The soft cuttings procedure is based on techniques used in commercial ornamental horticulture (Carnations, chrysanthemums etc.) The method has been developed by the Dutch company Agriom for D1oils and more or less simultaneously by the agricultural faculty of the university of Bogor, IPB, Indonesia.
For the production of soft cuttings you have to set up a multiplication bed with mother plants. Usually these plants are selected plants, propagated by cuttings. Once these plants start to produce young shoots, the soft cuttings can be taken. If the conditions are right, you can take a cutting every two weeks. Since you plant the selected mother plants very dense (50 per m2), you can produce at least 100 selected cuttings per month per m2. Depending on growing conditions this can even go faster. For a soft cutting it takes 6-10 weeks to develop into a transplantable plant.
How to make soft cuttings?
- Make cuttings using very sharp knifes or razor blades. (The cuttings are very soft, at least they should be)
- Make sure that cuttings are not carrying any infection. You can do that by spraying a systemic fungicide a couple of days before making the cuttings.
- Size of the cuttings should be not more than 7 cm
- Make slant cuttings on the base to expose more cambium.
- Temperature 25-30°c and humidity 70-90% to be maintained inside the green house or polytunnels
- Media should not be too wet
- Different rooting media to be tried. Peat, coco peat and saw dust have been tried successfully.
- Any infection and leaves that dropped should be removed immediately.
- Regular monitoring and management for insect pest and diseases should be done.
- After ten days the plants should have enough roots to be transplanted in poly bags.