15 Great and Effect Steps in Cloning
Carefully choose a strong healthy (female) mother plant that is at least two months old. Do not take clones from a sick pest- or diseaseinfested or flowering mother.
Use a sharp disinfected blade or scissors to make a 45-degree cut across firm, healthy 0.125-0.25- inch-wide (3-6 mm) growth. When cutting, make the slice halfway between the sets of nodes. The new clones should be two to four inches (3-5 cm) long. Be careful not to crush the end of the stem where cutting.
Carefully trim off two or three sets of flower leaves. Cut them off at the nodes where they meet the stem. Clones root very well when there are one or two sets of trimmed nodes below ground and two sets of leaves above the soil line. While taking clones, hold cuttings in a glass of water until you are ready to dip in hormone and plant.
Cut leaves in half to lower transpiration surface and to keep them from overlapping. Moisture that could promote fungus is often trapped between overlapping leaves. Gather leaves in your hand and use a pair of scissors to cut the leaves in half. This will allow less surface area for the plants to breathe, but will still keep foliage on the plant. Cutting leaves like this will keep them up off the ground, which helps prevent rot and disease.
Choose an effective rooting tools or mediums. Saturate the medium or root cubes with water. Use an unsharpened pencil, chop stick, nail, etc., to make a hole in the rooting medium, a little larger than the stem of the clone. The hole should stop about one-half inch (1.5 cm) from the bottom of the container to allow for root growth.
Use Liquid Rooting Hormone. Always read and comply with the directions. Pour a small portion of the rooting hormone into another container before using so you do not contaminate the original container. Mix the liquid rooting hormone (if necessary) just before using.
Use Gel Rooting Hormone dip stem in gel as per instructions. Make sure the part that will go underground is covered evenly with gel. When planting, take special care to gently pack soil into place.
Use Powdered Rooting Hormone roll stem in rooting powder so that the underground part is covered evenly. When planting, take special care to gently pack soil into place and avoid disturbing the rooting powder on the stem.
Effect Steps in Cloning
Water the rooting medium lightly and keep the surface evenly moist at all times. The first few days are the most critical for moisture. Clones have no roots to bring water to leaves. Water arrives from leaves and the cut stem until roots can supply it. Water as needed to keep growing medium evenly moist. Do not let it get soggy, and if it does, remove water at once.
Give all the clones enough hours to be exposed in fluorescent light like 17-22 hours. Place clones four to six inches below single or dual fluorescent tubes. Cool white fluorescents (or a combination of warm and cool white) are excellent for rooting.
If clones must be placed under an HID, set them on the perimeter of the garden so they receive less intense light; or shade them with a cloth or screen. Place clones four to six feet (1.2-1.8 m) below a 400-1000-watt metal halide bulb.
Give clones 95-100 percent humidity the first two days after cutting. These are the most critical days for a clone to get over the shock of being cut. Gradually reduce the humidity to 80-85 percent after the first three to four days. A humidity dome or tent will help keep humidity high. Construct the tent out of plastic bags, rigid plastic, or glass.
Make sure to leave openings for air to flow in and out of the dome so little clones can breathe. You may need to mist clones several times a day as an alternative to the humidity tent. Some growers mist once or twice a day when plants are under the humidity dome. Remove any sick, rotting, or dead foliage. Keep leaves up off the rooting medium.
This step applies when the growing medium is a few degrees warmer than the air temperature root growth speeds. A warmer substrate increases underground chemical activity, and lower air temperature slows water loss through leaves. Por best results, keep the rooting medium at 7S0 -800P (24°-27°C). Growing medium temperatures above 8SoP (29°C) may cause root damage. Keep the air temperature SO-lOoP (3°-SSC) cooler than the substrate.
Ideally none of the clones will wilt or loose rigidity. In the beginning you may have some clones that wilt but become rigid in a few days. Clones that are still wilted after seven days will grow slowly or develop a problem. Set them aside and let them root longer. If they continue to root slowly or show signs of rot at the soil line, toss them out.
The new root system will sprout from the buried stem in one to three weeks. In 10-21 days you should see roots growing out the sides of the rooting cubes. Signals that roots have started to grow include yellow leaf tips, roots growing out drain holes, and vertical growth of the clones. To check for root growth in flats or pots, carefully remove the root ball and clone from the pot to see if it has good root development.
Clones usually look strong and healthy soon after you take them. After five or six days, leaves may start to change color. Leaves stay small and often turn a deeper shade of green. After about a week, lower leaves may start to yellow if their nutrient levels dissipate. These clones are using all their resources to conserve moisture and grow new roots. Some dieback in lower leaves is not a sign the plant is dying. Any sign of slime, pests, or disease means there are problems, and clones should be removed from the garden.
Transplant only the strongest well-rooted clones with a dense root system growing out the sides and bottom of rooting cubes. Do not transplant slow-rooting clones or clones with a small root system. Keep slow-growing clones rooting until adequate roots have developed. Do not move clones below bright light until they have fully developed root systems.
Once transplanted, clones are ready to harden-off and move into the grow room or to an outdoor garden.
Set up a vegetative pre-growing area that is lit with an HID or bright compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) for the rooted clones. Place them in this area to let them grow during the first week or two of vegetation. This area needs to be just big enough to accommodate plants from the time they are a few inches tall until they are about a foot tall and ready to be moved into the flowering room.