Sometimes you're so pleased with a plant that you wish you could have an exact copy. Maybe you have a beautiful flowering plant that you'd like to gift to a friend. Maybe you want to grow more of a plant that makes delicious tomatoes. Cloning your plant might be just the answer.
When you clone a plant, you create an exact copy of it. Scientists have been doing this for centuries without any modern technology. But you can use the technology of a plant cloning machine to give your endeavor a better chance of success.
These are the top cloning machines on the market, along with some key information about what to look for.
Top 5: Cloning Machines For Plants
Best Aerogarden Reviews
This is our top pick for the best cloning machines on the market. It has the capacity to handle 48 plant cuttings at a time, so it's a good option for people with larger nurseries.
The product was designed by leading experts in the hydroponics industry. It uses the two-inch collars that are most popular among gardeners. These are more sturdy and uniform than the collars you might make by hand. Each part of the kit is engineered with reliable materials.
Thousands of the machine have been sold all over the world over the past five years. Consumers have glowing praise of the design and the success rate.
The propagator system is built to avoid leaking and clogging. You can root the cuttings in about half the time that it takes when using a regular cloning system. You'll typically start to see roots within four days, and the plants will be ready to transplant after ten days.
The manufacturer notes that most gardeners should see a 100 percent success rate when propagating their clones. The assembly guide makes it easy to put the kit together. There are also helpful tips included for how to clone your plants successfully, making cloning simple even if you've never done it before.
The kit also comes with a specialized humidity dome. It has all of the parts necessary for helping your plants take root, and the dome adds an extra layer of protection. It keeps humidity close to the cuttings, so it's ideal for those who are growing in low-moisture environments.
The foldable dome is easy to store and to set up around your cuttings. It's helpful to set it up immediately after you take the cuttings, as this will prevent the plants from having transplant shock. Even if your plants are in a high-moisture environment, the dome may benefit them.
The product is designed with multiple outlets that allow the air to vent and circulate on top of the lid. This means that you don't need to use air pumps to saturate your plants with extra oxygen and nutrients. The machine will automatically siphon hot air away from the plants, and the nutrient spray generates very little heat.
You can also purchase an additional caster kit from the manufacturer. The caster kit has been made for people who need their plants to be mobile as they propagate. You can mount the product on wheels and bring it wherever you need it to go without upsetting the growth cycle.
If you want to replace used collars and get started on a new growth cycle, you can purchase replacements from the manufacturer. Buying from the manufacturer is the best way to make sure that your replacements will be compatible with the system.
The device is made out of strong ABS plastic that is free of BPA. Everything necessary for rooting is included with the kit. All you need is a grow light, or to put your cuttings somewhere they'll be exposed to ongoing direct sunlight.
There are no rooting hormones or solutions included, so if you want to use rooting hormone, you'll need to purchase it separately. Rooting hormone may help your plants to grow roots faster.
The water pumps for the machine are all tested in the factory before being packed. If they fail within a year of purchase, they are covered under the warranty. Additionally, if you have any trouble with the spray nozzles, you can return your purchase for a refund.
This is a much more inexpensive option than the previous one, so it's a great choice for people who want a quality system that won't break the bank. It will allow you to grow 20 clones at once, which is enough to meet most mild to moderate gardener needs.
If you only plan to grow a few clones at a time, you might prefer this system to one with 48 or 96 sites. Each of the sites in this machine is given access to full oxygenation and nutrients. Plants are doused with as much oxygen as possible.
By using the system, you are able to put together a garden throughout the year. Some people prefer to clone plants that have relatively short lifespans, or to grow plants indoors during the off season. If your living space has long winters, you might prefer this.
The system works through the combined efforts of a valve and a pump. Once attached, the valve will pull bubbles toward the cuttings to douse them in oxygen. The pump will mix up the water and cause turbulence so that oxygen is constantly flowing.
