Introduction: Bucket Aeroponic Plant Propagator

Picture of Bucket Aeroponic Plant Propagator

I built this 5 gallon bucket aeroponic propagator to root my cuttings and clones quickly. This is a simple construction that is very effective I hope you find it helpful, fun and interesting.

Step 1: The Materials

Picture of The Materials

The materials are Really simple for this project. A 5 gallon bucket with a lid, a small fountain pump, 110v timer for the pump, some 2" plastic cups from a aquaponics supplier (I got mine from Amazon for cheap) along with the small 2" foam disc for the aquaponics cups... Again pennies.

Step 2: Assemble the Pump and Spray Head

Picture of Assemble the Pump and Spray Head

The small fountain pump comes with several different sized fittings, I was able to use one that fir the spray head diameter perfectly. It was a reducer to 1/4" hose and a 1/4" firing adapter. Easy and worked great. When the timer turns the pump on the circle spray head mists all of the stems and soon roots of your clone cuttings.

Step 3: The Lid Assembly and Propagation Cuts and Supports.

Picture of The Lid Assembly and Propagation Cuts and Supports.

Drill equally spaced holes the size of your plastic cups and inset them with the foam disc to support your cuttings. Make sure enough of your cuttings sit below the lid in the stream/mist of the pump and that they get moisture 2-3 times a day for about an hour... This seems to work well with green soft cuttings of plants.

Step 4: Assembled and Growing

Picture of Assembled and Growing

These are cuttings from some simple house plants as a test and in a matter of about 5 days they were all already showing signs of root growth. This is a great easy project with a great return on investment. I hope you enjoy it.

Comments

evandromiami made it! (author)2016-06-12

I used a 360° Sprinkler Head because it has a nice filter. How is that nozzle working for you?

That's Awesome! I am using a 360 degree spray head with no filter. I have had no issues with clogging however the pressure was to low on the original design and I purchased a bigger pump. It created more of a "mist" than the original setup. It looks like in your pictures you already have root growth!

TomC234 (author)Kirklewellen2016-07-23

Hey man, thanks for the tip. Can I ask, what size pump are you using? I see a lot of people with this design use a 396 gph pump.

evandromiami (author)TomC2342016-07-26

I started with a $7 water fountain pump that was under 100 GPH. It was so bad that I threw it in the garbage. Then, I looked for an inexpensive name brand and I bought the 400 GPH pump from ActiveAqua. I paid $25 on Amazon and it is totally worth it. You can find all info about it in my "Lettuce for Life" Instructable

wcamammoths (author)2016-03-12

Isn't this hydroponics? Aeroponics uses mist or fog.

Kirklewellen (author)wcamammoths2016-03-13

Good question I guess I haven't really considered. I would suppose this is a kind of hybrid, the pump and spray head make a "shower" or "mist" and the stems of the plants don't live in water like a hydroponic setup. I use a 110volt 24 hour timer and the pump cycles on every 4 hours. I use this setup for starting new plants and not necessarily for growing them. Thanks for the comments.

tylerkat (author)2016-03-08

Is there any reason this wouldn't work for actually growing plants?

Kirklewellen (author)tylerkat2016-03-08

I have only used mine to propagate plants. I suppose with some nutrients added to the water sure you could grow plants in it. There is a whole culture of aquaponics and they use nothing but water and a nutrient source

What I have noticed with my experiences is that left too long in the propagator the roots of the plant become almost too "soft" and they don't transplant as well as younger plant starts.

Good luck!

Kirk

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