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Docs Supplied By GrowthTech: Propagation

Starting From Seed

1.  Soak RockWool SBS Tray in lukewarm water or a weak and slightly acidic nutrient solution. We highly recommend Formulex as a conditioning solution for RockWool as it will stabilise the pH and supply a full profile of mineral nutrition to the young plant. Use it at the weakest strength mentioned in the instructions. Allow plenty of time for RockWool cubes to take up water. Stand it to drain.

2.  Insert seeds carefully into the holes marked out on top of the cubes. Don't push them in too far, just enough to hide seeds. A few strands of RockWool should be teased over the hole to ensure that seeds are covered.

3.  Place RockWool SBS Tray in a warm place. Light is unimportant until the seedlings begin to emerge but MUST be supplied as soon as they do. Ideal germination temperatures for most species are in the range 20-25°C. These temperatures should be maintained as constantly as possible during the germination period. Check the moisture level of the RockWool EVERY day. If you just squeeze a corner of a cube, water should come to the surface. If it does not then you should give the whole tray a light sprinkle of lukewarm water.

The biggest mistake with RockWool is to keep it too wet and this usually occurs through poor drainage. NEVER let your RockWool stand in a puddle of water, always allow free drainage underneath the tray.

4.  Once your seedlings begin to appear you will need to give them plenty of light, a warm sunny window sill might do but a greenhouse or artificial lights will be best. Fluorescents are very suitable for small seedlings or clones. It is still important to maintain temperatures in the mid twenties for as much of the day as possible. Keep checking your RockWool cubes for signs of drying out.

5.  Once your seedlings begin to show roots at the bottom of the RockWool cubes it is time to think about planting them out. Just lift the little cubes carefully from the tray Your new seedlings are now ready to plant into soil in the normal way OR to be cultivated further in RockWool. More information about RockWool can be found below.

Starting From Cuttings (Clones)

If you already have access to healthy plants that display desirable characteristics it is possible to clone new plants from them. These new plants will be genetically identical to the stock plant and, provided that the environmental conditions are constant, the new plants should perform exactly as their parent did.

1.  Soak RockWool SBS Tray in a weak acidic nutrient solution (pH 5 / 1.0 mS). Formulex is ideal for this. While the RockWool is soaking, you can be selecting material for cuttings. Most species are propagated best from softwood tips. Selected material should show signs of healthy vigorous growth. Stems should be thick and firm and foliage should be dark green.

2.  Remove selected piece from mother plant with sharp scissors, taking care to cut plant at least 10mm below the point where the final cut will be made. Final cut should be made with a sterile scalpel or clean sharp razor blade just below a node or leaf junction. A diagonal cut is preferred as it allows more plant tissue to come into contact with the rooting compound.

3.  The rooting compound we recommend highly is Clonex Rooting Gel. Pour a small amount of Clonex into a small container for immediate use. Do not dip cut tissue into the container.

Immediately dip the cut tissue into Clonex, ensuring that all cut surfaces are well covered with Clonex. Wipe off surplus Clonex against the side of the small container. Do not return any of the unused Clonex back to the original container as this might contaminate the remaining gel.

4. Insert cutting into hole in top of RockWool Cube. It is very important not to push it in too far, just enough to support it in an upright position.

         


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