Some plants are able to propagate extremely easily, needing nothing more than a piece of a veiny leaf to reproduce asexually. There are certain species, however, that are much more stubborn. Despite an intense amount of care, only a small percentage may take root, even if you are using rooting gel. But there are certain extra steps you can take to help increase your odds of your cuttings taking root. Follow these simple measures, and you may see your cloning success rate increase dramatically.
Keep You Grow Lights on Continuously – Most hydroponic gardeners keep their lights on for eighteen hours in a twenty four hour period for their plants in the vegetative stage of development and for twelve hours in a twenty four hour period for plants in the flowering stage of development. This doesn’t just cut down light bills, it also more closely imitates the natural cycle of the sun. However, for seedlings and clones, it can actually benefit them to receive continuous light. Cuttings need as many carbohydrates as they can produce in order to create roots, and a constant light supply can help optimize photosynthesis to create those carbohydrates. You may want to use a separate timer and lamps for your cuttings to give them optimal light.
Monitor Your Room Temperature Carefully – Maintaining optimum temperature it vital for fragile cuttings. If the temperature is too low, it may slow photosynthesis, which means your stems will not receive the carbohydrates they need to form roots. If the temperature is too high, it will cause your plants to transpire rapidly, making them lose precious moisture. In addition, it can also make the moisture in your medium evaporate quickly, which would essentially negate the benefits of using a medium that holds moisture well, such as rockwool. The exact ideal temperature will depend upon what plants you are growing, but generally you should try to prevent the grow room from getting under sixty degree or over seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. You should make sure to take temperatures several times throughout the day, including very late at night, so you have accurate idea of how the temperate fluctuates in your grow room throughout the day.
“Wound” Your Stems – “Wounding” your stems simply means using a razor blade to scrape off the outer section of the bottommost part of the stem. This will expose more the inner section of the stem, which may encourage more root formation. This will also let you apply the rooting gel directly to the inner section of the stem, where the rooting hormones can be more effective.
Surround Your Clones with White Material – Some people have reported success in cloning hard-to-clone plants by surrounding the cloning tray with white boards. Since white reflects the broadest spectrum of the light, it may work because it makes the most efficient use of your grow light, by reflecting light right back onto the stems. After you use rooting gel and place the cuttings in your tray, you may even try placing the tray in a box that has the inside panels painted white.