Taking a cutting for propagation Cloning Cuttings If you already have access to healthy plants that display desirable characteristics it is possible to clone new plants from them. These new plants will be genetically identical to the mother plant and, provided that the environmental conditions are constant, the new plants should perform exactly as their parent did. Seeds are not genetically the same as the parent plant, therefore growing results may vary. Equipment List Propagator Scalpel Clonex® Shot Glass/Small Container RootRiot® Propagation light – LightWave T5 Clonex® Mist 1. Spray the original mother plant with Clonex® Mist once or twice in the week before cuttings are taken. 2. Take fresh RootRiot® cubes from tray (these should be slightly moist),If they have dried out, soak in a weak nutrient solution (pH 6 / 1.0 mS). FORMULEX is ideal for this. Use this time to assess the mother plant for ideal stem cutting areas. Most species are propagated best from softwood tips. Selected material should show signs of healthy vigorous growth. Stems should be thick and firm and foliage should be dark green 3. Remove selected piece from mother plant with sharp scissors/ scalpel, taking care to cut plant at least 10 mm below the point where the final cut will be made. Final cut should be made with a sterile scalpel or clean sharp razor blade just below a node or leaf junction. A diagonal cut is preferred as it allows more plant tissue to come into contact with the rooting compound. 4. The rooting compound we recommend highly is Clonex® Rooting Gel. Pour a small amount of Clonex® into a small container for immediate use. Do not dip cut tissue into the original Clonex® bottle. Immediately dip the cut tissue into the decanted Clonex®, ensuring that all cut surfaces of the tip are well covered with Clonex® Rooting Gel. Wipe off surplus Clonex® against the side of the small container. *Do not return any of the unused Clonex® back to the original container as this might contaminate the remaining gel. 5. Insert cutting into hole in top of RootRiot® cube. It is very important not to push it in too far, just enough to support it in an upright position. “Take care when handling cutting and ensure you do not bend or damage the stem of the plant” Once all cuttings are in place, mist them thoroughly with our Clonex® Mist and place in suitable location. We highly recommend a propagator which is large enough to hold your tray of cuttings and which has very high sides to accommodate large cuttings as well as vents to control the humidity level. To encourage speedy root initiation on your cuttings, it is necessary to pay attention to the environment in which this is taking place… Provided that you have maintained the right conditions, your cuttings should start rooting very quickly although the time will vary from species to species. Roots will start to appear at the bottom of the Root Riot® cubes and as soon as they do, it is time to plant out. You will probably notice that the little cutting has a much more vigorous root system than seedlings. This is one of the ways in which cuttings are usually superior to seedlings. Ideal Conditions for Rooting Temperature – For most species, the ideal rooting temperature is around 23°C to 28°C. Heat is best supplied from underneath (bottom heat) to warm the RootRiot cubes and encourage root cell initiation. It is most important that temperature remains constant. Best way to provide bottom heat is by use of a heated propagator or heat mat. Humidity- is of crucial importance because the little plants have no roots to begin with. Maintenance of high humidity around the leaves will protect them from wilting until new roots appear. a covered propagator acts like a mini greenhouse maintaining ideal levels of humidity around the young plants. Regular misting of the clones is also very helpful. Try our Clonex® Mist to gain an increase in root length and root quantity, within a shorter space of time (see graph below). Light – Cuttings will need light from day one. Filtered sunlight will be ok but the best results will be achieved with florescents. Modern horticulture florescent lights, such as LightWave T5, can really empower successful clones. Light should be supplied to clones for at least 16 hours a day. You will now have a number of cuttings in your tray. This is the time to select the best for growing on. Never try to separate the little plant from its cube. It is intended that cubes will stay with the plant throughout its life. You will find these little cubes extremely easy to handle, in fact, that is why the professionals use them. Once you have selected the best plants you can grow them on in a variety of different media .