Contributed by: MeasureG
Most folks (including
me) take only main growing tips as cuttings, but
occasions arise when you want to preserve the maximum
number of growing tips on the mother plant. Sometimes it
is better to remove only one complete branch and make it
into multiple clones. Occasionally, while training a
plant, you will break off a branch. Here's a way to turn
that branch into multiple clones.
Just as an
aside, I discovered this technique when my knife
slipped, and I cut across a node instead of trimming off
the leaf and secondary growing tip at that node. I was
surprised when the bottom half rooted faster than the
main growing tip.
According to several sources,
cuttings taken from below the main growing tip will
usually root faster (and in my observation better) due
to lower nitrogen levels and higher carbohydrate levels.
I also find the stiffer woody stems from lower on a
branch easier to deal with than soft green ones near the
The smaller secondary growing tips will
take a bit longer to develop into full fledged plants,
but they will have a great set of roots to do it with.
Cut off the main growing tip by making a 45
degree cut through the main stem just above a node and
prepare it as you normally would.
Cut up the
remainder of the branch by making a succession of cuts
through the nodes at 45 degree angles. You will end up
with a bunch of short stems with a 45 degree cut at the
top and the bottom, and a leaf and growing tip near the
upper edge of the top cut.
If the cutting is too long to fit
entirely inside your cloning medium, trim the bottom end
of the cutting.
Holding the cutting by the leaf
stem (petiole), scrape away some of the outer layer of
the stem tissue to expose some phloem (the white tissue
underneath). Dip the whole stem into your cloning gel or
rooting hormone, be sure to cover both the bottom and
the top cuts. Avoid getting any on the growing tip.
Insert the stem into the cloning medium, you
may need to open up the hole in the rockwool or latex
plug a bit first.
Use a sterile tool (a chopstick,
q-tip stem, etc) to push on the top of the stem to push
it inside the cloning medium. The leaf may tilt up as
the stem goes inside the medium.