Taking Cuttings & The PermaClone Recipe

Cloning Cuttings & ”The PermaClone Recipe”

Our last article provided a to-do and shopping list (did you complete it? I hope you did!).

First, I asked that you foliar spray your mother plants with OMRI Certified Pesticide (Such as Garden Safe Neem or take-down) containing a Kelp-based extract 24-48 hours before taking cuts.

I also outlined three ingredients required for reliable cloning: Oxidizer, Water Soluble Hormone, mineral nutrients, and Fiskars.

Your mother plants should have natural auxins and amino acids coursing through their stems and your cloning station should be stocked with three cloner additives and a pair of fiskars.

Today it’s time to clone!

Fill up your sterilized cloner with water and immediately add a plant safe dose of your oxidizer of choice. Here’s the dosages:



Sodium Hypochlorite (e.g. bleach)

0.1 - 0.15 mL/gal (2 - 3 drops/gal)

Hypochlorous Acid (e.g. UC Roots)

10 mL/gal

30% Peroxide (e.g. Nutrilife)

3 mL/gal

Peroxyacetic acid (e.g. Zerotol)

2 mL/gal


Take "clones" or cuttings 

More Nodes & Shoot Apices: Every point along the stems where a new shoot and fan leaf forms is called a “node”. The tip of each shoot from this node is called the shoot apex or terminal bud. Each shoot apex produces auxins (rooting hormones). When taking your cuttings, the goal is to leave several nodes above the cloning collar (untrimmed) from your cutting because each shoot apex manufactures natural auxins that travel to the bottom (basal) end of your aeroponic cutting or clone. When taking your cutting, the goal is 3 – 6 nodes left untrimmed which will go above the collars and 2 - 3 node trimmed which will go below the collar. This requires that when you take cutting from your mother plant, choosing segments that are 5 - 9 nodes tall. Before inserting them in a sterilized collar, trim off the lower 2 - 3 nodes (including the leaves) and leave the top 3 - 6 nodes untrimmed.

Removing Leaves: Removing fan leaves was a common practice before water culture cloning. Now we only recommend removing fan leaves to avoid shading other clones. The tradition of removing fan leaves was to decrease water loss through the pores in the leaves (stomata). In water-culture your clones' stems are well hydrated such that this water loss (transpiration) is not a concern. We only  recommend trimming leaves to avoid shading other clones. If you're aiming for 3 - 4 cuts (or clones) per collar, eliminate ALL fan leaves and leave JUST nodes and shoot apices. And, YES...it works. This method alone with make your cloner 3 - 4x more productive! 

Keep Track of Strains: As you Add cuttings to the system, keeping track of your strains by rows on paper. I recommend taking a picture of that paper so you have a digital backup for transplant day in your smart phone.

By the time all your aeroponic clones or cuttings are in place your initial boost of sterilizer has depleted. It’s important that before adding nutrients you boost your sterilizer a second time as listed below to surface sterilize everything before additives. This IS VERY IMPORTANT! ...add your oxidizer of choice before additive because most additive deplete the sterilizers: 



Sodium Hypochlorite (e.g. bleach)

0.1 - 0.15 mL/gal (2 - 3 drops/gal)

Hypochlorous Acid (e.g. UC Roots)

10 mL/gal

30% Peroxide (e.g. Nutrilife)

2 mL/gal

Peroxyacetic acid (e.g. Zerotol)

2 mL/gal


Next, add your hormone solution (only use one of the 3 recommended):

  • Hormex Liquid Concentrate: 3 - 5 mL/gal
  • KLN Cloning Solution: 5 - 15 mL/gal
  • Rhizopon AA Salts: 0.15 g/gal - 0.4 g/gal 


Last add your mineral Solution: 

  • Clonex Solution: 20 - 30 mL/gal
  • Cutting Edge Solution: 2.5 mL/gal Micro, 5 mL/gal Bloom
  • General Hydroponic: 2.5 mL/gal Micro , 5 mL/gal Bloom

Do not pH adjust your system until roots have formed. pH adjustment risks infecting your system with unwanted microbes and is tedious. Remember, we're all about simple work-flow.  

Set your cycle timer to 5 - 45 min on and 5 - 30 min off. Remember to adjust your on/off time to achieve and external IR temperature of 75 - 87 F.

**Use your IR thermometer to maintain/monitor temperatures.

Other than daily IR temperature checks, leave your system alone for 7 days. Eventually you’ll have you Cycle timing dialed in and won’t have to check temperatures as frequently. between days 3  - 5 you should have callous tissue (which, cancerous-looking bumps/growths) on the stem inside the system. at 5 - 7 days roots should be formed if you hit all the targets in this series. 

