Welcome to ProgressiveGardening.org
Save Money... Make Money...
Produce Larger Yields
Propagating, or "Cloning"
Plants You Already Have
With so many benefits to propagating your own plants, it's hard to imagine any gardener who doesn't take advantage of this wonderful technique for reproducing your best garden varieties, landscape stock and favorite houseplants.
Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to produce hundreds of genetically identical clones of your favorite plants, many other benefits await the grower who propagates their own plants. Most cloned plants grow faster than their source, or "mother", plant, and with a shorter internodal length (space between branches), which produces more fruiting and flowering sites resulting in larger yields and more blooms per plant.
No Pain... Great Gains!
While propagating your own plants used to be an activity reserved for only the most advanced master gardeners, new research and developments in technology have brought this once challenging endeavor into the realm of do-it-yourselfers.
Rooting powders used to be the only tool a home gardener had available to help in the reproduction of plants. Today, science and engineering have created dozens of methods and products that enable even an elementary school student to successfully duplicate plants with ease.
Newer, more powerful rooting hormones, blended in gel-based formulations that keep the active ingredients right where the roots develop while sealing the cut, provide new plant cuttings with a virtually 100 percent chance of success. With standard rooting powders, a certain percentage of cuttings were assumed to fail. In order for a grower to end up with 100 successful cuttings, he often had to cut many more to achieve that goal.
Other new propagation products include commercial duty bottom heat mats, used to speed up seed germination and root development in cuttings by professional greenhouses, are now widely available in heavy-duty versions for the consumer, proving far more safe and effective than old style heating cables.
Premium quality seedling nutrient supplements, designed specifically for promoting tender root growth, are available in a number of different formalations, both organic and inorganic. These finely tuned fertilizers provide tender seedlings with precise quantities of the vitamins, hormones, and nutrients that are most important to plant development during their early, formative stages of growth.
New beneficial biostimulants such as mycorrhizal inoculants have been discovered that cause an expansive increase in the number of fine hair roots that a plant uses to take up food and water, which results in not only greater propagation success rates, but overall faster plant growth and larger yields.
Growing media designed specifically for plant propagation is now available as well, which greatly improves success rates and in many cases is easier and much cleaner to use. Foam rooting and seed starting cubes; natural, foam, and stonewool based plugs; fine vermiculites; and coco peat are just a few examples. Sterile and pH neutral, these exciting new mediums have excellent air to water ratios, a primary factor responsible for their superior characteristics and success. Some of these new media even incorporate It's not hard to start cuttings that when planted will grow into beautiful, healthy specimens. New propagation media such as these foam cubes are cleaner to use and ensure a much higher success rate than conventional rooting media. small amounts of a complete and balanced starter fertilzer to facilitate higher success rates.
Other new propagation products include plant propagating systems, kits and media that can root from dozens to hundreds of cuttings in a very short period of time, with very little effort. The process is simple, take cuttings of your favorite plants, dip them into a gel-based rooting hormone, and stick them into the media or propagation rooting system.
Propagation rooting systems super aerate the water and nutrients which speed up rooting times significantly, and are especially suited for rooting hard and semi-hardwoods and other slow-to-root varieties. Many integrate a reusable collar that completely eliminates the need for a rooting media, which can offer significant cost savings to the prolific propagator. Once the roots have developed, the plants can be immediately transplanted into the growing area or container. Plant propagation systems are designed to root large numbers of plants in a short period of time. They are especially usefull when rooting more difficult semi-hard and hardwood cuttings. The results obtained from many "cloning machines" is impressive!
Next section: Money Does Grow On Plants