Q&A with Jorge
I just cut clones today and dipped them in Rootmax . ‘Why do they look weak? Will they get better? How can I ensure growth?
Man with the Plan
The main reason they wilted is that they lack moisture. Once cut, clones require an atmosphere of 95 %+ humidity for the first few days of life. They no longer have roots to draw in moisture to carry on life processes. All the water they use must be drawn in from the severed stem. Plants constantly draw in water via roots and transpire it out through their leaves. When air around the leaves has less humidity leaves transpire more and require more water. When no water is available, they wilt.
Surround little clones with humid air and they transpire less and use very little water. This gives the plant a chance to concentrate all energy on root growth. There are several ways to increase humidity for clones. I prefer to keep them under a “humidity dome.” This will keep the air humid around cones. The little clones will also need a little bit of air circulation provided via vents or by removing the humidity dome 2-4 times a day. You can also spray the leaves with water to provide more humidity around leaves. Another thing I like to do is to trim leaves in half – less leaf surface transpires less water. Some growers use a fogger to increase humidity, but this is only practical if you are growing hundreds of clones.
Cannabis clones are pretty strong. If they get the proper treatment, they should bounce right back. If they continue to wilt for more than 7 days, they will root and grow slowly. Best to save all the strong ones and cull out the weak ones. Any clone that has not started roots at the end of two weeks should be pitched out.