Since bubbles are consistently being generated, the air diffuser is constantly blowing maximum amounts of oxygen onto the plants. All of the pumps are free of BPA plastics, so they're safe to use around foods you plan to eat.
The kit comes with the reservoir and lid, 20 collars that you can put your cuttings in, a submersible pump to keep oxygen flowing, an air pump to mist maximum oxygen over the stems, three feet of tubing, and a round air stone.
The reservoir can hold 1.75 gallons of water. It is made of durable plastic. The machine runs on electricity and is compatible with 120 volt outlets.
The foam inserts are made using EVA technology. They are resistant to fungi and bacteria, so your plants are less likely to catch diseases while rooting. Cuttings are held firmly in place as they grow roots. You can also reuse the inserts over and over again without needing to replace them.
The system is also very low profile, so it's a great choice for people who don't have a lot of available room. The entire machine is just six inches in height. You can put it with your other plants or place it on a desk or table.
One note is that this system doesn't come with a humidity dome. It may be helpful to invest in one anyway, especially if your interior conditions are dry. Most plants need to propagate in air that is at least 60 percent saturated with humidity. That can be hard to get outside a greenhouse, depending on your climate.
Aerospring Gardens Review
This is another excellent cloning option from Hortipots. The design features just 24 sites instead of 48, which makes it significantly less expensive than our top recommendation. If you don't need to clone more than 24 plants at a time, you'll appreciate the features of this product.
Like the previous Hortipots option on the list, the design was engineered by industry professionals. It uses two-inch cloning collars that are uniform and reliable.
Cuttings tend to show visible roots within 4 days and can typically be transplanted after about 10. Part of the appeal of this system is that it comes with an instruction guide that's easy to use, so it's ideal for people who are intimidated by putting together their own system.
Also included is a free humidity dome, which will trap the moisture around your cuttings instead of letting it evaporate.
The machine makes use of the same cooling technology to keep the pump from heating the reservoir. Meanwhile, air can be circulated without needing any pump at all. It simply flows through the vents and over the plants. Hot air is removed from the chamber to keep the plants from overheating.
The pump has been designed to avoid both clogging and leaking. The design has been rated as one of the safest to use, so you can use it with food-grade plants. There are pre-filter considerations that keep the pump from getting clogged or pushing debris into the reservoir.
This is one of the larger cloning machines on the list, with a total of 70 sites. You can clone 70 plants at the same time. It's a popular choice for people who run greenhouses and nurseries, as well as for farmers who grow produce indoors throughout the year.
If you don't need to grow 70 plants at a time, you can probably make due with a less expensive option. But if you've been looking for a high-volume unit, this might be the one for you.
The kit is built to help your plant cuttings germinate. It makes the cloning experience more easy than ever before. The machine has 1.625-inch inserts made from neoprene. In addition to the 70 site kit, you can also get the same technology with 140 sites.
Also included with the purchase is a free humidity dome. This foldable accessory can be placed over the kit once your cuttings are in the process of rooting. It will prevent the plants from going into shock from the transplant. In addition, it will keep them moisturized as they start to grow.
Cuttings start showing roots within 4 days and are ready for transplant after 10. Consumers have indicated that they've seen consistent results by using this machine. The kit comes with a manual that gives you tips and easy directions, so it's a great choice for those who are new to the cloning process as well.
The air circulation allows hot air to vent out of the chamber and new air to mist over the plants without needing an air pump. The water pump is designed to stir up the bubbles without heating the water too much. All of the plastics are BPA-free and safe for use around food. The only thing you need to provide is a grow light or natural sunlight.
Aerogarden Vs Tower Garden
This system from Clone King is one of the most popular, highly rated options on the market. The manufacturer says that gardeners can expect to see a 100 percent rate of success when propagating their clones. Each kit comes with 36 sites, plus blue and red inserts.
The kit includes everything you need to make the machine work. It comes with the reservoir and lid, the inserts, the pump, and the misters. The only thing you need to provide is light.
