My homemade cloning machine
I wanted to make sure this worked before I posted it here. Now that I have a few cuttings sprouting roots, I'll post some pictures.
First, I posted this to my blog last week when I was in the process of building it. I found the directions through google. Of course, it was on a cannabis forum, so I won't link to it here. You can do your own search or follow the directions I posted here. Simply put, it's a Sterlite container with holes in the lid, an aquarium heater set at 78 degrees, and two bubble wands powered by a 30 gallon aquarium pump. Not exactly rocket science. I put another container upside down over the whole thing to create a 100% humidity environment.
Let me also say that I have tried Janie's propagation chamber. During the summer, I had good success and even managed to root a couple of Fragrant Tea Olives. But, my success rate decreased with each subsequent try. In October, I pruned my two butterfly bushes and stuck over 100 cuttings in two different chambers. This weekend, I potted up the survivors, 15 in all. That's pretty bad, but I'm sure it has more to do with me and my technique than the chamber itself. I find the longer something is in the container, the more likely it is to rot for me. SO, I wanted something faster.
This is a small piece (2" tall) of a brugmansia that I am overwintering in the basement. It broke off when I was moving the container. It was the first thing put into my cloning chamber on Jan 1. It's now got long roots. Very green cutting too. All images are clickable.
This is a piece of pineapple sage that I took cuttings from in November before the frost got my plant outside. It was stuck in the cloning chamber on Jan 3. The roots are just shy of 1/8". I realize these are easy to root varieties, so I'll be curious how long other things take to root.
The material holding the plants in the lid are foam rollers. I bought them in packs of 10 from the dollar store. I cut them in half and then sliced them through the hole already in them. They seem to be working fine so far to hold the cuttings in place.
Although the cloning chamber I build looks different from the one I am using now, it's the same method. I realized A) my bottom container was too large and heavy when filled with water, B) the holes in the lid were too large and spaced too closely. The second version pictured below has 58 - 5/8" holes instead of 77 - 3/4" holes.
The Green & Gold Euyonmous was stuck yesterday. There are tiny white numbs already on one of the cuttings. Since the humidity and temperature are regulated by the heater and cover, I should be able to use this year round on evergreens and softwood cuttings depending on the season. I've also put a few camellia cuttings in there, but nothing is happening with those yet. In the spring, I'll use it to propagate extra annuals so I don't have to sow as many seeds as well as shrubs, perennials, and other things I want more of. With a blank slate yard, I have plenty of space to grow.
Comments questions or suggestions?