New plants are usually grown from seed, but a new plant can also be cloned and grown with a cutting from an already grown plant. Yesterday I cloned a couple of my favorite garden plants - Greek Oregano and Raspberry Diesel.
Depending on the circumstances and the plant, often it can be quicker and easier to clone a plant instead of growing it from seed - you also don't have to worry about genetic variances in the seed, a clone is an exact copy. An exact copy is especially desired for cannabis cultivation - after a long growing season, a female plant produces buds, a male plant only produces the usually undesired pollen. When the stem of a plant cutting is placed in water and in the shade, after a week or two, roots will eventually start to grow out of the stem - this can be shortened to a few days by stimulating root growth with rooting powder or gel, I'm using Pro Mix's stim-root rooting powder.
Mother Plant Cuttings
The clone cutting from a mother plant should have a few leaf nodules - from the Greek Oregano, I cut decent size sprigs and removed the lower leaves. Just above where I cut there were branches forming, the mother oregano plant will grow back quickly over the summer - soon enough I'll have newly cloned oregano plants to spread around the property, or to plant as a crop, or to sell at the market.
In the second picture above is the mother Raspberry Diesel cannabis plant that I took a cutting from - I picked a decent sized lower branch, you can see it in the water bottle below. The Raspberry Diesel clone I'll grow as a mother for future clones for the next growing season.
Planting the Cutting
Cups full of already watered dirt with holes poked are ready for the cutting stems. The cutting is dipped in the water, then the rooting powder.
The powdered bottom of the stem is placed in the hole in the dirt, then the dirt is pushed together and up against the stem. With rooting gel instead of powder, the dipping in water step is skipped.
Keep in the Shade for at least a Week
After all the cuttings are planted in the dirt, they are kept in the shade until enough roots have grown to be able to handle direct sunlight. I went a step further and put them in a tote in the shade with clear plastic covering the top - to keep in the moisture. I'll open it up each day for air exchange, then take it off after a few days.
I've had good results cloning seeding trays full of mint varieties - the plastic lid helps hold in the moisture until the roots grow. These new clones should have decent root growth in a week - I'll watch for new plant growth as a sign that they're ready for more light and water.