What cloning success looks like

I had great root growth after just a couple weeks. I should have potted up the plants a few days earlier then when the picture was taken but the picture looks better with massive roots. (: Besides, I had a lot of grading, so I let the cuttings go a few days too long. It would probably be safer to pot up the cuttings when the roots first start to poke through the starter plugs like the picture in my last blog. No matter how much root growth you see, the new plants are still tender, but they are a lot tougher than the branch you cut off several days ago. You are nearing the end of the cloning process but be mindful that you can still kill the plant if you don’t transplant it correctly.
If you do have massive roots like I did, you want to make sure the roots are growing down when you transplant/pot up your plants. If the roots are shoved in a pot and are pointing up or wrapped around each other they may strangle each other and at the least your plant will use energy for root growth, not flowering and it won’t get the best uptake of nutrients either. You can trim the roots but I don’t. I think transplanting is stressful enough without having some roots amputated. However, when I transplant from a medium to large pot I do break up the root mass but with the starter plugs, you just plop them in the container and you are good to go. When I have cuttings that have a lot of roots, how I like to pot up is to put the plug/plant in a pot with some soil, and then fill in soil about ½ way up and around the plug. Then, a trick I learned is to gently pull the plant / plug up after it’s partially surrounded by soil. This will pull the plant up, and cause the roots to be oriented pointing down, the natural root position. After you pull the plug up pack down the soil and add more soil until the plug is covered.
You should add soil until the starter plug is covered but make sure you, DO NOT bury the plant stem up to the leaves. The stem of most plants will not form into roots, and the stem may rot being moist all the time under the soil.

Good Growing,
Dr. E. R. Myers

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