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
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.
Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the lid of the plastic shoebox.
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
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.
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.
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.
Use a razor blade sterilized with rubbing alcohol to take a cutting, and immediately dip the cutting in cloning gel for several seconds.
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.
Turn on the pond fogger. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with additional cuttings.
Monitor the temperature of the room continuously. The plants will thrive best if kept at 72 degrees F.
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.