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How to clone in rock wool

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TheCapn

New Member
If you're on a budget and you don't have $250 bucks for a new aeroponic cloner, you might want to try cloning in rock wool. There are several tutorials on this site about cloning in rockwool, and my method isn't much different than most of them, but I'll show you DETAILED step by step how I do it (and why I do this or that), from start to finish. This method works for me, 100% of the time, and it can work for you too if you follow this recipe.

First, I'll tell you why I like cloning in rock wool, better than an aeroponic cloner:

1. RW is "set it and forget it". If done properly, you won't have to touch your clones for TWO weeks.

2. No wires, no electricity, nothing to go wrong.

3. Whether you are planting in dirt, hydroton, or more rockwool, after your clone roots, you can go to any growing medium with no transplanting shock.

4. It's CHEAP! No pump or sprayers or plumbing, etc, to buy.


Here we go:

1. Prepare your work area and gather the necessary items:

a. 1/2 gallon of Reverse Osmosis or Distilled water. It is better to use distilled water for clones. The reason is because most tap water contains chloramines and chlorine, which may kill the beneficial bacteria (that accelerate root growth). If you're using tap water, aerate* the water for a few hours first.

b. Bloom formula nutrients (general hydroponics, fox farm, any will do)

c. Aquashield or voodoo juice (same thing)

d. optional: any kind of beneficial bacteria (great white, roots excelurator, soluble mycos, etc)

e. Razor blade or scissors

f. Labels to label your clones so you know what is what

g. Rock wool. I use the slabs and cut to size. You can use 2 or 3 inch blocks instead.

h. Clonex rooting gel (other gels will work too)

i. Mother plants, of course!

1cloningPrepare.jpg


2. Mix up your water:

a. To the 1/2 gallon of water, add about 5ml of bloom formula (general hydroponics bloom or foxfarm big bloom) to the water, and mix to 250ppm @ .5 conversion. If you don't have a PPM meter, 2ml of Bloom in 1/2 gal of water should be close.

b. 10ml of aquashield or voodoo juice (same thing)

c. optional: add any kind of beneficial bacteria (mycos, etc) If you're not sure what this is, just skip this step!

d. The ph should be between 5.5 - 5.8, adjust if necessary* . If you OVER adjust, start over with a fresh 1/2 gallon, we don't want too many PH up/down chemicals in our mix.

2cloningWater.jpg


3. Soak your rockwool
Put your rockwool cubes in the water for an hour with an airstone in the container, so the beneficial bacteria can get air and survive, otherwise, it may die with lack of oxygen. It is not necessary to soak these small rock wool cubes for 24 hours.

3cloningRockWool.jpg


4. Take your cuttings
Clean your razor blade or scissors with rubbing alcohol, then be sure to rinse and wipe them off well (so you don't get alcohol on your clone). Find a branch near the bottom* of the mother plant (these root best), like the one in the picture below. Cut the branch off at the stem, and immediately put the cutting in a glass of water that you just mixed up. Cut the fan leaves off (as shown below). Where you cut, these nodes will go inside the rockwool. Roots tend to sprout first where fan leaves were.

4cloningPickABranch.jpg


5cloningCutLeaves.jpg


5. Put cutting into rock wool
a. Clean a toothpic or similar with alcohol, and use it to make a new hole in the rockwool for the stem. I use my plant markers. The stem of the clone should fit snug into the hole. You don't want any air between the stem and the rock wool.

6cloningMakeHole.jpg


b. Dip the stem of the cutting into the clonex gel. Put the stem in the rockwool. Try to get the part where you cut off leaves, inside the rockwool. Push the stem down into it until it is about 3/4th the way to the bottom of the cube. Don't Squeeze the rockwool cube.

7cloningGel.jpg


6. Trim off any excess leaves
The plant has no roots to feed the leaves, so if you have too many leaves, the clone may suffer.
8cloningCutLeaves.jpg


7. Put the clone inside a humidome
You don't need an expensive humidome. You can use a regular seed germination tray or two plastic containers as you can see in my picture. You can mist the inside of the dome with pure water if you want. If your clones are wilting now, you took too long to get them set in rockwool and put in the dome. Don't worry, they should perk up after they get in the humid dome.

