DIY: Low Maintenance Cloning Method - Perlite Cloning - Two to Three Weeks - Less than $50

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by baconman1945, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. This method is nothing new -it was originally posted on another forum in 2005- but I feel that it might be appreciated here.

    I've been growing successfully for a few years now with some great harvests -nothing I'd consider 'world class' but definitely a few great harvests. One area that I've struggled is cloning. It's frustrating when every attempt ends in damping off or mold. I had fluke success once with one cutting, which was how I maintained a mother plant for a short while, but I had taken at least a dozen cuttings and one rooted :bang: I've tried DIY aeroponic, rapid riot cubes, aloe and straight to living soil. Very little success or confidence until recently.

    I did not create this method of cloning. Grat3fulH3ad, a former user of another forum, posted this method on that forum. Their account has since been unregistered so their posts are labelled as guest, but fortunately, their pictures are still up. I briefly searched GC for Grat3fulH3ad's name to see if this method had been shared on the City, and none of the results were related to cloning. I searched 'cloning' and the only posts somewhat related to this method of cloning were questions that would've been answered by this post. I hope that some of our blades and frients find it helpful.

    I'll insert the original posts and some of the responses within quotes, and I'll add my experiences at the bottom. I got too excited and forgot to take pictures of the beautiful, several inch long trail of roots, but fortunately, Grat3fulH3ad's pictures have that covered.

    I've attempted one round of cloning with this method, and I've listed my supplies and prices below. Everything was purchased in June 2019. I inserted the cuttings on June 19th and transplanted into soil on July 6th. 18 days total. Based on the length of the roots (at least five inches), I could've transplanted sooner.

    What I appreciate most about this cloning method is that after inserting my cuttings, I placed the container in front of a west facing window to catch the afternoon and evening sun, and only touched it a handful of times before transplanting. I really just ignored it.
    - I changed the water around the eighth day.
    - Every few days, especially towards the beginning while I was still interested, I'd open the lid for a few minutes and check them out.
    - I'd check the water level once a week to ensure it wasn't too low. I never had to refill it, not once.

    In terms of success, the thing that made the difference was how deeply inserted into the perlite the cuttings were. None of my shorter cuttings rooted. Success was when the submerged stem was at least an inch or two deeper than the top of the average tiki torch wick.

    For parts, I used:
    - Four plastic tubs
    - Two packages of tiki torch wicks with two each
    - Most of an eight quart bag of perlite
    - Some duct tape
    - A shoe box.

    One tub acted as my reservoir, one held the wicks and the perlite, and the remaining two were used to boost the height of the second, creating a little larger reservoir. My reservoir was about 1.5 inches. I covered the bottom and sides of the reservoir with duct tape, and I placed the whole assembly inside of a shoe box to block additional light.

    I used the bottom of one of the two booster tubs to act as a lid, resting on top of the perlite. I really liked this use of the tub! After transplanting and cleaning the perlite out, I placed small pieces of scotch tape on top of the lid, above the wicks, to mark the locations of the wicks. Once I had filled the tub with perlite, I'd forgotten their exact location, and I accidentally jammed a cutting into a wick :confused_2: The ziptie pictured is what I used to dig into the perlite to place the cuttings. Next time, I think I'll use a pencil, unless someone else has a better idea.

    IMG_6352.JPG IMG_6353.JPG IMG_6354.JPG IMG_6357.JPG IMG_6361.JPG IMG_6414.JPG IMG_6415.JPG

    Nothing really prompted me to check and see if they were rooted, except the time that had passed. I was anticipating it taking three weeks, and it took less than two and a half. To check if they were rooted, I gently tugged on them, and there was obvious resistance present with the ones that had rooted.

    To get them out, I grabbed a spoon and used the end of the handle to dig some of the perlite away from the base of the cutting. As I got deeper, the perlite retained more water and was more difficult to move. At that point, I used the end of the spoon to get much deeper than where I figured roots would be, and I pried upwards. The roots came up with quite a bit of perlite, but I sprayed them off gently with a spray bottle in the process of transplanting. Transplanting was a little haphazard because of the extra length of roots, but meh, it worked. Little bit of yukka, Recharge, and mycorrhizal fungi, and they looked the same this morning as yesterday morning.

    Two packages of tiki torch wicks, containing two wicks each, Lowes: $14.62
    One 8 quart (7.57L) bag of perlite, Home Depot: $5.26
    Four 6.25 quart (5.9L) plastics containers: ?. I can't find the receipt, but they can't be more than $5 each. I purchased them at the dollar store.

    Hope this helps a frustrated grower!
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  2. Awsome!

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