Cloning is one of the easiest and fastest ways for cannabis growers to make many new (and basically free) weed plants at once! Learn how to start cloning today! If you want to save time and space when growing marijuana, clones can be a great option for starting a marijuana garden. Learn how to clone weed plants from the experts at Leafly. Cloning is an awesome strategy to propagate plants in a cheaper way and to maintain good genetics!
Picture Guide to Cloning Marijuana
What is a cannabis “clone?” What are the advantages of taking marijuana clones? Well, first of all, cloning is one of the easiest and fastest ways for cannabis growers to make many new (and basically free) weed plants at once!
Cloning cannabis is the process of making a smaller copy of a specific cannabis plant. Basically, a clone is a little piece of plant that has been cut off (a “cutting”) from a parent plant and then given the opportunity to make roots of its own.
Cannabis clones are cuttings from a marijuana plant – these cuttings make roots of their own and grow into an identical plant as the “mother!”
Each cannabis clone has the same genes and is a genetic copy of its parent. That means if the parent of the clone is a female, you are guaranteed that all the clones taken from that cannabis plant will be female, too. Why do cannabis growers care about plant gender?
Cloning cannabis lets you make dozens of (practically free) identical cannabis plants quickly! Save your favorite plants to grow again!
Growers can take many clones of a single marijuana plant, and this is an easy way to get many plants that will grow the same way as the mother plant and produce buds with similar characteristics (smell, taste, potency, etc).
What’s Great About Growing Cannabis Clones?
- a clone is an exact copy of a specific cannabis plant, which means clones share the same genes and will grow very similar to each other and their mother plant
- you know a lot about a cannabis clone already since you know what their parent plant was like. While there’s a lot of variation between plants grown from seed, even if they’re the same strain, with clones you’ll have inside information on how the clone will grow, what yields to expect, and the bud potency (plus other characteristics that can vary in a strain like bud color, smell, etc)
- you can easily take many clones at once from a single cannabis plant, for dozens of brand new plants that will be available in about a week
- low cost – besides cloning supplies (which can be as simple as scissors and a glass of water), making clones is basically free
- you can take clone at most points of a cannabis plant’s life – although clones may root a little faster in the vegetative stage, you can take clones up until 2-3 weeks before harvest in order to save your favorite plant for the next grow (though make sure to pinch off any buds and expect some weird looking growth for the first week or two on cannabis clones taken from flowering plants)
- clones get a head-start compared to seedlings – Unlike a seedling, each clone is the same “age” as the parent and therefore is completely mature. As a result, clones grow much faster in the first few weeks compared to seed-grown plants, especially for a larger clone. A newly rooted clone will grow faster than a similarly sized plant grown from seed!
- clones are a good choice for Sea of Green or 12/12 from seed techniques – Since marijuana clones are already mature, a clone not only grows faster vegetatively but can also be changed to the flowering stage immediately to create a Sea of Green or 12/12 from seed cannabis garden.
- clones are not for everyone – many growers want to grow just a few plants of different strains. For these growers it may be better to start with seeds because seeds give you the ability to easily grow many different strains at once without having to maintain extra plants
For many cannabis growers, taking cuttings and cloning can be a great way of propagating a cannabis strain or a particularly nice cannabis plant without ever having to ever worry about male plants or making or buying seeds. Each clone is free!
Like just about every important marijuana growing technique, there is controversy about the best way to clone cannabis plants. There are many effective techniques to clone plants and this tutorial will teach you how to clone today, but no matter what, cloning should only be used with the healthiest, most desirable plants you have. Although technically you can take a clone from any plant at almost any point in its life, you want to take clones of your best plants that have proven to be winners!
Today I will walk you through the entire process of cloning marijuana, and clear up some of the myths and misinformation.
How Cloning Marijuana Works
At it’s simplest, cloning basically means cutting off a piece of plant and sticking it in the ground! New roots grow out of the stem, and soon you have a new cannabis plant!
If you study cannabis clones, you can see the roots actually grow directly out of the stem
Thanks to HerbLion for this incredible cannabis cloning roots picture!
What You Will Need
- A “mother” plant to get your clones from
- Sharp scissors or a razor Fiskars are popular with cannabis growers for taking cuttings for clones, defoliation and trimming. They have a small spring that keeps them open, saving your fingers a little work and letting you pay more attention to your plants. I’ve found you can usually find them at Home Depot!
