Save your money, use honey.
So you have a great plant, It's growing vigorously, and looking good doing it. Perhaps it's already in it's flowering cycle and it's one of the best plants you've grown, showing some amazing results, what now? Well if you're like me, you probably want to make sure that you clone this plant and keep the genetics going. When looking to clone a plant, there are dozens of different methods, contraptions, and not to mention all the different rooting compounds that you can buy at various local floral shops, and even hundreds more stores online. I've discovered an easy, cheap, and nearly guaranteed way to clone your best plants without all the hassle, gadgets, and most importantly money. Honey, unlike your rooting compound or heating pad for some hundred dollar cloning machine (a hundred dollars is actually an understatement) is cheap, and can be found at almost any local grocery store. I bought a modest size bottle for $1...come on, you can't beat that. Also for the amount of honey that you will need, you probably will have this bottle forever. Well, not forever, but you know what I mean, at least until the honey crystallizes, and if I recall correctly from my dorm room days, that takes about a year.
Before I go into the directions, I want to talk about the advantages of cloning a plant versus planting a new seed of the same plant. Of course, when you plant a new seed this ensures that the genetics of the plant is exactly the same. Depending on the size and health of the seed, it may grow slower or it may grow a little faster, but the qualities of the mother plant will definitely be there. When cloning however, I recommend that you find your biggest and healthiest looking cut-lings. This ensures that your clones are more genetically identical to your mother plant. You don't want your cut-lings to be small and weak looking, because that is reminiscent to how they may grow. Cloning also cuts down on the time it takes for a plant, otherwise planted from seed to germinate and develop into the vegetative stage, by at least 3-4 weeks!
When cloning with honey, you need four basic household supplies. 1. A pair of scissors or small handheld shears. 2. a piece of paper towel to douse your rubbing alcohol on. 3. Rubbing alcohol, because we're going to sterilize the scissors (nothing fancy, just wipe it down with alcohol and dry it off). 4. Honey.
Important things to remember
This process of using honey to clone works on nearly every median that you can think of. Water, soil, rock-wool, etc. If you are using hydroponics, you can simply place your stem in water, immediately after you dip it into honey, provided you have support for the cut-ling along with proper oxygen. If you are using soil, you will want to make sure your soil is at the right pH, getting adequate oxygen and is watered throughout. If you are using a rock-wool, you want to make sure that your hole prepared for the clone is deep enough to support your cut-ling, and your rock-wool is completed soaked in water with the right pH, however I don't stress the pH levels as much for hydroponics and the rock-wool (at least not yet). Support is important, treat the cut-lings as you would a baby seedling. If your cut-ling is 12 inches, then your rock-wool hole needs to be deep enough to support that height. Oxygen plays a key role in whichever median that you use. I have found that the method showing the best and quickest result is hydroponics, however if done correctly, this method will work in all medians. You will want to monitor your clones even still, give them at least 6 - 8 days to show signs of continued growth, and even some new growth before assuming that the cloning was successful. Honestly, I can tell by the next day. If a plant is not surviving, it will die within hours. If your cut-ling is still standing in the same shape and form from the previous day, and it has no signs of weakening or droopiness, it is safe to say that you are on your way to having a developing clone.
Lilly on May 02, 2020:
I've seen people regrow roses with honey, and they don't make all of the cuts in the stem and their roses work out fine.
Joshua on September 22, 2013:
The snippets at the 45 degree cut increase the amount of vascular cambium exposed correct? Will a cutting still have the same success rate of rooting without the snippets at the angled cut, or are those extra snippets what guarantee the success?
nanda kumar, india on July 31, 2013:
Thank you for the note about how to clone plants. I will try. Thank!
Koisey Frank (author) from Decatur, GA on June 12, 2013:
@Terry. Terry that's up to you, it all depends on what you're doing. If you're trying to clone more than several plants then yes, a dome with work fine. But if you have a dome, you might as well but the Clonex and just go ahead and use that. The results will be faster--however honey will work just fine, may just be 3 or 4 days behind vs. Clonex. This "honey" method is for 2 or 3 quick clones. In a Hydroponic solution, you will need plenty of air coming out your bubbler (needs good O2) for it to be successful, plus good veg lighting will help as well. Sometimes you may not see anything after a couple of days, feel free to re-dip into more honey. This won't hurt your plants, only help the process be more accurate.
Terry on June 12, 2013:
Do you put them under a light with a dome?
Daniel from St Louis on June 05, 2013:
Great info, and I like how you included pictures, keep up the great work :)
wilson on July 19, 2012:
I use rockwell as a growing (medium).
Koisey Frank (author) from Decatur, GA on December 05, 2011:
Thank you. I've actually heard of the dispensary Pure Michigan, but that's as vague as it gets for me. Stay Free Minded.
Jeramie Hicks from New Buffalo, Michigan on December 05, 2011:
Good article. I see you have your green thumb. Are you familiar with Pure Michigan ha :)