Cloning machines make propagation faster, convenient, and more successful. This product review has tested seven of the best cloning machines to help you preserve and grow more plants from your cuttings.
Urban gardeners tend to have a favorite plant. Since a plant cannot reproduce itself, we can preserve its genetics instead.
Old-fashioned propagation is one of the most useful methods of producing more plants. On the other hand, a cloning chamber is a cost-effective way to boost yield.
For this article, I’m compiling all the necessary information to help you select the best hydroponic cloner for your indoor garden.
In the buying guide, you will see the vital design and features that will help you increase yield.
With the right hydroponic and aeroponic cloning machine, you can ensure a 100% rooting success rate of your plant cuttings.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cloning Machine Choices For 2019
- Overall Best Aeroponic Cloner: Clone King Aeroponic Cloning Machine
- Best Hydroponic Cloner: Hydrofarm Ox20sys Oxyclone Cloning System
- Most Affordable Hydroponic Cloner: Powergrow Systems Deluxe Plant Cloning Machine
- For A Large Number Of Seedlings/Cuttings: Hydrofarm Ck64060 Seedling Heat Mat
- Best For Dry Climate: Turboklone T24d Cloning System
- For Beginners: Powergrow 21-Site Cloner And Propagator
- Most User-Friendly: Hortipots Aeroponic Cloner System And Plant Germination Kit
Top 7 cloning machines: How Do They Compare?
The CLONE KING Aeroponic Cloning Machine boasts the combination of a sufficient number of cloning cells, weight, effective features, and durability.
Even with basic features, it utilizes aeroponic technology to ensure root formation within seven days.
On the other hand, the Hydrofarm OX20SYS oxyCLONE Cloning Propagation System only has 20 cloning sites. Yet, its pump and evaporative cooling features are second to none.
Meanwhile, the PowerGrow Systems Deluxe Plant Cloning and Propagating Machine balances low price tag and effective cloning technology.
You’ll notice that the Hydrofarm CK64060 Seedling Heat Mat has the biggest number of cloning sites. While it is enticing, this is only necessary if you have several varieties of plants to propagate.
For areas with dry climate, then I highly suggest opting for the TurboKlone T24D Cloning System because of its humidity and temperature control.
The last two items are the most user-friendly models both for experienced and beginner growers. If you only need a few cloning cells, the PowerGrow 21-Site Cloner and Propagator will suffice.
But if you want heavy-duty and several clones, then go for the HortiPots Aeroponic Cloner System.
Whatever you choose, any model from this list can decrease your workload while boosting yield.
What is a Cloning Machine and Why Do You Need One?
A plant cloner is another type of hydroponic system that is made up of circular boxes or plastic squares. It supports nutrient mixture, pump, and aeroponic spray nozzles.
The holes contain either hard or soft neoprene inserts. These holes are the cloning sites. You can place your plant cuttings into the cloning sites.
When you turn on the water pump, the water forces the nutrient mixture through the nozzles. By doing so, you can cover your cuttings with highly-oxygenated mist.
In traditional propagation, cuttings are suspended in the air. The lower parts are usually misted with nutrient solution.
When it comes to cloning, there are heating pads that warm the cuttings and the nutrient solution.
Furthermore, a plastic lid covers the cloner. Hence, the humidity of the cloning environment is kept for the leaves and their upper parts.
In some cases, there’s no need to place the lid. This is only advisable if the growing environment has low humidity.
7 Best Hydroponic and Aeroponic Cloning Machines for Plants
With the right cloning system, there’s no need for you to spend too much time checking, feeding, and watering your cuttings. Read on to see our top picks for the best Hydroponic And Aeroponic that guarantee 100% success rate.
1: CLONE KING Aeroponic Cloning Machine
The CLONE KING Aeroponic Cloning Machine boasts a package of a 36 growing cells, reservoir, lid, spray manifold with misters, inserts, and submersible pump.
This unit can house almost any plant, herb, and vegetable. It can adjust to root anywhere from one to 36 cuttings. Regardless, there are 13 spray heads for full area coverage.
