A stem cutting is a terminal growing point on a plant. It is 4
to 6 inches long and is cut off at a node. A node is the point on
a stem where a leaf is attached. The bottom leaves are removed from
the nodes and the lower end is inserted into the rooting medium.
Some plants are excellent material for cuttings; others never survive.
Both woody and herbaceous plants may be used for cutting materials.
The biggest requirement for taking cuttings is a healthy parent,
or stock plant. A parent plant should be in excellent health and
should posess the characteristics wished for in the new plants.
It should be at least two months old and it should still be in the
stages of vegetative growth.
There are a few things you will need to take healthy cuttings.
We offer a few starter
kits that can help you pull all this stuff together: We also
have a fully stocked Propagation
- Extremely sharp, sterile razor blade for cutting off leaves
- Rooting Hormone or solution
- A Tray and Clear Plastic Dome
- Growing media, such as a sheet of Oasis®, Rockwool or other
- Prepared nutrient solution
- Spray Bottle
- Heat Mat
First, you'll want to prepare the humidity tray by soaking the
growing media with your prepared nutrient solution. You will use
this same nutrient solution to water the clones in a few days. Once
your media is wet you should polk holes in the media with a pencil
if it does not already have holes. Place the tray on a propagation
heat mat, and cover with the plastic dome to warm the rooting medium.
After you have prepared your tray, you are ready to begin to take
Generally the gardener cuts a short piece of a growing stem with
several branch points on it. These branch points are call internodes.
Usually these point will only have leaves coming out of them . The
point at which the stem is actually growing is called the Apcial
Meristem. The goal of cuttings is to cuyt that apical meristem and
grow roots on it. It will then become the top of your future plant
Using your sterile razor you should cut the stem off with a precise
and clean cut, cutting through cleanly without causing any extra
damage. The cut should be made at a 45 degree angle. For absolute
best results, make a first cut and then make the second cut at a
45 degree angle under water. You should strive for clones that will
have one or two internodal spaces under the growing media. Cut off
this extra leaf matter and dip the cut part in rooting hormone or
solution (follow directions on the bottle for correct dilution rates
etc.) Immediately place the cutting into the previously soaked growing
medium. The cutting should be about 1/2" deep in the growing
medium (when doing this be VERY careful not to bend the stems!)
As you continue to take cuttings, be sure to keep them moist by
spraying them frequently with the spray bottle - get the undersides
of their leaves. If you are worried about wilting clones, you should
check on No-wilt which prevents transpiration and helps prevent