Aeroponics is an effective and easy way to start cuttings, with these aeroponic cloning tips you’ll be able to make a great way to start new plants without soil even better.
Note: once cuttings have roots they can be transplanted into any system or growing media of your choice.
Over utilizing mother plants creates stresses that can lend to a drift in the quality of the genetics that result from your rooted cuttings, potentially reducing harvest quality and yield.
Above: Some types of plants produce more crop in less time from rooted cuttings versus seed. Sweet Basil is a great example.
Aeroponic plant propagation systems can root cut plant stems faster and produce healthier larger cuttings because of the increase in oxygen they supply at the cut stem. Of further benefit, is that growers can enjoy excellent rates of success without having to use synthetic rooting hormones (although many growers still like to dip their cuttings first)—that’s right, the extra fast rooting rates means that you can still produce rooted cuttings very quickly without synthetic stimulators; a potential bonus for organic or health minded gardeners.
By spending just a few extra moments before you get started and through the rooting process, you can get better clones and often faster with less chance of encountering any hiccups along the way.
In this aeroponic cloning tips article, we hope to offer something for everybody, whether a commercial clong system pro or a savvy home gardener.
Above: EZ Clone Low Pro System, Scotch Spearmint Rooted Cuttings
Aeroponic Cloning Tips Number One
Starts with Mother Plants
If you have mother plants that are productive and vibrant, with aeroponics cloning you can have future crops that yield big harvests of quality. If your mother plants have issues with spider mites or originated from crops that had powdery mildew, there’s a chance that you will continue to pass on these problems.
It’s a good idea to make sure that the plants you select to start future crops will reflect the type of health and quality that you want to see in new plants that you will create via aeroponic cloning. Remember that plant cuttings rooted from the same mother pant carry the exact same same genetics and have the ability to reproduce consistently. A very powerful tool for any grower.
SEEDY TIP: Start and select new mother plants from seed every couple of years or as necessary—it will improve your harvests over the long haul.
SUPER PRO AEROPONIC CLONING TIP: Don’t reduce the vegetation on mother plants by more than 30% per round of taking cuttings. Also give at least 10-14 days for plants to recover and grow again before taking another batch of cut stems for rooting. Over utilizing mother plants creates stresses that can lend to a drift in the quality of the genetics that result from your rooted cuttings, potentially reducing harvest quality and yield.
Aeroponic Cloning Tips Number Two
Keep It Clean, Keep It Green!
Making sure that your aeroponic cloning system, ie pump, manifold, sprayers, base, lid and cloning collars (some people replace these every three cycles to play it extra safe) are clean and hygienic is of the upmost importance for ensuring continued cloning success.
There are lots of choices when it comes to specialty gardening cleaning products, although we recommend that you don’t underestimate the power or importance of a little elbow grease and attention to all the small crevices and corners.
Hydrogen Peroxide, Alcohol, Bleach or Castile Soap are common household items that have been used with good results in cleaning aeroponic cloners between cycles. Don’t forget to scrub lots and rinse with plenty of fresh, clean water.
Above: Spotless. Inside EZ Clone’s Commercial Cloning System.
Aeroponic Cloning Tips Number Three
Fill It with Premium, please.
Think of your aeroponics cloner as a high performance machine. If you fill the tank with low or mid grade, you can’t expect to realize the full potential of the system. Always try to use filtered or rain water to fill the system and keep the pH between 5.5-6.5. It is best to keep the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) low too, for example after adding mild fertilizer or cloning solutions to around 140-210 ppm (0.2-0.3 EC).
Super Pro Tip via EZclone.com : For very pure water that is more pH stable, combine 3 parts filtered water to 1 part tap water when filling the system.
Aeroponic Cloning Tips Number Four
The Cloning Environment
While a good quality and well designed aeroponic cloning system like the EZ Cloner series is a high performance garden tool, putting it in a less than ideal environment can limit your level of potential results.
NEVER put the cloning system uncovered in an area with air movement from fans or strong breezes; unrooted or young plants will dehydrate or stress
OFTEN check that the sprayers and pump are delivering a nutrient mist, as any bits of organic debris from stems or emerging roots can plug up finer sprayers.
ALWAYS make sure that air surrounding the cloning system has sufficient humidity (around 75% or greater is optimal). While you can get away with lower humidity, these conditions create stresses on cut stems that don’t have roots yet to keep up with water loss. Cloning domes can be an option in these situations.
Temperature Tip: Aeroponics cuttings often do better in warmer temperatures than less experienced people may give them credit for. 85 degrees Fahrenheit is an acceptable solution or air temperature provided that the cloning solution is free of organic matter or additives. Doses of Hypochlorous Acid or Hydrogen Peroxide can also be added if running warmer. In some instances a chiller may be required.
Aeroponic Cloning Tips Number Five
Perfect for Pre-Veg
Just because you get roots faster in your aeroponic cloning system doesn’t mean that you should transplant your cuttings sooner, while it may be tempting. Why?
Well, it’s not that you couldn’t transplant sooner successfully, it’s just that your young root systems LOVE the super oxygenated environment they live in while in your aeroponics cloning system. Once cuttings root, some growers will thin out their numbers to “keepers”, selecting for exceptional health and vigour. Often, cuttings will be very happy and content to stay in the cloning system for an additional one to two weeks after rooting. Bigger, healthier transplants will perform better in your future crops.
Note that once roots have formed, you can start to add mild vegetative growth fertilizer programs, for example the Elite Garden program.