How To Use A Cloning Machine For Beginners

Did you know that you’ll be ready on how to use a cloning machine in only four steps? The term cloning of plants might sound limited to scientists, but gardeners can learn this skill and perform it with proper preparation and research. After all, cloning plants is a quick and sure way to make reliable copies of plants at a lower cost. 

If you want to preserve your plants’ qualities, cloning is an efficient technique to do so. You save time compared to waiting for plant seeds to germinate, and you won’t be limited to the plants you can do. The parent plant’s health will still be safe, but you can always grow and start your plants in the greenhouse to be confident that they’re ready for cloning. 

How To Use A Cloning Machine For Beginners

How To Use A Cloning Machine: Comprehensive Guide

 

Preparing the machine

There are many cloning machines in the market, but you can generally prepare one by filling it up with water. How much water should you add? Check the water level for the machine and remember to use water at 65 to 68°F.

Attach the misters and pump and test the machine if the spray can cover the lid’s entire surface area. Since you’re starting from cuttings, you can encourage their growth by adding a nutrient mix. Like checking the water temperature, ensure that this solution is at 68°F and check the reservoir if the pump overheats it. 

 

Setting the environment 

After filling the machine with water and nutrient mix, you can start setting it up. Most experts recommend using a humidity dome for the cloning environment. You can skip the dome in the greenhouse since it’s easy to maintain the humidity indoors. 

Check if the percentage is below 60, as this indicates that you need to increase humidity. Additionally, the best temperature for the cloning is between 700 to 75°F to guarantee success. Another advantage of those cloning in the greenhouse is that it’s easy to maintain this range and add grow lights to support the cuttings further. 

 

Using the machine

Once the machine and environment are ready, you can start cloning. Taking the cuttings from your parent plants is straightforward, considering it’s the most common way to clone and propagate. However, you want to check guides from universities to know how to make different kinds of cuttings to familiarize yourself with the concept.

They include herbaceous and softwood, semi-hardwood, hardwood, deciduous, root, and leaf cuttings. For the cloning machine, you’ll be using stem cuttings. Insert the stem in the cloning machine’s neoprene disc so that 2 inches of it is below the bottom of the disc. 

This size is crucial for the spray to target it later on. 

 

Maintenance

After using the cloning machine, it’s typical to feel nervous, especially if your plants look leggy. However, they should recover after a few hours. You can also lightly mist the plants to support them from becoming rootless. 

Typically, the cuttings can take two days to develop roots. Bright white roots should indicate healthy growth, while brown or gray roots means the water temperature needs lowering. Once the rooting starts, it’s also best to change the reservoir overall. 

In one week, the cuttings should be thriving, but don’t be tempted to transplant them yet. Wait for around ten days so that they develop their secondary roots. This indicates that you’re ready to transplant, which would be convenient if you use a greenhouse if the outdoor environment is not yet optimal. 

 

What Is A Cloning Machine?

You might be thinking, why would there be a need for a cloning machine if propagating plants from cuttings is relatively easy anyway. The significant difference and advantage is that it’s possible to root all of the cuttings at a 100% success rate. You can do the traditional method or use an aeroponic or hydroponic machine, but a cloning machine takes half the processing time without much monitoring. 

A cloning machine is a plastic square with a pump, nutrient mixture, and mist or aeroponic spray nozzles. There are disks at the top that can be hard or soft, and they would receive the cuttings. The pump is then responsible for forcing the nutrient solution through the nozzles to mist the cuttings. 

 

Conclusion

You can always propagate plants by cuttings or divisions to clone them. However, it’s a useful skill to learn how to use a cloning machine if you want a 100% success rate on all your cuttings. Additionally, cloning machines take a shorter time with minimal intervention than using an aeroponic or hydroponic system. 

To use one, prepare the machine by filling it with water and nutrient solution. Afterward, check the cloning environment and its temperature, humidity, and lighting system. These conditions make it easier to use a greenhouse since maintaining them is more comfortable indoors. You can then insert the cuttings in the discs and wait until they root. 

It can take some hours for the cuttings to recover and a week to start growing roots. However, never transplant the cutting until they have developed their secondary roots. For transplanting, you can also do it in the greenhouse until the outdoor environment is optimal. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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