When it comes to how nature works, the best and most adaptable species will survive.
Because plants cannot actively reproduce itself, we have to keep their best genes by cloning.
Cloning not only helps create the more best plants. It is also absolutely fun and cost-saving as well. This can be easy doing by placing the cutting in Rockwool cubes, rapid roosters or more modernly by using the electric cloning machines.
But for effectiveness and faster results, I totally recommend cloning with the machine method. And the purpose of this post is to help you choose the best cloners on the market.
What to consider when purchasing a cloning machine.
The sites will decide the price of your machine, no doubt. For starters or individual users, you can start with small systems. Fewer than 30 sites are ideal. If you intend to scale your clone system later, don't choose the machines with too few sites from the start.
High-end design and Brand cost
You always pay for the design and the established Brand of the products. Their quality is proven, yet sometimes the extra cost is not worth spending.
Simple or multi-functional machines
Even though the simple cloner will have all the necessary items for cloning, the higher-priced ones will come up better. This is not just with the material quality, the product design but also with extra equipment like the built-in fan to keep the reservoir water temperature low.
Individual or Commercial/Large-scale use
For the individual purpose, there are a lot of options. Usually, they can choose a budget cloner with not many sites. But for large-scale farmers needing to clone a large number of cuttings at one set-up, there are only 2 brands that you can select - the EZ Clone and the Turbo Klone.
Why Purchasing a Cloning Machine?
Aeroponic cloning machines are fairly popular for indoor gardeners. With the support of the modern technology, you no longer have to buy growing media, regularly check and spare much time for it (e.g. watering). The roots are less prone to disease and come up much faster.
Above all, with proper knowledge, you can make clones in large amounts and with the success rate of 100%.
How does the cloning machine work?
In a typical setup, cuttings are placed suspending in the air with their lower parts constantly misted with the nutrient solution. This low pressure misting is done by the submersible electric pump.
The heating pads are put under the cloning systems to warm the solution and the cuttings.
A plastic lid covers the system so that the humidity of the cloning environment is kept for the leaves and their upper parts. But in most cases, you don't need the lid/dome. Just Beware of the humidity and you only should cover the lid if your room runs low on humidity.
Top 4 Brand Reviews
The TurboKlone T24 Aeroponic Cloning System with 24 Site Kloners
TurboKlone is true to the fact that the best one does not need to be the most expensive one. This cloner is presumably the best on the market but is much cheaper than the highest-price cloner. So why getting another higher priced brand while it still brings the similar results?
It is equipped with all of the necessary items for the cloning machines, especially the built-in fan.
As the cloning system is built to run continuously, growers often have the issue of temperature in the solution because of the water pump. They often put the system on a timer, or use some kinds of chilling method.
The fan on the cloner's side helps bring cool air to the water and keep the temperature low.
Personally, I find the design is fairly good. It's the system that you will work with for a long period of time. So I think the look is important.
It comes up with a variety of sizes. Work well for individual uses as well as commercial ones.
If you can spend money, Turbo King will not let you down.
Clone King 25 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine
The Clone King Aeroponic also comes with all necessary items: submersible pump, the spray manifold with 13 individual mistings, spray heads, the white plastic tops, and the neoprene inserts.
It is designed for individual users. So there comes only 2 sizes: 25 sites and 36 sites. But probably that is enough for most indoor gardening.
The Clone King is no doubt the best bang for the buck. Their price is only 2 and 3 times cheaper than the Turbo and Ez. But it still runs very effectively.
It doesn't come with a built-in fan. So you can keep in mind of the reservoir and the room temp. And personally, I don't love their design compared to the more expensive Brand on the market. But for performance, Clone King works totally fine.
I have used this machine and enjoyed the 90% success rate from time to time.
8 Site Aeroponic Plant Cloner - Clone Bucket 8 Black Edition From Hydro West
The cloning machines from Hydro Web are definitely the cheapest aeroponic cloners on the market.
