Every fall, I receive numerous emails from growers who are frustrated by the delayed root formation and increased failure rates in their plants. These growers often experienced no problems during other times of the year, and the initial dialogue is usually frustrating for them as I work through basic questions with them before finally realizing that they are experiencing a condition I call the "fall stall."

The fall stall occurs when temperatures drop in the fall, and the mother space is optimized for keeping things cool during the warmer summer months. While the plants may still grow, they are not tuned for cloning and produce unpredictable results. In this post, I will discuss the symptoms and conditions that indicate your plants are experiencing the fall stall, and how to fix the issue.

What are the indicators of "fall stall"?

The symptoms and conditions that indicate your plants are experiencing the fall stall include slower growth, woodier growth, purple striping on the stem, purple/red petioles, darker green leaves that don't lay flat and have leaves that are more narrow or fewer leaves than those found during higher speed growth. Root zone temperatures below 65 F (18 C) and ambient temperatures below 72 F (22 C) contribute to the "fall stall". 

How to achieve optimal root zone temperature?

To achieve optimal root zone temperatures, we recommend insulating the roots from the floor using upside-down plant saucers or R-max insulation between plant containers and the floor, as well as increasing the ambient temperature to the upper 70s to 80s. Additionally, using dehumidifiers to remove moisture and filter the air while giving off heat can be helpful. Growers should consider using HPS lights, which produce more heat and IR output, or CO2 burners, although there are concerns with ethylene and moisture from burning propane. Alternatively, space heaters are another option, but we do not recommend them as they waste electricity to produce heat.

Managing Cloners during the fall stall? 

To ensure optimal temperatures for aeroponic systems in the winter months, you can use pumps or water heaters (such as those used for fish tanks) to keep the temperature around 77 F (25 C). Additionally, it is important to maintain ambient temperatures in the 80s (below 93 F/34 C), as this will create an environment conducive to cloning. However, these higher temperatures may cause high humidity levels. To address this problem, dehumidifiers should be used to maintain appropriate vapor pressure levels..while also improving ambient temperatures. 

Thanks for reading and supporting PermaClone!

Michael @PermaClone

PS: PermaClone collars are the best option for cloning, despite the higher price tag. This is due to the quality materials used in production and our commitment to long-term technical support. Following our recommended protocols, our prototypes have provided us with continued cloning at a rate of use since 2013 when we began producing PermaClone.

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