Propagation in hydroponics is just another term for the creation of new plants. Many growers propagate using hydroponic techniques to benefit from plants’ early rooting and faster growth rates. These are possible because the hydroponic growing media in use provide the plants’ root zones with easy access to water, vital nutrients and oxygen.

As with any propagation, you first need to decide whether you want to grow your plants from seeds or cuttings. In general, growers who choose to propagate from seeds do this because it gives them peace of mind that their crop will be free of diseases and pests. However, the main drawback with this method is that the attributes of the plants you produce may be inconsistent. 

But with cuttings, you will consistently produce plants genetically identical to their healthy parents. It is for this reason cuttings are sometimes referred to as clones. 

Other benefits of growing from cuttings include:

  • Earlier flowering by comparison
  • Generally improved plant stock
  • Plant species are more adaptable to variations in climate

Growing your plants from cuttings has several benefits. But for most growers, the first foray will probably start by growing from seeds. It’s better to germinate several seeds simultaneously because you’ll then be in a position to choose a healthy mother plant from which you know you’ll be taking healthy cuttings in future.

Hydroponic growers will have their favourite methods of propagating their plants, but these days many growers will use Rockwool cubes to grow their tiny cuttings. Take care when selecting these cuttings from the mother plant, as these infant plants will be very delicate. Some liquid preparations are available to alleviate the shock of the propagation process.

Rockwool cubes are a popular growing medium for propagation, and for a good reason. The chief advantage of Rockwool is that it can hold more air and water than just about any other growing medium. It’s also sterile and inert and does not cling to the nutrient. The plant roots are visible using this medium, and it’s pretty easy to judge whether these cubes are moist or dry at any given time. 

Rockwool cubes are easy to transplant into larger Rockwool cubes, or any other hydroponic medium for that matter, with very little fuss. The cuttings will take about 7 to 14 days to root. 

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