Having Trouble Cloning?

Schwaggy P

🦨
Staff member
HAVING TROUBLE CLONING?????

There was a time when I was having the toughest go of getting clones to successfully and consistently root. I would have damping off problems, moldy growth at the base of the cuts, very slow/stunted rooting if at all. It drove me crazy and I went on a rampage trying every clone how-to with the same results. I went out a bought multiple water culture cloners and while I did have a great first round with them, the success quickly deteriorated into the same lackluster results. I bought a 32-site ezcloner and after the first round of clones thought I beat the issues but they quickly returned. After multiple ezcloners and a few bought and diy deep water culture cloners, I was left poorer and still had no consistent cloning.

This all changed with one very special additive, bleach. Yes, bleach. The reason the cloning was so hit or miss and just unsuccessful was due to fungal pathogens wreaking havoc on the cuttings. The cuts were just barely pushing through the attack from pathogens to throw a root or two. So I decided to try my root riot (rooter plugs) clone procedure but this time, add bleach to the root plug soak before putting the cuts into the plugs (~20drops/gallon of water). That round of clones was 100% success and I was both relieved and in shock that the answer to my problems was lurking under the sink this whole time.

I have since made the bleach a must have for every round of clones and have never looked back. I can take a round of clones, just leave the dome on and forget they exist for about 10 days and come back to rooted cuts with no rotting, damping off, or mold.

I didn’t think this problem was really that widespread until a friend was describing the very same issues I had before and he was able to get killer results with the bleach. I figured that so many people had their own clone routine and would scoff at putting bleach around their cuts that no one could really benefit from this tip. So, if you’re having a rough go at cloning or even just slightly slower rooting, try out the bleach and see if it can solve your problem as well.

If anyone is interested in a more in depth post about how I clone, I can take pics and write up the process in a future post. Besides the bleach it’s a pretty standard root plug process but I’m happy to oblige.
 

WillieP

In Bloom
I started out as a hydro guy.
I ran benne’s in the reservoirs.
I never had any major issues, but things could have been better. I did a lot of reading and decided to try a sterile reservoir. I very diluted mixture of pool shock. Doesn’t seem like something you would want to put on your plants, but the results spoke for themselves.
And I agree that for those out there having trouble cloning, it certainly is worth a shot.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Cheers,
WillieP.
 

OldG

Elite Hobbyist
HAVING TROUBLE CLONING?????

There was a time when I was having the toughest go of getting clones to successfully and consistently root. I would have damping off problems, moldy growth at the base of the cuts, very slow/stunted rooting if at all. It drove me crazy and I went on a rampage trying every clone how-to with the same results. I went out a bought multiple water culture cloners and while I did have a great first round with them, the success quickly deteriorated into the same lackluster results. I bought a 32-site ezcloner and after the first round of clones thought I beat the issues but they quickly returned. After multiple ezcloners and a few bought and diy deep water culture cloners, I was left poorer and still had no consistent cloning.

This all changed with one very special additive, bleach. Yes, bleach. The reason the cloning was so hit or miss and just unsuccessful was due to fungal pathogens wreaking havoc on the cuttings. The cuts were just barely pushing through the attack from pathogens to throw a root or two. So I decided to try my root riot (rooter plugs) clone procedure but this time, add bleach to the root plug soak before putting the cuts into the plugs (~20drops/gallon of water). That round of clones was 100% success and I was both relieved and in shock that the answer to my problems was lurking under the sink this whole time.

I have since made the bleach a must have for every round of clones and have never looked back. I can take a round of clones, just leave the dome on and forget they exist for about 10 days and come back to rooted cuts with no rotting, damping off, or mold.

I didn’t think this problem was really that widespread until a friend was describing the very same issues I had before and he was able to get killer results with the bleach. I figured that so many people had their own clone routine and would scoff at putting bleach around their cuts that no one could really benefit from this tip. So, if you’re having a rough go at cloning or even just slightly slower rooting, try out the bleach and see if it can solve your problem as well.

If anyone is interested in a more in depth post about how I clone, I can take pics and write up the process in a future post. Besides the bleach it’s a pretty standard root plug process but I’m happy to oblige.
Thank you so much ! I am just getting my clone mojo back and realized it was because it needs to be super clean...like making boomers.
Clean cutting tools...and BLEACH...man that is going to help tremendously!

