Hydroponics is an innovative technique to grow plants, and now the ability to clone the best of your crop is at your fingertips. But did you read that sentence and have twenty questions come into your head about what all of this means? Don’t fret, and find some of your answers below.
Back it up. What is hydroponics exactly?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a solution rich in nutrients and based in water, rather than the standard soil. The root system is supported by an inert medium like peat moss, clay pellets, or perlite. This allows the roots to have direct contact with the nutrient solution and have access to oxygen, both of which are imperative for successful growth.
Alright, so what does a hydroponic cloning machine do?
When you have a plant that is growing like you wish all of your plants would, the hydroponic cloning machine allows you to easily copy its incredible genetics. The machine is built like a standard hydroponic system, made of a plastic square or circular box that holds a pump, nutrient mixture, and aeroponic spray nozzles. On top of this system are many circular holes filled with hard or soft neoprene inserts that serve as the cloning sites. You’ll place a cutting of your plants in the sites and turn on the water pump, which forces the nutrient mixture through the spray nozzles and covers your cuttings with a highly-oxygenated mist.
Do I need a cloning machine to replicate my great plants? Can’t I just put them in normal soil?
Technically, you can clone the best of your plants without a cloning machine by placing those same cuttings in new growing sites. However, without the water pump and nozzles of the cloning machine, growth will take twice as long and you will have to monitor your cuttings during the rooting phase very closely as their natural environment will be much more finicky. Often, a cloning machine will give you a success rate of nearly 100%.
Any tips for when I’m ready to clone?
You’ll want to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your cloning area. A humidity of 75% or more reduces evapotranspiration, slowing down plant growth and increasing the potential for disease. If the humidity is under 60%, you’ll want to increase it by misting more or adding a humidity dome. Keep track of your nutrient solution’s temperature. It should be at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which is fairly easy to maintain by making sure the pump isn’t heating up the reservoir too much. And last, don’t worry if your plants look droopy at first. They are getting used to being rootless and should perk up within a few hours. If they don’t, mist them with a foliar spray to give them a little help.
There are several different hydroponic cloning machines on the market, from Botanicare to EZ Clone, so find the one that suits your needs and create your perfect crop today.