Introduction: Steps to Grow Plants From Stem Cuttings
"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies"
Here are the steps to be followed to grow plants like Hibiscus,Roses etc from stem cuttings. This can be used grow multiple plants without seeds (vegetative growth). This can be done at home effortlessly and all that it requires is patience.
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Step 1: Materials Required
The following are the basic things required:
1) Healthy stem cuttings
2) Rooting hormone(cinnamon powder/honey/Aloe vera)
4) A small transparent bottle
5) Garden tools( cutter)
Step 2: Choice of Stem Cutting
The first and the foremost step is to choose the stem cutting which is best suited for developing into a new plant.
The stem cutting from a healthy plant should neither be woody nor too tender. The length of the cutting should be around 6 to 8 inches long.
Step 3: Preparing the Stem Cutting
The stem cutting needs initial preparation to make it suitable for growth. The cutting should be checked for any pest or bugs and should be cleared. The leaves of the cutting should be trimmed leaving one or two in order to avoid excess transpiration.
When the cuttings are observed closely, we can notice nodes and anti nodes. The nodes are the places on the stem where growth of new branches occur. In between the lower most nodes of the stem cuttings, a cut of about 45 degrees is made. This is to facilitate greater surface area and a corresponding increased water uptake. Now the stem cutting is ready.
Step 4: Preparing the Medium for Rooting
The prepared stem cutting can be grown in two mediums for developing roots:
1) In soil
2) In water
Generally the stem cuttings grown in soil medium has a lower success rate when compared to growing it in water medium.
I will be covering the steps to grow the stem cutting in water medium which is more efficient. Generally these cuttings are allowed to root in plain water taken in a transparent container(small bottles) ensuring that the cut is sufficiently submerged in water. To enhance the rooting and to increase the success rate, rooting hormones are added in the water medium. There are many rooting hormones available in the market but to our surprise they are even available at home. Few of them are cinnamon powder, cloves, aloe vera gel, honey etc. Here I have used cinnamon powder as the rooting hormone.The cutting which is kept in the rootig medium should be kept in a place where there is no direct sunlight.The medium should be changed after every 3 to 4 days. After a week or two, you will see white finger like projections inside the medium on the cuttings which are nothing but the roots.Now its time for us to remove the stem cutting from the medium and plant them in a pot of fertile soil.
Step 5: Planting the Stem Cutting
Now its time to prepare the soil for planting the stem cutting. The soil is prepared with a mixture of sand and garden soil in the proportion of 1:4. Till the time the cutting develops few leaves, it does not require any manure. As shown in the picture, any large sized plastic bag can used as a grow bag instead of disposing them.
Step 6: Preparing Manure
Hibiscus is an acid loving plant. So it needs acidic manure. Some of the organic manure are Epsom salt,wood ash, coffee powder, egg shells, banana peel and vinegar. These are the acidic manures which can be made at home which are cost effective.These manures help in lowering the soil Ph and also enriches the soil with Nitrogen, Magnesium and Pottasium. Too much use of these fertilizers can make the soil too acidic and should be used in proper limit. Apart from these, the soil can be enriched with home made compost and vermi compost.
Here I have used banana peel fertilizer for my hibiscus. Banana peels are rich in Pottasium and Phosphorus . They are also good source of Nitrogen, Magnesium , Calcium and Sulphur. I prepared the fertilizer by soaking the banana peels in water and allowed them to rest for 2 to 3 weeks. After fermentation, the extract of banana peels (peels of 7 to 8 bananas) seep into the water. This extract is diluted with water in 1:20 proportion. This mixture can be sprayed on the foliage and buds or can be poured to the roots 2 to 3 hrs after watering the plants.
Wood ash also helps in eradicating fungal attack.
Step 7: Caring the Plant
Hibiscus is a seasonal plant and they bloom in summer. During off season, it should be kept pruned so that new shoots and flowering buds grow during their blooming season.
Hibiscus plants are often attacked by mealy bugs and aphids.There are home made pesticides which can be used to get rid of these bugs.
1) A ground paste of garlic and green chili (1:1) . One teaspoon of this paste is mixed with 1litre of water. This can be sprayed on the plant in the evening on weekly basis. This pesticide is helpful if sprayed regularly as it protects the plant from infestation
2) The solution of 4 ml of Neem oil mixed in water along with few drops of liquid soap can be sprayed on the plant in the evening once in 15 days. This spray helps in getting rid of bugs.
The above pesticides are non toxic and eco friendly.
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