We highly recommend transplanting into soil or the medium that suits your grow as soon as you get your clones. If necessary, they can stay in their "perlite trays" for a day or two. We recommend transplanting into a ½-1 gallon pot so they can form a solid root ball and a more robust plant structure before being placed into their final home. Transplanting them into too large of a pot can cause them to develop root rot and slow or stunt your plant's growth. This will help to harden them off and get established before they go into their final home.
Adjustment/ Hardening off
Hardening the clones off to their new environmental conditions is essential to growing a healthy plant and having a successful flowering cycle. While at the nursery, the clones are kept under a 24-hour light cycle. We recommend keeping them no less than an 18/6 light cycle (18 hours on and 6 hours off) after receiving them. While in the cloning facility, they are kept at 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit and a 69-75 % relative humidity. A slight decrease in temperature and humidity can be accomplished over a week to allow the clones to adjust to the environment of your grow.
Acclimating the clones to the sunlight is essential to avoid stress. The sun's full intensity can damage a clone/younger plant, so you will want to ease them into the intensity of the sunlight. The best way to do this is by utilizing a greenhouse, physically moving them inside and outside your facility, or putting a shade cloth (30-40%) over them for this adjustment period. Hardening off should only take a week or two. Then they should be adjusted enough to remove the cloth or be moved out of a greenhouse to full sun exposure. Keeping constant airflow (fans) on your plants will help to harden them off to natural conditions that occur outside and helps make for overall much stronger stalks.
Watering and Feeding
Overwatering clones is a very common mistake. It's essential to give your clones a healthy amount of water but not to oversaturate them by soaking them. A dry-down period is necessary for the clones. To determine the moisture content of the soil when the pot is light in weight, squeeze a small handful of dirt and observe if any water drips out. If no water drips out, it is an excellent time to give them a healthy watering without oversaturation. This method of watering allows the roots to search within the pot for water/nutrients creating a robust root ball that you want.
If you have some clones still showing stress after the transplant as much as three days later, you can give them some water again, but we recommend just making sure the Rockwool itself is moist. Sometimes even if the soil is moist, the Rockwool cube will dry down, and water needs to be applied solely to the Rockwool cube.
There is a fine balance between letting your clones dry down without allowing the foliage to show thirsty stress signs. You do not want them to dry down so much that the foliage is stressed; this can cause problems for the health of your clones. Clones can be fed an 1100-1400 PPM vegetative feed and get fed every day to every other day, depending on how fast they are uptaking (NOTE: every strain is different). How often you need to feed will depend on what type of grow you have (i.e., synorganic, organic, synthetic, hydro, soil, etc.).