Even if you are a beginner, you can use the system immediately with the help of the easy-to-follow detailed instructions.
This hydroponic cloning chamber has a set-up that allows you to suspend the plant cuttings mid-air. You can then spray highly-oxygenated aeroponic mist to drive root growth.
You should see roots sprouting within 10 to 14 days. At this point, your plants are ready to be transplanted for more sustainable and long-lasting growth.
During our tests, we have discovered that the CLONE KING Aeroponic Cloning Machine can withstand different weather conditions.
This is because the parts are made from durable plastic. If your location has a moody combination of cold and dry climates, this model can perform well.
Similarly, our tests proved that this machine is efficient. Our cuttings formed roots in half the usual time it takes to propagate. No complexities and hassles.
You get all of these benefits for a mid-range price. Aside from that, the package provides a reservoir, top, spray manifold, submersible pump, and neoprene inserts and spares.
2: Hydrofarm OX20SYS oxyCLONE
The Hydrofarm OX20SYS oxyCLONE Compact Recirculating Cloning Propagation System works with a variety of cuttings, allowing you to have a perpetual garden year-round. This gives you the power to use hydroponics in growing plants indoors.
This cloner is compact at only six inches tall. As a result, the machine takes up very little space even if it is supporting 20 cloning sites.
It is powered by Active Aqua’s premium, BPA-free water, and air pumps. The submersible pump gives constant turbulence to the reservoir. Meanwhile, the built-in Venturi valve draws in air bubbles.
Subsequently, the pump uses a circular 4 air diffuser to deliver abundant oxygen to developing roots in the form of millions of air bubbles.
Since the pump is made from food-grade BPA-free plastic, you won’t worry about clogging and leaking.
Even if there is maximum oxygenation, the evaporative cooling guarantees less retained heat.
In effect, the Hydrofarm OX20SYS helps the seedlings or cuttings develop healthier roots.
More than that, this hydroponic cloner features oxyCERTS foam inserts with no-pinch design and fungal/bacterial resistance. The foams hold the cuttings gently yet firmly while they go through the rooting phase.
The minor flaw is that the unit does not have enough air stones to aerate the water correctly.
Here’s a bit of trivia—Hydrofarm is one of the world’s oldest wholesaler and leading manufacturer of hydroponics equipment.
It commits to using only premium quality components. As evidence, this professional-grade cloner can provide you years of dependable service.
- Number of Sites: 20
- Warranty: 1 Year
The Hydrofarm OX20SYS oxyCLONE a simple, compact, recirculating cloning system. Maximum oxygenation and evaporative cooling mean less retained heat.
No other cloner delivers dissolved oxygen like the oxyCLONE—and oxygen means faster and healthier rooting.
3: Hydrofarm CK64060 Seedling Heat Mat
- Number of Sites: 72
- Warranty: 1 Year
Make cloning easy and fast using the 72-cell Hydrofarm CK64060 Seedling Heat Mat. The construction could have been better, but this is your best bet if you are after a large number of cloning cells.
Besides, it has useful features that will help you maintain a good cloning environment.
Get a jump start this growing season using the Hydrofarm CK64060 Seedling Heat Mat. This cloning system comes with a 72-cell insert,11" x 22" watertight base tray, vented dome, and heat mat.
You can increase germination success with the 72-cell seedling inserts. The cloning environment provides a conducive growing environment for your seeds and cuttings to form healthier, stronger roots.
Place the cut-kit tray directly on top of the heat mat. Fill the tray with your favorite growing seeds and medium. Then, moisten them with water. Add root enhance, if necessary.
The 7.5-inch dome gives ample space for growing taller and bigger cuttings. The humidity dome also features one top-mounted and two side-mounted adjustable vents. As a result, you get better humidity control for optimum growth.
Moreover, the Hydrofarm CK64060 has a waterproof heat mat that keeps the right temperature. The mat encourages faster germination or rooting without overheating the plants.