9cloningDome.jpg


8. Wait two weeks for roots to pop out the bottoms of the work wool cubes. When you see lots of roots, you can take then out of the humidome and transplant.

More information:
* If the branch you take has a "woody" stem, meaning the stem is hard, and more brownish color than green, these take much longer to root. Also, cuttings taken from higher "hollow" branches
* I crack up every time I hear people on youtube say, "Air-eee-ate your water." As if this was a 3 syllable word.
* If you don't have a PH meter, using this recipe with distilled or RO water should land your PH close enough and there is no need to adjust it. Also, it is not possible to "PH" water. "PH" is not a verb.

Subscribe, and in two weeks, I'll post root pictures!
 

TanR

New Member
Nice tutorial Capn. I appreciate you taking the time to put it up. Sub'ed

Am I overlooking what you do with the 1/2 gallon of water mixed with nutrients?

Be well.

Oh, +reps for putting this together and sharing.
 

TheCapn

New Member
Thanks for the kind words guys, I hope you find the tutorial helpful. If you use it, post some root pics!

>>>what you do with the 1/2 gallon of water mixed with nutrients?
Put your rockwool cubes in the water for an hour with an airstone in the container, so the beneficial bacteria can get air and survive, otherwise, it may die with lack of oxygen.

>>>Damn, thought I accomplished something this morning when I PH'ed my RO water. Next time I will adjust the PH of my water.
Ha! I like it! I guess I am a stickler for the English language. I saw you planted some seeds recently. Are you going to do a grow journal? Also, what kind of RC do you fly? I fly as well.
 

RCFlyer

New Member
I saw you planted some seeds recently. Are you going to do a grow journal? Also, what kind of RC do you fly? I fly as well.

No, this has been a slow week so I have had time to post and read. Next week will pick up again and I wouldn't have the time to keep up with it.

I used to fly for my job. I was the first External Pilot for the UAV program in the Marine Corps. Did that from the middle 80's until the early 90's. Now I am retired and have 3 planes and 5 Heliz left but seldom go out to the field anymore. Just don't have the energy and drive i used to.
 

TheCapn

New Member
What is your experience with rockwool vs root riot/rapid rooter

Good question, JJ. I have used the rapid rooters with success as well, but I like the rock wool a little better for two reasons.
1. The rapid rooter's hole is a little too big at the top (at least the ones I have are) so it does not fully surround the stem when inserted.
2. I like to use a bigger area for roots to grow. The roots quickly grow out of the rapid rooter and then slow down when they hit air. Of course this is true with the little 2" rockwool cubes as well. This is why I use 3" blocks. I don't think this is the time to be air pruning roots :)

That reminds me of something I should have expanded on above:

>> When you see lots of roots, you can take them out of the humidome and transplant.
Sometimes we see one root out the bottom and then get too excited, thinking it is ready for nutrients and vegetative growth.
How do we know when the plant is ready to transplant, feed nutrients, and ready for vegetative growth?

If you see many roots out the bottom and sides of the rockwool cube, it is probably ready. A good test is to see if the plant wilts when taking it out of the humidome. Take it out, wait an hour... if it is too early, the leaves will wilt because the root structure can't provide enough water to the leaves. Also, if we hit it with nutrients and or too much light, too soon, we may stunt it's growth.

JJ, is perfectgardens your store?
 

TheCapn

New Member
And we're back 2 weeks later! Over the last two weeks I didn't add any water to the container. I just checked them now and then to make sure they were not wilting. Remember, if you've done everything as I said above, and your leaves are still wilting, that means it is not humid enough in your container.

Let's take a look.

Here we have some roots, but I would let this one go a few more days before taking it out of the humidome
roots220.jpg


This one looks better
roots123.jpg


For the purpose of this tutorial, let's take off the rock wool and see how the roots look inside. I don't need these plants so we will throw them away. But as you can see, these are ready to go into vegetative growth. I would start them on very weak 200ppm nutrients until they show new green growth. Then, bump them up to 400.
roots311.jpg


Now we have two nice females, replicas of their mother plants. Thanks for tuning in to the tutorial.

Happy cloning.
 

