Hydroponics Plant Propagation
Plant propagation in a hydroponics system is fairly easy. Whether you are rooting a plant from a cutting or growing from seed there are many commercially made products to assist you such as rooting powder, growth supplements and stimulants as well as self-contained growing 'cubes'.
Supposedly you can grow a plant from seed directly in your hydroponics system by placing the seed in a growing cube of compressed wood or rockwool but I have never had much luck with this myself. It seems that the growing cube never quite dries out, in fact it remains saturated to the point where the seedling will die.
So I propagate seedlings from seed outside of the system either in a growing cube or in dirt although I have become very fond of propagating seeds in small peat pots filled with clay pellets or pea stone. When it comes time to add the seedling to the hydroponics garden, I merely place it, pot and all in the system. The same goes for the grow cube.
Plant propagation from a cutting, otherwise called 'plant cloning' will give you a genetic duplicate of clone of the donor plant. And it is not that hard to do - all you need are scissors, growing medium like the vermiculite pictured to the left and rooting hormone. Here is how to clone a plant.
Grow cubes have super water retention ability so make sure to water sparingly, only to keep damp otherwise you may kill the seedling.
When the seedling grows a second set of leaves, actually the first 'true' leaf I transplant it by dropping the entire cube in the hydroponics system. I perform this same process if I propagate using a growing medium in a small peat pot.
When propagating in dirt, once the second leaf grows I take the plant out of the flower pot and carefully rinse all dirt from the roots then I place it in the growing system. You can also use plastic cups to hold the plant then move it to the growing system.
Any plant can be easily transferred from dirt to hydroponics by rinsing the plant roots and placing directly in the hydroponics system. If going from hydroponics to dirt, just transplant directly into a garden.
A word of caution. When handling plants or seedlings, do not hold them by the stems. This damages the plant. To handle, grasp by a leaf to move the plant around.
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