For your convenience, use the Jump Start Digital Controller to set the growing environment. Within three days, roots should begin to emerge.
Wait for the roots to mature within seven days. Once the plants are several inches tall, you may then transplant and watch them grow.
As a bonus, the seedling heat mat is UL-listed. This gives assurance that the mat gives off gentle heat that will not damage roots.
Likewise, the cloner traps the moisture inside to create a humid and warm environment for growing.
The only flaw is that the plastic is thinner than usual. This hydroponic cloning chamber may get brittle with age or if exposed to too much light.
4: PowerGrow Systems Deluxe Plant Cloning Machine
Although the PowerGrow Systems Deluxe Plant Cloning and Propagating Machine also has 21 cells, it is a level up from the 21-cell PowerGrow Cloner and Propagator. It also optimizes hydroponic technology to successfully root and clone cuttings within a week.
The holes are 1.5 inches while the neoprene collars are 1.5/8 inches in diameter. Aside from a 3.5-gallon reservoir bucket and lid, there’s a suction foot to keep the unit in place.
On the other hand, the heavy duty adjustable 160-gallon H2O pump provides a wide range of spray customization options.
Another level up is the five 360-degree aeroponic spray nozzles for 100% coverage. The FDA-approved bucket cloner ensures all plants inside are healthy due to high oxygenation.
We noticed during our tests that it’s better to add extra relief holes. This will let the air pressure escape when you want to run an air pump.
In this way, you can prevent the machine from draining itself all over the surface or floor.
On the bright side, this hydroponic cloner is made of robust materials. This makes the unit lightweight and compact. Consequently, you won’t have any problems allocating space for it.
This is one of the most cost-friendly units on this list. Regardless, it delivers durability and reliability at a fraction of the common cost.
Lastly, this is a user-friendly unit. Its package comes with a jar of Rootech cloning gel and instruction guide. This model focuses on success and convenience.
5: TurboKlone T24D Cloning System
The TurboKlone T24D Cloning Systemcomes with 24 propagating cells, a submersible pump, manifold, and spray nozzles. The package helps you grow a wide variety of plants without the use of soil or other growing mediums.
Using this aeroponic growing method, the plant cuttings are suspended inside the unit. The machine has multiple spray jets that release a continuous mist of nutrient-rich water solution to the roots.
In effect, you can promote the development of a robust, healthy root structure.
Consequently, this controlled growing environment decreases root damage from diseases and pests. Therefore, this unit is recommendable for areas with a dryer climate.
Don’t worry because the fan technology fits nicely on the reservoir’s side. You won’t see any messy, dangling cords. Yes, the TurboKlone T24D Cloning System values protection and safety.
In addition, the humidity dome helps prevent leaf transpiration and initial transplant shock.
The removable dome is advisable for arid or dry growing environments. You can also use the dome to protect plants that thrive in tropic-like settings.
More than that, the manifold and submersible pump ensure the plants receive sufficient nutrients and oxygen.
This hydroponic cloning chamber also has a continuous fine spray that keeps the cuttings moist and healthy.
The bonus feature is the patented fan technology that keeps the cloning system cool. The shroud also prevents overheating by battling high temperatures.
You may overlook the round design, but this is actually an asset. The structure allows easy cleaning, especially in the rounded edges. Keep the cloner clean keeps harmful bacteria at bay.
6: PowerGrow 21-Site Cloner and Propagator
- Number of Sites: 21
- Warranty: 1 Year
Plant propagation is now made easier thanks to the PowerGrow Cloner and Propagator.
Experience the joy of cloning plants and marvel at how fast and affordable it is to duplicate plant varieties.
This unit is not fancy, but if you value perfect water spread and no leaks, then this is the model for you.
The PowerGrow 21-Site Cloner and Propagator has21 reusable neoprene foam collars for cuttings. It utilizes proven aeroponic and hydroponic technology to successfully root and clone your cuttings in as little as four to seven days.The only problem is that this hydroponic cloning machine does not include a dome. But in some cases, not using a dome helps to decrease the likeliness of powdery mildew and pest infestation.
