ALRIGHT SKUNKers! Greetings and salutations to you all. Today we are going to handle a ‘Letter to Rev’ about rooting cuttings in an Aero Cloner, and a few of the strengths and weaknesses of those cloners; however, one of the potential issues that is actually no problem whatsoever is the main focus for today’s article. I know this advice will be super handy to many of you that clone using Aero Cloners, or Bubble Cloners, or any way of rooting cuttings that basically just uses water, period, without any rooting powders or gels or “rooting magic” in bottles. So, let’s get with it, hahahahah…
LETTERS TO REV:
“Hi Rev! Big fan here and I use an aero-cloner like you do and I have read many of your articles that taught me how to do it with just water, and I have to say I love only cleaning my cloner twice a year it saves me time in my gardens better spent on other things. Anyway, my cuttings are suddenly getting yellow on top before they are fully rooted, what do you think is happening? Thanks in advance. Love your new book, Danny.”
A big hello to you Danny and thanks for the question. In the photo above you can see one of my clones that has been doing an extended stay in my aero cloner for 45 days + and while it looks weird, it’s actually fine and has slowed down its growth quite a bit too while in this state of ͞yellow top͟ which is basically (as I make it out) your standard iron deficiency; and this is easily explained.
Just FYI I use Clone King brand aero cloners, the 36 site versions, I have used them for about 5 or 6 years now at least and have nothing but high praise for them. As Danny said in his ͞letter͟ to me he uses just plain water like I do, because I don’t like having to clean my cloners out every couple of weeks and adding gels or powders or any kind of rooting nutrients/enzymes will cause microlife to massively populate your cloners. With that big influx of life comes what I will call ͞bioslime͟ and this stuff really does a great job of clogging mister heads and water pumps as well, fast, without regular and thorough cleanings. Just using water means I only have to lightly clean my cloners about twice a year and I run them 24/7 365 too.
LINK TO CLONE KING 36 SITE CLONER ON AMAZON: http://a.co/7yWbZxP
Your iron deficiency happens due to the pH of your cloner’s water being too high to allow iron absorption. This is not really any kind of a big deal in a cloner, as it would be in soil. In fact, I use this ͞problem͟ to my advantage fairly often by allowing some clones (like the one in the photo above) to overstay their time in my cloners. We all know that sometimes shit happens, so I like to have some back up clones that don’t need to take up much space, and that way I won’t lose a valuable clone because I dropped it and killed it or something. The clone will for sure slow down all growth both roots and green parts while experiencing these iron issues but they stay in a kind of suspended animation and will green up and start jamming fast once placed into some good living soil.
The clone in the photo in the small pot was just transplanted into that pot about 5 days ago and was fully yellow on top showing the iron deficiency, and as you can see it is greening right up, and they always do as long as you follow a couple simple rules when transplanting them. Soil compaction is a HUGE thing when it comes to your success rates here, and I always recommend adding some perlite to your soil (I use good bagged soil for this transplant because my custom soil is way too strong); also, do not compact the soil in these small containers at all. I fill them with the soil then soak them good with bottled spring water for a whole day before I transplant. Then I just cut out a hole with a spoon, gently place roots in and carefully fill back up with (moist) soil very (very) gently compacting it just a little bit at the base of the stem. Then place under mellow lighting for a day or two gradually increasing lighting intensity.
REV’S PERSONAL AERO CLONING FORMULA
My formula is simple. First of all, my lighting is just a 40w daylight spectrum LED light bulb at a distance of about 2 feet above my cloner in a small hood. My temps where I clone go like in the low 80’s daytime and low 60’s nighttime and humidity runs around 50-60%. My photoperiod for rooting is 18/6 (18 hours ON and 6 hours OFF); and I would never recommend 24 hours of light for any cannabis growth stage, because this causes them a high degree of stress in my opinion, and less stress is better, especially since when they are just a cutting they are stressing pretty bad already.
If your lighting for your cuttings is too intense because it’s too close or too powerful you will normally see this yellowing happen pretty fast if you are just using water, so just back off your light or go to a lower wattage bulb. In the photo you can see some Earthjuice pH Down crystals, and this is just citric acid really, and if you add like ¼ teaspoon of these crystals to your cloner water once a week you can avoid this yellowing altogether. This assumes you are using water with some iron in it, like city tap water or well water has.
My cloner water is just 50/50 city tap water and reverse osmosis water, and the chlorine is all fine in my cloners. If the temps are warmer like in the summertime, I will also add a little liquid CaMg+ and they seem to dig this a lot. So… if you are getting that yellowing on top, back off your lights, and add some pH Down and everything will be hunky dory within a week or so. I hope this helps you growers out there that have experienced this yellowing in your cloners, don’t worry it’s no big deal and can be handled fairly easily; cheers.