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How long do you wait for cuttings to root? What are the possible improvements?

Discussion in 'Aeroponics' started by TheBudInTheHat, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. #1 TheBudInTheHat, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2011
    Hi all,
    owner of a RainForest with 72 buckets, I'm happy.

    I have 2 strains (LSD & Acapulco Gold from Barney's) and I'm going from cuttings to planting the clones in around 15 days.

    Usually, the first roots will show in 10 days, and after 5 more days they are long enough to transplant.
    If there are no roots after 5 days more, I usually throw all the cuttings left (approx. 10% of all) to the trashbin.

    Here's my way of doing it: cutting at 45, scratching a portion of the stem and right into the bucket.
    I use some Hesi Root Complex in a 0.8EC water at 6 Ph.
    The water is at 25C 12 hours a day, around 19C during the night. But the lights are on 24/24.

    For the details, I've been rooting flowered cuttings with no difference, so I have (yeah I know I fucked up big time) 5 mothers in flowering>back to veg mode.
    So when the roots are there, my new clones are going straight into 12/12 with already some top bud.

    I wonder if you could recommend some improvements to get roots faster?
    What say you?

    Oh. Almost forgot: wishing you the best with your grows!

  2. TBITH: are you foliar feeding your cuttings and keeping them in a humidity dome? That's about the only thing I could suggest and if you're successful with 90% of your cuttings you're doing better than most of us.

    At some of the hydro classes I'm taking they recommend a heating mat under your cloning tray. Are you doing that? Hank
  3. #3 xSpecialEDx, May 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
    Heating matts are awsome and for the first few days you need to either keep misting them or better humidity dome and keep around 90%-100% humidity. After the first few days take off top and drop rh% down to about 50%-60% roughly. Oh and fluros work well for seedlings and clones. Not to much light as they are still week use reg water to keep grow medium moist but not soggy.. Got to allow roots to have water and still be able to breathe(get air) then use foliar feeding (weak solution 1/5 strength or 1/4 strength for rule of thumb)
  4. TheBudInTheHat: If you're seriously rooting 90% of your cuttings we should be asking you how you do it, not the other way around. One of the instructors at our hydro classes has a 'cloning business' and he only roots about 90%. How much better off he would be if he followed ExSpecialEdx's advice would be interesting to see. All he does is cut from the mothers, stick the cuttings in treated rock wool cubes and spray them a couple of times a day. No humidity domes, not heating pads. He's living proof of what one of the other instructors said that we do often do it all wrong but it works for us. Keep on doing what you're doing. Hank
  5. #5 TheBudInTheHat, May 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
    Thanks peeps for the replies, just came back to the thread.

    Well, about my 90% (which may be between 80 and 90% actually) I don't know.
    I tried the soil cloning methods and ended at a unforgiving 0%.

    Now I've bought this propagator called rainforest, and I did work on getting the closest to what they were advising in the user's manual.

    So, it's mainly water at the best level for the pump to work well and the buckets/cuttings to be really well irrigated (dunno the exact term in english).
    Keeping the inside totally dark and at about 23/29 C.
    Getting cuttings with at least a node and scratching the stem, while getting off all unwanted leaves.
    Getting cuttings from the down stems and branches of the mothers.
    Ph kept at 6 or 6.5 and EC/PPM at 0.65 to 0.8.
    I use the Root complex from HESI, at the right dose and that's all. When Roots are appearing, I pour some Piranha from Advanced Nutrients inside the propagator.

    I always get the first cuttings to root at day 10, and after 7 more days I'm ok with the last ones.

    I never cut the leaves by half and I have the HPS 600W running just near, but my mothers are making a MJ wall, keeping the propagator into some shadow.


    Edit: I just saw that I was retyping the same things, with more accuracy now after 1 more month of use.
    I think I will try to make the rooting area more dark, they get light 24/7, due to the absence of a timer.
  6. What about foliar feeding, how does that work? (never heard about it)

    Some things I may do differently from other people:

    I never stressed out about getting a high humidity level, as my propagator is getting all my buckets (full of spheric clay rocks, dunno the exact word for them) very humid. I never sprayed the cuttings cause about 50% of them are loosing one up to three leaves which turn yellow during the 10 days period.

