How do I clone plants? Smokinrav's simple water-cloning method

  Added by: MedMan  Last edited by: administrator  Viewed: 544 times   Rated by 97 users: 9.09/10
As easy as cloning is to the masses that use powder, liquid/gel rooting hormone, bubblers and soil, etc. There is an even less complex method of cloning that is so easy, it must have been around for decades, if not centuries. The only ingredients involved are water, light, and the cutting you would like to root. In the example I?m going to show, I?ve cut three different sizes of clone. The first with two leaves and a single growing tip (S). The next has four nodes, but still only a couple large leaves (M). The third is 6? tall, has seven nodes and several sets of good-sized leaves (L).

As with normal cloning, you immediately dip the cutting in the water for about 15 to 30 seconds, tweaking it to dislodge any air bubbles that may be present. But the biggest difference is, you won?t be removing the cutting from the water until it has roots big enough to support the foliage above. Make sure the cup, which contains the cutting, is opaque. This prevents the light from shining directly on the roots.

So far, I?ve mentioned the cuttings and the water, but the most important part is the light. I have made this method work 100% of the time simply by sitting my cuttings on a windowsill that receives no direct sunlight. In fact, slightly shaded would be even better. In the evenings (short days), I sit them on an end table over 7 feet from a ceiling mounted 100-watt incandescent bulb. At bedtime, I just turn off the lights like normal, and when I get up in the AM its back to the windowsill. During the longer daylight hours they can be left on the sill full time. Remember, no direct sunlight.

The picture shows my three cuttings in their water cups. M & L have barely an inch of water to sit in. Any more and it would cover one of the leaf stems. The smaller one stayed in the plastic because the stem was too short to sit in water and stay upright in the cup. Do what?s necessary to keep at least ? of the stem in the water.

Notice the glass that diffuses light, an extra measure against too much light exposure.

The clones grew roots at far different speeds. S showed in seven days, with a small ? long root and another small protrusion.

By the time S?s roots reached this level of development (nine days), L was just putting out the first nubs that would be roots. M has shown no inclination of rooting at all. Searching for an answer, I changed the water in Ms cup, but I think it boils down too the thickness of the stem. Both M&L have the same size stem but L has far more foliage on top.

S is doing far better than the others (seen below) and M is finally starting to show.

M showed roots in 14 days and was planted on day 18.
This picture was taken just before transplant.

L showed roots on day 11 and was in soil at day 18.
This picture was taken just before transplant.

S showed roots at seven days and was in the soil at 15.
This picture was taken just before transplant.

Transplanting is as easy as it ever is. I use a pre-fertilized potting soil, mixed with 1/2 perlite. I like the clear cups as I can see how soon they can be removed from the humidity dome. Fill a 4 oz cup with soil mix and swirl a hole an inch deep in the top, insert the plants roots and cover.

DO NOT WATER!! Watering will actually delay the roots growth into the new medium. You want it almost dry below so they search for the moisture. Make whatever mix you use semi-moist before transplant.

The dome you see is a cheapo Styrofoam cooler available from any grocery store for $2-$3. Toss the lid and cover with saran wrap with a 1/2 dozen 1/4" holes in it. What you see in the picture is a spare piece of plexi I have. It sits off centre to provide some venting. Simply set an open jar of water inside and close. The jar itself will keep the humidity at around 75%. If you don?t like this, just spray a couple times a day with plain water.

L showed itself almost overnight.

All were in the 320-watt veg area in roughly three weeks from cutting to final transplant.

That?s it, the easiest cloning method there is. No spraying, no overheating, no drying out, no hormones, just plant, light and water. Following these instructions, I?ve had a 100% success rate (The one that died actually drank all her water and I forgot to refill!). Good luck!
  Last modified: 16:58 - Oct 23, 2001  

faq:1122 "How do I clone plants? Smokinrav's simple water-cloning method"