Can You Clone A Carrot? Part One

Carrot1

This was the question that I asked myself as I was looking for the cheapest, best looking bag of carrots while in the grocery store a month ago.  Can you clone a carrot?  I understand you can clone other types of plants and vegetables, but what about a root vegetable?  So genuinely, this peaked my interest and I decided to give it a shot.

I’m almost positive they spray the same type of chemical on carrots as they do on potatoes to get them to stop ‘growing’.  On potatoes, it stops growing the eyes and on carrots it’s the leafy greens on top.  So this made it even more challenging.  But, as I was putting away the freshly bought carrots, I noticed we still had a couple of older ones in the fridge.  One of these carrots had a small, and I mean very small green stem protruding from the top of the carrot!

I decided to cut the carrot in half and kept the top part with the stem.  I boiled some water for 10 minutes and let sit to get back to room temperature.  I added a teaspoon of sugar and dissolved by stirring.  Lastly, I stuck two toothpicks lightly into the carrot and placed it in a vase with the sugar water and sat it in the windowsill facing the south.

carrot3About three weeks have passed now and I have a carrot with a healthy root system starting to form. However, after reading and researching this topic, I quickly found that these roots will not grow new carrots.  From my research, I found that the carrot itself is the taproot from the seed it was sprouted from, therefore I need an “original” part of the seed/plant.  After thinking about it some more, I decided to take a cutting from the leafy part which had four stems, to try to make a ‘clone’.  After all, a cutting should take root, which may make a ‘taproot’.

carrot2I placed the cutting in the same vase as the carrot about 2 week ago.  Still no roots, however it stayed very healthy looking.  So as far as taking a cutting from the leaf system and trying to clone it that way, it doesn’t work.  At this point, it’s looking like I may have to bring this one into flowering in order to produce more carrots, which may take up to the second year to get a flowering head!  But wait!  This WOULD be the second year.  The first year of it’s life, it grew the carrot, so we may be in luck in that area!

I was wrong about my original theory, however that is the fun part about gardening- trying to see what will and will not work.  BUT! I’ve also come across another possible way to clone carrots which I’ll be trying.  I’ll give an update soon!

 

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