Cloning is a skill that requires a little practice, but it’s not hard to do. This article is going to give you tips on taking cannabis clones and help you understand when and how to do it.
Cloning cannabis is easy to do once you understand the basics, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. In this article, we’re going to give you some cloning tips and show you how and when to take cannabis clones from the mother in 5 easy steps.
Taking clones is a basic skill every cannabis grower should learn at some point or another. You don’t need an elaborate setup. Just a few key tools, a workspace, and the cloning supplies checklist we’re going to give you in this article.
What Are Clones
Growers have been breeding all kinds of new strains in recent years. Eventually, those genetics are sent out into the world by seed or clone to other growers, who continue the strain by cloning it. Cloning cannabis is beneficial for a number of reasons such as:
- Preserving genetic profiles and diversity
- Allowing growers to produce a consistent product
- Harvesting faster than with seeds
- Saving money on seeds
Cannabis clones, or cuttings, are essentially genetic copies of the mother. The mother is a female cannabis plant that is selected for particular traits.
Clones vs. Seeds
Once your clones are established and growing well, they’re pretty much ready to go, allowing you to skip the process of germination. Clones are a great choice, as long as the mother had strong genetics. Bad clones make for plants at more risk of sickness or other issues, so talk to your clone supplier or choose the mother wisely.
When growing from cannabis seeds, you have a higher chance of having plants that could produce any number of traits from within that seed’s genetics. Usually, a strain will have a few different sub-varieties, called phenotypes, in which a particular seed plant exhibits unique characteristics not found in the parent strains.
Most strains will have a dominant phenotype that is the characteristic trait of that variety, and a couple of more rare phenotypes. Phenotypes are often desired among breeders for their unique terpene profiles.
You can read more about terpenes in our articles linked here.
Cloning Supplies Checklist
These are the basic items you’ll need to cut clones:
- Sanitized scissors, razor, or knife
- Cup of sterilized water
- Rooting solution
- Rooting medium
- Clone trays/containers
- Clone Humidor
- Clone Light
- Spray bottle with water
How To Cut Clones In 5 Easy Steps
1. Choosing Clones
Your mother plant needs to be big enough to take a few cuttings from and she should be in a vegetative state (not flowering) when you take the cuttings.
Pick a mother that has plenty of vigorous-looking shoots that are at least 5-8 inches in length. Cuttings taken from closer to the stem are best and you should look for lush, light green new growth.
2. When To Cut Clones
It’s best to cut clones in the evening or in low light conditions prior to having a period of no light, or darkness. This way, the new cuttings can rest up before the next day in their new homes. Prepare your cup of water and scissors or razor. Also go ahead and prepare your rooting solution and ready your soil medium into the clone tray or pots.
3. How To Cut Clones
Mist the mother with water or a light nutrient solution before cutting. With a clean blade, cut downward at a 45-degree angle without bending or breaking the fragile stem of the cutting. Place the cutting in a sterile and clean cup of water and continue taking all the cuttings you want. Remember, it’s possible some won’t make it.
4. Rooting Clones
You should now have your clone cuttings in a cup of water close to your rooting solution and clone tray or pot. Dip each clone individually into a rooting solution or gel. Aloe Vera works well and you can also find rooting solutions at any typical home and garden supply shop.
Press each clone’s stem gently into a starter medium, which can also be found at any home and garden supply store or online here. Be sure to get the stem in at least halfway. Repeat the process for all of your freshly cut clones.
5. Incubating Clones
Now you should have a tray or other type of container filled with newly planted clones. If using individual cups, placing them together into one insulating container will help them root faster and stronger. You can use a Styrofoam cooler or storage bin.
Clones like it warm, and it’s best to keep them indoors, in a greenhouse, or by a window during the first couple of weeks. Cover your tray or DIY insulator with a humidor, dome, or plastic wrap and make sure to keep it moist.
If the temperature is getting too cool, your clones might need some additional warmth provided by a heating pad. If it’s too hot, make sure to adjust accordingly so that your plants get some fresh air. Try to keep it around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
Let the clones rest a little bit before placing them under grow lights or outdoors. Clones that are growing indoors can take 24 hours a day of light, but research suggests that giving them at least a couple of hours to rest will produce better-rooting results.
After 7 to 10 days, check for signs of rooting and keep the clones moist with water, but make sure not to have the clones sitting in water. Also, avoid using nutrients for the first two weeks, as it can harm the root growth.
That’s it! Once your clones are rooted strongly, you can plant them into a bigger container.
Check out the links for our favorite picks on soil mediums and cloning supplies.
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Aaron Matthew is a cannabis writer, digital nomad, independent musician, and now a regular contributor to Growbay.com.