Last Updated: August 15, 2017

Definition - What does Clone mean?

In gardening, a clone is a plant that is an exact reproduction of the original parent (mother) plant. Commonly used in propagation, cloning is applicable to different types of ornamentals, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

The major advantage of cloning is that it is a budget-friendly method of propagation, which is ideal for nurseries that are just starting out. Propagation by cloning is also relatively easy and does not require extensive gardening experience.

MaximumYield explains Clone

The most popular type of plant clone is created via a plant cutting. To clone a plant via a cutting, one should take a stem cutting of around five inches from the parent plant. To ensure successful propagation, it is important to cut around half an inch above the leaf node.

Another important tip for successful cloning is that the cut should be made using sharp, sterile shears, a razor blade, or even a knife. It is best to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle.

There are several cloning techniques. Ground layering, for example, refers to a method of cloning where the branch is buried with its tip poking up. This ensures that the main plant benefits from optimal nutrition. In fact, unlike a cutting, a ground-layered clone will derive all its vitamins and nutrients directly from the parent plant. In such cases, it is highly advisable to apply a rooting hormone to the ground in order to maximize cloning success.

Another popular cloning method in gardening is air layering. This technique does require a bit more skill and expertise but it is suited to plants that are harder to clone. Air layering basically entails unpeeling the top layer of the plant’s branch before wrapping it in a bag containing a growth medium. A small slit is then made to the bark right underneath a node. This ensures the proper flow of nutrients towards the cloned plant. In this case, it is important to properly moisten the bag of growth medium.

This definition was written in the context of Horticulture
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