Submitted: July 27th, 2004
Images archived 2004
How to root cuttings in 5 to 7 days with your existing hydroponic equipment? - simply use your dwc or swc systems for rooting - just raise the water in your res to submerge the cutting stem.
A simple, easy-to-use system with little maintenance. Requires no misting, no domes, no rooting agents and no ph adjusting.
Nutrients and conditions
Plain tap water with a starting ppm of 50 (@.5) up to 200 (@.5) and a PH of 7.0 can be used. Lowering the PH from my experience is pointless. The main thing to remember is to keep everything clean and max your DO levels (Dissolved Oxygen) by keeping nutrient temps cool: 65 to 78 is ideal. Use an air pump 2 times the size of the res (ie for a 10 gallon res use an air pump good for 20 gallons).
I use a 10 gallon plastic tub w/ a 10 gallon Whisper air pump and 2 1 inch air stones. Any size reservoir can be used - it can even be clear.
Using 1 inch air stones will greatly increase your amount of bubbles, but almost any size air stones or bubble curtain can be used.
Medium: none (suspended in air), grow rocks, lava rocks and coco coir among others can be used.
Setup & maintenance
After you take your cuttings, make sure the stem is submerged at least 1 inch into the res water until roots or root bumps can be seen. I have tried several depths of stem submersion up to 4 inches and had no problems rooting.
Keep the system clean by dumping, washing and refilling it every 7 to 10 days. Adding h202 @ 1 tsp to 1 tbsp a gallon (or 5 to 15 mls a gallon) (H2O2 = Hydrogen Peroxide) every few days will help keep the system clean, & will add oxygen to the res. I don't add anything except plain fresh tap water.
No need to add any rooting hormones into the system or to the cuttings stem however, water soluble gels or solutions like Rootec or Olivia can be used (I have noticed no difference in rooting times).
Clones will root within 5 to 7 days however, some do take longer.
Once the cutting has rooted, you can place the cutting into the medium of choice. I add them into either a soiless mix or a hydroponic system.
If the cutting is being tranplanted into soil or a soilless medium, water heavily the 1st time, then allow the medium to dry out completely before watering again so the root mass will seek the soil.
When they are placed into a hydroponic system, I add a week 200 ppms (.5) of Bloom nutrient and Thrive Alive B-1 to the res. Keeping the temps ideal is the key.
I keep the roots submerged until they were 2 weeks old so there is no chance of drying out. Once they are 2 weeks old, I lower the res water only keeping the tips of the root mass submerged - the rest get the aeroponic effect.