own. Select the method which suits best to the species you are growing.