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This method of cloning peppers (and most other plants) is very easy, cheap and effective. It requires no special rooting hormone.
- Sharp snips or razor blade for cutting stem and leaves (disinfected)
- Scissors for cutting the sponge material
- Nutrient solution – If using the AeroGarden nutrients, use the strength you would for everything else. If mixing your own, use a little less than full strength. If unsure, do a trial run first, before committing all of your cuttings. Information on mixing your own nutrients can be found here.
- Net cup/pot/basket – If using the AeroGarden just use a white basket like the ones that seed kit pods have. You can buy just the baskets from AeroGrow or Amazon.
- Sponge material – For AeroGarden, this can be the peat based kind that come with seed pot kits, or something similar like the Park Seed Biodome sponges. This is what I use. Rock wool should work fine as well. For non-AeroGarden or Kratky just use something that will fit the net pot/cup/basket. You can use the AeroGarden baskets and sponges too if you want. Again, that’s what I use.
- Container – For non-AeroGarden or Kratky use any food safe container that will hold water. The top needs to have a hole that can fit the plant basket. The AeroGarden baskets fit really well in containers that have 1.5 inch openings.
- AeroGarden (although you can improvise applying the same principles). I use the following in my video:
Prepare sponge material and container
- Cut the sponge material lengthwise down the center (not all the way through) so that it can be opened up and folded around the stem.
- Make sure the AeroGarden or Kratky vessel contain nutrient solution. For the Kratky method the solution will need to touch the bottom of the sponge material by 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The solution will wick to the top via capillary action. For AeroGarden just fill to the max level you normally would use.
- This seems to work best with a relatively young, tender side shoot (sucker). The bottom will need to be just under a node at a 45 degree angle. Initially cut a little ways below that.
- Cut off the first few leaves from the bottom. Cut any larger leaves off or in half. Make sure there are no buds or blooms present. Cut at a 45 degree angle just below the bottom node.
- Spread the sponge material apart with one hand and lay the bottom part of the cutting inside. Close the sponge, folding around the stem.
- Place sponge in the basket/cup/pot and put in the growing system.
Within a few weeks start checking for roots. Just lift it out and look for any roots coming out of the sponge material. Once you see this you’ll know the cloning has been successful.
After the roots have grown some you can leave it in there, or transplant it to something else.
Video of my process: