How should cuttings be prepared for aero cloning?

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Preparing the clones for aero tub cloning
The following information applies to all types of aero cloners, not just the cheapo-aero tub.

There are a few things that need to be done in order to get the best results when aero cloning. Preparing the future cuttings before they're cut from the donor plant. Followed by final trimming, soaking, leaf trimming and lastly, cutting to length and loading the cloner.

Prepare the mom...

Before cutting the cuts from the donor, hold a support tube next to the future cutting and determine whether or not any nodes will be inside of the support tube. If there are any nodes in that area, trim them flush to the stem with a cuticle nipper or similar tool. Do the same for all the growth tips you plan on taking for this batch of clones. Allow the trimmed mom to heal up overnight before you actually take the cuttings off the donor. This step will keep the cuts from trying to make roots inside of the tubes, and will help prevent stem rot within the support tubes.

Take the cuttings the following day...

Cut them a little longer for now, using a sharp scissors or razor blade.

Trim away the nodes...

Trim any nodes from the portion of the stem that will be below the support tubes. Af uses a cuticle nipper for this task and cut them flush to the stem.

Soak all the trimmed cuttings in cool water...

Allow all the cuts to soak for at least a half hour in cool tap water. The water soak will get all the cuttings nice and turgid, and the chlorine in the tap water will help sterilize the cuttings.

Trim the leaf blades...

Cutting the blades in half as shown will cut moisture loss in half. This leaf trimming will also help to slow down premature yellowing caused by too much or too intense lighting.

Load em up...

Load the finished cuttings into the support tubes in the lid and cut the stems to length with a razor blade. You want the stems to hang about one inch below the tubes. While you are loading the tub, the air pump should be running to start the wetting process, let it run for about an hour before you set up the air pump on the timer.

Use the timer please...
Cycle the timer on and off with the timer set for 30 minutes on by 60 to 90 minutes off (depending on the environment).

About that little heater...
The six dollar 7-1/2 watt fishbowl heater has no thermostat. It must be connected to the same timer you'll be running the air pump, using a two prong multi-tap adapter in the timers socket, otherwise the heater will overheat the water. If you are building your own cheapo and can find a small fully submersible heater with thermostatic control, I highly recommend buying and using that instead of the cheap little heater. In some situations and in warmer rooms, running a heater may not be necessary. Walmart has a cheap little two dollar thermometer which can be left floating in the tub for checking the water temperature.

Misting and/or a dome...
You may need to mist the cuttings once or twice the first day, but from then on they should not need any more misting. If you have a very dry environment (low rh) you can place a large plastic bag over the entire tub to maintain a higher humidity.

No nutes !
Use only distilled water or tap water in the cloner.
Do not add any ferts to the water, it will only cause fungus problems and failed clones due to stem rot from the fungus.

For impossible strains only...
If you have a really hard to clone strain (like big bud), you can add one tespoon of dip-n-grow liquid per half gallon of water and run it for the first twelve hours.
Change to straight ph'd water after the first twelve hours.

Change the water...
Always change the water in the cloner daily for the first few days. This will help keep the cloner and cuttings clean.

Never use intense lighting for cloning...
You want the flourescent lighting to be a foot or two away from the top of the tub. Closer or more intense lighting will cause premature yellowing and failures.

ph the water...
Keep the water in the tub ph'd to a range between 5.0 and 6.0. Higher ph will cause failures. Use phosphoric acid to lower the ph.

Water temperature...
Keep the water temperature between 75f and 80f.
Higher temps will cause fungus, lower temps will cause stasis, stalled or failed clones.

Be patient...roots will develop soon...

The best part of aero cloning is the satisfaction of seeing the roots develop. Some strains will start rooting as fast as five days, others will take as long as two weeks. Most will at least show root bumps starting within one week, with roots blasting out a few days after the bumps. Remember though, that a clone showing root bumps is ready for transfer to a hydro medium or system where it can start receiving weak nutes.

Aero rooted clones

are perfect for transplanting directly into grow rocks or lava rock in hydroponic systems like ebb & flow or deep water culture. They are also suitable for soil growing if they are transplanted properly at the right stage of rooting.

Happy cloning,

  Last modified: 07:22 - Feb 26, 2001  

faq:837 "How should cuttings be prepared for aero cloning?"