Kitchen Table Cloning

One of the benefits of working at a garden is that I have access to plant cuttings trimmed off during regular maintenance. Some plant cuttings, like coleus, root well in plain water.
I decided to put on my DIY mad scientist skills to work on potting some of these beauties for my kitchen window.

To propagate coleus cuttings:

Allow cuttings to develop roots by placing them in plain water for a few days.
rooting coleus

Locate some appropriate containers to place the cuttings into.
empty yogurt cups

Make sure there is adequate drainage. I punched a few holes in the bottom of each plastic cup with the pointy end of a bottle opener.
yogurt cup drainage

Fill cups with potting soil.
potting soil

Place seedlings in cups.
coleus plants in yogurt containers

I also did a similar experiment with Portulaca grandiflora (aka moss rose) cuttings.

I took a polystrene egg carton and cut the top and bottom halves apart.
egg carton

After poking holes in the bottom of the egg cups, I stacked the top half of the carton underneath the bottom half to catch drips.
stacked egg cartons

Then I filled the egg carton with perlite to promote drainage.

After wetting the perlite (per directions), I used a pencil to make holes in the wet medium. Then, I inserted the unrooted portulaca cuttings into the holes I had made.

plants in yogurt cups and egg carton
Coleus and Portulaca Plants, DIY Cloning by Protopian Pickle Jar (2015) CC BY SA 2.0

Kitchen table cloning! Mwahahahahaha!

Tangents for this post:

I am a huge fan of Chobani yogurt products, mostly because they are delicious, but also because the cups from their Greek Yogurt are incredible useful for many DIY tasks.
I found out that my Greek Yogurt habit may not be so environmentally friendly, because acid whey produced by the straining process can cause problems when released into natural bodies of water.

One alternative is to give the acid whey to farmers to feed to animals or apply to soil. Chobani has also developed a filtration system for acid whey that concentrates the solids, separating out clean water, which the company can recycle at their plant.


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