A rapid rooter is a starter plug that adds convenience when you want to plant your seeds and it is made by General hydroponics. Instead of preparing your potting mix, which can be quite cumbersome, you can simply buy your rapid router and plant your seed in it.

Hydroponic Lettuce.

Another advantage of rapid rooters is that you can use them in hydroponic systems, unlike loose growth media. This article has been compiled to answer your questions concerning rapid rooter plugs.

What Are Rapid Rooters Used For?

These plugs come in handy when it comes to propagating your plants using seeds or clones. Please note that clones are seedlings that are grown from the cuttings of adult plants so they are exact copies of the mother plant. 

In other words, clones genetically resemble the parent plant from which the cuttings would have been taken. It is only after the seedlings are ready for transplanting that they can be transferred to the hydroponic system.

What Are the Materials Used to Make Rapid Rooters?

Rapid rooters are composed of different types of composted materials that are packed in cylinders or cubes. The composted materials can be peat moss or tree bark, among other options. 

How rapid rooters are in such a way that the air to water ratio is optimal and this supports excellent growth and development of roots. The best part is that a rapid rooter is so easy to use, even on your first experience.

Peat moss rapid rooters are highly preferred by plant caretakers. This is due to the peat moss having a great air-to-water ratio. Moreover, it doesn’t compact easily, even though it is highly absorbent.

What Is Needed for Growing Seeds using Rapid Rooters?

You will need the starter kit, which consists of 50 rapid rooter starter plugs. The kit will also come with one rapid rooter tray that is responsible for holding the water that will maintain moisture in the plugs.

You will also require a heat mat, considering that seed germination rates are higher when temperatures are relatively higher. Such temperatures cannot be achieved under natural environmental conditions in most cases.

You will also need seed starters and a bowl of water that you will later put in the grow tray.

How Are Rapid Rooters Used?

Let’s explore how best you can use hydroponic rapid rooters the way in this section. Please note that whether you are using cuttings or seeds, the procedure is incredibly similar, making everything easier than you can ever think of.

– Soak the Rooter Plugs

The first step entails soaking the rapid rooter plugs in distilled water to reduce the risk of probable contamination through the water. The period for soaking the plugs can vary from a few hours up to 24 hours. You can then place the pre-soaked plug into a rooter tray.

– Plant the Seeds

Each rooter plug has a hole at its center. Place a few seeds in that hole to increase the probability of achieving successful germination.

Consider tearing off little pieces of material from the bottom of the rooters and use them to cover the holes with the seeds so that you create a dark environment. The dark environment is an important requirement for better germination rates.

The germination of the seeds will take place at varying rates so some will sprout earlier than the others. The ones that germinate first will push up the rooter pieces closing the holes and they are exposed to sunlight this way. However, the ungerminated seeds will still be in the dark so their chances of sprouting are still good enough.

– Add the Water

The next step is adding water to the rooter tray, about a quarter-inch will do. The bottom of the tray has holes in the positions where the rapid rooters will be seated.

The plugs will wick up some water through these holes, thereby remaining moist. Get a dome and use it to cover the tray to preserve optimal temperatures and moisture. In case you don’t have a dome, a saran wrap will also do a great job.

Your seedlings do not need excessive light so be sure to place the tray on a spot where it receives low to medium light intensity.

Keep checking the water levels in the tray and replenish as necessary. To further increase the germination rates, place a heat controller mat under the tray to create an artificial warmer environment.  

– Transplant Plants From Rapid Rooter to Hydroponic System

With proper maintenance, your seedlings will continue to grow until their roots begin to protrude through the rapid rooters. When you notice that a substantial amount of roots are appearing, it’s a sign that you have to transplant.

You can transfer your young plants to a hydroponic system. Once you have done this, be sure to add a nutrient solution that is not too concentrated.

 

How Can Clones Best be Grown Using Rapid Rooter Plugs?

Growing clones using rapid rooter pugs is also feasible and easy.

– What You Need

You will need clean razor blades for creating a clean cut on the stem of the parent plant. You can sterilize the blades using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol to ensure that there is no microbial contamination. As is the case when you are growing seeds, you will need a kit of rapid rooter plugs and a tray.

Make sure you have a rooting gel, which contains hormones that aid root development. You will certainly need a heat or temperature mat as well. Also, add plant clipping to the list of what you need.

– The Steps for Cloning

Rapid rooter cloning starts by hydrating your rooter plugs by soaking them in distilled water. This stage can take up to a few hours and can be done in any container that is big enough to hold the plugs, even a bowl will do. Once the soaking procedure is complete, transfer the plugs to the growing tray.

Make clean cuts on the plant from which you are taking your cuttings. Make this procedure as sterile as possible and put on gloves as you handle your plants. Make sure that your cuttings are at least two inches long and have a few leaves on them. 

