Transplanting: Outdoor and Greenhouse

The most challenging aspect of moving from traditional to tissue culture clones is the acclimation and transplanting process. Tissue cut clones are not exactly like the traditional clones; TC plantlets require different care when they arrive at your farm. Below are some tips that work well for us. If you find something that works well for you, our Product Development team would love to hear about it.

When you are ready to transplant begin in a shaded area. We recommend 50% or greater shade cloth. Full day shade coverage is essential for the first 7 days.
In automated mixed light greenhouses (non hoop), opening the curtain approximately 6” is adequate for the first few days.

  1. Wearing gloves, remove the film layer on the sterile plant pack and carefully remove the rooting tray. Submerge the rooting tray in a trichoderma-based inoculant per the inoculant label between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Any trichoderma product listed to fight/protect against fusarium and pythium will help protect the plantlets. Remove from inoculant solution after being submerged for 20-30 seconds and set on your working table. Remember, these plants are coming from an extremely sterile environment and are still developing their immune systems like a seedling. This step bolsters their immune system.
  2. It is recommended to use a brand new, commercially engineered soilless substrate (peat, coco, perlite and/or lava rock, fertilizer) to optimize your success rate. Wet your substrate with pH balanced (6.0-6.5) water with enough nutrient (0.2 EC-2.0 EC) to semi-saturate the substrate. Strength will depend on whether your media is fortified with nutrients or not. If in doubt, start low with the EC. Ideally, the water temperature will be between 65 and 70 degrees.
  3. Wearing gloves, gently remove the rooting cube from the tray. Place the rooting cube in the semi-saturated substrate in a 3-4” pot and place even or just below the substrate line. Make sure the plug does not sit up above the substrate. Make sure the plug and its roots are snugly touching the semi-saturated substrate.
  4. At this stage, give a light feeding around each plantlet with 2 oz of 6.0 to 6.5 pH water with 0.2-2.0 EC in 65-70 degree water.
  5. Depending on the ability to control humidity, place freshly transplanted tissue culture clones in a 60-80% RH environment or a 10” x 20” tray covered with a humidity dome (vents open) for 1.5-2 days. If this is not an option, another strategy would be wetting the floor of the shadehouse or setting up a simple misting system to boost humidity.
  6. Remove the domes after 2 days. The plant will likely not need water yet based on your temperatures and humidity but you check daily for signs of moisture stress. As soon as you see the plant perk up and identify new healthy growth, you are on the right track. After the first few days, backing off to 50-75% humidity is adequate for the next 5-8 days and beyond.
  7. Between day 3 to 6 from transplant (depending on your environment), your clones will need a second feeding. Water each plant with 2-4 oz of water at 0.5-2.0 EC, 65-70 degree water.
  8. Between day 7 and 12, begin moving them in the sunlight for a few hours per day or remove the shade cloth for a few hours per day. Increase sun exposure over multiple days depending on growth and health. Irrigate as needed. At this stage you should see perky, healthy plants. Finally they will be ready to go into the outdoors or unshaded greenhouse.


Other helpful tips:

For outdoor and greenhouse cultivators the #1 most important thing is to not let the plantlets get any direct sunlight at any time of the day for the next 7 to 10 days depending on growth and health. Complete shade cloth coverage is essential. If your plants display any signs of stress in the first 10 days, the first thing we recommend is to back off on the sunlight.

Many of the contemporary strains are more photoperiod sensitive than genetics from the 80s, 90s and 00s. Maintain light manipulation until the summer solstice for full term plants. Stopping manipulation early could lead to unwanted pre flowering characteristics and stunted growth.

Instead of weaning the plants off shade into full sun by increasing the hours of pure sunlight per day (day 7-12), some of our cultivator partners have success applying a kaolin clay foliar sunscreen on the plants between day 10-21 and going straight into full sun.

Earlier in the spring and in some microclimates of the early summer, keep plants and trays off the cold ground. Microclimates vary across California and cooler temps can stunt growth and lead to problems.

Make sure you sanitize your pots with a sanitizer solution and ensure the contact time meets the sanitizer label requirements.

Day 7-12 might be a good time to add a broader spectrum biological product to optimize nutrition uptake.

Not all cultivars will respond well to high ECs. If in doubt, start low.

Recommended Environmental Conditions by Day

Days 0-2
Temperature: 68-78 degrees F
Humidity: 80%
Irrigation pH: 6.0-6.5
EC: 0.2-2.0
Shade level: 50-90%
Water temperature: 65–70 degrees F

Days 3-5
Temperature: 65-85 degrees F
Humidity: 60-80%
Irrigation pH: 6.0-6.5
EC: 0.2-2.0
Shade level: 50-80%
Water Temperature 65-70 degrees F

Days 5-7
Temperature: 65-85 degrees F
Humidity: 60-75%
Irrigation pH: 6.0-6.5
EC: 0.5-2.0
Shade level: 50%
Water Temperature 65-70 degrees F

Days 7-10
Temperature: 65-85 degrees F
Humidity: 40-75%
Irrigation pH: 6.0-6.5
EC: 0.7-2.0
Shade Level: 20-50%
Water Temperature 65-70 degrees F

Substrates: Any

Container size: 3”-4”

Feed: 0.2-2.0 until well established.

Humidity: Start at 80%. Taper to desired vegetative environment.

Light Intensity: 100-500 PPFD. Increase depending on health and vigor.