Cannabis clones do best if their cut stems have a lot of carbohydrates and root growth hormones. If you plan to make your own cuttings, take these steps to prepare the mother plants:
In this article, first we’ll cover the basics of taking a cutting and rooting it. Then we’ll help you find the best cloning gels for your needs.
TIP: Kill two birds with one stone, take cuttings from your current crop at around week two or three of vegetation phase while topping. (Why then? Because the younger the mother plant the better the genetics. Better still when the plant’s not too far away from flowering.)
- Use new razor blades that will make for a clean cut with as little damage as possible to the plants, and wash your hands before you cut
- Sanitize the blades because you don’t want disease or infections in your new clones
- Moisten the rooting plugs with water and drill holes in them to fit the cuttings—leave about half an inch at the bottom undrilled
- Also prepare a container with clean water to hold the cuttings if you are cutting several
- Have rooting gel ready to coat the cut stems.
Once you’ve placed the cuttings into the rooting cubes or soil, keep them moist for the first few days. They will be eating and drinking from their leaves because they don’t have roots. Mist the leaves and keep the humidity level around 80 to 90 percent. If the soil pH is acidic, like 5.0 to 5.5, that’s great for clones that need to grow roots.
- For three or four days before you take the cuttings, flush the mother plant with lots of water to reduce her nitrogen levels (misting the leaves with lots of water is the easiest way unless you’re growing hydroponically)
- As nitrogen falls, carbohydrates increase, and that’s good for cuttings
- Plan to take cuttings close to the main stem of the plant so that there is a higher concentration of root growth hormones.
Growing cannabis from clones is faster and easier than starting with seeds. Plus, you won’t need to sex the plants as they mature. If you’re interested in cloning and raising clones, the best investment you can make is cloning gel.
Cloning gel is the simplest rooting hormone to use. You don’t need to mix up a solution from powder, dilute a concentrate or get the formula right. The gel both protects the cut like a Band-aid and infuses the plant with the growth hormones and nutrients it needs to build healthy roots fast.
Cloning gel (also known as rooting gel) helps the clones recover from cutting and grow roots as quickly as possible. It increases your chances for a successful grow. It saves you money and time in the long run.
Cloning is quicker than seed starting with identical genetics to your best buds. MaryJane teaches the steps and reviews the best cloning gels.
Plug in the heat mat and place it beneath the 10″ x 20″ propagation tray. Add about a half-inch of rinsed perlite to the tray. The perlite will raise the cubes above the bottom of the tray, preventing them from getting too warm. It also allows airflow beneath the cubes and spurs roots to grow down toward the water below.
Vigorously shake the cloning gel and pour it into the shot glass, filling it halfway. This is a better alternative to placing the cut branches directly into the bottle, which can cause contamination. Position your glass dish, shot glass, cloning gel and scalpels as near as possible to the dome. Keeping everything close within the sanitized area will help reduce stress and the risk of infection for the clones.
Now that you understand your role, I will explain in 10 easy steps how to produce healthy, robust and vigorous clones, West Coast Masters–style!
Micro-propagation or “tissue culture” is the relatively new science of growing plants in vitro (in test tubes) from single cells found in certain parts of the plant—a leaf, stem or flower specimen. Due to the high volatility of these specimens, such procedures must be performed in sterile laboratories commonly unavailable to most home-based cannabis growers. This article will explain everything you need to know to confidently clone your plants with a near-perfect success rate using branches as your starting material.
*Indicates reusable items
The final cut should be made through the center of the fifth node from the tip of the branch. The cut should be made at approximately a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area of the wound from which the roots will grow. Once the cut is made, quickly remove the cutting from the water, gently shake off the excess water, and place the cut end into the cloning gel contained in the shot glass. Let the cutting sit in the gel for about 15 seconds and then transfer it into its corresponding rockwool cube.
Resist the urge to push the cut end of the clone down beyond the bottom of the hole in the cube. If the diameter of the cutting’s stem is equal to or greater than the diameter of the hole, it will fit securely enough. Pushing it down into the rockwool can harm the stem and stress out the clone.
Until the clones have developed roots, they will rely heavily on their leaves to absorb the water vapor they need to stay healthy and hydrated. Some growers cut off the tips of the fan leaves in an effort to increase the surface area with which the leaves can absorb water vapor. Using a humidity dome and heating mat provides enough moisture that cutting the leaves is unnecessary. I only do it to reduce the size of overly large leaves instead of removing them entirely.
Countless strains can blame their extinction on faulty labeling. No matter how good your memory is or how well you think you can identify each of your strains, mistakes are made from time to time. The best policy is to label everything. Write the name of the strain directly on the sides of the rockwool cubes and label the outside of the tray using pieces of duct tape. Just to be extra sure that everyone is well accounted for, make a diagram of their arrangement in your grow journal.
All of the items on the following list can be purchased for around $100, and many of them are reusable. Clones don’t require their own light during the process if they’re already in a well-lit veg room. If your clones will be kept outside of the veg room during the rooting process, any fluorescent light will suffice.
Before doing anything else, use bleach wipes to sanitize the area in which the tray will sit, as well as all other surfaces within your workspace. Be sure to sterilize all of the tools and equipment using a clean paper towel soaked with 99% alcohol. As a final precaution, sterile gloves should be worn throughout the entire process. Please remember that cleanliness is the key to successful cloning.
A clone is simply a cutting—i.e., a severed part of the plant—that grows roots and eventually stabilizes as a genetic replica of its donor. This is possible because each of the plant’s individual cells contain all of the information necessary to reconstruct the whole plant, a kind of genetic copy of its “blueprints.” If a cutting is taken and rooted in another location, that cutting has the potential to grow into an exact replica of the mother plant it was taken from. This means that any branch, leaf, stem or flower, no matter how big or small, can generate an infinite number of genetic facsimiles if the conditions are right.
A clone is simply a cutting—i.e., a severed part of the plant—that grows roots and eventually stabilizes as a genetic replica of its donor. This is possible bec