They are aimed at small users, starters. So there are only 3 sizes: 6, 8, 18.
The downside is I don't see any thing special about this product. It's just a very simple aeroponics with a plain design that you also can do it yourself. But it does perform well.
For growers on a tight budget, starters who do not have the time and want to get rid of the barriers of creating one, this cloner is a good choice.
EZ Clone Classic 16 Cutting System Low Profile
EZ Clones have been in the clone market from the beginning and is such an established brand. Hence, probably that's the reason why they value their product with their price. Meanwhile, the way it works I saw is not better than the Turbo Klone.
EZ Clones also comes with a variety of sites for different uses. If you can spend money, love their design, and their Brand, you can still choose EZ Clones. It works totally great. But for the best performance but with less price, the Turbo King is fine.
And because of their price and their choices for sites, the EZ Clones are more aimed at large-scale.
Working with the Cloner - Tips and Tricks
Before the cloning
- 1-2 weeks before you do the cloning, though it's not a must, you should provide plants with tissue nutrients like the vitamin B. It helps tissue strengthening and stir root growth
- The mother plants opted for cloning should be free of diseases, pests and other problems.
- Try to choose the top or the branch' end with a long stem and a few leaves. Selecting the most vigorous ones gives the optimal result.
- Use a clean sterilized dry and sharp knife or razor to take the cuttings.
- Do the cuttings' end at about 45 degrees.
- You can use some gels and rooting hormones. But personally I don't use them, and it still works fine.
- Dip the cuttings into the neoprene inserts. Keep the stems hanging above the system at least 1 to 2 inches below the lid.
During the Cloning
- Fill the cloning machines at the indicated water level. Keep an eye on the temperature. Anywhere between 65 - 68F (18-20C) is the best environment temp.
- Typically, in about 3 days, you will see tiny roots spring up from your cutting's lower end.
In 5-7 days, the roots are formed and grow rapidly.
In 10-14 days, your cuttings with the roots have been ready to transplant
- Once the roots have been strong and long enough (about 2" long), it's ready to be transplanted
Some FAQs about working with the Cloners
Which water should I use for cloning?
In general, tap water is okay. However, in areas where the water is contaminated, you can use RO water or bottled water.
What is the pH of the reservoir water?
The ideal level is 6.0, but you can keep it between 5.5 and 6.5. And periodically check the level to ensure it does not drift from the recommended level above.
My cloning machines are running hot. How to deal with it?
The hot temperature is one of the biggest causes reducing your rate of cloning
This is because of the ambient environment temperature and the heat from the submersible pump. In these cases, you should take care of the surrounding temp - have some fans, or get the conditioner running to keep it cool. Regarding the temperature from the pump, the easiest method is to get a timer to set the pump to run on and off occasionally.
Should I cover the system with the humidity lid/dome?
You don't need to. The humidity dome is to keep the system humidity and prevent it from pest invasions. But in any clone setup, I don't use it. I want to keep the cloning naturally. Just make sure that the ambient room humidity is not too low.
Can I reuse the neotype inserts?
You can, but be sure to clean and sterilize them before reusing. But it's recommended that you get a new one for the next cloning to save your clones from bacteria, diseases, and pests.
How much lighting do I need for the cloning?
You can use t5 and keep them 3" from clones until roots appear. The gradually lower the lights or use more bulbs as roots progress. The light cycle for the clones should be 18 hours on and 6 hours off.
If you seriously think about cloning plants, it's time you purchase an aeroponic clone machine as it has many discernible wins over conventional ways.
Consumers should educate themselves to ensure they find the right balance of performance, design/pleasure, price, and your cloning purpose (small/individual or modern/large-scale).
The Turbo Klone is a clear winner with the best performance, luxurious design, and reasonable price. The others aren't much far behind, giving consumers choices between cost, brand name, and performance.
Either way, I know you will still come out with healthy clones. The success rate will increase after you have had enough knowledge and experience to work with the cuttings and cloners.
Image credits: Amazon.com