aeroponic cloning

AEROPONIC CLONING

Requirements

Scissors

Razor blades

Rockwool Cubes

What does cloning mean?

Cloning allows you to replicate a genetically identical plant from a parent plant. The clone will have the same characteristics as the parent plant. The growth habit will be the same, the shape of the fruits identical and the flowers together with the yield potential will also be the same.

How to cut the plant?

Pick a plant that has at least three sets of leaves

Find a spot on the branch between a set of leaf nodes where you will make the cutting. Make use of the scissors to take the cutting from the parent plant. Make sure that you cut the large leaves first as it has proven difficult to maintain the large leaves without the roots.

When making a 45˚ cuttings avoid using scissors and try using a razor blade. Scissors have a crushing action that might damage the stem and hinder the plant from rooting.

Remove 1 set of the branches leaving the two upper. From your cutting board make a 45˚ cut using razor blades

Embolism is a concern when doing cuttings so use Olivia’s cloning gel which seals the cutting to reduce embolism while preventing shock. The instructions are provided for in the package but it’s a simple dip and grow method.

The cutting is now ready to be grown in your Aeroponics system. Try placing the net pot 1 inch above the water solution.

Factors influencing cloning

Temperature

The recommended temperature is 72 ˚ F – 80 ˚ F for the upper area. The reservoir temperature should not be less than 76 ˚ F. the warm temperature will promote quick root development. If you are cloning in winter please allow the water to reach room temperature before letting it through the PVC pipes. In summer keep the temperature below 83 ˚F to avoid rotting of the plants.

Humidity – have the correct moist is extremely essential for the success of your cloning. The recommended humidity is between 70-80%. Less humidity can cause your plants to transpire which reduces the plant’s ability to absorb moist. This is achieved by using your misters.

Light

Choosing the right lighting is essential to the cutting. The greatest type of light to use is fluorescent. Fluorescent light has the right steadiness of blue and red spectrum and is also a soft light. The softer, less stressing source of light is important to the cutting in the initial phases of life when stress is high due to being cut away from the parent plant and no roots have yet shaped. Once the cuttings have rooted you can lower the light to its normal height.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is essential for root development and growth. Though it should never be fed to the roots directly but rather through the leaves which then converts the carbon dioxide to sugars essential for the root development itself which is passed through the stems to the roots. If carbon dioxide is fed to the roots directly the plants will not survive.

Oxygen

It’s no doubt that oxygen is essential for root formation and general plant growth. Dissolved oxygen is used in the Aeroponics cloning system to aid the root formation of your clone’s stems. Cuttings respond well to concentrated ranges of dissolved oxygen (6 mg-litre), lower oxygen concentration results in longer durations of root formations, few roots and limited root length. It’s also best to use air bubbles to continuously stir the water as this has proven to increase the growth process.

Parent plant

The health of the parent plant is very vital and thus a fact to consider before taking your cutting. The clone is genetically identical to the plant it’s taken from so if the parent plant is diseased or has some sort of deficiency then the clone will take the structure from it including the undesired condition of the parent plant. Also make sure that you don’t cut more than 40% of the parent plant as this might hinder further growth of the plant, though the cuttings themselves will not be affected.

The water quality

As with the Aeroponic planting it always ensure that chlorine free water. Tap water may contain some chloric acids depending on the purification method used so spring water may serve the purpose of healthily growing your clones properly. Also ensure that the nutritional mix in your water favours the type of plants you are growing according to the nutrient chart provided. The PH. Level should also be guarded with all diligence to ensure that it’s neither low nor high but rather of the correct measure according to your plantation.

Rooting Hormones

Cloning pros and cons

Cloning allows you creating genetically identical plants meaning once you have studied the parent plant and have come to know the suitable temperature, nutrients, water solution; light etc. the effort of maintaining the clone is reduced. This is good news for farmers as you can clone your best producing plants and creating better yields for commercial use.

With all the advantages mentioned, cloning still has its disadvantages; you need to be a skilled cutter to get successful results and while cutting you need to avoid embolism. Cloning creates genetically poses a danger for DNA diversity which might hinder survivability in the future.

Cloning systems

There are various cloning systems in the market to choose from. This section explores a few best that you can choose from.

Botanicare has developed three cloning machines known as Clone machine 25, 48 and 64. The clone machine 25 will cost you a $150 and it uses the Aeroponic system to grow clones. This system promises faster rooting and is very economical. There’s no need for net cups you just dip the cuttings in the rooting compound. This is a 25 plant clone machine which works better with 16-18 hours florescent light. The reservoir is built for long life by using high density Poly Ethylene. It comes with the following specifications; H-Style Manifold, 190 GPH Mag Drive Pump, Seven 330° sprayers, twenty-five 1-5/8″ Neoprene inserts, power cord grommet, 4 oz. Power Clone Solution Rooting Solution and 8 oz. Aqua Shield Compost Solution.

Clone machine 48 is suitable if you intend cloning but you have limited space. The machine is only 12 inches wide and easy to use. Rooting can be seen between 3 to 10 days and you can clone 48 plants simultaneously. Clone machine 48 will cost you $200 and it comes complete with 9-3/4 gallon reservoir (only uses 6 gallons of water), Lid, High output pump, 48 reusable neoprene collars, Sample package of Power Clone rooting solution, Sample package of Aqua Shield Liquid Compost Solution.

Cloning machine 64 as the name explains can clone 64 plants simultaneously in 5-10 days. This machine will cost you $450 and it comes complete with reservoir, lid, pump, net cups, Reusable neoprene inserts micro jets.

You also get an EZ clone machine which comes in three ranges as well which is EZ-clone 30, EZ-clone 60 and EZ-clone 120.

EZ-clone 30 is the smallest of the range but still provides 100% cloning success in 5 days. The system will cost you $260 and it comes with the following specifications;

Propagation capacity = 30 plant cuttings
Dimensions = 22-1/2″ x 17″ x 15″
Reservoir size = 12 gallon
Water used = 6 gallons
Recommended water temperature = 75° F
Optimal water pH = 6.3
Recommended plant lighting = 2-tube, 4-foot fluorescents

EZ –clone 60 will cost you $300 and it comes with the following specifications;

Propagation capacity = 60 plant cuttings
Dimensions = 32-1/2″ x 19-1/2″ x 15″
Reservoir size = 16 gallon
Water used = 8 gallons
Recommended water temperature = 75° F
Optimal water pH = 6.3
Recommended plant lighting = 2-tube, 4-foot fluorescents

EZ—clone 120 is the biggest EZ clone machine and will cost you $410 for the following specifications;

Propagation capacity = 120 plant cuttings
Dimensions = 43-1/2″ x 24″ x 15″
Reservoir size = 22 gallon
Water used = 11 gallons
Recommended water temperature = 75° F
Optimal water pH = 6.3
Recommended plant lighting = 2-tube, 4-foot fluorescents

When making the choice to purchase an Aeroponic system you will obviously consider price first but here are some key factors to add to that shopping list.

Look for a cloning machine that is easy to maintain and clean.

The machine should be easy to use.

Should have high success rate

The misters should produce the finest mist pattern

The reservoir should be strong as you don’t need to be disappointed by a broken tank even before your cuttings begin to root.