This is an edited excerpt from my previous article on cloning at HTGSupply.com
Please see a post published 4/4/12 as a follow up to more cloning questions.

I have had great success with the 8 site clone bucket.  Once you take your cutting, you need to provide the right environment for the cutting to survive the few days it will take for roots to form. Because the cuttings don’t have roots, water is going to be a limiting factor. Once you have planted the number of cuttings you want, cover them with a clear plastic dome (like the one that comes with the clone kit) to retain humidity and give the plants 18 hours of diffused light per day. With all types of cuttings you need to provide a humid environment which generally means placing the cuttings where the air can be kept humid/moist but light can get to the plants. The light you use should be limited light, remember light drives photosynthesis which requires water. If you give the cuttings a lot of light, they will use up what water they have in their cells and dehydrate. Florescent lights are perhaps the best suited light source for cuttings. The light output promotes good growth, the light intensity is not excessive, and the low temperature does not put heat stress on the tender plantlets. Keep the light cycle on mostly light (18 on 6 off for example) and keep the fluorescent light several cm above the plants. The clone kit from HTGSupply.com comes with a dome, and I kept the light about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the top of the dome.
Keep the cuttings moist by generously and thoroughly using a fine mister. After taking the cutting and putting it in a moist medium, you should gently mist the plants until most of the leaf surface is covered with tiny water droplets. Then place the dome over the plants and put them under a florescent light. After a day the plant leaves should be dry. Don’t mist if they are not dry and you definitely need to get some more air flow over your cuttings before misting again. If you keep the cuttings environment too wet you will get fungal growth, not plant growth. You could also mist the growth medium to keep it moist but not wet. You want the medium moist, not wet. You should not be able to squeeze water from your cutting medium, but it should NEVER dry out. That is the line you have to walk. Be gentle in your hand misting, you don’t want to stress the cuttings or worse knock them over with a blast of water.
The clone kit also comes with a warming pad. The pad will make the roots warm without raising the air temperature around the cuttings. Having the roots warm and the above air temperature cool will significantly improve your cutting success.

Good growing,
Dr. E. R. Myers

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