TheCapn

New Member
Hi Capn I just found this today but have been loseing clones over last 2 weeks while missing this thread.
I have the root riots, clonex and a humidity dome. What did you do on these clones for light if any while in your humidity dome?
:welldone::thanks:

Thanks ctg! Good question about the dome. I keep it in the veg area at 18/6. It is under another plant, so it doesn't get direct light. You should be able to use the rapid rooters / root riots if you follow the same guide. Are you using a similar recipe to soak your root plugs? My first couple attempts were disaster. I was cutting hollow branches that were too thick, and then I was using tiny shoots that were too tall. The best ones to cut are like I show in the tutorial above.

Also, if your stems seem to be deteriorating, I would use distilled or RO water and some aquashield or voodoo juice (same thing). Beneficial bacteria might help that.
 

closetorganic

New Member
Next try I will use distilled and like you said soak the plugs, although I may try with rockwool too. You mentioned GH bloom and root excelarator, aquashield. All I have now and use is GO and have the go box ,My way has been keeping astrain going over the winter for a few grows, I have new moms now,one from seed, blackskull fem Jack Herer, and the other is a clone off last mom of my bag strain I basically have given up after last 2 weeks but this thread has given me a push again to try your way.:thumb:
 

s1ingblade

New Member
Nice lesson cap'n. I think I should practice this method as my area is prone to lots of power interruptions this time of the year. I love the two Tupperware containers, got lots of those that have missing lids so now they've got purpose, thanks cap
 

sadhu9

Active Member
Thanks for the info on cloning. I have had some success but not always. What brand of H2O system do you have (in the pic)? Does your system calibrate automatically (ph,ppm,temp)?

Thanks,
Sadhu9
 

TheCapn

New Member
I have followed this tutorial 3 times now.....and have had 100% success rate each time.

Thanks for sharing Capn :high-five: Excellent results!

Glad to hear it, Heady.

dont u use any light for the first 2 weeks? :11:
greeetz

I let it only get ambient light for the first week. If you put too much light on them, they start to get wilty. After about a week you and move them into a little more light. If they hold up and don't wilt, that's good. If they wilt, use less light.

The same is true about humidity. Keep the dome on until you can take it off for a few hours and they don't wilt. I usually leave the dome on for 2 weeks.
 

hanfduke

New Member
I let it only get ambient light for the first week. If you put too much light on them, they start to get wilty. After about a week you and move them into a little more light. If they hold up and don't wilt, that's good. If they wilt, use less light.

The same is true about humidity. Keep the dome on until you can take it off for a few hours and they don't wilt. I usually leave the dome on for 2 weeks.[/QUOTE]

helloo dude thx for your answer ! may i can ask u some questions about it ? cause i have grow-knowledge but with clooning i have no expierience . there i have only read the informations , but the opinions are very different
i am going to start a Business in europe with seedings and rootings
and im deciding about my Setup, perhaps u have a couple of min to share

i want to build a Aluminium Gewächshaus, Garten Treibhaus Mod.02: Amazon.de: Garten in my shop for easy clima-controll , or better say for more easy :D
for the first week to 10 days of the clones ->
i want to discover some space with low light or indircet light with a Maximum of 3x t5 ho bulbs for 1m² and a dorm the have high humility like 80% , root temp: 26 C° roomtemp : 25-27C°

and for day 10-20 ->
i will give the dorm away (only if they wont wilt) and give under a Quantum bad Boy 6 bulbs for 0,75m² (so it Need to be a bit above cause the lamp messurement is 49"x18,5" )
the humility i will try to hold on 70%
root and room temp i will have the same

Do u think thats a nice Setup for the clones ? ah and cause everybody says seeds Need more light , i will give the seeds after they sproud and have 2,3 leafs directly under the Quantum bad Boy Quantum BadBoy T5 4' - HydroponicGear.com ( will take anyway 5-14 days ? before they will be in the dark or same indirect light)
 

TheCapn

New Member
Hi Duke,

It sounds like you have a good plan, and a lot of work to do. Your first task is to find a few phenotypes that are worth cloning. That will take a long time, but that will give you plenty of time to practice your cloning skills. I suggest you root in the large seed trays with the tall clone dome. You can get about a dozen in there comfortably. Your light may be a bit too much, but you will just need to see what is the best recipe for you. The goal is to get them rooted and into rapid growth as soon as possible. With much practice, you will get the hang of it. Follow the instructions in this article and you should get 100% success rate.

Cap
 
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