Propagate from cuttings or seeds?
You can start your cultivation from seeds that you need to germinate, grow, transplant and prepare for planting. But for many plant species you can also grow from cuttings. You either make or buy cuttings. What are the advantages and drawbacks of growing from seeds and cuttings? And how do you take cuttings?
Pros and cons of propagate from seeds.
- Advantages. With a seed you have an extensive choice in properties like taste, fruit size, appearance, flowering period and disease resistance. Plants grown from seeds are usually the strongest and get higher yield more easily. This has to do with the first root that grows from the seed and goes deep into the ground.
- Drawbacks. If you start with a seed, you must first complete the germination process. Therefore it takes longer before you get fruit or flowers. In addition, it may happen that not all seeds germinate. Old seeds or seeds kept under the wrong conditions may grow slower. Use the Seedbox for save germination of seeds.
Pros and cons of propagate from cuttings.
- Advantages. With cuttings you have a faster start of your cultivation because it's already a little plant. In comparison with seeds, cuttings therefore have a shorter growth period, which generally allows you to harvest quicker. In addition, you are sure that you have a female plant, which is important for the yield of your crop.
- Drawbacks. Cuttings are more difficult to obtain if you do not take them off a mother plant, because you need to know someone who grows a plant successfully. In addition, often less different types of plant varieties are available. The risk of cuttings carrying diseases and insects is present. Learn how to recognise pests.
How do I take cuttings?
You’ve chosen to take cuttings from an existing plant. But how does that work? A cutting is usually a branch or a small plant growing beside the mother plant, still connect to it by roots.
- You remove the cutting from the mother plant. The correct way to do this differs from species to species. Be sure to find out the correct way before you start cutting.
- Cuttings generally already have leaves and other green parts, but they’re missing an essential part to become a real plant: roots. To help the cuttings with root formation, you should dip the cutting wound in cloning gel or cloning powder. When you’re done, you should put your cuttings in water, where they will form roots. Once you see roots appearing, plant the cuttings in our Seeding & Cutting Soil. This is a fine, even soil with low nutrient values, because young plant roots ‘burn’ in high nutrient concentrations. Learn more about healthy roots.
Plant the cuttings around the rim of a small pot. Four or five cuttings to a pot are fine. The cuttings don’t need much water, by the way. If the potted soil gets too moist, the cuttings will rot. Keep the pots with cuttings nice and warm in a propagator with a transparent lid. Keep your cuttings in there until they’re well rooted. After that, they get their own pots.