Race To Root Cuttings: Aeroponics vs. Hi-Top Propagator
Aeroponics vs. Hi-Top
Here's how the propagators differ...
There are no jiffy plugs or rockwool cubes - roots are completely exposed and unrestricted by media.
Plants are then fed via a fine mist so they get instant and unlimited access to nutrients and oxygen.
Cuttings or seeds are placed in jiffy plugs, rockwool or some other propagation media.
The propagator then keeps your environment humid - perfect for new plants. For this test, we used an unheated Hi-Top.
What We Did
To keep things fair, we took 36 cuttings from the same mother plant.
- 12 in a Hi-Top Propagator (Jiffy Plugs)
- 12 in a Hi-Top Propagator (Rockwool Cubes)
- 12 in an X-Stream Propagator (Clone Collars)
To make sure all cuttings has a good shot at survival, here's what we did.
We took new shoots from a mother plant, cutting 1cm below the nodal, then submereged it in dechlorinated water. We cut again, this time through the nodal.
Doing this reduced the chances of air pockets forming in the stem. This prevents airborne disease and helps retain moisture.
Individual cuttings were then dipped in Clonex Rooting Gel to seal the cut.
Next, cuttings were placed in Neoprene Discs, Rockwool Blocks or Jiffy Plugs. Once in their propagators, cuttings were sprayed with a Rhizotonic solution.
Now and then, we checked the temperature was 18oC – 26oC and wiped away condensation.
To harden cuttings, vents were opened every other day. After a week, they were left open all of the time. One week later, the lid was removed.
By day 10, all cuttings had roots. By day 20, the Aeroponic roots had burst into life.
We were in for a double surprise.
Firstly, all 36 of the cuttings had rooted! Usually at leat some fail.
Secondly, the aeroponic cuttings had gotten off to a slower start than those in the Hi-Top Propagators.
It could just be that the cubes and plugs provided a little bit more structure and helped insulate roots.
What a turnaround!
The cuttings in the Hi-Top Propagators were doing just fine. Exactly what you'd expect in a propagator like this. But the ones in the X-Stream Aeroponic Propagator had burst into life! With nothing there to restrict root growth, this hardly came as a shock.
So, there you have it. It's clear to see that the the X-Stream Aeroponic propagator is as good as they say. Don't expect miracles from day 1 - be patient, and by day 20, you'll see roots explode.