It’s no secret for gardeners that cloning your plants is a fun and cheap way of expanding your garden. Rather than buying expensive new trees, plants, or flowers, why not get your hands dirty and clone your favorite plants? The question is, which part of the plant is it best to clone from? And can you clone the top of a plant?
You can clone a plant by taking a cutting from the top of it. Many seasoned gardeners consider cutting clones from the top of the mother plant to be the best location to harvest a healthy, strong part of the plant to clone effectively.
If not done well, cloning can harm or even kill your mother plant and your cutting! But don’t worry, with a bit of information and some practice, you will be reproducing your plants from cloned cuttings in no time! For many, it’s a fun and rewarding hobby!
Why Clone My Plant At The Top?
The reason behind cloning your plant at the top is that the tops of plants contain the most growth hormones, which is crucial for successful rooting and growth. This way, you will get the best results from your clone, enabling it to grow to its full potential.
Benefits Of Cloning Your Plants At The Top
There are various reasons why cloning your plants at their tops is beneficial, especially for the clones.
- Cloned plants generally grow faster than other plants and do not require any pollination.
- Cloned plants are more resistant to diseases, and they have a high yield at a much lower cost. It is essential to keep in mind that plant cloning is most efficient for plants that do not produce seeds.
- Cloned plants are more resistant to diseases, but many of these diseases can be eliminated and will no longer be a threat.
- Cloning plants effectively control the scarcity of seeds, which is a great way to still have plants without germinating your seeds.
- Cloning helps to eliminate weak genes. The cloning process is designed to improve the existing cells by copying the cell’s whole structure while destroying the mutated cells and defects as possible.
- Cloning can bring new and genetically modified genes. Using clone technology, we can find a way to eliminate unwanted features and production rates of plants. Cloning has a way of achieving this in a scientifically proven method.
We can change the globe if cloning is done correctly. The cloning of plants is a creative and innovative method where beneficial plants can be revived.
When Can I Start Cloning My Mother Plant?
Actively growing plant tops works the best for cloning. The best time to make your clones from your mother plant is the phase when the plant is in the vegetative growth stage, preferably two months into the cycle.
The reason for this is that once your mother plant starts to flower, most of the plant’s energy goes to the production of the flower, which you want to avoid.
There Are Various Ways To Clone Your Plants
One can clone plants using their leaves, stems, buds, shoots, or bulbs. If you are thinking about starting your plant cloning journey, you should know about all the different ways to clone your plants for the best possible results. There are five proven ways to clone your plants:
- Potting Soil Method. This is the easiest and effective way of cloning plants in general. You do not require to soak your soil; make sure you saturate it before. Dip your cutting in the hormone for 30 seconds. After doing that, place your cutting into the soil.
- The Rockwool Method. For this method, you will need rockwool cubes. Because rockwool has a higher Ph level, you will need to soak these cubes in a neutral Ph level water for at least a few hours or overnight.
After you have soaked your rockwool in water, dip your cutting in a rooting hormone for 30 seconds. If you decided on a powder-based rooting hormone, you would need to damp the cutting’s end before you apply the powder.
Be cautious not to dip the entire cutting into the rooting hormone. Next, place the stem into the rockwool so it comes in contact with your cube.
- The Water Cloning Method. If you decided on this method, you need to fill a plastic bottle or cup with tap or distilled water, making sure it is as close as possible to room temperature. In addition to this, make sure the pH level of your water is between 5.5 and 6.
Cover your bottle with cling wrap or any other similar sealing. Next, poke a small hole in your wrapping using the tip of a knife, scissors, pen, etc. The hole’s size needs to be smaller than the cutting’s stem; this will ensure that it remains intact in the pot.
Place the stem into your pot while keeping the bottom end under the water by 5cm.
- Tissue Culture Cloning Method. One of the most common methods. Using this method, scientists try to clone plants with specialized roots and break these roots into cells. After that, these roots grow in a nutrient-rich culture. These new plants look very similar to the mother plant. This procedure of cloning is also called Tissue Culture Propagation.
- The Cloning Machine Method. This method is the fastest to clone plants. The cloning machine technique is the most effective one for plant cloning.
The most significant benefit of this method is that you do not have to soak your cutting into the water but merely mist it. You will have to mist the cutting regularly with low-pressure. By doing this, you protect your cutting’s fragile roots against disease.
In addition, there is sufficient oxygen for roots in this cloning method, and you can clone multiple plants at once. Do keep in mind that you need a cloning machine for this method.
With these techniques mentioned above, it is essential to remember one thing: Take proper care of your clone. You will start to notice some changes to your clone as it grows as a new plant.
Taking care of your new clone plant is important. If failed to do so, your cutting will not emerge as a new plant.
Cons Of Cloning Your Plants
Although there are many more benefits of cloning your plants, plant cloning has become a more significant concern for environmentalists worried about several features of plants being destroyed due to cloning.
Because cloned plants are identical in looks, home gardening and landscaping can eventually become monotonous.
If hindered, plants’ evolution can lead to an imbalance in crops’ natural vegetation and growth.
Plant cloning is unpredictable, and there is still a lot of unfinished research that has to be done to understand genetic variation.
If plant cloning is done on a bigger scale, food may become more commercialized. While this could be a logical solution for third-world countries and the increasing food shortages, those in power will not lose the opportunity to commercialize plant cloning to control food resources.
This debate on plant cloning can go on forever, especially when both advantages and disadvantages are kept in consideration.
The main reason why people are starting to choose cloning more for plants is to mass produce these organisms for desired qualities.
Different types of plants can be cloned on a small or large scale, depending on the cloning method. This includes fruits and vegetables, as well as flowering plants.
Whether your reason is to clone your plants for your benefit or on a larger scale, the new cloning technologies have sparked many ethical debates among scientists, politicians, and the general public.
Several governments have considered or enacted legislation to slow down, limit or even ban cloning experiments. It is clear that cloning will be a part of our future, but the course of this technology has not been determined yet!
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