- Starter Cubes to place your new clones in (I like Rapid Rooters)
- Cloning gel or cloning powder (or both) – Optional
- Strong, but Not Too Strong Light – CFLs, T5 grow lights, Metal Halide from far away, etc Many T5 models are designed specifically for clones and seedlings, like the one pictured below. Other more powerful grow lights (like a Metal Halide) can be used if kept further away. Sunlight will also do the trick!
- 7″ Humidity Dome For Clones (7″ Vented Dome & Tray) or (Optional)Aeroponic Semi-Automatic Cloner
- (Optional)Heating Mat(especially for cool climates)
Quick Video Overview of the Cannabis Cloning Process
How To Take a Cannabis Clone
Before anything, clean and disinfect all your tools, and get everything ready, including setting out everything mentioned in the “What You Will Need to Clone Cannabis” section.
Take clones from “mature” cannabis plants – if the leaves are alternating (not connecting at the exact same part of the stem) the plant is ready to clone. Here’s an example of a marijuana stem with alternating leaves/nodes, perfect for cloning.
Mature cannabis stem for cloning
Soak your starter cubes for a couple of minutes in the water. You don’t need to soak them for days, a few minutes is fine.
Choose a spot where there is new branching and a new top, and cut a little bit below that. Just firmly grab the new growth and cut the branch away at a 45-degree angle. New cuttings should be 5-8 inches (10-20 cm) long.
When possible, take clones from vigorous growth tips from the lower half of your plant, as they have more rooting hormones than branches toward the top and will grow roots faster. However, clones taken from any part of the plant will work as long as they have a nice growth tip at the end..
Basically, you just want to cut away a small part of the plant. The roots will grow out of the “cut” you made, and the rest of the cutting will start growing into an individual plant.
Cut 5-8 inches (10-20 cm) below cannabis growth tip
Many growers gently scrape or even split the bottom of the cutting so more “raw” insides get exposed. As you can see from the pictures below, the roots grow most easily from the parts of the stem that are raw, so scraping and splitting exposes more “insides,” which gives more surface areas for roots to grow out of and promotes faster rooting.
Immediately put your new marijuana cutting in a glass of water! This will help prevent bubbles from getting in the stem!
Trim off any huge lower leaves or node points from the new cutting and clip the top fan leaves if they’re big. Clipping the leaves helps prevent the weed clone from “over-exerting” itself trying to turn light into food, when the plant should be focused on roots.
You can take cannabis clones using just plain water, and your cuttings will make roots just sitting in the water that way. Some growers use rooting hormones and other cloning products to help the plant root faster.
If you do plan to dip your cuttings, take your cuttings from the water and dip your newly scrapped cutting immediately into rooting hormone powder or gel to seal off air bubbles and give your cutting what it needs to start making roots. Some growers will use gel and then powder afterwards to get the best of both.
Make sure you coat the entire bottom of the cutting, so that all the parts of the clone that get put into your starter cube is covered in gel.
Place the new clone into a moistened starter cube, and press around the bottom to make sure everything is sealed and no air can get to the rooting area.
If you have an automatic cloner, this is when you would place the new clone inside.
When you recreate the right conditions, you don’t need a cloner or humidity dome, yet these types of devices make successful cloning and root growth happen practically by itself.
Yet if you follow the steps in this article, it’s not a matter of if your clones will take root, but just a matter of when. Almost 100% of clones will take root if you follow these instructions and just giver her enough time.
In the next section I’ll explain exactly what your new clones need to thrive.
How To Nurture Your New Clones
Clones like warm, wet conditions.
Your clones need to get their water through their leaves right now because their roots haven’t formed.
That’s why a nice humid cloner works great, or you can mist your plants a few times a day until they start forming roots.
Some growers will use a heating pad under their clones to help keep things warm.
A little warmer than room temperature 72-77 °F (22-25 °C ) is perfect. Many automatic cloners come with a heat setting.
Some growers don’t use any grow lights at all for the first 1-2 days while clones get settled. Other growers do give light right from the beginning. It’s common to leave new clones in a warm, bright area for the first day or two, for example with a relatively weak grow light like a CFL bulb.
