If you are looking at growing pepper plants indoors and to do so from cuttings then there are a number of important things to take into consideration in order to improve your chances of this being a roaring success. Now, we are not saying that this is going to be something that is extremely difficult to do as that is certainly not the case. However, the seven things that follow will certainly make life so much easier for you in the long term when it comes to taking those cuttings.
So, with that in mind, let us begin.
1. All About Cloning Plants.
First, we should quickly run over what we mean by the term cloning because you are probably going to see it mentioned in various places all over the Internet and we do not want you to be confused.
Cloning is simply the act of taking one healthy mature plant, taking a cutting, and then growing that cutting into a new plant that is genetically identical to the mother plant. It really is as simple as that so it is merely a different term that is being used in order to describe the exact same thing as a cutting.
2. The Things You are Going to Need.
So, in order to do this correctly there are a number of things that you will need in order to make life that bit easier for you. Now, this list is meant as only a guide and it just gives you an indication of what is going to follow when it comes to you actually removing the cutting in the first place. The things that you really should have in your cut are as follows:
- A suitable container for the cutting.
- Some form of rooting medium.
- A pencil.
- A spray bottle.
- A garden knife.
- A pair of scissors that are known to be sharp.
- Some rubbing alcohol.
- Some rooting hormone powder or gel.
- A clear plastic bag.
- Potting soil.
- A heating coil.
3. Getting to Grips with the Propagation Time.
Now, it is important to understand the propagation time of the plant as this is going to have an impact on when you take the cutting.
With this method, you will be able to get to the stage of having mature pepper plants faster than you would have done if you had tried to grow them straight from seed. This is quite an obvious point to make as the difficult part of getting things to initially germinate have passed.
- Propagation time is reduced due to it being a cutting.
- You can jump forward by several weeks thanks to cloning.
- It does not affect the end result of the plant.
4. The 3 Different Forms of Cuttings.
Next, we are going to quickly discuss the fact that there are three different forms of cuttings that you could end up taking and even though you can still have success with each one it is at least interesting to be aware of the fact that there are options available.
- Taking from Stems.
The most common method is taking a cutting from a stem of the plant but the most important thing is that you take a 2 to 4 inch long cutting and only do so from a stem that is clearly very healthy and has no issues with pests or diseases. Also, after taking the cutting you need to strip away most of the leaves apart from the top two pairs.
Branches are the second most common way of taking cuttings and once again you have to follow the same rules as you do with stems. The branches have to be healthy with no pests or diseases having affected them although there is no need for it to be a main branch. Once again, strip away leaves from the cutting before planting.
Taking clones from the roots is seen as being the harder approach to take and that is why it is also less common as well. With this, you have to check that nematodes have not affected the roots and that there is a reasonable sized clump for you to take and then plant up.
5. Important Tips for that Plant Cutting.
Now, when it comes to taking the plant cutting then there are a number of important tips that anybody should really pay attention to if they are serious about making these cuttings a success. By keeping these points in mind you should find it harder to make mistakes that will have a negative impact on the way in which your new cutting is then able to grow.
- Make sure that the mother plant is healthy.
This is the most important part because you are making a genetic replica of the mother plant so of course you want it to be as healthy as possible. Furthermore, you need to use one that is strong and has not been stretched when growing.
- Make sure your tools and hands are clean.
One thing that you must avoid doing is using tools that have not been made sterile and also taking cuttings with dirty hands. This increases the chances of you transferring over some bacteria and microbes that could have a negative impact on the health of your new cutting.
- Always use distilled water.
If you were of the impression that you just had to use normal water then think again. Instead, we recommend that you always use distilled water when you have taken a cutting as this is clean and pure without additives giving the cutting exactly what it needs.
- Never remove dead parts too early.
You do need to clean up the cutting by removing any dead leaves or foliage but it is important that you do not do it too early or else the plant does run the risk of dying. Wait until the cutting has clearly finished the rooting process and has become established as leaving it there will not harm the plant.
- Take double the number of cuttings.
Finally, make sure that you take double the number of cuttings that you are going to need because it is impossible to accurately predict how successful things are going to be in advance. You will find it difficult to get the same positive result with each and every cutting and some will just not take no matter what you do. By taking more than you need it means you are playing the numbers game and will be able to get some cuttings that you love.
6. Dealing with the Maintenance.
Next, we have to look at the maintenance aspect as this is also important and, once again, there are several important points to be discussed.
- The soil must be well drained.
Pepper plants must always have well drained soil as they hate to have their feet wet. They are primarily warm and dry weather plants so anything else is going to pose a problem and the roots will rot. The soil has to be well drained so add perlite, sand, or vermiculite along with drainage holes.
- The soil is fertile.
Even though they are not the heaviest of feeders, pepper plants still require fertile soil. You should use manure in the initial mix and that should do until they flower at which point you then have to add in some extra fertilizer.
When your cutting is showing clear signs of growing then you know that it is taking root and the operation has been a success. After it has started to grow do then move it to a larger pot for continued success.
7. Important Points to Think About.
Finally, we have a number of rather important points to think about when it comes to just looking at some general information connected to taking clones of pepper plants. This is intended to just make life that bit easier for you.
- Always check out the stems and branches prior to taking cuttings.
You want to check and double check the status of the branches and stems before cutting because if there is any sign of disease or pests then you have to look elsewhere.
- Avoid taking cuttings from stems that have flowers on them.
It is important that you only ever take a cutting from a stem or branch that is in the vegetative state rather than the flowering state. If there are flower buds then the plant is onto a different phase so it is not going to take root.
- Do not hack at the cuts.
When it comes to making the actual cut you have to make sure that it is clean. A hack at it is only going to damage the cutting so you need to use a sharp gardening knife just to make life easier. A cut that is jagged is actually going to increase the chances of the plant picking up diseases.
The 7 things above are certainly going to make a huge difference to your potential success rate of growing pepper plants from cuttings and doing so indoors. As you have seen there is nothing complex or requiring any real specialist knowledge when it comes to growing plants from this base and as long as you take your time and can follow some simple instructions then there is no reason to doubt that you will be able to grow strong pepper plants that will provide you with a number of amazing peppers.