Growing cannabis can be one of the most rewarding forms of gardening. After all, putting your time and energy into other species of plants just doesn’t result in the same buzz! When we gave you the guide to growing your own weed, we mentioned marijuana clones – but we didn’t get too in depth about the subject.
Cloning marijuana plants is a proven way to improve your growing process, and it’s not rocket science. Read on, and we’ll tell you why and how to make marijuana clones a part of your grow cycle in the long term.
So, What is Cloning?
If you’re not familiar with gardening and its terms, “cloning” sounds like an obscure and complex scientific process. However, with plants, cloning simply refers to the process of using some of a plant’s clippings to grow an identical copy of said plant.
Why Should I Try Marijuana Clones?
There are several distinct benefits of using marijuana clones, but here are the three that will make you a believer in this technique.
- Potency: One of the things that can vary significantly with growing marijuana from seeds is the amount of THC. Even between plants of the same strain and seed batch, some are bound to produce more THC than others. Cloning removes the genetic variances that may cause uneven potency.
- Health: Similarly, genetics affect the overall health of cannabis plants. If you start out with a strong, healthy mother plant, all of that plant’s clones will have the same hearty characteristics as long as their roots take.
- Time: A big attraction to marijuana clones is the elimination of the often tedious germination step, in which many seeds end up unviable.
Basically, cloning is a way to ensure that your favorite strain of bud becomes a gift that keeps on giving.
What Will I Need?
The requirements here are pretty bare bones. You’ll only need a few things to make successful clones:
- Spray bottle + water
- Rooting medium
- Rooting hormone (optional)
It’s also important to ensure you’re working in a sterile environment. An unclean environment will agitate your plant, and potentially cause trouble for your transplanted clones. Now, once you’ve got all four things together in an appropriate workspace, your cloning can commence!
How Do I Make Marijuana Clones?
The first thing to do is select a mother plant. Simply choose your favorite, or select based on other attributes such as final height, overall hardiness, or flowering time. You need a plant that’s about eight weeks into its vegetative cycle to give your marijuana clones the best chance of rooting. At a minimum, the plant should be three weeks into its vegetative cycle.
- To start the process, refrain from fertilizing the mother plant for 3-5 days leading up to the clipping. This will reduce the leaves’ level of nitrogen, a nutrient which can dupe your clones into vegetating rather than rooting.
- Find a sturdy branch at the base of the plant. These branches would receive the least light and struggle to grow anyway, so it’s a bonus for your mother plant as well.
- Take your razor and cut the branch as close to the main stem as possible, at a 45-degree angle. This maximizes surface area, and therefore the chances that your clone will have to root successfully.
- Immediately submerge the cut end of your clipping in water, to prevent air bubbles from forming. Air bubbles keep plants from absorbing water, so make the transfer as quickly as possible!
- Cut the ends off the fan leaves, about half way down the total length of the leaf. This will support their future photosynthesis.
- If you’re using a rooting hormone, this is the time to apply it to the stem of your cuttings.
- Transplant your new clone to its rooting medium!
What Medium Should I Use?
You’ve got three options when it comes to transplanting your clones into the containers where they’ll grow roots.
- Water: This is the simplest and cheapest medium. Simply place your cut stem into the water, and wait for it to sprout.
- Soil: Still pretty low maintenance, the soil is also a decent option for rooting. Keep it moist, but don’t overwater.
- Rockwool: Rockwool is a human-made growing medium that’s worth the investment thanks to its superior airflow and moisture retention capabilities.
When Can I Transplant the Clone for Good?
If you’ve followed all these instructions, you should begin seeing vegetative growth within a few days after placing marijuana clones in their rooting medium. If you started out in soil to begin with, you might not need to perform your final transplant very soon – or even at all, if you used a big enough pot.
Water rooted and rockwool rooted plants will need to be moved to larger containers, and be careful not to agitate their newly-sprouted roots as you do so!
Once your marijuana clones have settled into their new environment, it’s just a matter of keeping them healthy and well-maintained. Consult our best practices guide to ensure you’re covering your growing bases and best of luck with cannabis clones!
Article By: Spencer Grey