Speaking of pool shock ...what is the ratio people generally use to make the drops you add to the res? I might give a tote a go...and that is what murdered my last one...pythium is a ponderous pathogen that can be overcome with pool shock or peroxide (I have a pool so shock is almost free)
 

HBZ farms

In Bloom
HAVING TROUBLE CLONING?????

There was a time when I was having the toughest go of getting clones to successfully and consistently root. I would have damping off problems, moldy growth at the base of the cuts, very slow/stunted rooting if at all. It drove me crazy and I went on a rampage trying every clone how-to with the same results. I went out a bought multiple water culture cloners and while I did have a great first round with them, the success quickly deteriorated into the same lackluster results. I bought a 32-site ezcloner and after the first round of clones thought I beat the issues but they quickly returned. After multiple ezcloners and a few bought and diy deep water culture cloners, I was left poorer and still had no consistent cloning.

This all changed with one very special additive, bleach. Yes, bleach. The reason the cloning was so hit or miss and just unsuccessful was due to fungal pathogens wreaking havoc on the cuttings. The cuts were just barely pushing through the attack from pathogens to throw a root or two. So I decided to try my root riot (rooter plugs) clone procedure but this time, add bleach to the root plug soak before putting the cuts into the plugs (~20drops/gallon of water). That round of clones was 100% success and I was both relieved and in shock that the answer to my problems was lurking under the sink this whole time.

I have since made the bleach a must have for every round of clones and have never looked back. I can take a round of clones, just leave the dome on and forget they exist for about 10 days and come back to rooted cuts with no rotting, damping off, or mold.

I didn’t think this problem was really that widespread until a friend was describing the very same issues I had before and he was able to get killer results with the bleach. I a few figured that so many people had their own clone routine and would scoff at putting bleach around their cuts that no one could really benefit from this tip. So, if you’re having a rough go at cloning or even just slightly slower rooting, try out the bleach and see if it can solve your problem as well.

If anyone is interested in a more in depth post about how I clone, I can take pics and write up the process in a future post. Besides the bleach it’s a pretty standard root plug process but I’m happy to oblige.
I caught this method a few days back..I was about to clean out my hydro cloner as I probably should anyways ...it's been running the same water plus some for a couple months...I didn't want to lose the cuts I had in there but had nothing to lose per say . and the foam circles was globbing up with white shit and clones were failing..and dieing...Figured I had almost three gallon of water in there..I put 20 drops of bleach in...two days after three clones showing root...couple days later see white bumps on a few more. Blown away....wish ide known this year's ago....This is priceless info...had to pull a few and replace fresh plugs but damn man...this saved my ass...never do it any other way..Info appreciated. And I'll pass this on as well
 

OldG

Elite Hobbyist
@HydroRed put it out there a while back

The #3 "Shock" that I use from HTH is 52% Calcium Hypochlorite and is the only bag you need and a 1lb bag will last you yrs for like $8.
Mix 5g of shock treatment with 1 gallon of water for your stock solution. Once you mix the stock solution, add 5ml of the stock solution for every 1 gallon of water in your res every 3 days.
 

OldG

Elite Hobbyist
I have also used hydrogen peroxide with great results. I have a jug of 34% and add 5 drops per quart of water to soak the root riot plugs. An addition of bleach as well may be golden.
So...stoner question...which burns more ?

A drop of 30% food grade peroxide...well that is an exquisite burn...like a sting from a catfish with fire and acid.

The 56% Pool Shock...its pretty nasty too.

Don't get burned you say...HA. Feel the burn baby.
 

Skunky Dunk Farms

Cannabinoid Receptor
So...stoner question...which burns more ?

A drop of 30% food grade peroxide...well that is an excuiste burn...like a sting from a catfish with fire and acid.

The 56% Pool Shock...its pretty nasty too.

Don't get burned you say...HA. Feel the burn baby.
Caustics deserve our utmost respect!!
Or yes, feel the burn.
I also use 54% phosphoric acid to make my own ph down solutions.
It's amazing to watch chemicals work, 60ml of ph down moves my ph 1 point in my barrel, 3 flecks of sodium hydroxide (lye) will raise it back up.
 