It includes a 3.5-gallon reservoir bucket. What I love the most is that this model uses FDA-approvedHDPE reservoirs. You can ensure that the reservoir is safe for plant and food contact.
There’s also an adjustable 160-gallon per hour hydroponic pump. This lets you customize the spray’s pressure. Hence, you can give exactly what your seedlings or cuttings need to form healthy roots.
Additionally, there are two 360-degree and three 330-degree aeroponic spray nozzles. These sprays ensure 100% coverage for your cuttings or seedlings.
When it comes to the collars, you can guarantee professional cloning experience for years. The PowerGrow 21-Site Cloner and Propagator has neoprene collars that protect the cuttings from fungal growth and bacteria.
Aside from complete usage instructions, the package comes with a 0.25 oz jar of Rootech Cloning Gel. The gel keeps fungus and diseases out. It also gives the right dose of vitamins and advanced rooting hormones for faster growth.
According to some verified purchases, they experienced minor leaking when the pump is working at maximum power. But this wouldn’t cause harm to the growth of plants.
7: HortiPots Aeroponic Cloner System and Plant Cutting Germination Kit
The HortiPots Aeroponic Cloner Systemand Plant Cutting Germination Kit can root your cuttings within 10 days. The 1.625-inch neoprene clone inserts give you a 100% success rate in cloning a wide variety of plants.
The propagation dome is foldable and clear. It prevents leaf transpiration, as well astransplant shock in the first few hours of cloning. As long as you place the top lid firmly, the mist will remain inside the cloner.
Furthermore, this hydroponic cloner works great even without an air pump. This is because of the multiple cord outlets and air venting/circulating design on the top lid. Thus, there’s no need for air pumping to get additional oxygen in and hot air out.Cloning machines have their unique differences, so following particular instructions is advisable. If you adhere to this model’s guidelines and use the right amount of cloning solution, you will see good results in less than two weeks.
On the other hand, the spray manifold only needs a smaller water pump to generate less heat in the water.
What we like best is that the water pump is UL-listed for safety. Aside from that, it comes with a quality pre-filter housing that keeps the sprays free from debris. In this way, you can prevent clogging.
Another asset is that all engineering parts are made from BPA-free and 100% new ABS Engineering Plastic. Even though the lid is plastic, the lid is strong enough to hold all heavy plant cuttings on top of it.
Note that the package does not come with rooting gels nor cloning solutions. You can buy these accessories separately.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Cloning Machine
Cloning Sites or Neoprene Inserts
The number of cloning holes is the most important factor when buying a cloner. In general, the number of neoprene inserts should depend on your needs.
If this is your first time to use a cloning machine, then small systems with at least 20 sites are preferable.
But if you are planning to scale your cloning system in the future, then don’t pick a cloner with few sites. You can initially pick those with at least 30 sites.
Remember that the size of the inserts will dictate how big of a plant cutting or seedling you can place inside the site.
Moreover, be mindful of the space between the sites. Make sure the sites are not too close to each other. If there’s not enough distance, the plants may press against one another, causing damage.
You can grow more plants if you have a bigger bucket size. Subsequently, the bigger the size, the more depth there is. In effect, the roots can go deeper to enhance plant development.
Therefore, it is better to opt for a hydroponic cloning chamber with sufficient growing space. In this way, you can aid the plants in growing bigger and faster.
Construction and Design: Simple or Multi-Functional?
A simple cloning machine will include all the basic features for cloning. The basic accessories are the cloning sites, base tray, nozzle, and humidity dome.
But if you are considering additional features, such as a built-in fan, then you may opt for multi-functional versions.
Most units nowadays are designed to keep the reservoir water temperature low. Others come withhumidity dome to helpavoid initial transplant shock and leaf transpiration.
Another necessary feature is a proper pump. It must moderate the flow of oxygen and water to preserve an excellent growing environment. Thus, your cloning system must have the capacity to manage the necessary temperature.
