Cloning is a great way for growers to create an exact genetic copy of their favorite cannabis plant. This ensures that the plant’s characteristics, such as smell and potency, are passed on from the parent plant to the clone. In this article, we’ll cover the process behind creating your own cannabis clones. With the right tools, knowledge and some patience, you’ll soon become a master at keeping your favorite plants via the process of cloning.
Cannabis growers have been cloning marijuana plants since the 1960s in order to preserve their most robust plants and improve cannabis production. By farming multiple plants with identical genetic makeup, the growers were able to keep desirable traits and accurately scale their growth operation.
Lets dive into this topic below to learn more about this popularized method of multiplying your cannabis production that is easily manageable and scalable.
What is Cannabis Cloning?
Cannabis cloning is the process of creating a new, genetically identical plant from a parent plant. This is achieved by taking cuttings from a healthy mother plant and encouraging them to develop their own roots to become a separate plant. Cloning cannabis is a valuable practice that offers numerous benefits to growers of all levels. Some of the advantages of cannabis cloning are:
- Predictable yields. By using clones, growers can expect a consistent yield with near identical cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
- Ability to grow multiple plants with desirable genetic traits without having to germinate them from seeds which can be challenging without the right conditions.
- Ability to preserve important strains before they flower and eventually wilt.
Understanding how to clone cannabis is a crucial skill for any cannabis grower, whether they are working on a small personal batch of plants, or if they are managing a large-scale commercial operation.
Getting Started With Cloning Cannabis
Let’s start with learning how to set up the ideal grow room, select a rooting medium and starter cubes, prepare a rooting solution. Once you have all of the setup and items required, you can then chose your ideal female plant, take cuttings from the mother plant, and carefully examine it for healthy branches and roots before replanting.
Below we will explore the entire process in depth so you can become a professional cannabis cloner.
Preparing Your Cloning Environment
Preparing your cloning environment is crucial to successfully produce healthy cannabis clones. An environment that nurtures growth, provides nutrients, water and ventilation will ensure the best possible chance for your cannabis plants to thrive in a stress-free environment.
Setting up the Grow Room
The first step is to select a suitable grow area that provides enough space for cloning. A grow tent is an excellent option for maintaining a controlled environment and avoiding any external factors that can affect your plants’ growth. Once you have selected your grow tent or area, having proper ventilation, temperature, and humidity control systems will further improve your chances of successfully cloning your cannabis plant. Appropriate ventilation will keep the air fresh and avoid any stagnation that can lead to mold and mildew.
The temperature inside your grow area should be between 72-77 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the ideal temperature range for cannabis clones’ early stages of growth. Your humidity should be between 60-70%, which is optimal for clones to take root successfully. Maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity will prevent your clone from being too stressed.
Selecting a Rooting Medium and Starter Cubes
In all our years of cloning, there are a few rooting mediums we tried and trust. We have been able to consistently clone successfully with these mediums. Our recommendations are not only affordable, but they are also well-aerated and retains the right amount of moisture. Which can promote healthy root growth in new clones. So you can start cloning very easily with low risk of failure.
Our rooting medium recommendations:
- Rockwool: It provides superb airflow and moisture retention. This porous material is ideal for cannabis cultivation and provides the necessary structure for strong roots to develop.
- Rooting Cubes: They are typically made from either peat moss, coconut coir, or a mix of both. These cubes are great for cannabis clones as they retain moisture and promote healthy root growth.
- Soil: A great choice because it is a natural medium that is easily available and is capable of holding large amounts of water.
- Grow Sponges: Made from biodegradable fibers and come pre-treated with a rooting formula which can help promote healthy root growth.
Whichever rooting medium you choose, they all provide adequate air flow, and very affordable. To further improve your chances of promoting healthy root growth with your clone, the next step is to prepare the rooting solution.
Preparing the Rooting Solution
A rooting solution is a liquid that contains nutrients that will help your clones establish roots and begin the growth process.
To prepare the rooting solution, you’ll need to gather a few ingredients. Common nutrients used by cannabis growers for their cloning solutions include Clonex, Rhizopon, and Hormex. These products are specifically designed to help stimulate root growth and strengthen the overall health of the clone.
Here are the steps to producing the solution:
- You want to mix two and a half tablespoons of your cloning solution per 1 quart of water, (Depending on your chosen cloning solution)
- Adjust the pH level of the solution to about 5.5-6.5
- Soak your rooting medium with this solution.
- After soaking, allow your medium to drain appropriately to avoid water logging.
Every cloning solution has their own unique instructions. Some require your rooting medium to soak for a few hours. While others require you to soak them up to an entire day. Please be sure to time it correctly to avoid overexposure or under-use of the solution.
