MadSci Network: Botany

Re: which plant are best for cloning in a short amount of time?

Date: Tue Sep 19 23:45:37 2000
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 969245169.Bt

Complete question:
if i need to clone a plant in about a month and a half and have no idea how 
long it will take or what i should book said coleus plants are easy to this true?it also saidthat i could use 
chrysanthymums,philodendrons,ivys,african violets,begonias,and geraniums were 
good.on a different site it said that daffodils were good but took longer but 
it didnt say how long. 

Other terms for plant cloning are asexual propagation and vegetative 
propagation. The easiest to root in your list is philodendron because it has 
root initials at the stem nodes so all the roots have to do is elongate. Be 
careful with philodendron cuttings because the sap can cause a poison ivy like 
rash because of tiny but sharp calcium oxalate crystals. I know that from 
personal experience.

Coleus shoots are also easy to root in water. African violet leaves root easily 
but it may take months for a new shoot bud to develop from the rooted leaf. The 
others in your list are fairly easy but you would probably want to use a 
rooting hormone on the shoot cuttings. Daffodils are cloned by dividing the 
bulbs rather than with shoot cuttings. 

One of the easiest and fastest houseplants to clone are the several kinds of 
wandering jews (Tradescantia and Zebrina species) which also have root initials 
that can elongate 1 cm per day in water. Perhaps the fastest and easiest 
houseplant to clone is mother-of-thousands or devil's backbone (Kalanchoe 
daigremontiana) from Madagascar which forms hundreds of tiny, rooted plantlets 
on the edges of its leaves. Simply pluck them off and drop the plantlets on 
soil. Another houseplant, piggyback plant (Tolmiea menziesii) is native to the 
Pacific northwest and also forms plantlets on leaves.


Kalanchoe daigremontiana

Tolmiea menziesii

Plant Propagation

Houseplant books such as Hessayon, D.G. 1987. House Plant Expert. London: 

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