How To Clone Plants: 5 Different Types of Plant Cloning Methods

Have you heard the term “plant cloning”? Not yet then, it is time to learn the concept of plant cloning as well as how to clone plants. Plant cloning is actually really fun. People are using this method for many years to create more plants. There are various seasoned and new gardeners out there who use this method to grow new plants.

Plant cloning is not a difficult task as it sounds. It is quite a simple task that everyone should at least try once in a lifetime who loves gardening. Being a plant lover, I use this method to grow more plants in my garden. Once mastered the art, you will love to clone plants. So, read further to know how to clone a plant!

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What Is Plant Cloning?

The process of producing alike genetical plants from the original plant is known as plant cloning definition. In simple words, the plant cloning is to take the clipping or cutting of a plant and grow it elsewhere on its own. After a few weeks, the roots will emerge out of the cutting. Hence, a new life of the clone starts.

Why Do You Need To Clone Plants?

There are various reasons that people choose this act of growing plants. Firstly, this process is a lot easier to create new plants. Secondly, it is really a cost-effective method. In this process, the genes remain intact as the new plants will inherit the same properties, characteristics, or qualities of the mother plants.

how to clone a plant

The best part is cloning does not affect the health of the mother plant much. It means you can clone many cuttings when there are too many branches on the original plant. Unfortunately, not all clones are going to bud into new plants. It is really important to keep this fact in mind before starting out the process of plant cloning.

History of Cloning Plants

Cloning of plants has a very long history. Plants have been creating multiple identical copies of themselves since billions of years. There are various forests, land areas, and parks, which are results of cloned plants and trees. Naturally, plants spread out their roots, which later develop into new sprouts.

Meanwhile, humans are also cloning plants from the past thousands of years. It is done to create more modified plants. In 1964, F.C. Steward cloned a full carrot. After that, many scientists have cloned plants and food for money, supply, and the environment.

How Does Plant Cloning Work?

Cloning of plants is really easy as compared to cloning animals. This act of producing plants roots back to the centuries. For plant cloning, you just need to cut a shoot from geranium or willow and place it in a vase. You will notice growing roots out of that cutting after some weeks. Isn’t it easy and simple?

Plant cloning is one of the easiest ways to grow new plants. This method is also known as rooting a cutting. Due to many reasons, it is considered the best alternative to planting seeds. The best part is that it is really cost-effective.

Benefits of Cloning Plants

There are various advantages of cloning plants, which makes it more preferable than seeding. The first benefit of plant cloning is that there is no need to buy seeds. As you may know, seeds do not always germinate and hence, they are not always viable. In addition to it, this process grows high-quality plants. Plants that are grown with the help of this method are high in nutrition and resistant to various diseases at the same time. Some other benefits of cloning are as follows:

  • Cloned plants grow faster than other plants.
  • It does not require various factors required for pollination.
  • This process is best for plants that do not produce seeds.
  • It effectively controls the scarcity of seeds.
  • Plants are more resistant to diseases.
  • Cloning results in high yield at a very low cost.

5 Different Types of Plant Cloning Methods

There are various methods to clone plants. One can propagate plants in different ways. Some of the proven cloning methods include the following:

1. Rockwool Method

For the rockwool method, you will need rockwool cubes. Generally, rockwool has more pH level and you will need to soak these cubes in normal water for several hours or overnight. By doing so, its pH value will come down.

Rockwool Method

After that, you have to dip the cutting for 30 seconds into a rooting hormone. If you are opting for a powder rooting hormone, you need to damp the cutting’s end a little bit before applying the powder. Make sure you do not dip the entire cutting into the rooting hormone. Now, place the stem into the rockwool. It should come in contact with the rockwool cubes. You can also use grow lights for this method.

2. Potting Soil Method

It is the conventional way of cloning a plant. It is the most effective and easy method. In this method, you do not require to soak the soil. Just make sure to saturate it enough. You need to dip the cutting into the hormone for about 30 seconds. After that, you are all set to place it into the soil.

Potting Soil Method

3. Water Cloning Method

In water cloning method, you need to fill the plastic bottle or cup with ¾ of distilled or tap water. You have to prepare this water 20 minutes before so as to bring it close to the room temperature of the water.

In addition to it, you need to check the pH level of the water. It has to be in between 5.5 and 6.0. In order to cover this water cup, you can use a plastic or cling-wrap. Now, poke a tiny hole in the wrap using the tip of scissors or pen. The size of the hole needs to be smaller than the cutting stem. This will ensure that the stem remains intact in the pot.

Place the stem into the pot while keeping its bottom end under the water by 5 cm. You can place this cloning plant under the grow lights or indirect sunlight.

Water Cloning Method

4. Cloning Machine Method

It is the fastest way that one can use to clone plants. The cloning machine technique is the most effective one for plant cloning. The very benefit of this method is that you do not have to immerse the cutting into the water but mist it. You have to mist the cutting constantly with the low-pressure method. This act protects fragile roots against disease.

Additionally, there is sufficient oxygen for roots in this cloning method. On the other hand, you can clone multiple plants at a given time. However, you need a cloning machine for this method. According to the manual, you need to set it up. After that, fill it with water and dip the cutting into the hormone. Now, place it into the neotypes and run the machine.

