How to Build Your Own Hydroponic Cloner

Overview

A hydroponic cloner is a great addition to any hydroponic garden. If you want to quickly increase the number of plants in your system, build a large cloner. If you simply want to be able to give cuttings to friends and family, a small shoebox sized cloner is easy to build and easy to store when not in use. Propagating cloned plants is easier to do in a hydroponic system because you can control every aspect of the environment, giving your cuttings the best chance to thrive.

Build the Cloner

Step 1

Drill 6 1 1/2-inch holes, evenly spaced, in the lid of the plastic shoebox. Place the net pots in the holes to ensure they fit snugly. You may need to enlarge the holes slightly to hold the net pots. Remove the pots and set them aside.

Step 2

Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the lid of the plastic shoebox.

Step 3

Place the pond fogger inside the plastic shoebox and feed the power cord through the 1/2-inch hole in the lid. Make sure the power cord can reach an electrical outlet, or run an extension cord.

Add Your Cuttings

Step 1

Fill the 1-gallon container with fresh water. Let this sit uncovered for 1 hour to allow any chlorine present to dissipate. Mix in the B1 growth hormone, following the manufacturer's instructions. Soak the rockwool cubes overnight in a solution of water and B1 growth hormone.

Step 2

Meanwhile, place the lid on the plastic shoebox and insert the net pots in the 1 1/2-inch holes. Fill each net pot halfway with HydroClay.

Step 3

When your rockwool cubes have finished soaking, fill the plastic shoebox with enough water to cover the pond fogger to a depth of half an inch. Add concentrated nutrient solution per the manufacturer's instructions. Add B1 growth hormone following the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4

Use a razor blade sterilized with rubbing alcohol to take a cutting, and immediately dip the cutting in cloning gel for several seconds.

Step 5

Place the cutting in a rockwool cube. Plant the rockwool cube in a net pot and cover with more HydroClay to give the cutting stability.

Step 6

Turn on the pond fogger. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with additional cuttings.

Step 7

Monitor the temperature of the room continuously. The plants will thrive best if kept at 72 degrees F.

Step 8

Allow the pond fogger to run continuously until your cuttings are well established and ready to move to a standard hydroponics system or soil garden. Monitor the water level in the plastic shoebox and replenish with a solution of water, nutrient, and B1 growth hormone as necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • Even in ideal conditions, not every cutting will survive and grow into a standalone plant. You may want to take 2 to 4 cuttings from each plant you want to clone to ensure that you get 1 or 2 good cloned plants. Not every plant responds well to the cutting method of cloning. If you aren't successful in growing cuttings from a particular plant, try grafting or tissue culture methods.

Things You'll Need

  • Opaque plastic shoe box sized container with lid
  • 1 1/2-inch hole saw
  • 2-inch net pots, 6
  • Power drill with 1/2-inch bit
  • Pond fogger
  • Extension cord (optional)
  • 1 gallon container
  • Water source
  • B1 growth hormone, available at garden stores
  • Small rockwool cubes
  • HydroClay
  • Cloning gel, available at garden centers
  • Sharp razor blade
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plant cuttings
  • Concentrated nutrient solution
  • Thermometer

References

  • University of California Davis: Root Cuttings in Aero-Hydroponics
  • Texas A&M: Hydroponics as a Hobby

Who Can Help

  • SimplyHydro.com: Hydroponic Cuttings
Keywords: hydroponic cloner, DIY hydroponic cloning, aeroponic cloner

About this Author

Tricia Ballad has written professionally since 2004. She has authored three books, as well as numerous articles on parenting and website content involving green living. Her work has appeared in Natural Family Online and Budget Artists. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing specialization from Bradley University.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Build Your Own Hydroponic Cloner