Whether your primary garden is strictly a hydroponic system or a conventional outdoor soil garden, a hydroponic cloner is a great addition to your gardening shed. Hydroponic cloners are ideal for rooting plant cuttings because you can control every aspect of the environment, giving your cuttings the best chance to thrive and develop a strong root structure. A small shoebox-sized cloner is great for rooting 6 cuttings, and can be easily stored out of the way when not in use.
Build the Cloner
Use the hole saw to drill 6 1-1/2-inch holes in the lid of the plastic shoebox. Place the lid on the shoebox and put a net pot in one of the holes to make sure it sits securely. The net pot should hang 1 1/2 to 2 inches above the bottom of the shoebox. If the pot does not sit low enough, enlarge the holes slightly.
Remove the pot from the lid and set it aside. Remove the lid from the plastic shoebox. Use the power drill to drill a 1/2-inch hole in the lid.
Place the pond fogger inside the shoebox and thread the power cord through the 1/2-inch hole in the lid.
Plant Your Cuttings
Fill the 1-gallon container with fresh water. Add B1 growth hormone, following the manufacturer's instructions. Soak the rockwool cubes in this solution overnight.
When the rockwool cubes are finished soaking, mix a solution of water and B1 growth hormone, following the manufacturer's instructions. Add concentrated nutrient solution, following the manufacturer's instructions. Pour this mixture into the plastic shoebox until you have covered the pond fogger with half an inch of liquid.
Put the lid back on the plastic shoebox and put a net pot in each large hole. Fill each net pot halfway with HydroClay.
Place the cloning gel near the plant you will take cuttings from. Use a razor blade sterilized in rubbing alcohol to take the cutting. Immediately dip the cutting in cloning gel for several seconds, then place it in a soaked rockwool cube.
Plant the rockwool cube in one of the prepared net pots. Use additional HydroClay to cover the rockwool cube and give the cutting stability.
Turn on the pond fogger. Repeat these steps to take additional cuttings.
Monitor the water level in the shoebox. Replenish as necessary with a solution of B1 growth hormone, concentrated nutrient solution, and water. Monitor the temperature of the room, keeping it at 72 degrees F.