Cloning, or taking cuttings of, your favourite plants is the very best way to perpetuate their existence. Its also the best way to get them started for an indoor hydroponic garden. For instance, I had a very successful Rosemary plant growing on my kitchen window-sill. However, it was in dirt and I really dont like dirt in the house. I took cuttings from it and ended up with three new healthy clones that I planted in a LECA (small, clay pellets) medium in my indoor hydroponic garden.
With an indoor hydroponic garden, you can keep it constantly fresh with new clones. You never need to be without a special herb, flower or vegetable you really like ever again. Here are a few lighting tips to get perfect clones for your indoor hydroponic garden.
Unlike when you start seedlings, clones need light from day one after rooting. Its a good idea to start with lower and diffused light intensities from sources such as T-5 or T-8 fluorescent lighting. During the first few days, the cuttings will do best with just one or two 24 watt strips over the top of a standard 10″ x 20″ propagation tray in your indoor hydroponic garden. You can gradually increase the light intensity after a few days by lowering the light fixtures closer to the propagation dome. However, make certain the temperature doesn’t rise in your indoor hydroponic garden above 85o F/29o C inside the dome after making this adjustment.
Once the roots develop, you can switch to HID lights that provide mostly red and blue growth stimulating spectrums. Metal halide grow lights should be used for the vegetative stage of plant growth in your indoor hydroponic garden. Metal halide grow lights will produce strong light in the blue and white spectrum which effectively mimics a typical summer day. High pressure sodium grow lights will produce strong light in the red spectrum which mimics the angle of the sun during fall. When your plants are ready to start flowering you should switch from your metal halide grow lights to your high pressure sodium grow lights in your indoor hydroponic garden.
Condition your plants to this more intense light in your indoor hydroponic garden by gradually decreasing the distance between the plants and light fixtures. After a couple of weeks, your plants should be able to handle very bright levels of light which will encourage healthy, robust and fast-growing plants in your indoor hydroponic garden.
An indoor hydroponic garden will be a source of great joy and wonderment once youve got it started and the fastest way is with clones or cuttings. As the summer comes to an end, take cuttings from the garden and start new plants for your indoor hydroponic garden. Show the children what youre doing and they can share in the magic of starting new plants for your indoor hydroponic garden.