I just bought some powder rooting hormone from Home Depot (Shultz brand).
Neither the bottle nor the box has any directions as to how to use this.
Last year I cloned a bunch of plants in the fall by just sticking them in
water and for the most part it worked. I wanted to try the rooting
compound this year.
After dipping the cuttings in the compound do I stick it in a glass of
water or should I just stick the cutting in potting soil?
Coat the cutting such that when you insert it into the rooting medium
the power shows 1/2" or less. I prefer to use vermiculite as a
rooting medium and have it barely moist. Make a hole with a pencil,
insert the cutting, and _lightly_ tamp down. For woody stems I prefer
to cover the pot and cutting with a plastic bag. Set the cutting in
the brightest light (no sun) or 2" from fluorescent tubes. You'll get
sturdier roots (and a healthier plant) using this method than with
Thanks for the info. I do have a fluorescent tube lighting area set up
to help the cuttings get going. For some reason the garden shop where I
used to get big bags vermiculite stopped selling it this Spring and would
only sell me perlite. This is in Chicago Illinois. They claimed that
they couldn't sell vermiculite anymore due to cancer concerns or
something like that. Ironically, I don't think that perlite dust is very
good for your lungs either. Anyway, after reading up on hydroponics,
they claim that a 50/50 perlite and sand mix is equivalent to vermiculite
so I'll have to try that with the cuttings since I do have a lot of
perlite and sand.
The problem I see with this is knowing when the cuttings have enough
roots to transplant without having to pull them out of their hole
periodically. This winter I bought a 400W HID high pressure sodium lamp
which allows for a 16 square foot simulated "summer" garden inside.
After the cuttings root I'm hoping to simulate Spring in late Fall.
"This winter I bought a 400W HID high pressure sodium lamp which allows for
a 16 square foot simulated "summer" garden inside. After the cuttings root
I'm hoping to simulate Spring in late Fall."
That's insane. Are you hoping to burn your house down from the intense heat
that will generate?
In any case, the sodium bulbs produce most of their light in the yellow
range of the spectrum which is no benefit at all to plants. At the very
least, you are wasting your money.
There are two types of sodium lamps: high pressure and low pressure. The
low pressure lamps are the familiar yellow lamps (sodium D lines) which
is indeed of minimal value to plant photosynthesis. The high pressure
lamps, on the other hand, present a broader spectrum. They're not quite
white lamps, more of a pinkish yellow color, and they're not an optimum
match for plant growth but they have more energy in the photosynthesis
region than the low pressure lamps and more energy per watt in that area
than incandescent lamps. None of the lamps is perfect, which means that
a significant part of the energy goes into heating the room (which may
be an advantage in the greenhouse, although electric heat is not the
Astronomers have long recommended the low pressure lamps for outdoor
lighting since the limited spectral coverage is easier to filter out
than a wide spectrum from either the high pressure sodium or
incandescent lamps. They have an ongoing campaign to minimize the amount
of light pollution in the skies and have convinced many planning groups
to specify or at least recommend the low pressure sodium for area
lighting. For that reason the Home Depot lamps are more likely to be the
low pressure lamps. If you want the lamps for growing plants, you are
better off getting recommendations from a greenhouse supply house than
looking at Home Depot.
I note that the original post specified a high pressure lamp.
It has been my experience that plants do like HPS lighting, although
perhaps not as much as they like fluorescent lighting if you can get the
intensity they need.
The lamp produces only a little more heat (and less intense heat) than a
300W halogen lamp, which are commonly used in floor lamps.
All that heat doesn't get wasted if you run the lamps in the winter --
it helps to heat you house. It will be noticable on your electric bill.
If you run the lamps during the summer, it can really get expensive
because you have to pay (air conditioning) to remove all that heat.
I used to run a 400W HPS and a 400W MH lamp at the same time in a small
basement room in the winter, but I decided it cost too much so now I
just run the HPS and a few F32T8 fluorescents.
In article email@example.com says...
The 400W HPS light I got puts out 45,000 lumens, much of that light is in
the red spectrum. Similar warm fluorescents put out around 2000 lumens
per 40 watt bulb. The cool fluorescents put out 4000 lumens per 40
watts. I spent a lot of time at the hardware stores reading labels. :-)
I'm running it 10 hours a day or 4KW/day which runs a little less that a
dollar a day. It does supplement heat for the room and it provides
simulated sunlight which can help with seasonal affected disorder (SAD).
This is something people get during the short days of winter and when the
body doesn't get enough sunlight it can make one depressed. The theory
is that supplementing sunlight with a light like this can trick the body
into thinking the day is longer than it actually is.
Plus I get to garden in the winter. :-)
If anyone is interested I found my light at this place:
Everything was shipped well and so far it all works. They forgot to ship
an extra bulb I ordered but a simple email cleared that up. This place
had the best prices I could find, including what gets sold on ebay.
The 400W setup isn't that bad with respect to heat and electrical use. I
chose not to get a 1000W setup because the bulbs and kit cost more and
the electricity to run it would be 2.5 times as much. Since the 400W can
cover a 4' x 4' area that was good enough for my needs.
They use these bulbs to grow marijuana inside as well as vegetables and
flowers for indoors. Technically the high pressure sodium provides
optimal red spectrum for flowering. The Metal Halide bulbs provide
optimal blue for vegetative growth. I chose HPS over MH due to the
length of the bulb life and when MH bulbs age its spectrum changes and I
didn't want that. I can always supplement the HPS light with
fluorescents to get more blue spectrum in.
So what is your cloning question?
Cloning is typically done on the cellular level. Taking plant cuttings is
more properly called propagation.
After dipping the cuttings in rooting hormone, they go directly into the
rooting medium (soil, moist sand, whatever). Putting them in water would
dilute the effect of the hormone.
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