Last edited:

Schwaggy P

🦨
Staff member
clorox clones effected.jpg

cooltext416021209174248.png

clone title.jpg
  • Nursery tray
  • Dome
  • Large bowl
  • Plug tray cells
  • Plugs
  • Rooting gel
  • Nutes
  • Bleach
  • Green Cleaner (any IPM dunk)
  • 90% Alcohol (in spray bottle)
  • Scissors
  • Tags
  • Marker
  • Pipette (5mL)
*Any rooting gel works. Any nute works, I’ve also left them out and still got roots. The Green Cleaner dip is optional.






cooltext416021386089362.png
I have cell trays that are only used for root plugs so there’s no need to clean out crusted soil or stuck perlite from them. The trays get dunked a few times in bleach solution, shaken dry, and are ready for plugs.

1. Fill the bowl with your desired water volume (3L water pictured)

2. Add Bleach at a rate of 1 part Bleach to 100 parts Water (~35mL Bleach/gal Water) to achieve a strong sanitizing solution. I don’t usually measure this out. I add a splash of bleach to the water, but I measured out my “splash” and came to the rate stated.

3. Submerge each tray into the solution and lift allowing the solution to drain through the openings of the tray. Repeat this dunk and drain 3-5 times per tray until all trays are sanitized. Without rinsing the cell tray, return it to your nursery tray.

cooltext416045620527736.png
Here is where this clone procedure departs from the standard root plug process by introducing bleach into the soaking solution. I have experimented with the amount of bleach for years and have found that a wide range of concentrations is acceptable. There is a lower limit where there is not enough bleach and an upper limit where rooting is negatively affected but these limits are pretty wide. Another point to consider is the general rate of rooting for the cuts you’re working with. For instance, OG Kush tends to take longer to root than Skunk and would need a bleach concentration that would last longer than quicker rooting plants. For this, I would skew toward the higher end of the recommended bleach rate to ensure there is enough 'gas in the tank’ to get you where you want to go. You may also notice that I am not pH-ing the solution and not soaking the plugs for an extended period of time as I haven't found either to be necessary.

4. Rinse out your bowl containing the sanitizing solution from the above steps. Refill with fresh water to your desired volume.

5. Add between 12-20 drops of bleach per gallon of water and stir.

6. Add a splash of nutrients to the bleached water.

7. Add root plugs to the solution. Submerge each plug individually and squeeze out the air to fully absorb the solution (3-5 squeezes). Lift the plug from the solution and squeeze excess solution such that there is no dripping but the plug remains moist.

8. Fill the sanitized plug trays with prepared root plugs. I usually skip a cell in the tray to allow for room between cuts to mitigate any possible fungal issues between densely packed leaves in high humidity.


cooltext416045670592461.png
This is your standard process for choosing and preparing a cutting for the rooter plug. Choose a part of the plant that has a couple sets of leaves and allow for a node to be at the bottom of your cut. Trimming the leaves to reduce transpiration and overlap is a case by case call that depends on how densely packed the cuts will be and size of the cuttings. I usually include the IPM step of dunking the cuts in a general purpose pest mitigating solution as a ‘best practice’ step but is not necessary in the success of rooting.

9. Select the cutting of your plant that has a couple leaf sets and make your cut just below a node that gives you an overall clone length of about 5-7inches.

10. Cut the leaves from the lowest node while not gouging out the entire node from the stem.

11. Cut the lower portion of your branch at a 45 deg. angle about 0.5-1 inch below the lowest node. This ensures that the node will be within the root plug when inserted.

12. Trim any leaves as needed based on spacing and personal preference.


13. If using a pest mitigator (Pictured: Green Cleaner 3mL/gal): hold the cutting so that the lowest node and tip will not be submerged into the solution. Keeping the lower point of your cut dry will allow for better adhesion with the cloning gel.


14. Targeting the lower portion of the cutting including the lowest node, apply your rooting hormone. I roll the cut end in gel and roll against the wall of whatever I’m using to house the gel to remove excess (pictured: Spoon, but I’ve used shot glasses, etc.).

