So it doesn't look like those gardening plans will happen before the end of the week, but! Yesterday I was tasked with an important bonus action for #SolarpunkActionWeek
I got into gardening talk with a customer at work, and when I mentioned my lime tree she said she'd always wanted one. So I offered to make her a clone of mine! Now I can share the abundance of my garden with someone else
I'm doing 2 because there's never a 100% success rate on these, and it's my first time. Instructions (with pictures) in the thread below, including how to make homemade rooting hormone!
Part 1/3: rooting hormone
Many plants don't need (but still benefit from) rooting hormone to grow from a cutting, but trees do. To make the one I used, first bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then add 1/2 tablespoon of local honey
It does have to be local, and not just because fuck capitalism. 3/4 of all "honey" in grocery stores contains no pollen at all after all the filtering, processing, and fillers. I don't know whether those fillers have the same effect on cuttings as honey, but I'm not risking it (plus I buy all honey local anyway, as should you)
Obviously, allow the honey tea to cool before putting your cuttings in it. Soak your cuttings in it for ~3 hours before planting in soil. Store it in an airtight container away from sunlight - it's good for about 3 weeks
Other homemade rooting hormone recipes I've seen include willow tea, cinnamon, and human saliva (no joke)
Part 2/3: taking and preparing the cuttings
Look for a branch of new growth - not so new that it's still soft, but not hard and barky. You're looking for a dark green. Cut it directly above a leaf node at a 45 degree angle (to maximize surface area)
Remove all of the leaves except for a couple on the top, then cut the top leaves (if too large) to a 90 degree point, leaving about an inch of leaf. Scrape off a bit of the skin at the bottom of the cutting to give it more area to grow roots from
If using honey tea rooting hormone (previous reply), again, you should soak the ends for about 3 hours
Part 3/3: planting
Fill a flowerpot with seed starting soil (or whatever soil you have handy, it's not vital for it to be seed starter but it does help). Use a pencil, stick, etc to poke a hole in the center, then place the prepared cutting in and pat down the soil around it so it stands on its own. Make sure to leave room between the bottom of the cutting and the bottom of the pot for its roots to grow. Water gently
Place a transparent plastic sandwich bag over the top of the pot so it doesn't touch the cutting. You want a decently airtight seal around the pot - many suggest rubber bands, but since I don't have any on hand I just used packing tape
Place your cuttings in a sunny area indoors and water daily without removing the bag by pouring water into the saucer beneath the pot
Within a month or two you should start to see new growth, meaning your clone has taken root! At that point, remove the bag and treat it like any other plant while it grows
@socalledunitedstates Thank you for the education on cuttings, though I am confused what the purpose of trimming the leaves is for? I get pruning all but the top ones but not cutting the angles into them.
@kamiten That's just how I've seen it done in all the guides, tbh. Leaves release moisture, which is more detrimental to the cutting than the photosynthesis is helpful. Most of this preparation is to keep it from drying out and just becoming a twig
@socalledunitedstates this is an amazing thread- but you jumped from honey to honey tea, can you explain that?
Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.