Another helpful aspect of this design is that it includes a whopping 13 spraying heads. These nozzles will cover the entirety of your plants. If you're worried about the coverage, you can test the machine prior to propagation to make sure.
Also included is an instruction manual with detailed guides on how to propagate your plants. You can expect to see consistent 99 to 100 percent rates of success. It also only takes about 30 minutes to get the entire system up and running.
Cuttings should be ready to transplant after about 10 days. It takes two weeks at the most for both the primary and secondary root systems to grow in.
The right machine for your plants will depend on a variety of factors. How many clones do you want to grow at once? How humid is your current growing environment? Do you need any extra accessories? Do you plan to do several sessions of plant cloning?
You'll want to find a design that can handle the amount of cuttings you need without breaking the bank. It's also important to be sure that the machine can maintain the growing conditions necessary for healthy and happy plants.
Our top overall recommendation is the Hortipots Aeroponic machine. In addition to having 48 spaces for your cuttings, the kit also comes with a humidity dome. The pump generates very little heat, which helps keep the reservoir at an ideal temperature. Many gardeners report a 100 percent success rate of clone propagation within 10 days.
For those who are shopping on a tighter budget, we recommend the OxyClone system. This propagation system allows you to grow 20 clones at a time. It has food-safe plastic materials along with EVA foam inserts that keep your plants safe. It's one of the best budget options on the market, and with the money you save, you can purchase extra accessories.
If you want to clone quite a few cuttings at the same time, you might consider the Psycloner Pro system. This is still relatively affordable while having 70 total sites for your cuttings. It is a popular choice for professional gardeners and farmers who want to make their plants last.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cloning machines might sound like something out of a science fiction TV show, but they're actually pretty straightforward. The goal of the machine is to make it easier to clone your plants. It helps increase the chances of success when you propagate new clippings.
The majority of machines are boxes made of plastic. They might be circular or square. Each of the kits comes with a nutrient mixture, a pump, and spray nozzles. They may look similar to hydroponic systems you've used in the past.
The box will have several circular holes in the top. These will be filled with hard or soft neoprene inserts. This is the place where you'll do your cloning. Different kits have different numbers of inserts. The right option for you will depend on how many clones you intend to make.
Upon cutting a small bit of the plant to clone it, you will put it into the cloning site. Then you'll turn on the pump. The mixture of nutrients will be pumped through the nozzles, so your cuttings will be sprayed with a nutrient-dense and hydrating mist.
It is possible to clone plants without using hydroponic or aeroponic machines. Gardeners have been doing so for centuries. However, even if you do everything right, you're likely to need to wait significantly longer to see results. Using a cloning machine can cut the propagation time in half.
Another helpful aspect of cloning machines is that they make it much easier to have success in your cloning efforts. When you don't use a machine, you have to monitor the cuttings carefully as they root. They are more likely to suffer from lack of nutrients and hydration during this time period.
Cloning machines have a marked impact on the success rate of cloning. Even the most experienced gardeners see a difference when they use a machine instead of cloning by hand. In fact, many gardeners report that 100 percent of their cuttings successfully propagate when using a machine.
It is also possible to build a cloning machine. Some gardeners do this. The trickiest part is mixing the right blend of nutrients for your plant. But if you're an expert gardener who knows what your plants need, then you're unlikely to run into any trouble.
Whether you've cloned plants before or not, the process is relatively simple. Let's break it down into a few steps. This is what you need to know about how to take cuttings and make sure that they're properly treated in your cloning system.
1. Get your machine set up.
If you bought a cloning machine, the kit should include everything you need to get started. There are likely step by step instructions included in a manual. Most kits have a relatively similar setup.
If you choose to make your own cloning machine, you'll need to fashion the pieces yourself. It's important to have a system that functions, allowing your cuttings to be misted without being overwhelmed by the nutrients.
You'll fill the box up with water. Then you'll attach the pump and the misting nozzles.
