Propagating Plants in Mini Greenhouses Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
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.
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!!
Step Seven - Maintenance, Care and Observations:
Place cover on to create favorable greenhouse conditions!
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
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