Propagation: How to multiply your plants by 10x

November 09, 2019

Propagation: How to multiply your plants by 10x

What is Propagation?

Propagation is the process of producing a new plant from a parent plant. This can be done with bulbs, cuttings, seeds, spores, runners and other physiological plant variations. Methodologies to propagate plants can range from very simple techniques to highly complex processes. This article is going to focus on producing new plants from the cuttings of a parent plant, which can then be transplanted into a hydroponic growing system.

 

Why Propagate?

There are a few main reasons to propagate;

  1. It's free and highly sustainable!
  2. It’s a great way to get started!
  3. It’s a DNA replica of its parent, so you know the new one is going to mimic the taste and/or colour of the original

 

How does this work, Biologically?

When you take a cutting from a parent plant there is no gene exchange, like there would be if the plant reproduced sexually, this means that the DNA of the plant is identical to the parent plant.  Because of this, the new cutting in going to grow into a plant that has the exact same traits as the parent, things like leaf and flower colour, fruit taste/colour/shape and growth rates should be close to identical to the parent.

 

What plants to choose?

Some plants are easier to propagate than others, but don’t get disheartened if the cutting you took doesn’t work, practice makes perfect.

Starting out, try and pick a parent plant that is;

- Healthy

- Young

- A green or softwood plant (fresh growth on a woody plant)

- Large/has many arms

- Isn’t flowering/fruiting

- Is well established

Here are a few plants that we would recommend propagating:

Plant species

Difficulty

Devils ivy

Super easy

Mint

Easy

Sage

Easy

Basil

Easy

Oregano

Easy

Lavender

Easy

Nasturtiums

Easy

Geraniums

Easy

Goldfish plant

Easy

Rosemary

Moderate

Thyme

Moderate

Tomato

Moderate

Monstera deliciosa

Hard

 

How to do it?

  1. Pick a plant (as per the specifications above).
  2. Take a sharp knife or a pair of secateurs and make a clean cut about midway down a stem between 2 branches.
  3. Remove any leaves from the bottom 3-5cm of the cutting
  4. Place the end of the cutting in a glass/jar/cup
  5. Leave the glass on a sunny windowsill or under growth lights
  6. Once you see root growth, add a sprinkling of nutrients to help boost the plant's growth
  7. Watch the roots form!

 

When are they ready to be replanted?

This varies plant to plant, but once you do it a few times you’ll be able to determine this for yourself. As a rule of thumb once the roots get to around 5cm+ and the plant is looking healthy you’re able to transplant them to their final homes.

 

If you’re transplanting your cutting into a hydroponic unit, such as the indoor smart garden or HydroPots, just nestle the roots into the chosen medium carefully and add a light dose of water. For soil propagation you’ll want to dig a small hole, insert your plant cutting (with roots), and fill in the soil around it, pressing down around the base of the plant to secure it. Make sure its well-watered for the first few weeks.

 

How does this link to hydroponics?

Plant cuttings propagated in water are highly successful in hydroponic setups as the roots that the plant has grown are designed for water. This means that the plant can start growing larger immediately as it doesn’t need time to adapt to a soil environment.

 

It's not working?!

Try again!

Place a plastic bag over them

As always, feel free to get in touch and ask us if you have any questions at any time!

 





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