Before you take any cuttings, run the machine at least once. This will let you make sure that all of the holes are being properly coated in the mist. It will also prevent potential mishaps if any of the pieces are assembled incorrectly.
If you want to add nutrients to the mist, you can. However, it isn't a necessity right now. Since the cuttings don't have roots, they have no means of absorbing the nutrients.
Water should be about 65 Fahrenheit unless stated otherwise in the setup instructions in your manual.
2. Get the cloning environment set up.
You can use a cloning machine without also incorporating a humidity dome. But with that said, many cloning machines include a humidity dome in the kit. There are several advantages to humidity domes, since they keep your cuttings moist as they start to propagate.
The general rule of thumb is that for environments with less than 60 percent humidity, a humidity dome is key. It will trap moisture around the plants instead of letting it evaporate. Without this piece of equipment, your plants are more likely to dry out.
If you don't use a humidity dome, you should mist your cuttings regularly. A dome might be easier because it doesn't require you to constantly monitor the cuttings for dryness.
The ideal temperature of the air is about 70 to 75 degrees for most plants. Some plants might have different ideal growing conditions, but it's rare for this temperature range to be bad for a plant.
It's also helpful to keep a thermometer in the nutrient solution. The ideal solution should be about 68 F. The pump you use might cause the water to heat due to the energy it uses. By checking the temperature, you avoid accidentally overheating your cuttings.
Plant cuttings don't need a lot of light. The best idea is to get some basic grow lights and mount them around a foot away from your machine.
3. Put the cuttings in the machine.
To take a good cutting, you'll want to find a healthy portion of the plant and snip off just enough to plant.
Once you've taken as many cuttings as you want to clone, bring them over to your machine. Put them inside the neoprene inserts that are arranged along the top of the machine.
Ideally, about two inches of your stem will be under the insert. This allows the mister to coat as much of the surface as possible. Make sure that you push the cuttings as far down as you can without accidentally pushing them into the water.
4. Take care of the cuttings.
At first, your cuttings might look like they're wilting. If you've cloned plants before, you're probably used to this. But if it's your first time, you might be worried that you've done something wrong.
Don't worry! This is normal. These plants don't have roots, so they're adjusting. They can't pull nutrients from the soil, which is why you're giving them nutrients by hand - or, in this case, by machine.
The wilted appearance of the plants should subside within a few hours of being placed in the machine. If it's been more than a few hours without any change, you might want to give them a little extra misting to help perk them back up.
Most cuttings will begin developing roots in two or three days. The roots you see should be white. White roots are healthy roots. Brown and grey roots can indicate that your plants are soaking in too-hot water, which might be leeching nutrients.
Some people reset their entire reservoir after the plants begin to root. They drain their current solution and refill the tank with new water. This may make it easier to control the temperature, especially if you've been dealing with water that's too warm.
It takes about a week for growth to really set in. You'll start to notice that the roots are expanding rapidly. Your cloning adventure isn't over yet, though. It's possible to transplant your cuttings when the primary roots come in, but it's better to be patient.
After the primary root systems grow, secondary roots will start to come in. When secondary roots start to spread, it's the perfect time for transplanting. The plant now has a root system that's strong enough to burrow into the new soil.
You can use a few different accessories to make it easier to clone your plants. Your cloning machine should come with all of the nutrients necessary for a successful experience, but you can give your plants some additional nudges in the right direction as well.
One of the most helpful things to use is rooting hormone. Rooting hormone helps to encourage your cuttings to grow roots more rapidly. While your cuttings can be successful without rooting hormone, the substance makes it much easier. There are several different types of rooting hormone.
It's also helpful to get an accessory for your reservoir. Some accessories can clear bacteria and other potential contaminants from your reservoir, keeping the water clean. This helps to ensure that the plants aren't given anything that might make them sick.
Depending on the size of your machine, you might also choose to get a few extra misting nozzles and neoprene inserts. Just make sure that your machine can accommodate these.