How to Clone a Tulip Tree


In the modern frontier of animal biology, cloning is a controversial subject. In the plant kingdom, cloning has been used for centuries; however, in this context it is referred to as rooting. Rooting is the process of taking a cutting from a plant, stimulating it to produce roots and growing an entirely new plant from the single cutting. This technique ensures accuracy of fruit and flower production, and is an inexpensive means of producing new plants.

Step 1

Sterilize the sharp knife by rubbing it with isopropyl alcohol on a cloth diaper. This will ensure that the cutting is free from any bacteria.

Step 2

Take a cutting from the tulip tree. The cutting should be a piece of the newest growth with at least three established leaves roughly 5 to 6 inches in height.

Step 3

Dip the cut end of the cutting into the rooting hormone solution.

Step 4

Place the cutting into a small terra cotta pot filled with perlite.

Step 5

Place the pot onto a saucer filled with water and wait as the water absorbs through the bottom of the terra cotta pot. You will know that the pot has absorbed enough water when the top soil in the pot is moist.

Step 6

Cover the pot with a plastic bag to hold in moisture. The bag should fit loosely around the pot and plant.

Step 7

Place the cutting in a dark, warm location for two to three weeks, misting the cutting with a spray bottle twice each day for increased moisture.

Step 8

Tug on the cutting gently after three weeks. If the cutting gives some resistance to the tugging and has remained green, it is rooted.

Step 9

Transplant the cutting into a terra cotta pot with potting soil and care for as any indoor plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cloth diaper
  • Rooting hormone
  • 2 small terra cotta pots
  • Perlite
  • Saucer
  • Plastic bag
  • Spray bottle
  • Potting soil


  • NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Nursery Crop Science
Keywords: tulip tree, propagation, reproducing tulip trees

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.