Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How to clone at home!

In case you thought the madness had passed, I'm still obsessing over passion flowers. Since I've gotten ambitious lately and trying to root more cuttings than I have in the past, I figured it was time to ditch the plastic bags on the window sill and build myself a propogation chamber-- which is also known as a cloning box. It's called a cloning box because that's what it's used for, growing an entirely new plant from a sample of a mature one. A clone. So this is what I came up with on a budget (which, by the way, my wife loves, because it takes up much less space than the boxes and bags I used previously).

It's not entirely finished yet, but I've already started using it. First component is a plastic tub, bought at Wal Mart for $4 and change. The plastic fermentation bottle was a 3-liter diet root beer that I bought for $1.50. The 10 feet of tubing was bought at Home Depot for $1.68, and the waterproof silicon sealer was $3.

My biggest expense was the 75-watt plant bulb for the lamp, which was $6 something. The shop lamp itself I can't quite remember the price, since I'd bought it several years ago and already had it on hand. The lid was likewise plywood I had on hand, which I cut out using a jig saw. I covered the whole lid with foil for reflective purposes and to protect the wood from humidity--duct taping the foil securely on the outside. Yeast and sugar I already had, since I do home brewing.

I still need to put some vent holes in to improve air flow, as the temperature inside gets a little too hot for my seedlings. But even with the higher temps, the results were obvious after the first night I put the plants in there. The seedlings grew substantially more than they had in the open, and the cuttings perked up. As of now, I have two passiflora mexicana cuttings, 18 edulis seedlings and 10 incarnata cuttings inside. My brother's already made jokes about me getting busted for growing pot, but I'm pretty proud of what I was able to come up with on a shoestring budget.

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