Spin off on the aeroponics tower

Spin off on the aeroponics tower

Got an idea for a spinoff on the aeroponics tower. The same thing, in miniature almost. 1 inch holes, smaller pipe should be fine. Less gap between holes too. For rooting cuttings. Aeroponics has a good reputation for rooting cuttings. A tower like this could take up less space - possibly could be hung from a hook somewhere. Once cutting grows roots, take it out for regular growing, replace with another cutting.

This is how it is currently done.

Bet @jtd’s design could cap this on efficiency, cost and space. Also, if successful, could be a wildly used gadget by nurseries etc. Plant propagation is big business.

I know regardless of my ability to use the big tower, something like this would be an instant hit. As the lab knows from my meagre plant offerings last week, I run out of plant spares as soon as I can grow them. An efficient way to make cuttings of rare plants would address a major choke point.

May also be a possibility of making this “modular” - 2ft cloning tower. Want to add capacity? Add another 2ft piece or two over/under it. Same fogger and reservoir serving all.

One of the most common way people RUIN cuttings is to pull them out to check for root formation, damaging fragile, newly forming roots in the process. With this system, you can check all you want with no harm to the roots. BONUS.

Just imagine, you could make DOZENS of cuttings in six square inches of floor space. Also mist will be better than that sprinkler thing in the video - finer, less chances of overwetting and rotted cuttings.

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This does occupy floor space, doesn’t it?

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Yes. Horizontal model. No matter how closely you pack the cuttings, adding numbers will rack up the square feet. All the cuttings in that video could easily fit in one pipe section of @jtd’s design. Bonus numbers if you stack up the pipes.

One concern growing plants like mine in a hydroponic tower is that they will warp their growth patterns toward the light and while that will look cool, it won’t look as cool from a sales perspective when I have to take them out and put them in a pot and they have to look good - like the nepenthes benstonei outside the lab. Give it a couple of weeks and its new pitchers will get progressively more dramatic - the basal pattern is already well established.

If the plant were warped in any one direction, several new leaves would look… odd till growing stabilized to a pot again. Given how slow nepenthes grow… this is a problem. But cuttings, they always grow straight out from the node. Take them out and pot them up before they warp and we are gold.

Also, root space required for cuttings is minimal. There are no roots! When there are roots, time to take the cutting out. So the pipe can be much smaller in diameter, creating the possibility of adding more pipes to the same reservoir when practical height is maxed out…

PLUS, cuttings don’t need fertilizer, so the fogger life will be extended.

There literally is no downside to this.


Also, customizations would be ridiculously easy and inexpensive to offer. A small grower like me would be happy with a 3" diameter cloning tower with holes maybe only in 2 or 3 directions (since one often faces the wall and doesn’t get good light. A commercial nursery might want a stack of 8" diameter that goes 10ft high and packed with holes on all sides. Scaling becomes a minor matter of choosing a pipe diameter and a few minutes more or less with a hole saw.

Using the pipe and root cooling becomes a relatively less important issue, since the mist is cool, and cuttings are never placed in direct sunlight anyway (dehydrates them).