BC Growers Association



Cloning tips and tricks


Physiology of cloning - NEW




There are quite a few good cloning tips out there and I'll simply paste a thread from Laughing Moon where Shabang gives some great advice.  But first I'll add a few of the little things that work for me.

My Personal Tricks

The two most important conditions for success is high humidity and warmth.  Regardless of medium, I always soak it over night with Nutriboost 1.  I believe any of the other B1 formulas such as superthrive will work as well but have never tried them.  As for rooting hormone, I don't think it really matters as I've had great results without using any but I usually use Roots gel simply for peace of mind and that it is easily available at many garden centers (I prefer to shop where gardeners and farmers shop and not where the MJ growers shop).  To reduce wilting, I trim each leave blade so that only about half of it remains.  This also helps reduce the threat of mold and allows more clones to be packed into a tray.  I then follow the controversial approach from the SOG video and start with about 1/4" of the water in the bottom of the tray and then just let it evaporate over the first week.  After the clones are set, I mist daily with no-damp and then cover with a dome.

Update  - I've since gotten lazy and often ignore the clones for a couple weeks with the domes left on. They seem to do well and are uaually rooted when I check. So the daily no-damp misting isn't needed, but is more a precaution.

How to take cuttings

Posted by ~shabang~ on February 15, 1998 1998

- this was copied from the Laughing Moon web site.  If Laughing Moon or Shabang has a problem with me posting it here, please feel free to let me know and I'll remove it.

   This is a brief description of how easy it is to successfully make clones of your plants. The first
requirement are the plants to be cloned, preferably they should be growing on a vegetative light cycle (18 to 24 hours of light) and not be overfed. Excess Nitrogen in the stems dan slow down rooting. You can take cuttings from plants that are blooming and heavily fertilized, but your success rate would probably be lower.

    Materials you need:

    Fresh razor blade or X-Acto or scalpel
    Gallon of distilled water (not tap, mineral, or spring)
    -mix this with 1/4 strength bloom fertilizer (more below)
    Containers, 3-inch or planting tray
    Spray Misting bottle
    Rootone, rooting hormone (avail. Home dePot, everywhere)

    Perlite, 1 bag
    Vermiculite, 1 bag

    Start by mixing your gallon of distilled water with your bloom fertilizer. This fertilizer should be
something with higher P and K values-- like 10-30-15 or 10-60-10, or preferably a good hydro formula like General Hydroponics. If this isn't convenient you can even skip the fertilizer until they root, but they will look better if you use it. You want to mix it up very dilute-- 1/4 strength of normal.

    Next combine your perlite and vermiculite. Fill your containers and thoroughly saturate it. If you're only taking a few clones, go ahead and use your bloom water, but probably you'll want to use another gallon of distilled and save the fertilizer for later. In each container make a hole for the cutting with a screwdriver, drill bit, pencil, etc.

    Prepare your area by getting it CLEAN. This is a very important step many people forget about-- wash your hands, your razor blade, and the cutting table. You want your cuttings to be between 3 and 6 inches in total length with at least 3 sets of leaves.

    Cut the branch from the mother plant and remove the bottom leaves so that when you bury it, there will be at least 1 node under the mix. You want to leave just a few leaves on the top so the plant can produce food. Dip the cutting in the Rootone all the way up to the bottom leaves, stick it gently in the container, and pat the mix in around it.

    You can water it in with the misting bottle and fertilizer water. Your area for the clones should be under fluorescents and hopefully its not very dry.. You need to keep the clones humid for the first few days; if your area is too dry you'll need to buy a cloning dome or make something to trap the humidity (think wire hangers and saran wrap).

    Mist the clones a few times a day for the first few days and make sure the medium stays moist. Rootone has shown to be very effective in rooting and keeping away stem rot.. Most strains root in 7 to 12 days, rarely will one die. Also if you have it, throw in some worm castings to the clone's mix for a better start.

    Hope this helps,


                            Posted by Vic High on February 17, 1998 at 21:30:38
                           In Reply to How to take cuttings posted by ~shabang~.

    Great post! I just want to add a couple of notes. I've screwed around with the cloning by using potting soil, root cubes, sand, perlite, many different rooting hormones, not using rooting hormones, size of clone, etc. and always good to great success. The one factor that I find really important is that I keep the clones warm (25-27 degrees), cold clones just won't root for me or take 6 to 8 weeks. In addition to using rooting hormones, I have found that misting and watering the plants with Nutrilife's NutriBoost 1 makes all the difference.

- since posting this, I've found that misting with NutriBoost actually slows the rooting.  I now only use NutriBoost for soaking the medium and mist with no-damp


Are the humidity tents or domes important? I know moisture is important, but if I mist regularly do I really need them? If so can I use 2 liter coke bottles with tops cut off and turned upside down over the clones? Again this is my first grow and I hate learning the hard way, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks to all for the info I've gotten from you by lurking. Keep up the High work.

