If you're like me you've had failures and successes with cloning…it seems that I can take the same cuts, have the same environment and still get different rooting times. Maybe it's something to do with the moon phases or gravitational pull. I'm not sure. Best I can do is try to be consistent with my methods and environment regardless of how long it takes. Whether it's 10 days or 14 days or even 20 days. As long as I get a good roots in a viable clone.
How I clone
I start by making a sanitary environment similar to tissue culture in micropropagation. By providing a sterile environment with ISO alcohol and cleaning my scissors between cuts.
Equipment needed: clone dome with tray, rapid rooter plugs or rockwool cubes, cloning gel, cloning solution, temp and humidity sensor, seedling heating mat.
Soak rapid rooter plugs in bucket with RO or dechlorinated water with addition of cloning solution. PH to recommended level (usually 5.5 to 5.8 ph) Take several cuts of the host plant, keep cuts same size. Soak in cup of water. Trim large fan leaves by cutting them in half. Take some of the cloning gel and put into a smaller container. You do not want to dip clones directly into cloning solution just in case of possible contaminants.
Take a cutting out from cup and make sure it is trimmed to size you want. Make sure large fan leaves are trimmed down. Make sure scissors are cleaned by dipping into cup of iso alcohol and water mix. Cut a 45 degree cut on bottom of clone. Dip into clone gel and press into rapid rooter or rockwool cube. Don’t press too hard to push through bottom, just enough to go about halfway through clone media. Place into clone dome. Make sure at this point you are labeling your clones.
I like to use blue painter tape on outside of tray. Repeat process with all remaining clones of same donor plant. Make sure you sanitize your scissors before changing to another donor plant. Repeat process with all donor plants.
When tray is full and ready to finish. For rapid rooter plugs fill to bottom of plugs with the clone solution you used to soak them in. This will keep them from drying out and keep humidity up in clone dome. For Rockwool clones maybe just put a little water in bottom of tray to basically to fill the small channels of grooves on bottom of base. Again this is more to keep humidity high in clone dome.
Make sure seeding heater is plugged in and not overheating plants. I strive for humidity about 80% and about 70-75 degrees. Mondi makes a great temp humidity sensor that you can mount to clone dome top.
The least you do at this point the better. Some of my best clones have come from clones that I left in a clone dome and went out of country for 10 days. I came back to beautifully rooted clones. Just check to see that the media doesn’t dry out. Add more plain water or water with rooting solution. Spray as needed to keep up humidity. After about 7 days I begin to open vents on top of dome to start to harden off. Day 7 I start to open one side half way. Day 8 open fully. Day 9 open other vent half way. Day 10 open fully. When I have roots on all cuts I will start to open dome by wedging in a rockwool cube on one side. Opening a little more each day until I remove it fully several days after roots are formed. Spraying as needed with a water bottle on a fine mist setting as needed. When clones look healthy enough to transplant.
Mycorrhizal fungi is beneficial for plant roots. When transplanting at any phase it is advised to use some mycorrhizal by dusting roots. I use a product called recharge pretty much every week as a watered in feeding for my soil.
Some people use dusting powders of Michorazial like ‘great white”.
Transplant rooted clones directly into 1 gal containers. Important not to start over watering at this point. It will take several days before you need to water again. I just pick up the pots and can tell if needs water. If transplanting into coco or other hydro media it is pretty much the same procedure. Other than dusting a clone that's going into deep water culture.
The wrap up
Let the veg begin and remember to take your cuts again before you flip to flower. With this system you don’t need to keep mothers around. I am currently testing micropropagation (tissue culture) to keep different genetics around without running up my plant count numbers. If you know anything about this ..hit me up I need all the knowledge I can get.