What are Cannabis Clones?
While you can buy cannabis clones, why not try cloning your own cannabis plants? This solution is a great way to expand your growing activity and benefit from a continuous stream of your favored strains.
To successfully clone there are factors to take into account so let’s take a look at what cannabis clones are, why so many choose to clone cannabis plants and a proven cloning procedure.
Cannabis Clones are…
Simply classed as a branch cutting taken from a living marijuana plant. The idea behind cloning is that the cutting will then grow into a plant of its own. In terms of genetic makeup, a clone has the same attributes as the plant it is taken from. That plant is known as the mother plant.
In terms of clone size, this is down to personal choice but the general recommendation is to take clones between 6-9 inches (15-23 cm) in height. Doing so tends to allow the clone to quickly root.
Later in the piece, we will explain how to take a clone from a mother plant but just to say that once the clone has been cut from the mother plant it should then be placed into a rooting cube or other medium and then given a hormone supplement to encourage root growth.
Once you see roots developing on the clone it should then be transplanted either into a pot or directly into the soil. From there, it will grow just like your other cannabis plants.
Why Bother to Clone?
There are several reasons why growers choose to clone (or buy) cannabis. Examples are that growing weed from seeds can be complicated and time-consuming and using clones rather than seeds can take a month or more off the growing process.
If you are growing in a garden, clones also save space. This is because seeds first need to grow and they then need to be sexed out to identify and separate the males from the precious females. It is also common that some seeds will not germinate and that means the extra space given up for all seeds could be fruitless as some may never turn into full plants.
If you already have cannabis plants growing there is then a cost consideration. Taking cannabis clones from a mother plant is free (although additional supplies will need purchasing to ensure healthy clone growth.) Of course, clones purchased from a dispensary will cost, but buying from a respected source should see that money well spent.
A Cloning Benefit That Many Appreciate
There are many benefits of getting into correct cloning. However, a stand-out reason for many is that the clones taken from a mother plant are exact genetic replicas.
Commonly, you will have nurtured one or two plant strains that appeal to your senses through their appearance, effect, or smell. By going through the cloning process, it means you can clone your favorite strains as often as you wish.
It should be said that some in the industry speculate that cannabis clones can degrade over time. This is purported to be because of factors including environmental stressors. However, depending on which side of this debate you sit on, that is open to question.
Choosing a Mother Plant to Clone
Because genetics are identical between your mother plant and the clone, careful consideration is required if you are to get the best from the cloning process. This makes it important to choose a good mother.
Qualities of a good mother plant include:
- Health: It is showing sturdy and vibrant growth and has proven to be pest/mold resistant.
- Yields: Your mother plant gives big yields and contains dense trichomes.
- Smell/Flavor: Pleasant aromas that continue to provide rich flavors.
Other pointers to take into consideration; the mother plant should be at least 2 months into the vegetative cycle and you should not take a clone off the mother once it begins to flower.
Your best way forward is to take cuttings from mothers that have not been fertilized for a couple of days. Doing this means you are allowing the mother plant leaves to expel nitrogen.
If your cuttings contain excess nitrogen in the stem and leaf this is likely to trick your cut clones into trying to grow vegetation rather than diverting their energy to rooting. It is effective rooting that you are after.
It also goes without saying that a mother plant that is not producing good buds, one that looks lackluster, or is wilting will not make a good mother to clone from.
Taking a Cutting
Before you begin cutting make sure you have everything at hand to complete the cutting process. You should carry out the cutting in a sterile environment and use gloves as well as razors and scissors that have been disinfected.
As mentioned above, you should be looking for mother plant branches that are healthy and sturdy. You also want, as a minimum, two nodes from the final cut. Make sure the branch chosen is in good condition and is of sufficient length.
There is no substitute for the above consideration because a sturdy clone is a route to a sturdy plant.
When cutting the cannabis clones from the mother you should cut above the mother plant’s node. While it is common to use a razor for this, many prefer scissors as it can be hard to get comfortable access into the middle of the mother plants with a razor.
Once the branch is detached, place it on a solid surface and use the razor to cut below the bottom node. This slicing should be done at a 45° angle to the branch.
Why do we do this?
Because this will increase the surface area of the clones rooting surface and is effective at promoting faster growth.
From there, immediately place your fresh cutting into a pre-prepared rooting hormone. After that, you have a variety of choices. Two of the most common are to place it directly into a rooting cube or to invest in an auto-cloner. While the latter means additional expense, this is the recommended option if you intend to regularly clone mother plants.
If using an auto-cloner, make sure to put a collar around the cannabuis clone(s) when placing them inside. You should also wait until you have completed cutting the number of clones you are after before putting the rooting hormone in the auto-cloner.
Once that is completed, remove unnecessary leaves at the bottom of the clone and clip off tips that are present on any remaining fan leaves. The reason for this is to support photosynthesis and that will help your clone to take up water and nutrients.
While the above two options are most recommended, there are a variety of other ways to achieve initial clone placement. Some opt for either planting in a pot of soil or directly into the ground. In general, this is not recommended and If attempting it, do so with care.
This is because the soil needs to be well watered to keep the clone firm. It should be noted that any early clone/root movement can stop the clone from thriving.
Practice Makes Perfect
Many who take time out to grow their own weed will often find a standout strain. One that just begs for love, care, and attention. That must be seen as time well invested because of the return in pleasurable consumption and wicked highs received!
It also follows that you will want to keep a good supply of those strains. In that respect, cloning is the perfect answer. It is not an overly complicated process and with practice, patience, and care you will produce various stashes that when consumed get you exactly where you want to be!
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