Propagating a Lemon Tree

Hey All,

I have a lemon tree and decided to try my hand at propagating or cloning my little tree and giving it a mate, so I researched online how to do such and here we go. This will be a 6-8 week trial and hopefully excellent results, but we shall see. Here is a link to the awesome information tutorial and I followed it almost exclusively. Let’s go.

April 12, 2017

1. Wash a 1-gallon plastic or clay pot with soap and water — even if it is new — and rinse thoroughly. Sterilize your pot and hand clippers with a dilute household sanitizing cleanser, such as a pine oil product or household bleach. Prepare a bleach solution using 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Rinse your pot and clippers. Place your clippers in a clean plastic bag for transport to the collection site.

2. Fill your gallon-size pot with a light potting soil or seed-germinating medium. Pour water on the medium. Set the pot in clean water for bottom watering to ensure the soil is thoroughly moistened. Allow the pot to stand in water while you take cuttings, if desired.

3. Take softwood cuttings from your selected tree. Softwood is new wood, identified by its green color and lack of bark. Make cuttings 8 to 10 inches long. Wrap cuttings in a moist paper towel to prevent dehydration.

4. Stand cuttings in a clean paper or plastic cup filled with warm water for approximately 20 minutes. Remove your propagating pot from the water and allow it to drain.

5. Remove bottom leaves so that each cutting has only 3 leaves at the top. Pinch out any fruit buds present. Trim the length of each stem so it is 6 to 8 inches long. Make cuts just below a leaf node or bud.

6. Run clean water over the bottom 2 inches of the stem. Dip the cutting in a hormone-based rooting powder to encourage root development. Certain brands of hormone rooting powder contain a fungicide to prevent stem rot. Although some cuttings generally root without assistance of stimulation or protection from rot, greater success is achieved when rooting powder or rooting powder with fungicide is used.

7. Stick a pencil into the rooting media to make a hole for each cutting. A gallon-size container can hold up to 12 cuttings evenly spaced with 1 1/2 to 2 inches between them. Place each cutting approximately 2 1/2-inches deep in a pencil hole. Firm soil around each cutting with your fingers.

8. Space three dowel sticks, approximately 10 to 12 inches tall, evenly around the inside perimeter of your pot. Cover the pot with polyethylene plastic to conserve moisture. Seal the plastic by wrapping string around the pot to hold the plastic tight. Place the pot in a bright window in a warm location, 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet.

9. Check cuttings for roots after three to four weeks. Harden cuttings — once roots develop — by removing the plastic covering from the germination pot. Water cuttings to maintain moist soil. After three to four days without a plastic covering, transplant cuttings into individual pots and set outside in a sheltered location. When the roots of a tree nearly fill its pot, it is ready for planting in the home orchard or upgrading to a larger pot for pot culture.