Trying to up my cloning game

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by CobKits, Dec 3, 2017.


    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    for many years i would take successful cuts into 1.5" cubes and be 90%+ successful in 10-21 days, by following the old Ed lore/wisdom of:

    -dont fertilize with N right before cutting (id throw em on a bloom nute for a few days)
    -take lower slightly woody branches
    -2-3 node cuttings root the best
    -remove all fan leaves
    -moderate light
    -water only! no nutes
    -mist dome daily and open up once a day to allow for air circulation

    id throw em under a 15W 18" t8 tube and have great success

    somewhere a few years ago i stopped having the same success. High percentage taking forever to root/losing vigor/damping off. i attributed this to a few factors (not exactly linear in my discovery of them but more of a summary of what i know right now):

    -cloning hormone solutions have changed. I remember IBA being banned/frowned upon so i thought that was the reason. last few years ive used the purple clonex gel with spotty results. back in the day i used to use a product called Woods (IBA + NAA) which stopped becoming available at my local store in the late 90s (this is way way before i would order stuff on the internet) i switched to olivias (no IBA) and it was never as good. i took a break from growing from 2002-2007 and after that used clonex but never could get the same results i used to

    -possibly genetics. im a mostly one or two trick pony these days but i think weve all seen those easy rooting strains that you just cant stop (Dark Heart's "Dream Queen" comes to mind). its possible that i had some real easy cloning strains back in the day but not so much now. I tend to go for same phenos then as now so i dont think that is all that significant

    -i got too ambitious. After seeing people root giant top branches in 7 days i tried to replicate but of course these greener ones were harder to root, and damping off was more common

    -my setup changed. namely temp and lighting. using mostly led lighting for cloning but back then i was running 8x1000W hps. now i run a lot less watts and its LED so my overall temps are different in my space a bit, might be too cool for the cuts and exacerbated by the low radiant heat of the leds on the leaves

    -aerocloners/DWC cloners. Ive had mixed results with these. when they work they are amazing. they maintain vigor and have explosive root growth. When they fail i lose the whole tray and it sucks. i think i can make it work with the right clones, right precautions, not reusing foam pucks, using clear rez, etc, but at the end of the day its too much work and too high of a chance of catastrophic failure

    So anyway this was annoying but i could deal, i would just take more cuts and roll with it. I got pissed off this week because my friend took a bunch of cuts for me on thanksgiving and called me and 100% of them were rooted. i took a tray about the same time - 0% were rooted. ok so theres got to be lots of room for improvement.

    so my method is the same as its its been. my cubes are stacked (not squeezed!) before i put cuts in them to make sure they are wet but not saturated. low light so they arent uptaking much, after 7 days i check them and lightly mist bottom of cube to maintain moisture

    his method:

    use a grodan insert tray


    put cuts into upside-down rapidrooters in the cells and fill a solid tray underneath with water up to just the bottom of the rapidrooters and let them wick.

    using dip and grow concentrate to unknown dilution (i need to follow up)

    also not sure of his light intensity or if he used a heat mat

    so today i went and got some dip-n-grow concentrate (1% IBA/ 0.5% NAA) and also some cheap 0.1% IBA powder from Lowes

    i think part of the problem is that the 0.3% IBA in clonex is literally too much and is inhibiting rooting

    i got some root riot plugs and also the smaller sheets of rw cubes that fit that tray

    another method ive heard of is fill the tray up to water below the media and crank your heat pad and let it evaporate the water up to the media and clones

    so i was going to experiment with root riot plugs vs rw and try to use a few different chems including

    clonex as-is
    clonex diluted from 0.3 to 0.1 IBA
    0.1 IBA powder from lowes
    dip and gro diluted to 0.1 IBA and 0.05 NNA

    thoughts? i hope to up my game to where i can root big tops in <14 days and keep the vigor. that will likely involve feeding them nute solutions and stronger lights. For now i would be happy to get back to high success rate with smaller cuts and then build on that
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017

    HydroRed Well-Known Member

    I always take top cuts since thats where they are structured best and I haven't ever noticed a difference in rooting times vs lowers. Something that you touched on that I am currently experiencing is rooting cuts under led's (3500K CXB3070's). I just recently brought my diy light into my 4x4ish momma room which replaced (2) 100W t5 fixtures. I am noticing a temp difference since the light change. Though only slightly, I cant help but think thats why I dont have roots on my current set of cuts yet at 7 days.
    I honestly think its about environment more than it is actual cloning method. I've had success and failures with every kind of rooting method you can think of. High humidity, low light and warm temps will achieve more than any cloning method will whether its yours or your buddys. Im curious to see your what your results are with the new method.
    thenotsoesoteric and Aeroknow like this.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    DankBudzzz likes this.

    firsttimeARE Well-Known Member

    I use an aerocloner and havent lost a clone yet. I use just water until roots come out. I spray 24/7.

    Some say cold water works better ive always found the opposite.

    In summer ive rooted in as little as 4 days. Winter ive gotten roots in as little as 7 days.
    mr. childs, HydroRed and ttystikk like this.

    eyderbuddy Well-Known Member

    I use a very basic DIY areocloner, which i've dubbed the cloning machine since i just place almost any kind of plant in the holders and a week later its rooted. I ph the water to 5.8-6, add nutes until 300 ppm and add a bit of recharge and let it run 2-3 weeks without a water change. I've been very successful doing it like this, I haven't lost a clone in months.

