With the growing demand for cannabis to use in recreational and medical purposes, several commercial grow facilities started to grow their own healthy cannabis mother plants by creating clones from mother plants. The clones are genetically identical cuttings that can then be planted so it can grow into a new plant. Growers can speed the grow time by turning plant cuttings into clones.
What Is A Mother Cannabis Plant?
Mother plants are the source of defined DNA and desirable traits such as flavor, smell, size, and color that are then multiplied through propagation, which is one of the reasons that growers keep these plants. Keeping a healthy cannabis mother plant helps them save money by producing new plants without any extra cost.
Mother plants begin their life as clones. Mother cannabis is kept in a constant vegetative state to produce clones that will quickly grow and develop. Cultivators carefully select a cannabis mother plant and consider different factors such as its ability to produce big yields and to grow in a specific environment, its durability from diseases and the smell, taste, and effects of flowers they produce.
Like real mothers, a mother plant has one job and it is to provide and produce healthy branches that you will eventually cut and replant. These healthy branches are what you refer to as clones. Replanting and growing clones of a healthy cannabis mother plant help you identify what to expect of your clones when it comes to harvest yields, quality, and size.
Clones Of Mother Cannabis
One mother plant can be used to reproduce unlimited clones of itself that will preserve its distinct characteristics. It is usually called as asexual reproduction. The clones are made from a plant cutting wherein pieces of the healthy cannabis mother plant will be cut off then you will plant the pieces so they grow roots.
Cloning saves great genetics of the mother cannabis since they are so special. The clones can even be a fully developed mother plant if the cuttings and their new roots will be kept in an environment that receives the right amount of light and nutrients. You might want to make sure your plants receive between 18-24 hours of light every day so it can be fully developed.
Since clones are genetically identical to their healthy cannabis mother plant, you have to carefully choose a mother with strong cell walls and high carbohydrate levels. Using nutrients that have a high percentage of calcium allows you to bind cell walls and increase the density of carbohydrates (plus water stored in the clone) to produce the roots and this is very important for a successful harvest.
Look for plants that are healthy, sturdy, and at least two months into the vegetative cycle when choosing a mother plant to clone. Once a clone starts flowering, you should never take a clone off a plant.
When choosing a healthy cannabis mother plant, you have to check if it has strong roots and stems, if it can steadily and easily mature, if it can resist pests and fungi and of course, if it could yield a large harvest.
You also have to use a fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen and other micronutrients such as boron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and sulfur.
If you want to clone cannabis, you have to make sure your scissors and razors are ready. You have to cut the branches off the healthy cannabis mother plant, use a razor for trimming up cuttings, then you need to set up the roots using a tray or dome or with an auto-cloner. You have to check if your clones are getting enough water every day by checking the bottom part of your tray or dome or auto-cloner.
Working with clones helps you identify how to shorten a grow cycle of the healthy cannabis mother plant so you can harvest continuously. This will definitely save you money because new clones are more predictable than seeds from random crosses that you buy in a seed bank. The clone grows just like the healthy cannabis mother plant, unlike seeds that carry mixed traits from both parents of the plants.
Keeping Cannabis Mother Healthy
You could keep a healthy cannabis mother plant by making sure you have an appropriate topping. The size of a clone is space-dependent. The permanent plant and the transient plant are the two types of mother plants. Permanent mother plants are topped, tied, and manipulated to provide a continuous supply of clones while transient mother plants are cloned from the current plants under vegetation before put into flowering.
Topping techniques depend on the domestic situation. For instance, a home-growing hobbyist will need almost eight weeks before plants can bloom. You can top once, tie the lateral branches horizontally as they grow, then clone from the fresh doublet of branches that grow from each node and then leave two branches so you can just repeat the process. You can also do a bonsai technique to make a good selection of branches, keeping a good size for a healthy cannabis mother plant.
You can top once, tie the lateral branches horizontally as they grow, then clone from the fresh doublet of branches that grow from each node—leaving two branches to repeat the process. Continually topping the apically dominant branches will result in a bushy plant with many clone sites to choose from. Bonsai-ing also makes for a good selection of branches while keeping the mother size under control. According to research, if you have a well-fed bonsai mother, you will be able to produce 10 to 30 good cuttings every 14 days under an HID grow light, or every 20 days under fluorescent grow light.
The next important step after doing an appropriate topping is to air prune the root system so you can keep a healthy cannabis mother plant. When you say air pruning, you have to cut the root ball down to a third of the original volume. After this, you have to do a repotting because fresh roots have to grow and so the plant development will just continue. The best time to do air pruning will be a few days after clones are made because plants have recovered well.
A healthy cannabis mother plant requires to be in the vegetative phase of growth. It has to receive more than 12 hours of light a day. Some commercial grow facilities use a vegetation chamber that needs an 18/6 day/night vegetation cycle so if you want to produce more clones in a short growth cycle, keep up with the 18/6 day/night for rapid growth.
Meanwhile, if you want them to grow slower since they are in a space of their own, you can do a 14/8 day/night cycle to keep them in vegetation. Vegetating a mother plant for general vegetation uses the same rules as for clones. The blue spectrum light of a metal halide lamp is beneficial to promote ideal vegetation.
Just like any other living beings, mother plants have a life cycle. Even with the utmost care, mother plants will not produce that much clones that is why you have to also reproduce from clones that have been fully developed to become healthy cannabis mother plants too. With proper care and attention is a must to achieve the goals you were dreaming. But sometimes there were instances that our plants could have, like diseases, pests, and malnutrition that we cannot see to happen, come in some ways that we must be prepared.
Nutritious Mother Cannabis Plants
As stated earlier, use a fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen and other micronutrients such as boron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and manganese because they each have different roles to have a healthy cannabis mother plant.
Boron is important for sugar, water, and calcium absorption in cannabis plants. It helps in the production, coloring, and formation of leaves.
Calcium is very important in having a healthy cannabis mother plant because it forms the parts of the walls of individual cells in the plant which is an important nutrient in the growth phase because it helps in the development of strong branches, roots, and stems.
Magnesium is also essential for plants in a vegetative state because it aids in the stimulation of chlorophyll formation, which is a group of pigments responsible for making a healthy mother cannabis plant’s leaves and veins.
Sulfur is another key nutrient in growing a mother plant because it helps in the production of proteins and the formation of chlorophyll in the healthy cannabis mother plant.
Manganese, on the other hand, has just the same function as magnesium and sulfur in producing chlorophyll because plants with low amounts of manganese will display yellowing chloroplasts and white or grey-spotted leaves which eventually die off.