Cloning is a vital skill for gardeners, and understanding the best techniques for the job makes it a boat-load easier.
Unless you prefer to always do things the hard way (like starting everything from seed or bulbs), learning about aeroponic cloning is a great step to take.
What is aeroponic cloning?
Aeroponic cloning is the process of suspending plant cuttings in midair and supplying their roots with nutrients and water via a sprayer or mister. Aeroponic cloning produces new roots in as quickly as three days and developed root systems on cuttings within one to two weeks.
Do we have your attention? Read on below for the whole low-down on aeroponic cloning!
How Do You Clone With Aeroponics?
Cloning with aeroponics typically involves a grow box (machine) or a growing tower. Both setups work the same way; cuttings taken from parent plants are anchored into grow sites and sprayed with water and nutrients.
Light is usually provided by grow lights, as cloning tends to take place indoors. Cloning inside gives the cuttings a more stable environment to develop themselves in (an environment you are in total control of).
Within three to five days, new roots appear and begin to grow out into more advanced root networks. After a week or two, most plants that are cloned aeroponically are ready to be transplanted into the soil or a growing system.
What Are Easy Plants to Clone?
Cloning in general is a lot easier than you may believe. That said, the level of ease with which you may clone a plant varies from species to species.
A few of the easiest to clone plants include:
- Umbrella plant
What Are Difficult Plants to Clone?
Some plants are rather difficult to clone from cuttings (or otherwise). Try as you might, some things are just harder to clone than others.
A few of the hardest plants to clone are:
- Trees (they take a minimum of 4 times longer than most plants)
- Single harvest plants (like corn)
- Large fruit plants (like watermelon)
- Woodsy plants (certain shrubs)
- Some roses and hardy plants
- Root vegetables (like radishes and beets)
Aeroponic Cloning Machines – How Do They Work?
The beauty of aeroponic machines is that they are self-contained, take little effort on your part, and almost guarantee your clones to be successful. In fact, some machines actually do come with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee, claiming 100-percent success rates.
With aeroponic cloning machines, only the top end of the cutting is exposed to the outside environment, including light. The majority of the cutting is closed up inside the machine, in the dark.
A spraying mechanism or mister delivers measured dosages of water and nutrients to the clones, ensuring that they develop healthy roots at a rapid pace.
The EZ Clen Low Pro 16 and 32 are a couple of the very best cloning machines currently on the market. They have a reduced profile compared to other EZ-Clone machines, and a leakproof design thanks to a wider lip, flange, and built-in drainage system.
You have a choice between 16 cloning sites, or 32. The machine is constructed of long-lasting HDPE plastic with UV protection. Further, there are convenient numbers etched right into the plastic (so you can keep track of what you’re cloning!).
Another excellent cloning machine, especially for beginners is the TurbkKlone T24. This machine is lightweight, highly portable, and includes 24 individual cloning sites.
The T24 runs on 120 volts, pushes a 250 gph water pump and has a 2-gallon reservoir. Even more, it has a patented fan system built right in (ensuring your clones stay cool and continue developing new roots).
The SuperSprouter is also a 24-site cloning machine that’s hot with home gardeners right now. It, however, doesn’t work with spray jets like other units. Instead, it relies on oxygen rich water recirculating through the system in order to produce healthy clones.
The machine also draws moisture from the air and transfers the extra water to the clones. All in all, it may not be quite as durable as other machines, but it works well, and you will definitely get some good use out of it before it needs to be replaced.
The Clone King 36 boasts a 100-percent success rate when it comes to cloning plants. As long as you provide healthy cuttings, it will produce healthy clones.
The machine features 36 cloning sites positioned in the lid of the machine. It sprays the roots of the clones with its 13 built-in spray heads. All things considered, it is a highly recommendable machine, but may not be as heavy-duty as other options.
Common Questions About Aeroponic Cloning
What is the Best pH for Cloning?
Depending on the type of plant you wish to clone, the best pH for cloning varies. Generally speaking a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is preferable for cloning most plants.
Typically a pH under 5.5 or higher than 6.5 prevents the plants from being able to properly absorb the water and nutrients they desperately need to grow.
What Goes in the Water of an Aeroponic Cloner?
Many home gardeners recommend adding ¼ to ½ strength bloom nutrients to aeroponic cloning machines. Some wear by adding a pinch of rooting hormones. Others yet suggest to stick with straight water.
Make sure to study the type of plant you are cloning, and the manufacturer’s directions for your machine, before deciding what should go in the water of your aeroponic cloner!
Aeroponic Cloning is Quick, Easy, and Effective
Will you try aeroponic cloning? If so, you can expect to see your cutting turn into full fledged clones ready to plant within two weeks, maybe even less.
Just remember that regardless of the aeroponic cloning machine you use, it is no real guarantee for successful cloning. You also need to do your part by taking healthy cuttings and setting them up properly if you want to produce high quality clones.