It really depends on the ambient humidity in the grow room / closet. Is it cold and dry or decently warm  and humid? If its dry (under 40% humidity), I'd say you want to build a dome. Its really easy and doesn't have to be nearly airtight since they need to breathe. Try taking wire hangers, unbending them, and forming an arch over your cloning tray. Secure it on both sides with good amounts of duct tape then wrap saran wrap around the arches and you have an instant greenhouse for your cuttings.

Your two liter bottle idea would probably work-- you want them to be clear though, without any
wrappings, etc. A good hint for taking firm cuttings is really drench the mother with light-bloom water a few hours before taking the cuttings.

Having said that, I don't use any humidity domes. I mist a few times a day for the first few days then once a day until about 8 days when they start to root.

Some Incomplete Tips on Keeping Moms

Posted by Vic High on July 11, 1999 at 09:24:35 PT:

In Reply to: Another stupid question...keeping mothers posted by Lord Jaxom on July 10, 1999 at 11:51:31 PT:

 Hey this could be the basis for a new webpage, lots of info to get out here.

 1) cut back on lights if you want to slow growth
 a) go with flos, the cool whites have a healthy spectrum without blasting tonnes of lumens or heat.
 b) reduce the amount of light per day. Your timer can go a long way in manipulating the growth rate of your plants. One
 trick is to set the timer to 6 hours on, six hours off. This way, you are down to 12 hours per day without triggering

 2)keep it cooler - good idea having it at the start of your air circulation path.

 3) cut back on ferts - but like someone else mentioned, make sure your fert is complete. Growing in soil, I get good
 results keeping plants going with Alaska fish ferts, it seem very complete. Just feed when plants when they start to loose
 their colour or just after cutting back. DON'T feed just prior to making cuts, it will reduce your cloning rate. Actually, I
 think it's a high N content in the plant tissue that reduces clone survival rate or slows rooting, the one bad point to using
 the alaska fish ferts.

 4)Root pruning - although risky for a newbie, this is a good way to keep your moms fresh whether using soil or hydro.
 a) In hydro, it's easy, just give them a hair cut, make that hippy beard presentable, hehe.
 b) Soil is a little more tricky. Oldtimer1 may be able to explain this better,he was the first to post on this. Or maybe
 someone actively involved in comercial horticulture. Anyway, when a plant is looking old, I severely cut it back, roots
 included. Leaving the excess roots on can be dangerous, as the excess ones will die off and expose the remaining one to
 root rot. I use a knife (serrated like a bread knife) and hack off about a third of the rootball (others are braver, others
 less, hehe). I then repot back into the same pot, using fresh soil to replace the missing rootball. Using a transplanting fert
 or tonic like Nutriboost at this point wouldn't hurt.

 5) avoid a salt buildup if growing in soil. When you water, water to point where water runs out the bottom of the pots.
 Also, A good flush every now and then is good. Your plants will tell you when and how often.

 well my brain is drawing a blank right now, I know I've missed lots, but that's it for now. Good Luck!


Other Great Tips

TOPIC - making plants
              DATE - 00:32:19 6/05/99
              FROM - oldtimer1

              Is this what you wanted :-

             Well folks we have been using H2O2 for several years we buy it from industrial
             chemical suppliers. Industrial grade 35% stabilised it works out at about $20 for 5
             litres so you are doing something wrong in selecting your suppliers. This was
             something I did for a local commercial grower who was having trouble with pythium
             on their hydro tables. Since they took it up the production has improved by over
             100%. For organic growing the Formulex can be replaced with a balanced liquid
             organic fertiliser with a slightly elevated nitrate level. Nitrozyme is similar to triple
             strength Maxicrop pro.


              Treating rockwool cubes for cuttings :-
              pH down lukewarm Ro water to 5.5
              For each litre add :-
              1 ml H2O2 [ hydrogen peroxide ]
              5 mls Formulex

              soak until saturated then drain and take cuttings immediately.
              Once cuttings are set in blocks lightly mist with lukewarm Ro water pH 6 :-
              and per litre add
              5 ml Formulex
              1 ml H2O2
              1/2 ml wetting agent
              2 ml Nitrozyme
              cover and put under lights as usual.

              For perking up mumís, enhancing plants in veg and early flowering use the same
              formula as above but instead of 2 ml of Nitrozyme use 5 to 10 ml this is called rocket
              fuel and is best sprayed just after the main lights go off to give the leaves plenty of
              time to absorb it. This should not be used more than once a week and stop using it
              completely after week 3 of 12/12 hrs [flowering]

              Make the above spray mixes and use immediately. If you have spray left don't keep it,
              empty it into one of the tube tanks and wash out the sprayer.
              For clean up of Hydro and ancillary equipment normal 25 ml to 10 litres at least a 1 hr
              soak. If you have had pythium 50ml to 10 litres is used.
              This mix is also used in a pressure sprayer to mist to run off, Walls, floor, ceilings and
              any surface in the area to that needs sterilising if fungus present use mix below to kill
              spores. When misting take care it will burn skin on contact.
              For infected equipment use 100 ml to 10 litres.