Cloning Machine Method

5. Tissue Culture Cloning Method

It is one the most common methods used by several horticulturists. Using this method, scientists try to clone plants with specialized roots pieces and then, breaking these roots into cells. After that, these root cells grow in a nutrient-rich culture. During this process, the specialized cells become dedifferentiated or unspecialized into calluses.

Tissue Culture Cloning Method

Once done, these calluses are stimulated using the appropriate plant hormones so as to grow new plants. The new plants look similar to the parent plant. This whole procedure of cloning is also called tissue culture propagation.

How To Clone Plants?

The easiest way to clone a plant is this one. Anyone who has a love for gardening can clone plants themselves. There is no rocket science behind this process. In order to do so, you need to gather important things to begin the process. After that, follow with the other steps. So, let us move to this effective and easy way to clone plants.

1. Gather Right Materials

For cloning a plant, you will need some materials. These materials include the following:

  • A vibrant and healthy plant
  • Rooting liquid, powder, or gel
  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Plastic dome for covering the cloner
  • Cloning machine, water cups, soil or rockwool cubes

2. Plant the Stem

Firstly, you need to select a healthy plant with no disease. Look for a vigorous branch, which is coming out of the main stem. New branches of a plant generally form in the “V” shape. These branches grow back themselves after being cut. Now, cut a stem and place that cutting into a glass of water at once. This will help to prevent the oxygen exposure from the new cutting. After that, plant the stem. 

How To Clone Plants

3. Let it Grow

Now, you need to take proper care of it. After a few weeks, you will start to notice some changes to it. It will grow as a new plant after some time. Meanwhile, you need to look after various parameters such as temperature, light, or humidity.

  • See the video below for more details on how to clone a plant:

Can Any Plant Be Cloned?

Yes, you can clone any plant by large using different methods of cloning. One can clone plants using their different parts like leaves, bulbs, stems, buds, shoots, bulbs, and various others. You can look a list of cloned plants that can be cloned, which includes flowering plants, fruits, and vegetables.

List of Cloned Plants:

  • Tulips
  • Freesia
  • Potatoes
  • Ginger
  • Lily of the valley
  • Onions
  • Snowdrops
  • Hyacinths
  • Daffodils
  • Peony
  • Gladiolus
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
  • Almonds
  • Garlic
  • Lemons
  • Peaches
  • Bananas, and so on.

How To Take Care Of A Clone Plant? 

The act of taking care of a clone plant is really important. If failed to do so, your cutting will not emerge as a new plant. So, you have to take good care of a new clone plant. You need to keep an eye on several factors while cloning a plant.

How To Take Care Of A Clone Plant

These factors include the following:

Temperature

Temperature plays an important role in cloning a plant. It is best to keep the cutting in warm areas as it does not thrive well in cold places. The temperature needs to be in between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In areas with low temperature, you can use a heater to keep up the perfect temperature.

Humidity Dome

A humidity dome helps to keep the environment for cloning intact. It creates a perfect environment for cloning by keeping a check on the humidity and moisture. This humidity dome comes handy when you do not want to spend much time on misting the clones or maintaining it regularly. However, you do not need it if the cloning environment is just right.

Lights

Make use of grow light if you are unable to provide the plant with sufficient daylight. As new cloners are quite weak, you cannot use intense grow lights or direct sunlight. In place of all this, make use of weak CFL bulbs. Also, fluorescent tubes work best for new cloners. You do not have to provide light for the first few days. After a while, use lights about 18 hours a day. Keep cloners in the dark for the rest six hours because they will form roots then. 

Misting

In case, you are using soils and rockwool cubes to clone a plant, you have to mist the cutting daily. In the water cloning method, you have to keep a check on the water all the time whether it is contaminated, needs replacement, or drained out.

In the cloning machine technique, the process of misting happens automatically. You can even put misting intervals using a timer to keep the machine from getting too hot.

Transplantation

Usually, you will see the rooting in about 7 to 10 days. In some cases, plants can take longer time than the usual like three weeks. If you could not see the rooting after this time, it is not going to form then. It is best to go for the next cloning. 

Once the rooting formed, it is time to transplant the cloning plant. You can easily observe the formed roots in the cloning machine and rockwool cloning method. However, it is difficult to see the formation of roots in potting soil method as you cannot watch the pot’s inside.

In order to transplant the cloner, you need to look for a perfect-sized container. It should not be too big as it would become difficult for the new clone to adjust to the new environment.

Conclusion

Cloning of plants is the most effective way to grow plants without seeds. This method of growing new plants is not new as people are using it from the past thousands of years. Even beginners can grow plants in this way. All you need to do is to gather the right materials and you are almost done with it. You can opt for any cloning method to start the process of growing new plants. Additionally, keep an eye on important factors such as temperature and humidity.

Plant cloning sounds so much fun. You should at least try this interesting way once to grow new plants. Whether you succeed or fail, do not forget to share your experience with us. We would love to hear your experiences and answer any queries related to this topic.

How To Clone Plants: 5 Different Types of Plant Cloning Methods
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