What is PROPAGATION?
Propagation is simply the multiplication of a given plant species. Two types: Sexual
Propagation, which is growing plants from seed, and Asexual propagation: Multiplying or "cloning" plants by taking a portion or "cutting" of a larger plant (parent plant) and placing it in a favorable environment in which this portion / cutting can generate missing parts, i.e. the roots in order to form a whole new plant (daughter plant). It sounds somewhat scientific but it is actually quite easy and requires little technical skill, which is part of the reason that 80% of nursery grown plants are grown by propagation through cuttings rather than by seed growing. Another very significant reason we propagate by cuttings is to consistently produce a plant with the same favorable qualities or characteristics of a parent plant! Seed growing can be unpredictable, producing plants with undesirable results. Step One:
- Prepare a soil mix for our cuttings to take root.
- In most cases, and for today's plants, we will use a mixture of soil that is 80% perlite, which is this very porous volcanic material used to increase drainage in soil mixes. The other 20% of our cutting mix is a very organic nutrient providing material called peat. Mix together. Thoroughly wet down.
- Create or determine where you will grow your cuttings.
- In larger nursery production this would be done in the warm moist environment of a greenhouse. We are going to use a recycled plastic bottle.
- Collect your parent plant cuttings!
a) What part of the plant to cut.
b) When to take your cuttings.
c) Work sterile!
- Prepare and Place Cutting
a) 4" to 5" sections, cutting above and below the node (at least 2 nodes).
b) Determine polarity (direction it was originally growing) make top cut angled to keep track of polarity.
c) Remove ½ to ⅔ rd of leaves from bottom half.
d) Remove any flowers (to encourage rooting auxins).
e) Dip cutting into rooting powder.
f) Place in soil.
g) Press or tamp around cutting.
- Add Plant Identification Tag
a) Latin, common name
c) Plant Symbolism….FOR FUN!!
- Place cover on to create favorable greenhouse conditions!
Step Seven - Maintenance, Care and Observations:
a) Mist daily.
b) Keep out of direct sun. Filtered bright light indoors.
c) Checking and determining roothold: tug test.
d) Hardening off…. acclimation: placement into permanent home