Propagating plants and cloning your most favored varieties will ensure you always have your preferences available. Taking cuttings from a tomato plant is a great way to get your roots wet if you are new to the propagation world. Not only are tomatoes easy to grow and loved by most, they are easy to propagate as well, especially when using an EZ-CLONE Classic Plant Cloning System.
When looking at a tomato plant, you will notice where a leaf is growing from the stem, known as a node. This is where a new growth tip or shoot will emerge. These shoots may not be visible, but wherever there is a node, there is a chance for a new beginning. The space between the nodes is referred to as the inter-nodal space. Some species will have longer inter-nodal spacing, while others may grow very compact with limited space between nodes. You want to locate a section of stem that is about 4 to 8 inches long with hopefully at least two nodes.
It is always preferable to leave at least one node above the cloning collar untouched. This is where a new shoot will begin creating a new plant. Higher concentrations of hormones and auxins are located in the nodes. Because of the increased concentrations, it is suggested to take your cut right below a node. This will allow for the best root formations to occur as roots tend to pop more abundantly from nodes. Roots can and will form anywhere on the stem as long as there is an appropriate ratio of moisture-to-air.
After cutting your clone from the mother plant, remove any unneeded leaves. Any full-sized leaf that is unneeded should be looked at as excess baggage and should be discarded. I leave the top two leaves and remove all other leaves. Removing this foliage will allow for better air flow around your cuttings, limits transpiration, promote root growth and limits the expenditure of energy during the propagation process. By leaving a bunch of leaves, you are forcing your cuttings to take care of and maintain the leaf strucutre instead of concentrating on sprouting roots.
Once you have trimmed your cutting, be sure and dip the tip in EZ-CLONE Rooting Compound. This rooting gel is specifically formulated to compliment the EZ-CLONE system. Dip no more than a quarter of an inch of the stem into the gel. Your goal is to seal the fresh cut, not coat the entire stem. Once you have dipped your cutting, insert it into a collar with the system turned off.
I fill my systems while they are turned off for two reasons: first, I donât want water spraying all over the place as I remove cloning collars one-by-one and second, I allow an extended amount of time for my cuttings to have direct contact with the gel. As soon as you power on the system, it will rinse off any excess Rooting Compound into the reservoir making the perfect cloning solution.
It’s just that easy:
- Remove unneeded foliage
- Dip in EZ-CLONE Rooting Compound
- Insert into system (not running)
- Plug system in once completely filled.