What is plant cloning and how does it work?

Plant Cloning is the process of making a genetically identical plant through nonsexual means.
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Vegetative propagation or cloning from cuttings is the most popular and fastest method

People have been cloning plants in one way or another for thousands of years. For example, when you take a cutting from a plant and grow it into a new plant (vegetative propagation), you are cloning the original plant because the new plant has the same genetic makeup as the donor plant. Vegetative propagation works because the end of the cutting forms a mass of non-specialized cells called a callus. With luck, the callus will grow, divide and form various specialized cells (roots, etc.), eventually forming a new plant.

Nature­ has been cloning organisms for billions of years. For example, when a strawberry plant sends out a runner (a form of modified stem), a new plant grows where the runner takes root. That new plant is a clone. Similar cloning occurs in grass, potatoes and onions.

Another form of plant cloning called tissue culture propagation is done by taking pieces of specialized roots, breaking them up into root cells and growing the cells in a nutrient-rich culture. In culture, the specialized cells become unspecialized (dedifferentiated) into calluses. The calluses can then be stimulated with the appropriate plant hormones to grow into new plants that are identical to the original plant from which the root pieces were taken. This procedure has been widely used by horticulturists to grow prized orchids and other rare flowers. It also happens to be the most difficult and requires a decent amount of experience to get it right.

Grafting and budding are horticultural techniques used to join parts from two or more plants so that they appear to grow as a single plant. In grafting, the upper part (scion) of one plant grows on the root system (rootstock) of another plant. In the budding process, a bud is taken from one plant and grown on another.


Hormex Rooting Powder is excellent for cloning plants from cuttings significantly faster than other methods. To find the rooting powder strength that is best for your plants, click here.