RhizoWilma! The In’s & Out’s
Don’t hand water! For fuss-free feeding and unstoppable roots, get your hands on a RhizoWilma.
They’re easy to use with almost all growing media...here’s how you get the best from them.
1. Which Growing Media?
You can use almost any growing media you want. Here’s what you should know about each option.
Coco is a very popular choice – it’s great at holding water and releasing nutrients.
When using just coco, it’s tougher to get your irrigation times right and you may overwater. Especially when plants are young and vulnerable.
Try mixing coco with clay pebbles or perlite to improve drainage and structure.
Your coco mix will hold less water and more air. This increases root growth and helps prevent overwatering. Here are some options:
You can use soil, but be careful not to overfeed.
It’s best to use nutrients every other time you water but you can’t do this with the RhizoWilma.
Instead, use a half strength nutrient solution. You can also add 30% perlite or 40-60% clay pebbles to safeguard against over watering.
Don’t use anything organic unless the nutrient solution is going to be used within 24 hours.
Clay pebbles are great in a RhizoWilma system. The air space between the pebbles creates an excellent root system.
Clay pebbles don’t hold much water so you need to irrigate often. If you want your media to hold more water, mix it with Seramis, which is a porous clay granule.
Don’t forget to give your clay pebbles a good wash before use.
Cellmax Grow Cubes are 1cm² rockwool pieces that are great for hydro pot culture systems like the RhizoWilma.
They hold onto water well and have a good amount of air.
Use a top layer of clay pebbles as a ‘mulch’ to stop the grow cubes from drying.
2. Choosing a Dripper
Coco & Soil
Most growers use the black 2L/hr Low Pressure Drip Stakes with a segment timer. You’ll get 500ml from each dripper for every 15 minute segment used.
Since clay pebbles hardly hold any water, you need to irrigate frequently, for a long time. For that, you'll need the Fast Flow Drip Stake and a 15 minute segment timer.
3. Set Up & Preparation
It’s easy to assemble a RhizoWilma. Simply set up the irrigation lines and place pots on the tray. After that, you just need to transplant plants and position drippers.
Don't transplant before roots are ready. This one of the biggest mistakes growers make.
Wait until you see lots of roots poking out the bottom of your rockwool blocks before transplanting. If you’re a soil or coco grower, start plants off in small Propagation RhizoPots. This’ll give them a healthy root system before you pot up.
- Add a layer of washed clay pebbles to the bottom of pots to improve drainage
- Next, add your chosen growing media and firm it down lightly
- Create a small hole and plant in
Position drippers close to the plant, at the correct depth in the growing media.
- The Black Low Pressure Drip Stake:
Spike the dripper into the media, close to the plant (or in the rockwool block) so that it’s 2-3cm above the surface.
- The Blue Fast Flow Drip Stake:
Position it further from the plant and higher in the growing media. The 2 jets of water that leave the dripper will create 2 irrigation areas on both sides of the plant.
4. Setting Irrigation Cycles
Once all plants are potted up, they need their first irrigation.
- Fill the reservoir with tap water and add your nutrients
- For best results, add a rooting stimulator (like Katana Roots)
- Irrigate until lots of water runs out of the pots, back to the reservoir
With fast draining media (e.g. clay pebbles)
Irrigate for 15 minutes every 1-2 hours to start with. As plants grow, increase the number of irrigations. We recommend irrigating for 15 mins every half hour at most.
If your media holds lots of water (e.g. coco & soil)
Don’t set up timed irrigations just yet. Let roots find their way throughout the entire pot first. Young plants in a large pot may only need irrigating once every 2-4 days.
To see if your plants need watering, lift up one of the pots - if it feels heavy, don’t water.
Once plants are a good size and ready, here’s how to work out your irrigation times:
- Your first irrigation should be 1-2 hours after the lights come on
- Turn the pump on and time your irrigation with a stopwatch
- When the nutrient solution starts returning to the reservoir, stop timing
- Note your time, then add around 20% - that’s how long irrigations should last
e.g. if your time was 4 mins, add 1 min (20%) – your irrigation time is 5 minutes.
You won’t have to irrigate often. In a 1.2m x 1.2m area, under a 600W light, 1.5-2L per plant should do it.
Remember, you get 500ml from each Low Pressure Drip Stake every 15 minutes. That means 3 or 4 x 15 minute irrigations is all you need.
If your coco is mixed with perlite or clay pebbles, irrigate 4-6 times (depending on the pebble to coco ratio).
Pay close attention to your plants and how much water they need.
If they use the nutrient solution quicker than before (pots feel lighter), irrigate for longer or more often.
If the nutrient solution isn’t being used very quickly (pots feel heavy), reduce the number or length of irrigations.
5. Managing Your Nutrient
Over time, your pH and nutrient strength slowly changes. To create a bigger buffer, keep your reservoir full – the bigger the body of water, the smaller the fluctuation.
You’ll also want to check the pH and EC/CF in the reservoir every couple of days.
If the pH swings out of range (5.5-6.5), adjust it.
When the nutrient strength rises, top up your tank with water to bring it back down.
Generally, young plants like lower nutrient strengths of 12-15 CF (1.2-1.5 EC). An older plant that’s starting to fruit or flower will need a higher strength of CF 15-20 (1.5 – 2.0 EC).
To make sure your plants stay healthy and have all the correct nutrients available to them, you should completely change the nutrient solution every 7-14 days.