First, check to make sure that you have all of the necessary items to begin the cuttings.
You will need:
- a room with 18 hours of light
- a room or area with higher humidity
- a room at 72-77°F
- a clean area to work
- clean one-sided blade to make cuttings
- growing medium (rockwool cubes, Rapid Rooters or soilless mix)
- humidity dome for the cuttings
- rooting gel like Clonex, Rootech, or Olivia’s.
- bacteria killer or compost solution (Hygrozyme or Aquashield work well)
- if using rockwool, you should also use a solution like Europonic Rockwool Soak or Supernatural’s Rockwool Soak the night before you take the cuttings
- a cup of water at room temperature
- a pen or other instrument to widen the holes on the cubes for the cuttings
- insert tray with flat
- spray bottle filled with water or foliar spray rich in calcium
To ensure success it is recommended that you test the pH of your water/nutrient solution as well as the ppm or EC. My favorite meter for this is Hanna’s PET500, which will measure both of these. The pH of the solution or water should be at 5.8 – 6.5 with a ppm of 350-500.
Make certain that your room is at a nice room temperature (72-77°F) while you are taking the cuttings. Typically, you will want to take cuttings after the plant has been watered with plain water (if in soil) or flushed (if in hydroponics). Make certain that your mother plant is a plant which has produced well for you before and has a lot of green, leafy growth on it. Set your cup of water and cup or glass of gel close enough to you so you can get the cuttings into the cubes.
Once you have your clean work area set up with all of your supplies, it is time to take cuttings! You want at least three leaves on each cutting. Select a stem on the mother plant and cut it with your scalpel (or any sterile one-sided blade) at a 45 degree angle. Put the cutting in the cup of water. Repeat until you have taken enough cuttings (usually you will want to take more cuttings than you need plants).
Take your pen or toothpick and widen the holes in the cubes so that you won’t have to force the cuttings in. Drop some rooting gel into the cubes. They are ready for the cuttings. Once you have filled your tray with cuttings, spray with water or foliar spray. It is also recommended to water the cubes or medium with a bacteria-killing mixture such as Hygrozyme or Aquashield. In warm, humid environments, it is very easy to grow bacteria which can inhibit root growth.
If you are using a metal halide light, move it far enough away from the clones so that they are not overpowered by heat or light. Fluorescent lighting is a good option if you want to cut down on wattage and heat. Also, make certain that the cuttings are away from any fans or drafts – any direct air movement may affect the rooting.
You will need to spray your cuttings on a daily basis. Try to time this so that they aren’t wet at the end of the light cycle. This typically depends on the humidity of the surrounding area so you will need to adjust this based on the climate of the room. Now you have about 1-2 weeks until you are ready to transplant your clones!