The bottom of the stem cutting shouldn’t have been left so remove any if present. Create a 45-degree angle at the bottom of the stem cutting.

Dip the angled end of each cutting into a rooting hormone, before inserting them into the rooter and plugging through the holes located at the centers. Make sure that tray that is holding the plugs is on a flat surface that is exposed to low-intensity light. 

To keep the rapid rooter plugs moist enough to enhance growth on the cuttings, always make sure that the tray contains water, at least a quarter-inch full. Finally, after a few weeks, you will notice stronger roots appearing through the bottom of the rooter plugs and this indicates that it’s the right tie to transplant your rapid rooter plants to the hydroponic system.

Can Hydration and Adding Nutrients Be Done Simultaneously?

The short answer is yes, hydration and adding nutrients can be done at the same time rather than separately. To do this, start by getting a container that is large enough for the rapid rooters to fit. 

Carefully put the plugs in the container, before adding water until the rapid rooter plugs are completely covered. Soon after this, add a low-level dose of nutrient solution.

To determine the pH level that is appropriate for the plant that you are growing, add pH-up or pH-down. Leave the plugs to soak for at least an hour up to 24 hours, depending on your preferences. 

When it’s time to use your rapid rooters, simply remove them from the solution and add them to the trays. Refrain from the urge to squeeze them. Once your plugs are on the trays, plant your seeds as we described earlier.

Are There Chances That Rapid Rooters Can Go Bad?

Yes, there is a possibility that rapid rooters may go bad. Fungi, mold, and other microorganisms cab infect the plugs during storage. If you use infected rapid rooters, you are more likely to produce diseased plants. We recommend that you throw away any infected plugs and buy new ones.

Suppose you find out that your plugs are dry when you open them, they would have gone bad as well. However, in this case, the situation can be rectified. You simply have to soak the plugs in water to hydrate them again.

For How Long Do Rapid Rooters Last?

Rapid rooters can last for three years and sometimes even beyond this timing. However, the duration of how the plugs will last depends on how well you take care of them. Ideally, store them in a cool and dark place like a cabinet, drawer, or tote.

Do Rapid Rooters Contain Nutrients?

The peat moss substrate that is in rapid rooters is inert both chemically and in terms of pH. it is an organic substrate, peat moss has micronutrients. However, it does not contain nutrients that can support your plants enough.

To enhance the nutritional capacity of the rooters, some expert growers create a low-dose nutrient solution in which they soak the plugs, before adding seeds or cuttings. This way, nutrients are made available to the plants as soon as they need them.

Are There Any Alternatives for Rapid Rooters?

Yes, there are other alternatives for rapid rooters. There are different types of starter plugs that are available commercially so your choices are not limited.

However, there are many advantages that rapid rooters have, which make them preferable. Examples of other plant starters that you can consider are Oasis Horticubes, Root Riot plugs, Pro-Mix, and Jiffy Pellets.

Jiffy Pellets are very similar to rapid rooters. Both of them may contain peat moss, although Jiffy Pellets may sometimes have coco-coir the main difference between the Jiffy Pellets and rapid rooters is in what they are bound with.

The invisible binding foam that binds the rapid rooters is biodegradable while the plastic netting that binds the Jiffy Pellets is not biodegradable.

The non-biodegradable binding of Jiffy Pellets is a cause for concern when you are growing your plants in the soil. However, when you are using hydroponic systems, there is no need to worry.

– Rapid Rooter Vs Rockwool

Rockwool Grow Cubes

Another well-known rapid rooter alternative is Rockwool. These two starters are sometimes used interchangeably because they are similar in many aspects, though they complete their purposes differently. Let’s discuss these starters so that you can make wise and informed decisions for growing your seeds and clones.

Rapid rooters have a neutral pH while Rockwool plugs are slightly alkaline. The water retention capacity of Rockwool is quite good. On the other hand, rapid rooters can take in too much water if they are not closely monitored. 

Rapid rooters are made u of biodegradable material so they are much safer for the environment. Rockwool plugs are not biodegradable and this can cause environmental issues if you use them in the soil.

When it comes to costs, rapid rooters are more expensive than the Rockwool plugs. Because rapid rooters have peat moss, they contain trace amounts of micronutrients. These are not found in Rockwool, which is made of rock.

Conclusion

We have explored much information on rapid rooters, thereby making it easier for you to make wise and informed decisions. Here is a quick rundown of what you have learned:

  • Rapid rooters are made up of organic material that is packed into cubes or cylinders.
  • They can be used for growing plants from seeds or cuttings.
  • Rapid rooters can stay for more than three years if they are maintained in cool and dark places.
  • Rapid rooters do not contain nutrients, which is why they can be soaked in nutrient solutions before using.
  • Other good alternatives to rapid rooters include Rockwool and Jiffy Pellets.

Now that you have all the information you need to properly use rapid rooters, it’s time to buy your kit and get started. Enjoy the process! 

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