Manufacturer: General Hydroponics
October 13, 2015
tl;dr: These have worked out very well for me, much better rockwool or reusing soil. I don't use them all the time, but when I do, they are clutch.
This product seems to retain, at most, a little over the "optimal" moisture level you want. While something like rockwool or a potting mix with too much compost can actually hold too much water, these limit the amount by which you can mess up.
Speaking of Rockwool, I stopped buying it when I realized I couldn't really do much with it after I'm done using it except throw it out or get an autoclave to clean it and reuse it -- even then the texture/air gaps would be different). Given the high water retention, something I personally don't want, the lack of sustainable reuse options, these beat it by a bunch. I tried throwing rockwool in my compost pile and now my garden beds have rockwool bits in them. With these, you can cut/grind them up and then throw them into your compost bin. Most breaks down and the if not it will just fluff up when wet, aerating things a bit.
The big advantage for me is that if stored properly (out of the light and in a cool, dark, dry place), you'll always have a sterile media to grab if you need it for a seed or cutting (I find it more advantageous for the cutting).
I've been through a couple of these packs of these. Don't let them dry out! For long term storage, I check on them every 2-3 months and make sure they are soft and moist. If not, just add a bit of water so they can soak it up. I like to use RO water for this as it keeps salt out.
If using them for seedlings, just pinch a bit off the side and cover the seedling in the hole with it -- not too tight. If using it for cuttings, its usually easier to make a new hole in them that will fit your cutting snugly. If you're not using them in a cell tray, it is easier to use them upside down.
All these great things said, I've switch to just using potting soil or a simple soilless -- peat and perlite and coco -- mix. In the long run, its cheaper when you start a lot of seeds but like I said, I always try to have a pack of these on hand.
July 15, 2012
I really like Rapid Rooters. I use them a lot. I rarely have a problem with them. I use them for seedlings and clones.
There is a ton of info on how to use Rapid Rooters, including the instructions. So, I will add a little advice you might not get anywhere else.
To avoid contaminating your plants and all the RR's in the bag:
Wash the outside of the bag with dish soap and water. Then I sit my bag in the sink on a towel, paper towel or something. Wash your hands well or use gloves before reaching into the bag. Try to only touch the RR you are trying to remove. Also put these in a large Ziplock baggie after you open them. I also usually put a few cc's of diluted bleach solution inside the bag to. Just place the original bag inside the other bag. I use clean BBQ tongs to remove however many I need. I avoid touching a RR with my bare hands if I can.
If you have expensive, delicate or special seedlings you want to avoid mass contamination. If you put them in a single seedling domed warmer or something similar, they need to be in individual containers and avoid putting so much water that they all sit in the same pool of water. I use a dropper at first. Then after getting a few inches bigger, I water them at the sink, let them sit on a clean towel til I get done with all the plants and wash/paper towel dry the tray before I put them back. This brief time out of the container will help start hardening the seedlings.
If you are using a used container, wash well in running hot water using dish soap(I use plain Dawn) then allow to air dry. Air drying will facilitate the lysis of bacteria cell membranes.
You may think this is a bit much but I do hydroponics and contamination of a system is a really big concern. Most plant growing environments(warm, moist and food supply) are the prefect breeding ground for many plant damaging bacteria.
September 10, 2022
100% seed germination rate for me by using these. I'll never again go back to using a wet paper towel or glass of water and then planting a seed with a short taproot under soil.
My process is moistening the rooter, putting the seed in, and tearing off a small piece of the rooter and placing it on top the hole to keep the inside dark. I place the rooter inside a transparent egg carton to maintain humidity and to be able to see its top and bottom, and place the carton on a window sill inside where temperature is approximately 73-75F. I open the egg carton once a day to give it a splash of water. After exactly 4-5 days every time (see attached photo from a day 4), the seedling pushes through the top piece to reach for the sun, and a white taproot pokes through the bottom of the rooter. At that point I plant the seedling and rooter in a pot of moist soil.
I keep the leftover rooters in the freezer in the provided zipped bag to preserve, and when it comes time to germinate another seed I simply defrost the bag, pull out a rooter, and repeat the process.
While in the past I've had germination success using the paper towel and glass of water methods, often times shortly after planting in soil, the seedling would die because it was still too young and fragile to be able to handle the elements. These rooters provide a safe, comfortable environment for seedlings to grow beyond only sprouting a short taproot. With these rooters, after the seedling has sprouted above the hole and the white taproot pokes through the bottom, it can handle being planted directly in moist soil without fear of the seedling dying beneath the soil.
April 04, 2016
I have been using these for a while to germinate my plumeria seedlings. These are super easy to use, all you need to do is stick them into a tray and put the seed into the hole in the center. Make sure you check with proper seed planting instructions as some seeds need to be put in a certain direction. For example, plumeria need to be planted where the "fin" is pointing up. If using cuttings just dip the bottom end that has bark removed in rooting hormone and stick in the hole.
If for some reason these are dried out when your ready to use them (mine have not been) simply soak them in a little bit of water, then squeeze out any excess water as if they are too wet you may get damp off issues and your seeds may rot. I usually soak mine in hot water with a mix of Hydrogen Peroxide and Super thrive whether they are moist or not.
Probably one of the best thing I like about these is that they make it super easy to check root development. I was able to pull up the rapid rooters and see how well my seeds were doing by seeing the explosive root growth.
I use these in the Rapid Rooters trays under a heat some that sits on a heat mat. I also have LED grow lights so as soon as they sprout my seedlings get lots of light. I have had very high success rate with these and recommend them greatly.
