It is more beneficial to grow a hydroponic plant from a clone (clipping) than from a new seed. If the clone is from a prized plant, it is likely to thrive just as well as the mother plant. An exact gene match between the mother plant and the clone is responsible for this benefit.
Cloning is when a clipping of a mother plant is taken to re-grow a new plant. Farmers clone plants regularly, and have done so for hundreds of years. The goal is to grow the best plants possible by continuing to cultivate the heartiest plants, while at the same time eliminating the weak plants from the crop pool. The result is not only more crops, but higher-quality crops. The same holds true for hydroponic cloning.
It’s important to examine the mother plant for healthiness prior to cloning. Check the leaves and stems for any sign of disease or fungus. This is a critical step, because any genetic flaws are passed from the mother plant to the clone.
It’s important to select a growing medium in which the clone will grow. Since the clone is hydroponic, meaning that is grown without soil, the growing medium will act in the place of the soil (along with the water). Rockwool, oasis foam and rapid rooters are acceptable candidates for hydroponic clone-growing media.
Once the mother plant is selected, and the growing medium is ready for planting, it’s time to harvest the clone. While conducting this procedure, always remember to work with sterile supplies and in a sterile environment for best results.
Find a stem that is healthy, but not flowering. Flowering will actually kill the clone, because it cannot support the flowering process and new roots at the same time. Also remove any leaves from the clone that might touch the growing medium.
Next, use a new, sterile razor blade to cut the stem of the clone at a 45-degree angle. Move the stem to the growing medium, and avoid exposing the freshly cut end to air for prolonged periods. Doing so can hinder the growing results. Continue this process until as all clones are harvested and placed in the growing medium.
Cloning machines make cultivating the cuttings after removal from the mother plant much easier. These retail units run on electric power and continuously irrigate the clones and filter the water automatically. In addition, they are leak resistant, and help to prevent accidental floods. For the serious hydroponic gardener, cloning machines can help maintain organization and cleanliness.