Rooting Cuttings Process: Picture Thread
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This is a series of pictures I took in which i received 90+ unrooted cuttings and 3 rooted cuttings. I basically knew nothing about plant care before getting in to this, i tried to read a lot and find as much info as i could as i went along.

First, i show the three prerooted cuttings. I remove most of the rockwool to expose the roots and transfer to a potting mix, perlite, and dried horsepoo soil mixture. One of the rooted cuttings died from mold on the roots, as i did not pasteurize/sterilize my horsepoo soil component.

The next series of pictures shows the process of trimming, scraping, and adding hormone powder to the cuttings. I would find later that scraping was probably detrimental. Another factor that was detrimental was insufficient humidity dome structure. I was overloaded by this many cuttings and struggled for a few days to get the right containers. I left the rockwool cubes alone and just tried to spray them with water. I found out later it is important to soak them in pH appropriate water. Some opt to include fertilizer. I think the high pH of the rockwool, and not realizing how basic my water source was, contributed to failure. Later on, i added small amounts of vinegar to my water for everything. Misting, watering, etc. pH 5.5-6.5, but i didnt measure except with pH strips ocasionally. My tap water is approx 7.1-7.4.

I discovered later that a more effective method with rockwool cubes is to set them on top of at least 2 inches of perlite. It helps to soak up water and retain moisture. Even burying them 50-75% can help, but make sure there is a drainage layer.

The last pictures show the successful cuttings, their roots, rockwool separation, and perlite roots. The ones that didnt root were cut down to the node, repowdered with hormone, then placed in ~4in of perlite. It is important to have perlite deep enough to prevent the cutting end from soaking.

i used miracle gro perlite. the successful cuttings reached to the bottom where there was water full of fertilizer from draining the perlite, and the newest growth and roots partially turned red. Someone on reddit said this was genetic, but i think it is some type of excess fertilizer symptom. Phosphorus, maybe.

While i think the fertilizer enhanced rooting, plain perlite would probably be fine. I also think 25-50% coconut coir with perlite would be an effective rooting medium. My first three cuttings were in peat pods. I added some perlite in the middle of the pod because i saw a picture of some gnarly roots in a perlite cup. I sat the cutting and pod on perlite and put it in a plastic shoebox inverted on another one. All three cuttings rooted. They had plenty of canopy space with no crowding, and i kept the light on for 24hrs for about 3 days. I think maximum light helps cuttings root.

Enjoy the pictures, message me for more info or just to talk! More will come later when the rest of them root.

last edited by SubstanceTheSqid

Those look like healthy roots! Nice job.

I'm pretty new to all this myself. But wouldn't it have been better to cut those leaves down in half so you don't have as much foliage sucking water

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Incredible content! It's going to take me a while to work my way through it all. 😄

How do you deal with rot? I'm having a hard time keeping the cuttings from rotting from the bottom up. Starting to consider applying a few drops of bleach to the water.

last edited by will
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To prevent rotting, use a sufficient depth of perlite medium. I found that 3-6 inches is optimal. Cups are great, the roots mostly go down. In a later picture you can clearly see lateral roots, sort of neat.

I started with over 90, and i have pulled at least 5, possibly closer to 10. I will do a final count within the next week or so. They have been rooting for approximately 2wks.

The failures were displaying drying leaves, total leaf drop, and browning/blackening bottom stems, while the ones that have begun to root showed turgid leaves, and regular leaf morphology. I realized that the deep scrape method is NOT effective, and may encourage base stem rot. Shallow scraping is probably the best, but nonscraping is probably safest. Maintaining humidity is really important to keep the leaves turgid.

I also now suggest leaf tip trimming, at least partially, and especially of lower leaves on 2-3+ node cuttings. The tips of leaves, especially the lower ones, were the first to show drying and browning, likely associated with transpiration losses. I was resistant to trim my leaf tips because they do not appear as aesthetic, but it would likely increase survival rate.

I found out during research after finishing my cutting process that rockwool cubes tend to be highly basic in pH. I suspect this was one reason for delayed rooting compared to the last time (10 days to nice roots, over 2-3wk with rockwool cuttings.)

I tried to apply acidic solution (water, vinegar,) a few days after the process, and saw some improvement. Apparently, it is “common knowledge” to SOAK the rockwool cubes in acidic solution, and sometimes with light/low concentration fertilizer or cloning solution. I did not soak my cube sheets, i actually put the cuttings with root powder in dry, and realized after they were all nicely placed in boxes that i didn’t water them!

I felt i had a greater success with the perlite stuffed in the coir/peat or whatever is in those tablet pods, even though the sample size was 3. I want to do more experiments and side by sides, especially with identical clone tissues. Eventually!

I sterilized my cutting tool with a torch for each and every cutting i received, not sure if it made a difference. Wash your hands, or use gloves. I rubbed my gloved hands with isopropanol 70% every 10-20 cuttings or so, to make sure i wasn’t collecting dirt/dust/etc and rubbing it on raw stem ends.

1/100 rooted properly. 5/100 had slight root activity. 94/100 rotting ends. 30 to 40/94 were recut and repowdered with hormone.

Salvaging cuttings: trimmed rotted stems down to the node, trimmed the leaf ends in V’s. Transferred to ~1.5in deep perlite humidity box. Today, they look turgid and perked up! A very promising sign.

EDIT: 10/35 properly rooted, 6/35 partially rooted. 17/35 were recut and repowdered and returned to ~4in perlite depth.

last edited by SubstanceTheSqid
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Main thread updated and organized with info and pictures.

I have an old mister system i would like to combine with some sort of top/bottom chamber that would be easy to fit cuttings. I bought a powerhead submersible pump, a timer, and a 1/4in PE tubing and drip water/mister nozzles for use as an automatic watering system for when i am away from the established plants for more than a few days. But, perhaps the mister nozzles could be used for an aerocloning system too. There are enough fittings and tubing to create both systems. I think that will be the next project to document.

last edited by SubstanceTheSqid

Thank you for your thorough reporting on your activities and progress. I find Great Value behind it being a newbie and all. So thank you