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I'm growing in soil - Should I be cloning in rockwool?

Messi

New Member
Heres what I know, Hydro roots are different from Soil roots.
Hydro roots are thicker and straighter and soil roots are thinner and have many more branches and meandering curves to them (like rivers).

I'm growing in soil and only plan to grow in soil.
The clones are in rockwool cubes under a humidity dome that covers most of the container. Each cube is in its own little cup. This is my first attempt and after successfully rooting a few in rockwool I realized that it might be difficult to transition them to soil.
What is the best way to clone for a soil grower?

When I first took clones I put them all into rockwool and now that they have thick hydro roots sticking out, I am unsure if surrounding the cube with soil would be good for the clone.

Can the hydro roots live in the soil?
How high should the humidity be?

I've read that....
-The new clones should be slowly weened off of high humidity when put into soil from rockwool.
-Root rot?
-It is important to let the soil dry out completely in order to cause the roots to stretch into the soil.
-It is better to plant the rockwool cube into a smaller container of soil because the less soil you have the quicker it will dry out causing the roots to stretch.
-Allow the roots in the rockwool to get big before putting them into soil so that they will be able to reach into the soil when it comes time to transplant.

With all of this information I know that moderation is always important. I think optimum humidity levels for the plant will be hard to maintain. As far as I know, hydro roots need very high humidity but at the same time soil roots need to be drenched and then allow to completely dry. When putting rockwool cubes into soil in the past I have noticed that the cubes dry up and the surrounding soil absorbs the moisture. I think that no matter what this will cause stress on the plant. I don't know if the plant can take it.

My thoughts..
-A few days (anywhere from 2-5) before transplanting from wool to soil, sprinkle some soil around and under the rockwool. As a way to get the clone ready to make the transition to soil.
-If I allow the roots in rockwool to grow any longer before transplanting into soil, the roots will be exposed to the light. Light is bad for roots. I don't know how I feel about letting the roots get any longer than a quarter inch poking out of the rockwool.
-I'd like to wet down the rockwool before transplanting it into soil and carefully break open small sections of the rockwool. I believe that this would allow a little bit of soil to get into the rockwool, making the transition to soil less stressful. As long as the root system was not damaged, I would be extremely careful.

Finally, the only reason I am cloning in rockwool is because I have heard it is easier than soil. Rockwool is a very common method, but Is it the right method for someone who wants to grow in soil?
Maybe I should be going right into soil. Would a rapid rooter be better than rockwool for the transition to soil?

Tell me what you think.
 

canabinerd

New Member
Re: I'm growing in soil. Should I be cloning in rockwool?

You are worrying entirely too much. People have been using rockwool cubes to clone in for a long long time for both soil and hydro setups. Please, don't break open your clones rockwool, you will only succeed in damaging roots. As for the difference in appearance between hydro roots and roots grown in a solid media, it really only means that a root swishing around in a fluid media needs a bit more sturdiness than one that is scaffolded in a solid growing media like soil, there is no physiologic difference in how they work. Take your rooted clones plug them in the soil and water them. Then treat them just like you would a hydro plant except you will now have to figure out a watering schedule and you will be shooting for a bit higher pH than you would in a hydro system. Each soil/soil-less media is a little different on how much it retains water and of course there are climatic differences to account for and what sort of pot you are using. But regardless, Fill up your pot with relatively dry potting soil and take note of the weight of the pot and soil, weigh it if you need to. When your pot starts getting close to being that light again you know it's time to water. I also like to feel the lower fan leaves on my plants, when they start getting a little dry, the leaves feel thinner and limp. This usually preceeds any sort of drooping by a day or more, which in my opinion is about right for most plants. You don't want to "completely" dry them out, but you want to dry them out enough that your root ball gets lots of oxygen.

As for rapid rooters, I love them and use them for all my seedlings and clones, but I wouldn't go out and buy them if I had a bunch of rockwool.
 

GeorgeFoster

New Member
Re: I'm growing in soil. Should I be cloning in rockwool?

I grow in soil and clone in rockwool with humidity dome....once I get 1" of roots the cube goes into soil.

I soak the cube in 5.5 water, take my cutting and use a rooting compound and then give the cube 5.5 water as needed to keep the plug wet and release any left over lime that is in the cube while it roots.

I use a heat mat and keep the temp in the dome a 76 to 80 farenhiet....once roots show....into a 50/50 mix of Fox farms ocean forest and perilite(sp?) and continue the 5.5 water for another 7-10 days....after that, it's mild nute solution and on to vegging.
 

The303Stoner

New Member
Re: I'm growing in soil. Should I be cloning in rockwool?

I've cloned in straight Ocean Forest and had success. My new baby mix is light warrior and Just rite Xtra 420 Formula(perlite, pet, rockwool, lime) I put my clones or seeds in this and they take off. any slow or small growth I can feed.
 

DrOfDank

New Member
Re: I'm growing in soil. Should I be cloning in rockwool?

I clone in rockwool, and I grow in coco. i used to grow in soil. It's never been a problem. The roots will come out of the rockwool and grow normally in soil, coco, etc. Once you see an inch or so of roots, plant them in soil, lightly mist them and put them under lights with a light breeze. Give them 20 minutes, and if they're wilting, put them back under the humidity dome for another day. If you have an inch or more of roots showing, you should be okay, though.
 
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