15. Plunge the gel’d cutting into the root plug. If the stem of your cutting is too narrow relative to the hole in the plug, just stab the plug to the side of the hole to make your own. This ensures a solid placement with good contact.

16. Make sure to add a tag with the plant name to the appropriate cells.

17. Spray the scissors with the 90% rubbing alcohol between plants.

18. Repeat steps 9-17 until all of the desired cuttings have been taken, plugged, and tagged.

gel (1).png

cooltext416045742491682 2.png
Usually, you’ll read about having to baby the domed tray with opening the dome, adding heat mats on timers, special lighting, etc. but I take a set and forget view at this point and practically forget about the cuttings in a zone of over-splash light in the veg area until around day 10. That’s when I check for roots and soak any dried plugs in a root soak solution outlined above (steps 5-6). You’ll notice in the last pictures that the cuttings can be just as heathy as the day you took the cuts. This means very little shock and repair when going from cutting to veg/flower and allows you the option of keeping the rooted cuts going in the nursery tray until you’re ready for their next destination.

19. With all of the intended cuttings complete, arrange them in your nursery tray so that there is equal spacing between them.

20. Place the humidity dome over the tray with vents closed.

21. Using your marker, write the date on the humidity dome so that you have a quick reference for when the clones were taken (this can be removed with rubbing alcohol later).

domeing.png

22. Place your domed tray of clones somewhere that offers some light. I use the peripheral veg lighting by just placing the tray off to the side of my veg space. You can use a dedicated space with its own light but I opt for easiest method that utilizes what’s already available.

23. I forget about the clones for about 7-10days before checking on them. This part of the process is the result of many rounds of clones, so if you’re trying this method for the first time, it’s ok to check on them as often as you’d like.

24. At between 10-15days, roots are visibly pushing through the plugs. Some vigorous cuts will have lots of roots pushing through the holes of the cell trays.

25. Transplant your rooted cuttings to whatever your desired next step or keep the cuttings going by adding a weak nutrient solution to the bottom of the nursery tray until you decide.

rooties222.png

This is my standard cloning procedure. If you have found that using heat mats with dedicated lighting spaces etc. works well but could be better, just incorporate the bleach soak portion of this process. There's plenty of room for blending different cloning methods or steps into the use of bleach while dialing in optimum root rates for your specific environment and situation.
 

OldG

Elite Hobbyist
I am so very grateful man...

Cloning has been hit or miss but I am tired of not being sterile and scientific about it...and LAAAA

Like angels singing.

And this morning I found my Giesel X Skunky Brewster.....I am not even kidding. Ta DA !

Kizmet for LIFE...Thanks man..for real...the timing is incredible.
 

BigPretzel

In Bloom

View attachment 127858

View attachment 127849
  • Nursery tray
  • Dome
  • Large bowl
  • Plug tray cells
  • Plugs
  • Rooting gel
  • Nutes
  • Bleach
  • Green Cleaner (any IPM dunk)
  • 90% Alcohol (in spray bottle)
  • Scissors
  • Tags
  • Marker
  • Pipette (5mL)
*Any rooting gel works. Any nute works, I’ve also left them out and still got roots. The Green Cleaner dip is optional.






View attachment 127859
I have cell trays that are only used for root plugs so there’s no need to clean out crusted soil or stuck perlite from them. The trays get dunked a few times in bleach solution, shaken dry, and are ready for plugs.

1. Fill the bowl with your desired water volume (3L water pictured)

2. Add Bleach at a rate of 1 part Bleach to 100 parts Water (~35mL Bleach/gal Water) to achieve a strong sanitizing solution. I don’t usually measure this out. I add a splash of bleach to the water, but I measured out my “splash” and came to the rate stated.

3. Submerge each tray into the solution and lift allowing the solution to drain through the openings of the tray. Repeat this dunk and drain 3-5 times per tray until all trays are sanitized. Without rinsing the cell tray, return it to your nursery tray.