Keep in touch,

Michael Goldsmith


PS: My articles share knowledge I've accumulated over the years while perfecting my use of PermaClone collars and collaborating with 1000's of customers. My hope is by sharing this knowledge, PermaClone's plant collars will be acknowledged as the best cloning pucks on the market for hydroponic, deep-water culture, and aeroponic systems. Please spread the word! PermaClone has collar sizes to fit the top cloning systems: EZ-CLONE, TurboKlone, PowerCloner by Botanicare, Oxyclone, Psychloner and more. We can also recommended sizes for DIY and home-made cloning systems...just reach out for dimension. Thanks for your support! #PermaClone #getsterilegetcloning 


  • Just wondering what your thoughts are about misting clones in the cloner once they are set. Many write-ups suggest misting once or twice a week. I’m guessing that since the bubbler is on, the dome gets plenty of high humidity and fresh air so there is no need to risk possible contaminating the somewhat sterile environment…..and also, there is no need to open the vents since air is injected via the air stones. Anyway, am I interpreting that right even though you didn’t explicitly say so?

    Richard Scorzelli
  • Every time I’ve tried using a bubble cloner in the past has been a failure. I gave away the last one I had. Recently I found a pump on clearance at Lowe’s and decided to try it again and it’s went very well. The difference is that this time I ran across your site. Since I started using the method outlined in this post my success rate has been in the high 90s, and I’ve hit 100% a few times.

    Thank you very much for sharing this.

  • Hi Travis.. I do know of at least one customer that gets great results with 10 mL/gal Clonex Solution…so my feeling is you’ll do well continuing this.

    I’m still curious about this film. I am familiar with a minimal film that forms mostly at the water line. I keep thinking the cuticle waxes are part of this and some attribute of Clonex and Hormex plays a part in this formation…callous tissue formation could play a role, too. While Clonex maybe affect the solubility of these waxes. Sulfate and phosphate in Clonex come to mind.

    Do you take big cuts? How much stem protrudes below the collar? Did you get this film w/o Hormex?

    An initial test would be placing the cuttings so very little stem is protruding. Go back to the higher dose of clonex w/ hormex and see if this layer is significantly reduced or unnoticable.

    I know scaring the stem creates improved auxin exposure. But there’s pluses and minuses. I mostly promoted the fewest amounts of step w/o affecting reproducibility with hydroponic cloning. Still, there’s lots of methods with add benefits. I used to be worried about ethylene release by tissue damage which has a few problems…but now that I can safely promote aeration with use of the product AeroBlock, I think scarring should be explored more thoroughly.

    Please keep us posted about your results…and feel free to keep the conversation going.

    To eliminate manual cleaning the cloner, add a few drops/gallon of dish soap to your sterilization cycle. Another experiment would be adding a little horticultural surfactants to the water to help keep the lipids soluble. But don’t test this on an important cloning run.

  • As per my prior question regarding a film with the clonex it was not seemingly a bacterial film just a light green film that pretty easily washed away but was concerning to me as the manifold does not come apart so anything deposited there would be difficult to make sure it was gone. I have since added an extra dose of sterilizer which I missed from the first try and cut in half the dose of clonex. The results have been much better though there is still a light film that is not present when the clonex is not used. Another separate question. I see you don’t say anything about scarring the base of the clone after taking the cut. Do you find this unecessary? I have not really tested with and without as there are a lot of variable but I have seen that when I make a small vertical incision at the bottom two inches of the clone that does seem to be where callusing and root formation begin most often.

  • Hi Travis,

    I’ve noticed a slight frothiness I assumed was a soaping agent or surfactant to either penetrate the plants’ cuticle and/or function as a wetting/spreading agent (totally a hypothesis, btw). I always thought it was from the Hormex Sol’n but maybe it’s part of the Clonex Sol’n? Or maybe the two together?

    What is this film like? Is it as I described and more a soap-like substance?

    I can offer you the confidence that myself and many associates have run Clonex and Clonex/Hormex SOl’ns over-and-over for well over 5 years perpetually. There’s also other options like Micro/Bloom combos, Current Culture’s nutrients are super clean..I can think of at least one grower that gets great results w/ Hormex + CalMag..something I haven’t personally played with.

    Keep the dialogue going! …You can also email me if you want to talk in more detail.


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