December 01, 2021
These are great for propagating tropical hibiscus. I normally just use rooting powder and a sand mixture to stick the cuttings but a lot of them don't take and the cuttings fail. These root plugs are amazing in that my failure rate for cuttings is drastically reduced, and I have good healthy roots coming out of the bottom. The picture shown is a cutting that rooted after two months, and this is a harder variety to clone! I won't have healthy massive roots like these if I use my standard method. I do use rooting hormone powder with the plugs also. I think the plugs keep the stem moist and encourages rooting and also prevents the cuttings from being unbalanced in the media - cuttings will not root if the stem keeps moving around too much, and these plugs prevent movement if placed in a small 2 inch square pot.
I do admit there is some mold with the package left open, but I just rinse them off in warm water, squeeze the plug and rinse again until the mold is all gone. I don't do any hydro or aquaponics with these, or indoor gardening, so the mold isn't a big issue for me. I would totally buy these again, but I noticed the price has gone up from the initial price of $16.00 I paid a few months ago, overall still a great product!
C. Van Raalte
March 25, 2013
I noticed most of the reviews here are about seed starting. They do work well for that, but I wanted to also say that they work well for hydroponics. I use these for growing hydroponic lettuce in my basement. I place these pods in a 72 cell seed starting tray under a grow light. Each plug has a dimple around 1/4" deep to deposit the seed. The only issue I have with these pods is that the dimple can become misshapen, and therefore difficult to insert the seeds. I don't typically use all 72 cells, but I try to maintain the water in the bottom at a level that will keep the plugs moist (but is well below the seed) regardless of how many cells are filled. Once planted,I get excellent germination with the plugs which will wick just the right amount of moisture to the seed. Once the plants are well established, I select the heartiest to put in net cups. Holding the plug in place, I pour in expanded clay pellets to fill the space in the net cups. The cups go into a Styrofoam holder that sits in a planter trough filled with water and nutrients. The plugs are just the right density to allow water in, and allow the roots out. This is a simplified summary of my system, but the Rapid Rooter Plugs are at the heart of it and work well.
September 29, 2018
These are great. I don't soak my seeds in a cup of water or use the paper towel method. I just soak these in pH'd water and pop the seed in it.
I put my Rapid Rooters about 1/4th of the way inside a solo cup with damp prep'd coco coir/perlit mix. And wait about 2 or 3 days and they'll be poppin out and heading for the light. I use a Grower's Choice 315 CMH for seed to harvest. I leave them fully open to air and light. I only use a humidity dome (plastic drinking bottle cut in half) if my humidity is very very low. Cannabis seeds don't really need humidity bogging them down.
Cannabis roots need more oxygen than water. So you never want the Rapid Rooters to be glossy wet looking. Just damp. The seeds come with their own baby nutes. I water the coco coir/perlit mix only when it's all about dry. Depending on my environmental conditions, I lightly pH water (using only MagCal) about every other day.
You can also just wet these down, pop your seed in, and plant the Rapid Rooter directly into your growing medium. What's nice about that, is you can still see the top of the Rapid Rooter, and only water that area (not the whole container).
May 20, 2020
Works really well, roots are quick growing. The plants can be confused and root upwards. Correcting two plants led to the death of one and shock of the other.
I am going to recommend never to let precious plants root in this thing. It's a very cake like thing and doesn't allow for proper root ventilation. After 4 hours of intensive care I managed to save the one plant that didn't go through an issue at sprouting, and it came with careful removal of this stuff all the way to the crown of the plant.
I noticed 3 weeks into the life cycle the plant was struggling to maintain, one day it was perky smg the other it was gloomy, no matter the water rate or schedule. Then I noticed leaf burn and realized it was choking. Root zone was terribly clogged, most of the roots were rotted.
So far having transplanted two plants that show a full recovery I will say this is good to start your seeds, but do not follow directions and let it root in this cube. If you really want a cube like base for seed growth I recommend organic potting soil wrapped in cheese cloth. I'm just using potting soil in the seed trays from here on out.
July 22, 2013
I have used 44 out of my bag of 50, for starting seeds and for rooting cuttings, and I've had a 100% success rate. I've tried them on many different plants, hibiscus, peppers, butterfly bush, etc., I'm trying a citranilla geranium now. Everything I've tried roots (big white roots with about 80% coverage on rooter)in between 7-12 days. The seeds I've started haven't ever went longer than 3 days before breaking the surface. When I use these (I only use them for small batches, 15-1500 cuttings I just use sand), everything comes up or roots out quicker and more vigorous than rockwool.
I would recommend trying these. I have to mention that I don't use the tray because the hole is to big for most of my cuttings. I turn the rooter upside down, flat side down so they will stand up, and poke a hole with a sharpened pencil (not my idea) for the cutting or seed. I turn a 5-10/gal clear storage container upside down, set the rooters on the lid and sit the "dome" down over it. It has worked 100% of the time so I'm sold.
May 31, 2014
I've had very good success with these plugs both germinating and cloning my MJ plants. Nothing else has worked nearly as well for me. The spongy material holds humidity very well and seems kind to roots. I don't use the Rapid Rooter setup, just the plugs. I stick them in a bed of perlite at least 4" deep with about 1" of water visible at the bottom and cover with a humidity shield. This keeps the plugs at the right humidity. The holes are a bit wide for my clones so I tear off a small piece and plug the gap. For germination, I cut them in half and use the bottom half only. I poke a hole with a skewer and then cut a deep X across the top face of the plug so that the seedling can push the material away as it surfaces. Again, I set the plugs in a bed of perlite. Also,for germination I boil the plugs to sterilize and then innoculate them with biota and a trace of molasses (to feed the biota). I water the seedlings with distilled water until they are potted.
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