While you’ll want the bulk of your crop or crops to come from seed-grown plants, cloning can be a great way to quickly grow a favorite crop, and they can supplement your other plants for only the very small cost of maintaining the resulting clone. Many growers, especially beginners, are intimidated at the thought of cloning but the process can actually be even easier than growing a plant from seed.
How to clone, step-by-step
Start by choosing the “mother plant”, the plant you choose to clone. Select one from a strain that you particularly like, and choose a plant that is healthy, with at least 6 nodes and that is at least two months old. For growers with many different types of seed-grown plants, this can sometimes be the hardest part! Once you’ve chosen the mother plant, the cloning process can really begin.
- You will need something very clean and very sharp, such as scissors or a razor blade, to take the cutting. Carefully sterilize the blade with rubbing alcohol.
- Choose where you’re going to cut very carefully. Avoid woody branches, and don’t cut one of the fan leaves. Instead select a branch that’s a vibrant green and quite low on the plant, with at least two or three nodes on it. Make a diagonal cut about ¼” below the node.
- Once the cutting has been taken, you need to root it right away. You can do this with just water, but it’s better to use a rooting gel or powder such as Clonex rooting gel. Do this by removing any of the leaves at the bottom of the cutting, and splitting the ends slightly. Dip the ends gently into the rooting gel.
- Gently place the cutting into your growing medium of choice such as Rockwool cubes or good quality potting soil. Do not force the cutting in, as it’s very fragile at this stage. Make a hole with your finger and gently place in the cutting, being careful as you place the soil back around the plant once it’s been placed.
- Mist the clone or clones with water and place them under a cloning hood. Make sure that their roots have no access to light.
- Place lights ten inches away to ensure you don’t burn the young cuttings, and move them closer as the clone grows.
Cloning marijuana can be a great way to get a high yield for relatively low effort, but it’s also important to remember that the bulk of your crops should come from seed-grown plants in order to have a good mix of plants. It’s also important to remember that if you’ve purchased auto flowering seeds, you will not be able to clone these plants.
Auto flowering seeds have risen in popularity lately because they are not dependent on a photo-period for growth but rather, their age. This can make for plants that grow very quickly and bring with them a number of other benefits however, the ability to clone is not one of them.