Cloning cannabis plants is common with today’s technology. Many things enter our minds when we hear the word ‘cloning.’ There are several movies available that show what this is about.
Cloning can be simply described as a scientific concept where a piece of a living thing is used to grow something else. Cloning allows genetically identical objects to breed.
Aside from plants, animals can be cloned too. Dolly the sheep was cloned successfully in 1996. This event proved that cloning species is possible.
Clones from cannabis are cuttings taken from a vegetating cannabis plant. Once these cuttings grow roots, they grow into plants exhibiting the exact same genetics as the plant they were cut from. Cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank contain genetics of both its mother and father. However, you might discover that your individual plants look quite different once you germinate your seeds. Genetics passed down from parents are transferred in various ways. This is also the reason why you look different from your siblings.
Reasons for Cloning
There are several reasons why you clone. In most cases, you clone a plant because you do not have access to any seeds. Sometimes, you do not prefer to grow from seeds because cloning is faster than growing new plants from each seed.
Breeding is also a huge factor why cloning is preferred by many. As we all know, no two species are exactly the same. You can duplicate a specific characteristic of a cannabis by cloning cannabis plants.
If you want to have a particular characteristic of a plant to be preserved, cloning allows you to pass that trait continuously.
Before you begin cloning cannabis plants, make sure that you have these things first.
- A sharp razor. Do not use scissors for they can ruin branches and prevent roots formation
- A healthy mother plant about two months into the vegetative cycle
- Starter cubes
- A rooting hormone
- A vase or tall glass with water
- Leaf trimmer or clipper
- A mild lighting if cloning indoors
- High proof alcohol to disinfect tools
How to Start Cloning Cannabis Plants
There are steps that must be followed in order to be successful in cloning cannabis plants.
Don’t fertilize the mother plant
Do not fertilize the mother plant several days before taking the cuttings. This allows the nitrogen to work its way out of the plant. Too much nitrogen in the cuttings will result in failure. The clones will divert its energy into growing the vegetation rather than rooting.
Work in a clean environment
Do everything you can to avoid agitation of the mother plant and the new cuttings. Try not to move the plant. As much as possible, start cloning cannabis plants by keeping the environment free of pests and wash your hands before attending to the plant. Sanitize all your tools with alcohol.
Check for healthy branches
Inspect the mother plants for branches that are healthy and sturdy. If you decide to root using rock wool, match the stem with the rooting hole of your cubes to achieve the proper fit. You can also try to take cuttings with several nodes between 8-10 inches long.
This is one of the crucial steps in cloning cannabis plants. Make sure to cut a 45° angle below the last node of your cutting when taking a clone from a cannabis plant. Doing this will expand the area of the rooting surface which helps the branch in developing more roots. The branch can also grow quicker.
Dip your cutting into your rooting or cloning gel and put it straight into your medium. After this, pull out the bottom leaves of your clones. To ensure photosynthesis and water uptake, trim the tips of the fingers on the clone’s remaining leaves. This step will make the evaporation to slow down and the surface area of the remaining leaves will be reduced, allowing your clones to absorb more water.
However, if this is your first time, take one clone at a time.
Put the cuttings into the water.
Make sure to immediately place the fresh cutting into the water. The formation of air bubbles in the stem will be prevented. Bubbles prevent water absorption into the stem which can kill the clone. Some growers create additional incisions in the stem during this process to promote rooting. Do this before you transfer your cuttings into the water.
Preparing the Cuttings
Now that you have taken several cuttings and transferred them into the water, you have to prepare them again. You need to clip them to support proper photosynthesis.
Using clippers or scissors, cut the leaves about halfway down the stem. You can also cut any unnecessary leaves further down. The leaves will not reach the growing medium. This manicuring process will help your clones in nutrient and water intake. The touching of growing leaves with each other will also be prevented.
Many growers use rooting hormones when cloning cannabis plants at this point. These hormones are primarily available in the form of gels and powders. There is a wide variety on the market. Use what suits you best. Relocate your clones to the final rooting medium after dipping your cuttings into the hormone.
There are three techniques to root your plants when cloning cannabis plants and each method have pros and cons. Use the best technique for your needs. Whatever method you choose, make sure that your clones get plenty of humidity and light. You will also need to soak your growing medium before you start. Rock wool must be soaked for a day before using. It is also important to use distilled water with an adjusted pH level of 4.5 to 5.
Rock wool cubes technique
Because of its airflow and moisture retention, rock wool provides a base for clone rooting They are easily found in grow stores. Remember to carefully put your clone into the moistened starter cube.
When choosing soil, pick the one which does not have abundant nutrients. You also have to be very careful to not put too much or too little water in your soil during rooting. This is by far the most complicated rooting technique in cloning cannabis plants.
Water cloning does not require the use of hormones. Just drop your cuttings into the water. Keep the cuttings there until the roots begin to grow.
The plants won’t need light for the first couple of days. Make sure your clones are placed in a warm and humid environment and have about 18 hours of light daily.
Transplanting the Roots
The moment growths appear, you should transplant them to a more stable area. Be sure to take good care of them because transplant shock can occur.
Put in mind to work in a sterile environment when cloning cannabis plants. Prepare pots with moist soil immediately. Make use of gloves and gently pull out your clones from their medium and plant them.
Additional Tips for Successful Cloning
New clones need moist and warm environments to thrive since they do not have roots yet. Mist your plants to keep the moisture for the first week. Beware also of molds. Remember that if the clones are in a humid dome, lift the dome many times a day to prevent mold growth.
Make sure not to contaminate your rooting gel or powder. Any dirt in the jar can spoil the whole batch. Instead of dipping the roots into the gel or powder, apply it using a separate tray.
If you are wondering if cloning cannabis plants is possible without using a rooting gel or any kind of rooting hormone, the answer is yes. As a matter of fact, expert growers choose to clone naturally. They do not use any of these hormones.
The best time to do cuttings when cloning cannabis plants is before the mother plant begins to flower. Not all clones will grow so create more clones to be sure.
Patience is key. In most cases, clones begin rooting after several days or weeks.
Mother plants can be preserved for a long time. You just have to prevent it from growing flowers so it can last for years. To do this, keep the mother plants under a veg light.
Just like any living thing, taking good care of your plant is necessary. Cloning cannabis plants requires a lot of time, patience and dedication.
Taking care of cannabis clones should be done to produce good results. These clones have higher success rate at temperatures between 23–25°C (74–78°F) and at humidity between 75–85%. However, too much humidity and warmth can invite pests and fungi which is harmful for your clones. To prevent this, you can use a thermometer or hygrometer in measuring the temperature and humidity level.
If you find dead clones, remove it immediately. These spoiled plants attract bugs into your area and build a breeding place for fungi which can kill your other clones.
Check on your clones every day to ensure they are healthy and have enough water.