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An indoor hydroponic system grants the year-round gardener the ability to grow up to four times the number of plants they would otherwise grow in traditional soil farming outdoors.
However, the plants that are grown in hydroponic systems differ from traditional soil-bound plants because of their environment. For instance, plants in a hydroponic environment require eight to 10 hours of a high-intensity hydroponic lighting or direct sunlight every day.
Due to the differing environment, hydroponic plants can sometimes be more difficult to grow from seeds. As a result, cloning for indoor gardens is considered one of the keys to a successful hydroponic system. By cloning an optimal donor plant, your garden becomes that much more successful because of the identical genetic characteristics of each plant.
Using tissue culture cloning for optimal garden success
Because plants are asexually reproducing organisms, there are a variety of ways in which a hydroponic gardener can clone their choice donor plant. One type of cloning for indoor gardens, taken from a more scientific approach, is called tissue culture cloning.
Instead of using plantlets such as those on the stems of spider plants or the tubules on potato plants, tissue culture cloning allows the gardener to use the plant’s tissue or cells to grow duplicates. What makes this such a valuable cloning method is that, unlike in traditional cloning, the pathogens or pests affecting the chosen donor plant don’t pass on to the cloned plants.
This makes cloning for indoor gardens that much easier. Gardeners needn’t observe potential donor plants for days at a time, determining which plant is healthiest and least negatively affected by its environment.
How does tissue culture cloning work?
While tissue culture cloning may be easier in terms of selecting a donor plant, it also requires additional cloning supplies and equipment. Cloning supplements, base nutrients, high-concentrated plant hormones, and sterile agar jelly are needed for a successful cloning process.
The standard steps for a successful tissue culture cloning include:
- Removing small amounts of plant tissue from the donor plant
- Placing the plant tissue into petri dishes containing sterile nutrient agar jelly
- Adding plant hormones to the petri dish
- Waiting for cells to grow and divide
- Adding additional plant hormones to stimulate root growth
- Transferring the newly formed petri dish plantlets to potting trays
Growing an indoor garden using hydroponics can be incredibly rewarding. And, through plant cloning, you can increase your rate of gardening success.