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How to clone plants using honey

Updated on December 5, 2011

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.

Rubbing Alcohol, Honey, Paper towel, and Scissors.
Rubbing Alcohol, Honey, Paper towel, and Scissors. | Source
1. We're going to want to cut off your clone from the mother plant by a 45 degree angle. From my experience it doesn't matter how long from a branch or how short, but the entire height of your cut-ling should be at least 3.5 inches.
1. We're going to want to cut off your clone from the mother plant by a 45 degree angle. From my experience it doesn't matter how long from a branch or how short, but the entire height of your cut-ling should be at least 3.5 inches. | Source
This is what your stem should look like.
This is what your stem should look like. | Source
2. Next you're going to want to snip the center of the cut-ling stem, but not cutting more than half an inch upward. However, I've found the longer your cut-ling stem, the longer you may want to make your snippet(s) cut.
2. Next you're going to want to snip the center of the cut-ling stem, but not cutting more than half an inch upward. However, I've found the longer your cut-ling stem, the longer you may want to make your snippet(s) cut. | Source
3. Rotate the stem and put a couple more snippet cuts in the middle. Half of an inch up the stem should now look a little bit like a chew stick.  But if it doesn't it's okay to put a couple more cuts in there.
3. Rotate the stem and put a couple more snippet cuts in the middle. Half of an inch up the stem should now look a little bit like a chew stick. But if it doesn't it's okay to put a couple more cuts in there. | Source
4. Dip the chew stick looking part of the stem into honey, covering the entire area that's been cut. Then simply place  the stem into your prepared median (soil, water, rock-wool, etc) making sure the entire dipped part is now into your median.
4. Dip the chew stick looking part of the stem into honey, covering the entire area that's been cut. Then simply place the stem into your prepared median (soil, water, rock-wool, etc) making sure the entire dipped part is now into your median. | Source

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.




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    • Jeramie Hicks profile image

      Jeramie Hicks 5 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Good article. I see you have your green thumb. Are you familiar with Pure Michigan ha :)

    • Koisey Frank profile image
      Author

      Koisey Frank 5 years ago from Decatur, GA

      Thank you. I've actually heard of the dispensary Pure Michigan, but that's as vague as it gets for me. Stay Free Minded.

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      wilson 4 years ago

      I use rockwell as a growing (medium).

    • djdaniel150 profile image

      Daniel 3 years ago from St Louis

      Great info, and I like how you included pictures, keep up the great work :)

    • profile image

      Terry 3 years ago

      Do you put them under a light with a dome?

    • Koisey Frank profile image
      Author

      Koisey Frank 3 years ago from Decatur, GA

      @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.

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      nanda kumar, india 3 years ago

      Thank you for the note about how to clone plants. I will try. Thank!

    • profile image

      Joshua 3 years ago

      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?

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