    Yodaweed Well-Known Member

    You might need something to help tempuratures, didn't see that you have either a submergable heater for a cloning unit or a heating pad, it's very important for clones to be between 75-85F if they are too cold they won't root.

    topshelf_sac Active Member

    Sounds like you got a very smart friend!

    A few easy pointers for a damn near 100% success rate as described above. Roots will explode in 10 days and be ready for whatever.

    - use root riot or similar peat plug and turn upside down. This makes them easier to handle. Poke a hole in top.

    - use dip n gro at the 7.5x dilution level. Dip cutting for a second

    Place cutting about half way down the cube

    Set cubes in Grodan tray as pictured above.

    Have water level touch very bottom of cubes. This has cube wick moisture as needed.

    Cover dome and most twice daily.

    I just use water straight from the tap and never bother with temperature or ph. I live in the Sacramento area which has hard water (average 30 ppm calcium, 20 magnesium, 10 nitrate, 10 grain of hardness).

    The cuttings OP refered to where rooted under a 2000k COB at about three or four feet from light. No heat mat, no anything. Eventually the environment will warm the water and stabilize.

    Everyone that has seen this method always freaks out and then adopts it and never looks back. The cuttings love it, ask OP how big the roots are on 10 days.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Mynadvicenis don't overthink this and just cut, dip and mist twice daily.

    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser


    topshelf_sac Active Member

    LOL, old habits die hard. 3000k cob.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    I've killed them with systemic insecticide but you don't want to do it anywhere near bloom.

    The scary part of their life cycle is the flyer phase, where they spread all over your grow and lay eggs.

    Unless you have a really attachment to those cuts, I suggest ditching them far from your house.

    Jennygrows2 Member

    I've used Clonex Solution, haven't noticed an increase in root time.

    For gel I've been using Rootech 5.5% IBA, no problems.

    Some aerocloners can produce an oxygen deprived environment. Adding an airstone or venturi will fix the issue.

    A few ccs of Hydroguard in several gallons of solution will keep the stems from developing slime.

    Doing all that has given me a 100% success rate, usually 10-14 days.
    ttystikk likes this.

    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    Mrs. Cobby went to the emerald cup this weekend and brought back a bunch of dark heart cuts

    as always they blow my mind how they can take such monster cuts with 4" long fan leaves and root them perfectly without missing a beat

    i think a lot of that is dialing in the nutes so as to have nice woody stems on the tops

    also the roots are just huge fatties theyve got it so dialed

    ive never seen any other cuts with the vigor theirs have
    ttystikk likes this.

    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    my sours i took on thanksgiving are starting to root about 17 days in. garden was kind of overgrown and they werent ideal. lost about 10% so far to damping off. i wish i could speed it up a bit if only to prevent damp off

    first time ive ever fed clones in rockwool, usually just water. i gave them something like 0.6 EC of jacks 3-2-1 after the first week. they are nice and green right now
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017

    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    what kind of light intensity?
    no rooting hormone?

    firsttimeARE Well-Known Member

    Just water and a heat source (pump running 24/7)

    Lighting is 315w cmh 4200k. Its like 3 ft. Away as I use it for veg and the veg are much bigger than the clones.

    rollyouron Well-Known Member

    I use a clone king. I can get roots in 4 or 5 days, but it's dependent on water temp. I put in 25 about 12 days ago and only 3 have rooted, because the water temp is 69. If I put a heating pad under it and get water to 80 they'll root really fast. You do have to watch out with the temp that high because water gets dirty and roots will rot.
    ttystikk likes this.

    klx Well-Known Member

    1. Take large clones from big, healthy mothers:


    2. Trim up the fan leaves and whack em in an aero cloner, mine is DIY in an esky. Coolers are good cos they dont leak:


    3. You can see the plumbing here and the mini sprinklers. 15 mins on, 45 mins off. If it is cold where you are you can put an aquarium heater in the water set to 29C, no nutes, no clonex, no nothing. 2 x 20W flouros over them or if it is near your mothers you can just use the residual light from them. 7 days later roots galore:


    Good luck!
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    I started using root riot cubes last year and I gotta say they work really well. I've gotten lazy in my old age and now just put the in a tote with a few inches of perlite. I wet the perlite and soak the cubes squeezing out excess water (I use res water) and cover. Typically 6-7 days I get sprouts outside the cube. I honestly think people including myself overthink it. I even stopped sterilizing the stuf like razor and now use sharp scissors
    Edit: ya and I use a 3000 T5

    ChaosHunter Well-Known Member

    I use a T5 on a dome with Jiffy pellets and standard powder you can find anywhere and always works.

    NGA Well-Known Member

    Old school cloning ,no lid, no heat pad,but warmer conditions do speed up rooting time ,no trimming of leafs ,l only use cheapest rooting powder , cut your cutting put in glass of water,razor blade cut again on 45,put back in glass of water place cutting in a box ,any where really, long as it's dark night time conditions,for 24 hours , now take them dip in rooting power, gel what ever , stick in your starter cubes ,put in tray light 24/7 ,always keep bottom of tray wet 1/4 - 1/2 inch water ,tap , bottle don't matter ,always have 100% success,I was taught this 30 years ago just saying
    Arkitecht likes this.

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