Price: Initial Buyout and Operating Costs
The number of cloning sites, construction, and design will determine the starting price. The additional features can also make the price tag bigger.
Remember that the more cloning sites, the more water and nutrient mix you’ll need to provide. Hence, the more cloning cells, the bigger the operating costs.
Common Queries About Hydroponic and Aeroponic Cloning Machines
What Should I Do Before Cloning?
One to two weeks before the cloning, it’s advisable to give your plants tissue nutrients such as vitamin B. This will encourage tissue strengthening and root growth.
Make sure that your chosen plants are free of pests, diseases, and other problems. As much as possible, select the branch’s top for cloning. Another option is the branch’s end with a stem and few leaves.
Remember: the most rigorous parts of the plant will deliver better outcomes.
Use a clean, sharp, and sterilized knife or razor to take cuttings. Cut at about 45 degrees.
Finally, dip the cuttings into the cloning cells. Keep the cuttings hanging above the machine at least one to two inches below the cover.
How Can I Set Up a Cloning Machine and the Cloning Environment?
- Fill up the cloning machine to the indicated level with water that is at 18 to 20 degrees Celsius.
- Attach the nozzle or mister and the pump.
- Make sure the nozzles can cover the whole surface area.
- If the humidity level of your cloning environment is under 60%, mist the area of use the humidity dome.
- Maintain the cloning temperature between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal results.
- Check the nutrient solution. Ideally, it must be at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cuttings don’t need too much light at this stage. A grow light positioned at about one foot away from the canopy is enough.
- After 14 days, the cuttings with roots are ready for transplant.
- If the roots are strong enough and about two inches long, the cuttings are ready for transplant.
- You can place the cuttings in the ground, pots, or a deep water culture system.
How to Care for Your Cuttings Inside a Cloning Machine
- If the cuttings look wilted, you can spray them with a foliar spray.
- The best way to determine if the roots are healthy is to see bright white roots. If the roots are brown or gray, the water temperature may be too high.
- The first set of roots should form in about seven days. Within 10 days, the secondary roots will pop out. This is the best indication that you can transplant the cuttings.
Do You Need Accessories When Cloning?
Accessories make the cloning process easier and faster. If you think a rooting hormone is necessary, you can buy Clonex or Clonex Mist. They can speed up the rooting process drastically.
Meanwhile, the Clear Rez can keep the reservoir clean. In this way, your roots have a clean environment for optimal health.
Lastly, you may buy extra neoprene collars or misters depending on your needs.
How to Deal with Hydroponic Cloning Machines Running Hot?
The hot temperature is one of the main reasons that hamper cloning success. The cloning environment and pump contribute to the overall heat.
In this case, consider installing an air conditioner or some fans. When it comes to the pump temperature, put a timer to program the pump for occasional on and off.
Final Tips and Reminders
- Make sure the pump won’t heat up the reservoir too much.
- You may reset the full reservoir once rooting starts.
- Lay down heat mats on a smooth surface, but not on steel or cement because they draw too much heat.
- Clean the cloner, especially the base, lid, sprayers, pump, and cloning cells. You may use bleach, castile soap, or hydrogen peroxide.
- Clones do not need intense lighting.
- It is better to use bottled or RO water is you have contaminated tap water.
- The water’s pH level may impact the effectiveness of a cloning machine. The recommended pH level is 5.5-6.5.
- Don’t place the cloning chamber uncovered in places or surfaces where air movement is inevitable.
- Ensure that the cloning system has an optimal humidity level of 75%.
Clone Your Plants to Success!
Do you have favorite plants that you want to keep on producing? If you are considering cloning plants in a fast, yet effective method, then using a clone machine is the best way to go.
Use the buying guide and FAQ section to increase your knowledge about cloning and cloning machines.
Then, select the right model from our product review to get a 100% success rate in cloning plants. All units in this post have price-to-performance values.
Although, keep in mind that the best cloning system depends on your requirements. Hence, you must determine your growing needs and preferences.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.
Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.