The Cloning Process
Now that you have prepared your environment for cloning cannabis. Its time to choose the mother plant with the traits you want. Some of the traits you might want to look for are:
- Strong branches and healthy leaves
- Strong roots
- High yield
- Quality buds
When choosing your branches, make sure that the clone has at least 3 sets of leaves on it and a good amount of stem.
Choosing the Mother Plant or Parent Plant
To successfully clone a cannabis plant, it is important to begin with choosing a healthy female cannabis plant. When choosing a mother plant, you are looking for plants that have strong roots, healthy branches, and high quality buds. Secondly, it would be best if this plant is still in the vegetative stage. Because clones that are cut from a plant in the flowering stage have a harder time producing roots.
Please choose a plant that is at least 8 weeks old and in its vegetative stage. In this stage, the plant will have good growth and be the strongest and healthiest it can be. Additionally, the plant should be free of any signs of disease and be growing vigorously.
Furthermore, you should stop feeding your plants nutrients a few days before taking cuttings. This allows the plant to use up all its remaining nutrients, by doing this, the plant will have less nutrient stored in its leaves, making it easier for the plant to redirect its energy to root production. Which can significantly increase the chance of successful rooting.
Examining for Healthy Branches and Roots on Parent Plant
- It’s important to check the Parent plant for any signs of disease or pests. Any indication of disease or pests can quickly spread to the clone plants and cause a negative impact on their growth.
- Next, examine the Parent plant for vibrant and robust branches that have sturdy stems to support the clone’s growth. In general, healthy branches are green and may have a slight flexibility when bent. If they snap easily, it’s an indicator that the branch may be too dry, brittle, or unhealthy. In contrast, branches that are drooping or wilted may be an indication of over-watering or poor nutrition.
- Check for an abundant root system that are not root bound where the roots are bunched together and difficult to pull apart without breaking. Healthy roots are white roots that should look plump. Keep in mind that if the roots are brown, slimy, or showing any signs of decay, then it’s a sign that the plant might have been over-watered and will likely not be good candidate for cloning.
Tips for selecting healthy branches from the parent plant
When selecting healthy branches from the mother plant, there are a few key signs to look out for.
- Make sure that the branch has at least three sets of leaves and is a minimum of 4-6 inches long. This will ensure that there is enough foliage to support the new clone plant.
- Check for healthy stems and a good amount of root hairs. Stems should be thick and sturdy enough to support the clone’s growth without breaking. Root hairs should be white and abundant, if they are brown or slimy then the branch might not develop into a successful marijuana clone.
- Examine the leaves for any signs of discoloration or damage. If there are yellowing leaves or any other signs of disease, then it would be best to select another branch from the mother plant.
- Finally, make sure that you take all precautionary steps when selecting a branch, as you don’t want to damage the parent plant in the process.
Once you have selected the healthy branches you want to use for cloning, the next step is to take cuttings from those branches.
Taking Clone Cuttings from the Mother Plant
With the Parent plant in hand,
Once you’ve selected a branch, it’s time to begin the cutting process.
- Grab a pair of scissors and make your first cut above the node on the mother plant. This will ensure that your clone cuttings have access to all the necessary nutrients and water it needs to grow into a healthy clone.
- Next, use a razor blade to make a cut underneath the bottom node at a 45-degree angle. This will promote root growth and increase the chances of a successful clone. Remember to handle the cutting with care to avoid damaging it during this process.
Placing Cuttings in Starter Cubes or Directly into Growing Mediums
Once you have your cutting, you can gently dip the stem of your cutting into the cloning solution, and then place it directly into the growing medium.
You can do this by gently pressing the cutting into your medium and leave 2″ of space between the stem and the bottom of your growing medium. The stem needs to be buried deep enough for proper root growth, but not so deep that it cannot get enough oxygen.
Creating Optimal Light Conditions for New Clone Plants
Optimal light conditions will encourage the new clone to develop strong branches and healthy roots. After placing the cuttings in the medium, it’s recommended to reduce light exposure for the first few days to give the roots time to develop and take hold. You can gradually increase light exposure as the roots grow.
Once the weed clone has grown healthy roots, they usually require 18 hours of indirect light and 6 hours of complete darkness for optimal growth. Too much direct light will actually impede the clone from developing healthily. Following the lighting schedule above will help encourage strong branches and healthy roots while also promoting photosynthesis during the vegetative stage of growth.
Start cloning your healthy mother plants today
With a new clone that is already in the vegetative stage, it will only take 8 days for the clone to root, and then 30 days of growth to reach the flowering stage. Which is much faster than growing a plant from seeds.
As the days go by, you’ll notice new roots and branches forming on your clone as it transitions into the flowering stage! Now that you’ve learned the basics of cloning cannabis plants, it’s time to get started! With proper care, patience, and dedication, you’ll soon be able to keep your favorite strains for the long run.