View attachment 127861
Here is where this clone procedure departs from the standard root plug process by introducing bleach into the soaking solution. I have experimented with the amount of bleach for years and have found that a wide range of concentrations is acceptable. There is a lower limit where there is not enough bleach and an upper limit where rooting is negatively affected but these limits are pretty wide. Another point to consider is the general rate of rooting for the cuts you’re working with. For instance, OG Kush tends to take longer to root than Skunk and would need a bleach concentration that would last longer than quicker rooting plants. For this, I would skew toward the higher end of the recommended bleach rate to ensure there is enough 'gas in the tank’ to get you where you want to go. You may also notice that I am not pH-ing the solution and not soaking the plugs for an extended period of time as I haven't found either to be necessary.

4. Rinse out your bowl containing the sanitizing solution from the above steps. Refill with fresh water to your desired volume.

5. Add between 12-20 drops of bleach per gallon of water and stir.

6. Add a splash of nutrients to the bleached water.

7. Add root plugs to the solution. Submerge each plug individually and squeeze out the air to fully absorb the solution (3-5 squeezes). Lift the plug from the solution and squeeze excess solution such that there is no dripping but the plug remains moist.

8. Fill the sanitized plug trays with prepared root plugs. I usually skip a cell in the tray to allow for room between cuts to mitigate any possible fungal issues between densely packed leaves in high humidity.


View attachment 127860
This is your standard process for choosing and preparing a cutting for the rooter plug. Choose a part of the plant that has a couple sets of leaves and allow for a node to be at the bottom of your cut. Trimming the leaves to reduce transpiration and overlap is a case by case call that depends on how densely packed the cuts will be and size of the cuttings. I usually include the IPM step of dunking the cuts in a general purpose pest mitigating solution as a ‘best practice’ step but is not necessary in the success of rooting.

9. Select the cutting of your plant that has a couple leaf sets and make your cut just below a node that gives you an overall clone length of about 5-7inches.

10. Cut the leaves from the lowest node while not gouging out the entire node from the stem.

11. Cut the lower portion of your branch at a 45 deg. angle about 0.5-1 inch below the lowest node. This ensures that the node will be within the root plug when inserted.

12. Trim any leaves as needed based on spacing and personal preference.


13. If using a pest mitigator (Pictured: Green Cleaner 3mL/gal): hold the cutting so that the lowest node and tip will not be submerged into the solution. Keeping the lower point of your cut dry will allow for better adhesion with the cloning gel.


14. Targeting the lower portion of the cutting including the lowest node, apply your rooting hormone. I roll the cut end in gel and roll against the wall of whatever I’m using to house the gel to remove excess (pictured: Spoon, but I’ve used shot glasses, etc.).

15. Plunge the gel’d cutting into the root plug. If the stem of your cutting is too narrow relative to the hole in the plug, just stab the plug to the side of the hole to make your own. This ensures a solid placement with good contact.

16. Make sure to add a tag with the plant name to the appropriate cells.

17. Spray the scissors with the 90% rubbing alcohol between plants.

18. Repeat steps 9-17 until all of the desired cuttings have been taken, plugged, and tagged.


View attachment 127862
Usually, you’ll read about having to baby the domed tray with opening the dome, adding heat mats on timers, special lighting, etc. but I take a set and forget view at this point and practically forget about the cuttings in a zone of over-splash light in the veg area until around day 10. That’s when I check for roots and soak any dried plugs in a root soak solution outlined above (steps 5-6). You’ll notice in the last pictures that the cuttings can be just as heathy as the day you took the cuts. This means very little shock and repair when going from cutting to veg/flower and allows you the option of keeping the rooted cuts going in the nursery tray until you’re ready for their next destination.

19. With all of the intended cuttings complete, arrange them in your nursery tray so that there is equal spacing between them.

20. Place the humidity dome over the tray with vents closed.

21. Using your marker, write the date on the humidity dome so that you have a quick reference for when the clones were taken (this can be removed with rubbing alcohol later).


22. Place your domed tray of clones somewhere that offers some light. I use the peripheral veg lighting by just placing the tray off to the side of my veg space. You can use a dedicated space with its own light but I opt for easiest method that utilizes what’s already available.

23. I forget about the clones for about 7-10days before checking on them. This part of the process is the result of many rounds of clones, so if you’re trying this method for the first time, it’s ok to check on them as often as you’d like.

