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Cloning in hydroponics is no easy task. If you have had trouble with cloning in your hydroponics garden, you are not alone. Cloning is one of the most challenging tasks that hydroponic growers have to accomplish and it is very common for even experienced hydroponic growers to have trouble achieving a one hundred percent success rate for their stems.
Fortunately, there is a fairly easy way you can make certain that a larger percentage of your stems successfully take root and grow: use a cloning gel. The cloning gel is specifically designed with a variety of hormones and vitamins to give these young fragile stems the tools they need for faster rooting. And faster rooting is overall the primary key to successful cloning. If you are very inexperienced with cloning, or if you just are not prepared for the challenges associated with cloning plants, then you might find yourself with an extremely low success rate. This is why it is imperative that you use a quality cloning gel on every one of your stems every time that you clone.
Using and administrating cloning gel well can significantly increase your odds of success, but it might not be enough to get close that one hundred percent mark. In order to ensure maximum success, you need to apply a few good old fashioned hydroponic gardening techniques in addition to using your cloning gel.
Here are the smartest ways to get the most out of your cloning gel.
Apply the Cloning Gel Properly – You simply cannot do without a cloning gel if you do not want all of your cloning efforts to go to waste. The cloning gel has a bunch of hormones, vitamins, and other materials that help stimulate those roots and can have them sucking up the nutrient solution much faster.
The best way to apply the cloning gel is to just cover the bottom section of the stem in a thin layer of the substance. It is a mistake to just have it totally covered in the cloning gel, because this will just drown the stem.
Make the Leaves Moist – It is important to remember that when you remove a stem from the mother plant, you also remove the primary source of moisture for that stem. While the cloning gel goes to work trying to form roots in the medium, the leaves are struggling for moisture.
There are a number of ways that you can make your leaves moist. The easiest and most low tech way is just to spray the leaves with a hand water bottle a couple times a day. To trap in the moisture, you might want to use a humidity dome. If you have a bit larger hydroponic budget, you could even attach a spraying system to a timer to ensure the leaves are made sufficiently moist.
Deal with Stress – One of the main reasons why so many clones fail is that they just are not able to sufficiently recover from the shock of being removed form the mother plant. This stress can compound an already delicate situation, making it much more challenging for the stem to form roots and bring in nutrients.
This is why you should use a strong B vitamin supplement along with your cloning gel. These vitamins reduce the impact of stressful conditions. In fact, some of these supplements are specially formulated to counteract plant stress that can be caused by cloning, disease, and poor grow room conditions.
Choose Stems Wisely – Make sure you only cut stems when your mother plant is healthy. The best cloning gel in the world will not help much if you have a weak or sickly mother plant. Ideally, the stems you choose should be fairly thick and have a few leaves that will pop up above the medium.
Care for your Mother Plant – While a cloning gel will help greatly, nothing can replace just taking good care of your mother plant. Working hard to make certain that the nutrient solution is well balanced and that your plant has plenty of light can go a long way towards successful cloning.
Another smart move is to use a carbohydrate supplement on your plants. By packing your plant with a lot of carbs, you will give your stems a lot of energy that they can use to create those roots.
When cloning the goal is always to try and get as many of your stems to survive and take root as possible. As many experienced hydroponic growers can tell you, this is no simple task. In fact, even people who really know what they are doing have a tough time getting all of their stems to take root. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do in order to increase your chances of success and by following these simple steps, you should see immediate and long term results from your cloning applications.