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Increasing Plant Propagation Success in Your Indoor Grow Room Featured

Increase the success of your seedlings with tips from RosebudMag.com. Increase the success of your seedlings with tips from RosebudMag.com.


Believe it or not, one of the hardest areas to master within an indoor grow room is propagation. Whether starting from seed or clone, it is difficult for many growers of high-value plants to produce consistent results.

This is mainly because seedlings and clones are more sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity than established plants. A consistent propagation environment is crucial for producing the high success rates needed to operate a profitable, perpetual garden. By abiding by a few environmental parameters horticulturists of any level can increase their propagation success.


For most plant varieties, germination is best done in a moist environment at a reasonably warm temperature, usually between 70-82 degrees F. Many plant varieties require a consistent temperature in order to emerge from the soil. The low germination rates many growers experience are due to an inconsistency in temperature.

Seedling heat mats are a handy tool for growers starting from seed, as they will generally keep the temperature within the desired range. Propagation trays combined with humidity domes and seedling heat mats create the high humidity and warm temperatures required for high germination success rates.

After the seedlings have emerged, a grower can acclimate them to the ambient humidity by removing the dome for an incrementally increased amount of time each day. Most plant varieties can be acclimated to the ambient humidity within five days or so.


Gaining consistency with cloning can be even more difficult than with seedlings. Because they have no root system to replenish the moisture lost during transpiration a high humidity must be maintained to prevent wilting.

As with seedlings, a propagation tray equipped with a humidity dome is a great way to keep the humidity within the desired range. For clones, 90-100% humidity is best for the first few days. As the clones develop their own root systems, they can be acclimated to the ambient humidity in the same fashion as with the seedlings: by removing the humidity dome for increasing amounts of time each day.

Maintaining consistent temperatures is imperative to successful cloning as well. The ideal temperature range for clones is 73-83 degrees F. Low success rates and clones that take longer than ten days to root are likely caused by the temperature fluctuating below this desired range.

If the temperature fluctuates too far below the desired range the clones will enter a state of suspended animation. They will appear green and healthy but never create roots.

Cloning environments that experience high temperatures have other problems. When temperatures reach above the desired range the plants run the risk of rot and/or damping off, which causes them to eventually turn to mush.

Sterile Equipment

With both seedlings and clones, using sterile equipment is of the utmost importance. Young plant tissue is more susceptible to diseases and pathogens. By sterilizing the equipment, a grower can ensure that the young plants are given the best chance to thrive.

Aside from sterilizing equipment and maintaining a consistent environment there are other products and devices on the market to aid the horticulturist in propagation success. Cloning hormones and aeroponic cloning machines are just two of the multitude of products aimed at increasing propagation success.

Just remember that there is no magic wand for making cloning and seed germination foolproof. Although an added help, most products designed for propagation are no substitute for a good understanding of the environmental parameters required to produce consistent results.

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Last modified on Friday, 21 June 2013 19:58

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