24. At between 10-15days, roots are visibly pushing through the plugs. Some vigorous cuts will have lots of roots pushing through the holes of the cell trays.

25. Transplant your rooted cuttings to whatever your desired next step or keep the cuttings going by adding a weak nutrient solution to the bottom of the nursery tray until you decide.


This is my standard cloning procedure. If you have found that using heat mats with dedicated lighting spaces etc. works well but could be better, just incorporate the bleach soak portion of this process. There's plenty of room for blending different cloning methods or steps into the use of bleach while dialing in optimum root rates for your specific environment and situation.
Thanks for this @Schwaggy P

I have been trying to get my cloning down for over a year now. I’d have great success here and there but not consistent by any means. I heard of using bleach or dipping your cutting into a bleach solution before putting into a plug but never just mixing bleach into the soaking solution. I’m definitely gonna try this soon.
 

Fluffy Butt

In Bloom
Just took my first round of clones using this method, thanks for the write up Schwaggy. Unfortunately my high ass forgot to add nutes, though I've had decent success without them before so even if half of the clones I took today root I will be happy.

I'm trying to root haskaps and schisandra vines so I have some indoor mothers for producing more clones to plant and gift to family/friends. I lost 1 out of the 4 haskaps from my previous cloning attempts to rot, so I'm glad you posted this when you did.
 

Schwaggy P

🦨
Staff member
Clone Procedure Amendment:

I’m changing the isopropyl alcohol in the protocol to 10% Bleach solution for sterilizing the cutting implements. @BH clued me in on the need for a more comprehensive sterilizer that can handle HpLVd. So in an effort to post the best info, change the iso to 10% bleach soak or a virucide like physan20. Thanks again to BH for the information, there’s more info to get into if you’re so inclined posted by BH HERE. Hope the clone how-to is helpful.
 

Sugar Pops420

In Bloom
Wow! You sure nailed that one! @Schwaggy P!
and like @OldG said, perfect timing!
I’ve had great success for years in propagating, then shit just turned south.. (got lazy)
Left me scratching my head on many occasion, but this “ proper kick in the ass” was just what I needed.. thank you for that Sir!

The add-on was great info as well!
Alcohol does burn the pathogen, but some pathogens can literally turn themselves inside out, turning the “burn” into nothing more than a scar to it, and it can keep surviving due to alcohol having suck a quick evaporation rate.
Sometimes a longer contact time with disinfectant is needed for that reason.
Anyway, Thanks again @Schwaggy P
This thread is gold!
 

BH

Tha Dank Hoarder
Wow! You sure nailed that one! @Schwaggy P!
and like @OldG said, perfect timing!
I’ve had great success for years in propagating, then shit just turned south.. (got lazy)
Left me scratching my head on many occasion, but this “ proper kick in the ass” was just what I needed.. thank you for that Sir!

The add-on was great info as well!
Alcohol does burn the pathogen, but some pathogens can literally turn themselves inside out, turning the “burn” into nothing more than a scar to it, and it can keep surviving due to alcohol having suck a quick evaporation rate.
Sometimes a longer contact time with disinfectant is needed for that reason.
Anyway, Thanks again @Schwaggy P
This thread is gold!
iso doesn’t kill hplvd no matter how long you leave the tools or been sprayed on, wish it wasn’t true cause I used iso for my cleaning agent for years and am thankful to know recently this was not the case and so I could correct that. People need to realize they are even finding seedlings are by average 10% born infected but also u won’t always see signs and it can stay dominate in the branch and works like a cancer where yes 90% or w.e of plant could be not infected but it only takes a bite from a pest or a scissor/cut to infect it. Slowly it takes over the whole plant
i even heard on one recent podcast where the scientist/lab operator was mentioning they saw in testing of plants that they saw plants intaking same water and recirculating it in like same flood table, that could “possibly “ infect all other plants, she also said they saw that result but couldn’t 100% confirm if that was a cemented way hplvd was infecting the plants. Interesting but time will tell

more I watch videos and information based on hplvd, the experts only know the basics if that and it’s def not something to be blind on, key was be observant if there’s obvious shitty looking pheno’s and also being preventive by using correct cleaning tools protocols .
 
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