Learn the how and the why of cloning your cannabis plants
Firstly, let’s determine the definition of cloning. A clone is a cutting that is cut off a living weed plant, which will then grow into an actual plant itself. A close is made up of the same genetic makeup as the cannabis plant itself, which we will refer to as the mother plant.
A normal clone is about 6 inches in length, and after cutting it from the mother plant, the clone should be put into a medium such as a root cube and given a hormone to maximise its root growth. After the roots start to emerge, it is then transplanted into a pot or into the ground where it will grow into another cannabis plant.
What do you look for in a cannabis mother plant?
As we already established, a mother plant is any weed plant that you take a clone from. Mother plants should be healthy if you want great genetics to be passed on to the clones. It is good to note that mother plants always stay in the vegetative stage as clones are clipped off. It’s important to never take cuttings off flowering cannabis plants as this can cause the clone to transform into a hermaphrodite.
Some growers might have dedicated mother plants simply for taking cuttings while others take cuttings off a mother plant just before they flower. This process is then repeated when the clones turn into mother plants themselves. Each new generation of clones will generally have the same taste, flavour, and characteristics as its mother plant. Clones also can guarantee that your cannabis plants are females.
The importance of a good mother plant is essential for cloning. Growers should look for these qualities when choosing the mother:
- Sturdy and vibrant growth
- A good aroma
- Great flavour
- Big yields
- Dense trichomes
- Resistant to pests and mould.
How do you clone cannabis plants?
Cloning is quite easy, and you will only need a few items including scissors, a razor, a rooting setup, and a rooting hormone.
Typical rooting setups include rooting cubes, Rockwool, or non-soil equivalents such as foam or peat. If you’re thinking about using cubes, you will need to invest in a tray, a dome, and a tray cell. The clones should be placed inside the cubes, the cubes put into the tray cells and all these sit in a tray with water. The dome is used for humidity purposes, and you may even need to use a heat mat.
Try out different setups to see which works best for you. Whichever method you choose, always make sure that your clones get plenty of light and humidity, preferably 18 hours of light.
How do you take a cutting from a mother plant?
Here are a few simple steps on how to effectively take a cutting from a mother plant:
- Look for healthy branches. You will want, at least, two nodes on the final cutting, so make sure to pick a long enough branch. A healthy branch will mean a healthy clone.
- To cut the clone off the mother plant, cut above the node. Here, you can use scissors as it will be hard to get a razor in the middle of the cannabis plant.
- Using a razor, cut below the bottom node at a 45-degree angle to the branch. This will increase the surface area and promote faster growth.
- Put your cutting into a rooting hormone immediately. Then, place it into the root cube.
- Once you’re done taking cutting off the mother plant, remove the unnecessary leaves and clip off the tips of the remaining fan leaves on the cutting. This will support photosynthesis and it will help your clone uptake nutrients and water.
Moving your cannabis clones
From this point forward, make sure that you check your clones daily to make sure that they have enough water. To increase humidity, you can spray water on the leaves with a spray bottle. If your clones do not make it, remove them so they do not cause mould to the rest of the clones. This will also give the other clones more space to grow.
Most clones will be ready to transplant into soil in 10 to 14 days. You’ll know when they’re ready when the white roots are an inch or two in length.
Here are a few tips to follow when transplanting:
- Start off by putting soil in your pots.
- Water the soil before starting the transplant so that the soil does not move when you put the clone in.
- Once the water has drained, dig a hole about 1 to 2 inches deep.
- Place the clone in and gently cover with soil.
Clones are a great option for starting a weed plant, especially if you’re not interested in seeds. Cloning will save you time, you do not have to germinate seeds and will cut the process of growing by a month or so.
Clones will also save space in your weed garden since with seeds, you will need to grow are many as you can and sex them out to identify the females and get rid of the males. Cloning is also free! You will simply need to invest in a couple of supplies.
However, the best thing about cloning is that they are an exact replica of its mother plant. This means that if your mother plant is healthy and sturdy, it is a guarantee that your clones will be too.
Keep checking out our blog for more tips and updates on cannabis plants!