roots of cannabis grown with aeroponics
The exposed roots of an aeroponic system.

Aeroponics is a method of growing marijuana plants in which roots are suspended in the air inside of a chamber and sprayed with water. Aeroponics is commonly used to start cannabis clones in order to give them a healthy root system before being potted into soil or another growing medium. 

“I got an aeroponic cloner so I don’t have to deal with root cubes anymore.”

“Aeroponics will ensure your clones start off healthy and strong.”

What is aeroponics?

Aeroponics is a great way to start cannabis clones off with a healthy root system before they are transplanted into soil or another growing medium. The aeroponics method involves suspending the ends of clones in a chamber and spraying them with nutrient-rich water, allowing the clones to get more oxygen, leading to faster and more efficient root growth. 

Systems that employ aeroponics are typically called “cloners,” and you can purchase one or make your own at home using a five-gallon bucket. Cloners are known for having a high success rate compared to using the traditional method of root cubes, a tray, and a dome—a high percentage of clones placed in the cloner will root out and go on to be healthy and strong cannabis plants. 

How does aeroponics work?

Utilizing aeroponics, a cloner is a water-tight tank with these components:

  • Reservoir for holding water
  • Pump for circulating water
  • Multiple nozzles to spray the bottoms of clones
  • Foam collars for clones

After taking several clones, foam collars are put around the clones and then they are placed in the top of the cloner. The collars provide a water-tight seal so water doesn’t spray out of the cloner. 

The reservoir is filled with water and nutrients are added to the water. Place the lid on top and make sure no holes are open in the top of the cloner. Plug in the pump, and it will spray the bottoms of the clones. 

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If the cloner doesn’t come with a timer, it is wise to invest in one, so delicate clones don’t get saturated with water all day, and so the environment inside the cloner doesn’t get too hot from the pump being on nonstop. 

Clones should root out in 5-14 days. 

What’s the difference between aeroponics and hydroponics?

Aeroponics and hydroponics are similar systems for growing cannabis with one important difference: in aeroponics, plant stems and roots are suspended in air and sprayed with water, while in hydroponics, they are suspended directly in water. Both systems incorporate a reservoir and a pump to circulate water. 

Aeroponics is primarily used for clones. When they have a strong root system, clones can be transplanted into another medium to grow into full plants. With hydroponics, cannabis plants can grow in the hydroponic system for their entire life cycle, until harvest. 

Both systems are more technical than growing directly in soil and involve more equipment. Aeroponics in particular might be hard to get used to, as fresh-cut clones are very delicate and require the grower to check up on them frequently so they don’t die.