Last but not least, we come to Part 3 of Proper Cloning: planting! Don't rush anything, we've done a fine job prepping and cutting, so let's not muff it up here. If you're just tuning in, check out "Part 1: Prep Work" and "Part 2: Taking Clones".
This is an important step in the process that often gets over looked. If your hole is too deep, the clone will drop all the way to the bottom, resulting in no root formation. Too shallow of a hole and your clone will be forced to support its whole weight with nothing "in the ground," so to speak, resulting in a stressed clone that will surely die.
You want to find a tool that is roughly the size of the stems on your clones, and shoot for a depth that is dead center of the cube, though a little down from that is fine. Just don't go through--if you do, simply create new, proper hole next to it.
Bontone Rooting Powder is ideal for transplants and cloning. I don't use anything else, and it's available at your local grow store. Rooting powder has a hormone that helps aid in the rooting process.
When determining your final cut on your clone, you want to keep in mind a few factors at play: how much stem is going in the hole, and how much plant you want to be standing on the surface.
I come down 2 inches from the first leaf break on the stem. This leaves me an inch below the surface to start rooting and structural support for the plant above. If the clone is too large, it will not efficiently or effectively be able to spread nutrients to stay alive.
When you have determined your final cut location, you want to make sure you perform an angle cut. Cutting on an angle will allow your rooting to take place much faster and easier. You're essentially letting the plant know where it needs to root from, saving it any stress on figuring it out for itself from a strait cut. It should be about 30 to 60 degrees.
After your cut, it's straight to a few quick dips in your Rooting Powder, then into your Grow Cubes! Be sure to cover about an inch of the stem you wish to put into the hole you've already made. Excess will fall away, so be sure to cover the entire desired surface of the stem.
When placing your clone in its pre-made hole, you need to be firm, yet gentle. You want to hold your stem in a way that you're not crushing it, but being firm enough that your stem wont crease or bend upon application. There may be a small amount of resistance, but that's OK--a sturdy home is a good home. Stop once you hit the bottom of your pre-made hole, and she's set!
Repeat the process for your desired run of clones. Play with it! Some leaves may block others on the tray you have already put down, so learning, seeing, and adapting are all key when placing clones in trays.
With a little Bob Marley on in the background, you'll get a tray full in no time!
Note: Keep an even height so that no clone has to compete under the lights. Speaking of lights, once you're done admiring your work, get them under some!
Fluorescent lights are great because they will provide good, soft light to the clones with out being too harsh or hot. A T-5 Fluorescent light is perfect for giving low heat, low intensity light that won't burn your clones.
Root growth should be seen after 10 days under fluorescent lights. Once you see these little bad boys coming out the bottom, you know you're on the path to growing wonderful plants! Good, healthy root growth should be seen out the bottom and sides of your grow cube. Be carful not to harm the roots when transplanting them to the next stage of growth.