    I don't touch anything during the first 10 days. Not taking off yellow leaves, not looking inside, not moving the propagator (it's too heavy anyway), not spraying, nothing.

    Only thing I do is check the water. I always keep an empty bucket (no cuttings but clay rocks to avoid light inside the propagator).
    This empty bucket is where I check the level of water, and its Ph and EC/PPM.

    After 10 day, I stop the pump engine and take off the buckets older to see how many cuttings rooted yet. It lasts 1 minute and after that I wait for a week more.

    After that week I'll have plenty of clones that I put into soiless mix (I always have transplant shocks and am loosing a lot of time with that), I can have plenty of roots, but I will let the ones with only one tiny hair go on for 2 days more.
    After that I wash everything with hot water and soap, bleach all and start again.

  7. #7 Hank Alvarez, May 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2011
    Eventually the cutting's root and take up nutrients and water but until it happens your cuttings can get pretty thirsty. Cervantes and one of our hydro instructors say to use only pH balanced water through a spray bottle for foliar feeding. I've been using a dose of the cutting/seedling formula from Technaflora's "Recipe for Success." It may be the wrong thing to do but it's worked for me.

    If you've invested in a propagator, that's fine, but those are usually bigger bucks than I can afford on my pension. I use a 10" by 20" black plastic tray then a 50 square seed starter tray and small rock wool cubes. I cover it with a humidity dome and I pray a lot. I bought a heating pad but I've yet to use it.

    I do trim back the foliage like I was taught. If you compare the leaves to a hand, I cut off all the fingers, (about a third of the length of the leaf). I agree with the one instructor we have who has a cloning business; he says that if some of them wilt in the next 48 hours you might as well throw the weak ones out because they're not going to make it. My average is about 75 to 80% with my method. I haven'[t done it in dirt.

    The next time you clone you might want to look at chapter three in Cervantes's book, (pages 27 to 60). He does a good job on covering the subject and I always try to go by what he says. I also remember reading a good article on cloning in High Times, but it was a real old issue that a buddy of mine had. I think we all form our own habits but those are good sources to review before you start cutting again. It's not that we don't know what we're doing but sometimes it's just good to be reminded of things we might have forgotten. I hope this helps. Hank
  8. aerocloner running ro water+superthrive. i don't even bother ph-ing the water as there is no nutrient uptake involved in cloning. usually see root bumps after ~3 days. actual roots after ~5-7 days. strong ones go straight to flowering room, stragglers are given an extra 1-3 days to establish roots capable of handling HID. usually very high success rate but i take 20% more clones than i'll actually need so i can choose the healthiest/most vigorous and toss the rest. some cuttings are just not worth your time and effort growing out to completion so i really don't see a point in striving for 100% of the cuts rooting.

    other than extreme cleanliness a one thing that helped me tremendously has been preparing the clones.

    after taking cuts, i leave the cuttings in cold tap water+a little h202+iba product of choice for about 30 minutes. this sterilizes the clones (more cleanliness!) and get them nice and turgid as well as giving them a nice fat dose of rooting hormones right away.

    if humidity is a problem and a humidity dome isn't an option, putting clear plastic cups over each plant works fantastic.

    i try to give my clones as much light as possible without frying them. dli at this stage is directly related to speed of maturation and plant quality according to studies. however, if your plants are not very happy to begin with, they may not be able to handle very much.
  9. Dunny: I can see there are a lot of things we're doing the same. I use T-5's and it's pretty hard to hurt them with those. I never thought of the hydrogen peroxide. Thanks, Hank
  10. I really don't think you can improve on that other than getting 100% roots on all your cuttings. I have not been able to figure why some plants root quick and some take forever it seems. I get a mixed bag when I top ten at a time. Some will root in seven days while the one next to it took 19 days. Go figure..but it will root as long as I let it. But I will notice that that plant will have difficulties for awhile and will require more time to become a juvy unlike the one started at the same time which is in juvy growth with-in weeks. So you are doing okay in my opinion...isn't farming fun?
  11. #11 Hank Alvarez, May 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2011
    ScottwKeley: here's my two cents worth. In our hydro classes they identified a number of variables that can effect our success. The first being the strain you're working with. Like seeds; some pop in twenty four hours and some take a couple of weeks. I've never grown the Kush variety, but I understand there's an inherent difficulty in working with those. The other conditions they claimed could effect the process were: the health and vigor of the mother, where, (the level at which), the cuttings were taken, the temperature and conditions they were exposed to and how they were handled.

