The Forgotten Cloning Coffee Can

Have you ever cloned another living thing?

It takes a little time but if you use the forgotten cloning coffee can, you can grow a genetically identical copy of a rose plant, a fig tree, a ficus or many other plants.

In this activity you can cause a part of a stem to grow roots. When the roots have grown for a few weeks, the stem can be cut away as a new and independent plant. This is also a way to create many brand new and free plants from a single parent plant.


Step 1

Find an empty coffee can and two plastic coffee can lids. Cut 2 slits into each of the lids to form an “X” shaped opening in each lid.

Step 2

Select a stem of a plant(a rose bush is shown here) that is long enough to have a coffee can slipped over it. A stem that is longer and that points upright will do best.

Step 3
Gently pull one of the lids over the end of the stem so that the bottom of the lids faces towards the end of the stem. Carefully slide it down at least 16 inches on the stem.
Step 4

Use a butter knife to gently scratch an area around the stem just a few inches above the plastic lid. This is where the new roots will grow from.

Step 5

Use a can opener to cut the top and bottom away from the coffee can. Slide the coffee can over the stem and seal it onto the plastic lid.

Step 6

Fill the can with moist soil. Try to keep the stem positioned in the middle of the can as you drop in the soil.

Step 7

Gently slip the second plastic lid over the end of the stem. Carefully slide it down and seal it over that end of the coffee can. This helps seal in the moisture and will help the roots to grow. To ensure that the soil remains moist, use some type of duct tape or packing tape to seal the slits in the top and bottom lids.

Step 8
Forget about it. Just forget about the coffee can for a few weeks.
Step 9
After a few weeks have passed, open a lid and gently poke around the area you scratched with the butter knife. If you see or feel at least several roots, the plant is ready to survive on its own! If the roots are not ready, try again in another week.
Step 10

Cut the stem below the roots at the bottom of the can. The can now serve as the pot for your newly cloned plant. Be sure to keep the soil moist and keep the new plant in an area that gets the same amount of light that the parent plant was used to getting.

Step 11

After a few more weeks, you can replant the new plant into another pot or into the ground.

Submitted by: Lloyd Lambert