The Buyer’s Guide to Cloning Solutions


Clonex Rooting Hormone Gel​
  • RESULTS – very high
  • QUALITY – very high
  • EASE OF USE – very high


Our Choice

Bottom Line

This stuff is tried and true, and the most consistent on the market. A “unique blend of hormones, antifungal agents, vitamins, and minerals in a highly tenacious and stabilized gel base,” Clonex Rooting Gel is versatile enough to use on a wide variety of plants and provides fragile young roots with both protection and nourishment.


Olivia’s Solutions Cloning Gel
  • RESULTS – high
  • QUALITY – low
  • EASE OF USE – very high


Bottom Line

This gel is a great entry-level, affordable solution. Simple and straightforward to use – “Just Cut, Dip and Grow!”


Hormex Rooting Powder #8
  • RESULTS – high
  • QUALITY – high
  • EASE OF USE – moderate


Bottom Line

While it can absolutely be used in hydroponic, soil and soilless applications, we’ve found that Hormex gives the best results for cloning in media like rockwool, where it shines in providing support and nutrition as well as protecting against root rot.

What Cloning is all about.

Growing using the process of cloning is oftentimes faster and easier than starting from seeds, and clones give you predictability and consistency since you usually already know the “ins and outs” of the mother plant – a huge bonus when it comes to final yield. Cloning is much easier than most growers believe, and Hydro Empire is here to help get you started!

When cutting clones cut at a 45 degree angle so you have more surface area for the new roots to form.

Let’s back it up – What is cloning gel and why should I use it?

Successful cloning is all about having the proper environment and tools to give your clones the best chance of thriving. One of the most important of those tools is cloning gel (or powder) – a mix of nutrients and rooting hormones that provide clones with nutrition and protection during the process of cloning. Cloning gel provides nourishment for clones, which in turn speeds up the root development process. Cloning gel also protects clones by providing a physical barrier to the environment, greatly reducing the chances of fungus or disease attacking the vulnerable clones. Lastly, cloning gel can also ease the cutting process, reducing clone loss due to shock. The reality of cloning is that you will most likely lose a few clones and not all of your clones will survive to maturity; however, using a cloning gel greatly improves your chances of success!


Q: Where do I take a cutting from?

A: Always take your cuttings from new growth tips and make sure they are strong and healthy.

Q: How long will it take for my plants to root?

A: That depends on the plant but in most cases it will take about 2 weeks. Just make sure your media is not too wet. If you are using a cloning machine you can get roots as fast as 5 days.

Q: When should I water my non rooted cuttings?

A: You don’t want to overwater your cuttings so only water them when they are dry and only water enough to make the media moist. Not dripping wet.

General cloning best practices

In our experience, using cloning gel along with either a cloning machine or a tray and dome setup greatly reduces the challenges of cloning, and below are some of our top suggestions to improve your cloning experience.

Tray and Dome – When using a tray and dome, humidity and temperature are top priorities. Mist your clones frequently – you want the humidity within the dome to be as close to 100% as possible. A good general indicator of proper humidity is that your dome should have condensation on all sides. If it doesn’t, then your environment is either too hot or too cold. When it comes to temperature, your clones should be at around a constant 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You can best achieve this by adding a heat mat under your tray and adjusting your light source either closer or farther away from the top of the dome. We recommend T5 lights for cloning since we’ve found that they provide the most efficient combination of light and heat to sensitive clones.

Cloning Machine – A cloning machine provides the advantages of using a tray and dome while also adding in the benefits of constant moisture and aeration. When using a clone machine, cloning gel as opposed to powder is highly recommended since gel will be more resistant to washing off. There are several options when it comes to cloning machines, but we recommend TurboKlone products for their affordability and ease of use. There are 4 factors that are most important when using clone machines: water quality, water pH, temperature and lighting. While you can use any source of water and have good results, using RO (reverse osmosis) water is recommended since it greatly reduces accidentally introducing any harmful agents that may be present in water of lesser quality. Along with the quality of the water, acidity plays an important role in a clone’s ability to grow – an optimal pH level in clone machines is 5.7-5.8. When it comes to temperature, you should consider both the ambient temperature as well as water temperature. Your room temperature outside the machine should be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit and your water should be about 72 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. Lastly, proper lighting provides both heat and light to developing clones, and we also recommend T5 lights for use with clone machines.