Ok, propagate, not clone, but it’s pretty close! To propagate a plant means to multiply the plant, to create two or more plants from one original. And as each plant would be genetically identical, it’s pretty similar to cloning. In the case of mint and basil, these herbs can be propagated through their clippings. This can be done quite simply and without too much effort if you follow these simple steps.
Clip the stalk of your herb. The key to this step is to make sure each of these two new stalks has at least one set of two leaves, enough for each new plant to collect enough light to grow. We recommend making the cut about two to four leaf nodes (the part on the stalk where a set of two leaves grow from) down from the top of the plant. This tends to be 2 to 4 inches (5 - 10 cm). Make the cut just above the third or fourth leaf node down.
Prune the bottom leaves of the new stalk. While the leaves of a plant take in energy for the plant to use, the plant must also expend energy to grow them and keep them alive. The rootless stalk of your newly created basil or mint plant will only be able to take in enough water to support the top two leaves, so it’s best for the new plant to remove the lower leaves until only to top two remain.
Place the stalk of the new plant in water. Your new plant will need to grow some roots, and you can help it by placing it in a small cup filled with water. Make sure that you do not submerge the plant completely, the leaves will still need to collect sunlight and carbon dioxide to let the plant grow. If your plant does not stand up nice and straight in your jar, use a small office tool like a rubber band or a binder clip to hold it in place. I bent a paperclip to keep my basil plant in place.
IF YOU'RE USING THIS METHOD FOR YOUR ECOQUBE C: Using a pair of really sharp scissors or a knife, make a slit along the side of your white plant medium. Slide your Basil or Mint (or any other plant) clipping in the slit, making sure that the bottom of the stem remains inside the plant medium. Thoroughly soak your medium, then place it back into the net pot.
Chill. Nothing to do for it now but sit back and wait for your mint or basil clone to grow some roots of its own. This might take anywhere from a few days to two weeks. You’ll notice over the course of these weeks that small roots will emerge from the bottom of the stalk, as the plant clone reaches out to establish a better water supply. For best results, change out the water in the jar every so often (once or twice a week) to make sure the plant has enough, fresh nutrients.
Replant the clone. Once the roots grow long enough about two inches (5 cm) or half the size of the rest of the plant, you can plant the clone in either soil or a hydroponic medium, and voilà! You now to have two, genetically identical mint or basil plants.
- Kevin Land, Team ADI
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