Gardening can easily become an expensive hobby, but with a little know-how, you can turn one plant into hundreds. I am going to show you the process of taking and rooting currings with Florist Wet Foam, which in my opinion is one of the easiest ways to take cuttings, and create more plants.
So let's get our stuff together and get started.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
To take and root cuttings with you will need some equipment.
1- Wet Florist Foam cut into 1 inch cubes (about $5 for 3 large blocks at a crafts store)
Make sure you get "Wet" foam as opposed to "Dry" foam, the wet foam will help your cuttings, the dry will kill them.
2- Rooting hormone (about $8 at a garden store)
3- Pruning Shears or Scissors (You probably already have these)
4- Razor Blade
5- Container to hold your foam and cuttings (I used an old bread pan that I found)
6- Clear plastic container large enough to hold your cuttings and keep the humidity high (about $5 at the local dollar store)
7- Something to make holes in the foam (I used a dental pick)
Not a bad investment considering that these supplies will allow you to take hundreds of cuttings and make hundreds of new plants. So let's begin.
Step 2: Find a Healthy Plant and Take the Cuttings
Have everything close by so that you can get the cuttings into the foam without them drying out. As an example I am using a softwood cutting from raspberries. I cut a 5 inch piece from the end of a green and flexible stem. This is softwood, that is the new growth in the spring and early summer. Softwood seems to be easiest to root for many different plants.
With a clean razor blade I cut the bottom at an angle to expose the most surface to the rooting hormone. I made the cut just below a bud, and removed some of the large bottom leaves.
Then I poured a little rooting hormone out, and dipped the cut end of the cutting in the rooting hormone. This is important, because if you accidentally have bacteria or fungus on the cutting you don't want to transfer it to all of your other cuttings.
Step 3: Insert Your Cuttings Into Foam, and Put Them Into a Humidity Chamber
Here we have cuttings of raspberries, gooseberries, nanking cherries, and sand cherries. All inserted into the foam and ready to be put into the humidity chamber.
The foam and cuttings are put into one container, and a little water is added, The Wet foam will absorb the water and keep your plants hydrated while they root. The clear plastic container keeps the humidity high also keeping your plants from drying out. Don't put them in direct sunlight, a shaded window or a north facing window is the best for them.
Now all you need to do is check on them from time to time and wait. Any that die or dry out can be removed, but as long as they are alive, they have a chance of rooting.
I find that I have about a 75% success rate with softwood cuttings and wet foam.
Step 4: Success!
Eventually you will see the roots penetrate the foam. These took about 3 weeks.
You have just rooted your own plants from cuttings and have your own baby plants. Now you can put them in a pot to give them some TLC until they get bigger, or you can plant them out right now. The foam will eventually disintegrate as the roots move through it, and you will be left with a perfect new baby plant.
It is a clone of the adult plant that you took it from, so all of the characteristics should be the same. It should have the same fruit color, flavor, and habit.
So now you have a way to reproduce the plants from your garden, or your friends garden. So go forth and multiply your plants. You will soon have plenty to give away or to plant out.
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