    Some sources recommend taking cuttings from the lower more established parts of the plant while others say it's best to take you cuttings from the upper half. I've done both and kept track of the results. It was fifty/fifty. Go figure.

    I think a friend of mine with a real green thumb has the answer. He says, "Always take a lot more then you need or want because you know some of them aren't going to make it. You can always give the rest to your friends." The S. O. B. has never given me one but if he did I certainly wouldn't turn it down.

    Sometimes we can over think the problem. If that guy was getting 90% of his cuttings to root then as far as I'm concerned he has nothing to complain about. One of our instructors who does it for a living is happy with 80%. Not long ago I rooted 75% and I was a happy camper. What do you think? Hank
  12. under optimal conditions, cuttings from the top of the plant will root faster due to the higher concentration of auxins (apical dominance.) however these cuttings also tend to be more sensitive so if there's any shortcomings in the environment, they will wilt faster.

    woodier cuttings from the lower half of the plant will generally take longer to root but are hardier. tbh, when i take clones, i strip my plants bare so all the cuttings are from new growth.
  13. Dunny: I strip every thing off the stem but the very top growth and then i take off the fingers. Some where we'll find what we're doing wrong and attain absolute perfection. Hank
  14. i was actually referring to stripping my mother plant down.

    i used to strip everything off my cuttings too, but its not such a big deal if you can get humidity and transpiration under control. however if your cuttings seem prone to wilting, trimming excess foliage certainly does help.

    however i noticed that when i do leave the extra leaves on, there's not as much downtime between the point where the cuttings root and start to vege. before, my cuttings would turn yellow during rooting and then take a few days to go back to green and start to actually grow. i also need all the extra nodes and leaves i can get as under my current setup i roll with zero vege clones. it's especially detrimental for me as fewer leaves leads to a longer flowering induction period.

    i've been disinclined to post pictures here since certain members of this forum with reading comprehension problems decided to talk shit on my grow when i did, however this thread seems to be occupied with more mature members so here's a pic:

    notice how i have 2-3 nodes on my clones, basically didn't trim any of the foliage attached. these two buckets were 6 days from cut in this pic and have already rooted and have started to vege again. few stragglers still have yellow leaves. these girls were ready for their permanent home at day 8.

    you can see more pics of my clones on the one journal i have here:
  15. #15 Hank Alvarez, May 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2011
    Dunny: those girls are gorgeous! Five out of six look great. That's 83.4% with anybody's math and the yellowish 6th one might still make it.

    As far as the clowns who can't read talking shit about your grow just remember this: they're probably just jealous. You obviously have a very green thumb and you have to grow a thick skin out here because we let them all in. Callouses help too. Just ignore the assholes. But they are necessary or we'd be all full of shit. Seriously this is what we need to learn from each other.

    Again, my compliments. You've got quite a set up. I wish I had green ink to say this, I envy you. A set up like that would work fine in an upcoming project I'm working on. How about a little more info on your cloning set up. Obviously you're a pro. It looks really neat. What sizes are your net pots and what look like rubber inserts? What's your source? And whats inside those buckets? I'd love to see some pictures of how you're keeping them irrigated. And no humidity dome? You're obviously doing something we don't to achieve those results. I'm thinking seriously of doing something like this next time around. I have some wonderful Indica I'd love to work with and a cloning set up like yours would be perfect in the lower half of a big grow cabinet. Please give us more pictures and an explanation on how you built it and operate it. Specifications would be very helpful too. I'm sure Cervantes would be proud. Thanks again, Hank.
  16. #16 Freshfed, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
    For 100% in under 10days use ph5.7/8. Do not use a heat mat!!!! Your water temp will be pretty high as it is (pump heat). If you can keep the rootzone at 18-20c then rooting is faster, limit the temp swing perhaps with polystyrene or insulation of some kind?

    I use water with a drop of root hormone.

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