You have four steps to go through to learn how to take care of clones in rockwool. We all know how helpful rockwool is for starting seeds, but this medium is also excellent for clones or cuttings. Clones are relatively easy to root under moist and stable growing conditions, making Rockwool useful for them.
If you want to encourage rooting on your clones, you also want to know how to maintain them in rockwool. Below are four steps to ensure that you’re making the most out of this medium to end up with vigorous plants. This way, you will be ready to transplant outdoors without many drawbacks.
How To Grow And Maintain Clones In Rockwool
Step #1. Preparation
Before anything else, you want to ensure that your tray, dome, and environment are all ready. You can set your tray and dome in the polytunnel because they will do best under 50% humidity and 75°F. It would be ideal for putting the tray on cardboard to prevent the starter cubes from sitting on a cold surface.
Since you’ll be growing and caring for clones or cuttings, you want to have a light above your dome to encourage root development. Then, soak the starter cubes for half an hour at 5.5 pH to adjust their pH level. You should be ready to place the rockwool cubes in the tray while making sure you have shaken off the excess liquid, and you’ve used a paper towel to soak any leftover water on the tray.
Step #2. Taking cuttings
Before you can adequately care for clones in rockwool, the clones or cuttings themselves should be under the best conditions. You want to use the new growths of your plant as your clones for optimal development. More so, enlarge the surface area of the cutting by cutting at a 45-degree angle.
This way, it’ll be easier for them to take in moisture and nutrients for root development. You also need to remove any leaf or flower on the section except for some leaves at the top. Doing so will prevent roots from having competition for nutrients.
Lastly, dip the end of the clone in rooting hormone to encourage faster root formation. You can also check out different ingredients that will work best for your plant. Always practice cleanliness when dipping the clones in rooting hormone to avoid the transmission of disease.
Step #3. Growing clones
You should be ready to push the clones into the rockwool cubes after dipping them in the rooting hormone. Just make sure that they are stable and not loose afterwards. Fill your cubes accordingly, and you can have as many as 40 pieces of cubes per tray.
Would you please put on the dome and place your clones under your light with an inch of distance between them? UK experts recommend using low-intensity fluorescent lights because they won’t risk damaging the clones. Instead, the warmth from the light will help evaporate the moisture on your cubes to encourage rooting.
After doing the first three steps, you should be ready to care for clones without many drawbacks. Remember that adequately doing the previous actions is necessary to avoid problems in the maintenance and care of cuttings. Once done, maintenance is relatively simple, where you must remove any standing water on the tray.
Step #4. Maintenance
Maintenance and care for clones in rockwool are as simple as shaking off the condensation on the dome once a day and securing the environment’s conditions. Remember that because you’re growing clones in rockwool, the best setting is at 50% humidity and 75°F. Be mindful that there are no vents or direct heat sources that prevent condensation.
After some time, you can check the rockwool cubes’ weight to know if they need watering. You can also check for roots under the cubes. This check will indicate if you can open the vents gradually on the dome for optimal growth.
Once all of the vents are open, you can remove the dome entirely for some hours to help the clones get used to the outdoor conditions. This procedure is similar to acclimatising cuttings to prepare them for transplanting later on.
Top Consideration When Rooting In Rockwool
Remember the importance of treating rockwool before using it. While it isn’t particularly laborious to soak the cubes in pH-treated water, it is still a necessary step that you must never overlook. You want to ensure that you’re providing the ideal pH level for the root development, so vigilance required in checking your pH levels.
Growing cuttings in rockwool can be advantageous, given that you have maintained the ideal conditions and practices. Therefore, learning how to take care of clones in rockwool is not limited to only maintenance. You also need to ensure the proper procedure, from preparation to growing the clones themselves.
Once you have secured the proper techniques for the first three steps, caring for clones in rockwool is as simple as opening the dome once a day to remove the condensation. You can also wipe off any standing water on the tray until the clones grow roots. Over time, you can gradually remove the vents until you can take the dome off completely.
Let your cuttings get used to the outdoor conditions, and they should be ready for transplanting.