Riddle me this Riddle me that, how do I get my plant roots to act?
We all love this plant and what it can do, yet what seems like an easy endeavour can become troublesome when propagating cuttings from mother plants. Here are some tips to follow that will make all the difference between success and lowered expectations. Always remember these plants are weeds with needs. Your weeds will grow so long as they are given the proper amount of these key resources. In order to thrive and grow they want:
(Cuttings are best if kept for 7 – 14 days under these conditions, if kept too long plants may stunt)
(Put 50 cuttings per tray, any more will crowd them and cause leaf rotting as well as reduced quality)
Soil or Growing Medium:
First things is first, let’s talk about what you are using to plant in. Typically most people in the Cannabis industry are familiar with “peat pucks”. These are great and usually about three cents a piece if purchased in bulk, thus quite inexpensive. Peat holds moisture for a relatively long time although other rooting mediums may do a superior job. Next to peat pucks there are “rockwool cubes” which are blown fibreglass into a square cube about 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches cubed. These do a solid job with respect to holding both air and moisture and some of us who make clones swear by this product.
Now there is another less known product that has hit the shelves lately and it has the potential to replace the two previous mediums, and this new product is “coco peat”. At the moment it requires filling trays with coco peat and then watering the trays so as to let water run off. To do this step most hydroponics stores or garden centres carry trays with planter inserts of 72 plugs and domes/lids. Trays can come with holes in the bottoms or not, by first putting your planters(which hold 72 cuttings/clones) in the trays with holes in the bottom, you will be able to leave them for a few minutes in the bathtub or shower after watering them til they drain.
Maintain PH for best results, cuttings like a PH of 6.3 – 6.8. To remove impurities from the water use 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide(allow 30 minutes to pass before cuttings contact this water) per gallon to clean your water and add oxygen. Add PH up or PH down to water before watering your medium that cuttings will be placed in, this can be purchased at any hydroponic store, but you will also need a PH tester kit to test the PH of the water. Do not use any nutrients, cuttings do not need to be fed until the second watering after being transplanted, and even then they should be fed at 25% of the instruction amount.
For cuttings to root, temperature and light are the two variables which must be controlled over 7 to 14 days to ensure quality of roots and plant health. Too cold and the plant will not be able to use the rooting compound and metabolize the hormones into nice fluffy white roots. Too warm and the leaves lose their moisture turning flaccid then drooping and causing pithium(a rotting
of the leaves and organic material that spores and spreads onto the neighbouring leaves…). I keep my heater at 27 degrees Celsius on the low setting as to not draw too much electricity to a device that does not turn off and may burnout the electrical outlet or blow the breaker in the fuse box. Of course this is during Winter & Spring & Fall seasons, but during the summer the heater is lowered to 24 degrees Celsius as the other environmental factors are heightened and plants do not need so much heat when it is naturally a lively Summer climate. Each room and house and micro climate may be modified for best results.
Use the best full spectrum florescent tube bulbs you can find. There is always LED lighting, although until personally using such a setup, I have no comment. Preferably go with the Sunblaster’s brand of lighting. These are in most garden centre and hydroponic stores, a four foot long bulb is plenty of light for a couple of trays. The light can be directly over the dome lid, raise it in a dark room so that you can see if the light spreads over the entire tray.
Place your cuttings in plastic trays with large dome lids, the short lids are not as beneficial as tall dome lids will be. The reason for this is that it is easier to maintain consistent humidity and temperature within the dome when a larger volume of space is used i.e. the environment will fluctuate less which reduces the stress on our soon to be clones. It is as easy as 1-2-3-4, just follow these four above steps and watch as the success of your cloning grows like a weed!
Whether growing Cannabis plants indoors or outdoors, you will need to ensure that it gets the proper amount of these resources. Happy Clones make happy gardener’s 🙂