              The above measurements is for H2O2 at 35% double if using 17.5%.


                                This is a repost of something I collected. Enjoy.These are based on the 35% H2O2
                                solution. For sterilising, these figures should provide an adequate concentration to
                                do the job. If anything it should be much greater than that needed if the instructions
                                were meant for the 17.5% product. At worse you'll pay a few pennies more for H2O2,
                                but you'll rest assured the equipment will be sterilised.

                                If you don't have instructions that came with your product, beware of using too high
                                a concentration of H2O2 with living plants.

                                25ml Oxy Plus @ 35% H2O2 to 10 litres water for sterilisation. Or 2.5ml per 1 litre

                                3.785 litres = 1 gallon

                                3.785 x 2.5ml = 9.46ml/gal or 10ml/gal Oxy Plus for sterilising.

                                Drug store H2O2 is 3% solution, Oxy plus is 35%. Will need 11.7 times more drug
                                store H2O2 to do the same as Oxy Plus 35%. 11.7 x 10ml = 117ml/gallon drug
                                store H2O2 to sterilise, OR 1/2 cup per gallon.

                                Below are the recommended concentrations for various mixes from each set of
                                instructions included with the 17.5% and 35% products. The parts per million of
                                H2O2 for each is also noted for comparison.

                                Will assume that 20 drops = one ml for the below.

                                H2O2 content 17.5% = 175ppm at 1ml per litre.

                                35% = 350ppm at 1ml per litre.

                                Increase oxygen content in hydro systems, for use 2-3 times a week = 17.5%, 5 ml
                                per 10L 88ppm

                                35%, 2.5 ml per 10L 88ppm

                                Increase oxygen content in hydro systems, for use on a daily basis = 17.5%, 5 ml
                                per 20L 44ppm

                                35%, 2.5ml per 10L 44ppm

                                Optimum H2O2 Levels for hydroponic systems. 30-50ppm for the 17.5% solution

                                30-100ppm for the 35% solution

                                Note: 30-50ppm seems to be safe for hydro systems/tanks, and up to 100ppm may
                                be OK for a short period of time. Use your best judgement.

                                Seed germination

                                17.5% : 20 drops per Litre, 175ppm

                                35% : 15 drops per Litre, 262ppm

                                Misting solution

                                17.5% : 15 drops per Litre, 131ppm

                                35% : 15 drops per Litre, 262ppm

                                Treating Rockwool

                                17.5% : 30 drops per Litre 262ppm

                                35% : 15 drops per Litre 262ppm


                                17.5% : 50 ml per 10 Litre, 880ppm

                                35% : 25 ml per10 Litre, 880ppm

                                The above concentrations translated into US Gallons :
                                2.5ml per 10 Litre or 0.25ml per Litre or 0.95ml per Gal
                                5.0ml per 10 Litre or 0.50ml per Litre or 1.90ml per Gal
                                25ml per 10 Litre or 2.50ml per Litre or 9.50ml per Gal
                                50ml per 10 Litre or 5.00ml per Litre or 19.00ml per Gal
                                5.0ml per 20 Litre or 0.25ml per Litre or 0.95ml/Gal
                                15drops per Litre or 0.75ml per Litre or 2.84ml per Gal
                                20drops per Litre or 1.00ml per Litre or 3.79ml per Gal
                                30drops per Litre or 1.50ml per Litre or 5.68ml per Gal

                                The needed amount of a 3% H2O2 solution to produce the above PPM values :
                                5.5ml per Gal 3% H2O2 for 44 PPM
                                11.0ml per Gal 3% H2O2 for 88 PPM
                                16.5ml per Gal 3% H2O2 for 131 PPM
                                21.8ml per Gal 3% H2O2 for 175 PPM
                                33.2ml per Gal 3% H2O2 for 262 PPM
                                111.2ml per Gal 3% H2O2 for 880 PPM

                                Happy mixing :-)

                           RO is Reverse Osmosis water (similar to distilled water, but obtained with another process, try
                           http://www.millipore.com for info), the stuff you can get at houseware stores for ironing...

                           Jiffy sucked me a few times.
                           I've lost 10 Thai/skunk#1 from DP and 9 Haze/skunk#1 from DP. but I realized it was my fault (too
                           Now I feel comfortable soaking them in that mix, and plant directly premium seeds in.
                           Don't use them: if you fell the will not work they'll do...maybe plant in 50% perlite/50%peat (is what
                           nursery people suggest)


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