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:
- 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.