Leave your grow lights on an 18/6 (Light/Dark) for your new clones. Don’t give new clones 24 hours of light, without any dark periods. This can slow down the rooting process. Rooting seems to happen best when there’s some amount of darkness each day.
The most important thing is to keep a close eye on your new clones until they’ve become well-established
Each clone will grow into a full sized marijuana plant!
beautiful cannabis cloning pics by B. Clement
Cloning Grow Lights
For the first 10 days and especially for the first 3-4 days, you don’t want to use full-strength light on your new clones.
Clones want light from the beginning, but as they are focusing on making roots they don’t want a whole lot since they aren’t as strong as rooted plants!
Cheap CFLs or other fluorescent grow lights like T5s are great cloning lights, as they’re not too intense. If you have just a small tent or cupboard to keep your clones, you can find CFLs at the grocery store, home improvement stores, even your local mini-mart! FLuorescent grow lights can be kept about 8-9″ above your clones.
HID grow lights like Metal Halide and High-Pressure Sodium bulbs can work well for clones but need to be kept 2-3+ feet away from new clones so they don’t get scorched.
If you do start with intense lights, treat your cuttings like seedlings until your clones have formed strong roots. For example, a 400W HPS grow light is good about 30 inches away from the top of your clones while they’re rooting.
If you’re growing in rockwool cubes or other starter cubes like Rapid Rooters, then you know your clones are ready to be transplanted and receive regular light when you actually see the roots coming out the bottom of the cubes.
Remember, new clones are weak, and they should be treated gently like seedlings until they start growing vigorously. But within just a week or so, you will have fast-growing plants that are much bigger than any week-old seedling!
And remember to be patient if it’s your first time. Almost every cutting will take root if you just wait long enough, and keep providing the right conditions. Some plants will root in just a few days, 7 days is average, but some clones can take 2 weeks (or even more) to start showing roots!
Cannabis Cloning Tips
1.) Keep the leaves of each new clone gently moist – clones love misty conditions (especially the first week after taking a cutting)
This is why many growers buy cloners, or a tray with a humidity dome (a clear plastic top to put over their plants), since they will keep your cuttings nice and moist for you and practically automate the whole process. However, with a humidity dome, it’s extra important to keep an eye out for mold.
If you don’t have a humidity dome (or even if you do) it can be a good idea to mist each clone with water after you’re done to keep them moist. If you can mist your clones a couple of times a day so they don’t dry out, you may be able to skip the clear top altogether. Another option is put the clear top over your plants while you’re away from your grow area(like when you’re at work), then take it off while you’re around to check on your clones and mist them regularly with water.
Most domes have vents to let them expel extra air, and you will want to open them if it starts looking too misty in there!
2.) Give each clone a little something extra to help make roots
In addition to cloning gel or powder, some growers recommend spraying the leaves with a very mild nutrient solution, as the clones can absorb a tiny bit of nutrients through their leaves.
Cannabis growers may also add a small amount of …
>>> Vitamin B-1 (Hormex Vitamin B-1 Rooting Hormone)
>>> Potassium silicate protectant (“Dyna-Gro Pro-tekt” is a great source that has been time-tested for cloning marijuana)
To promote root growth, try to give new clones a minimum level of nitrogen and possibly increased levels of phosphorus. Basically, any sort of flowering nutrients would be well suited to give to new clones. However, make sure if you’re feeding them nutes to give them only 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended amounts for seedlings!
3.) Use rooting powder or gel (that has been properly stored)
When creating clones, many people prefer to use some sort of cloning solution or powder, which contain hormones that help the clone root and can be purchased from a grow shop, garden store, or off the internet. Rootech Cloning Gel is a great choice. Gels tend to evenly coat the plant much better than powders, but if you’re not sure you can use both!
Store your rooting powder or gel in a cool, dark, dry place and never use “contaminated” rooting powder or gel.
If the package was unsealed when you got it, or if you’ve dropped anything into the rooting hormone, discard and get a fresh package. Foreign materials like leaves, dirt, dust, etc can cause bad stuff to grow in your gel or powder, and will negatively affect your cloning results.
- Some cloning gels come with a handy applicator tip, which makes it easier to use and reduces waste and the chance of contamination.
4.) Take cuttings from a well-established and healthy plant
You will tend to get better results if you use clones from a well-established plant (at least two months old). Younger plants may not be totally mature, and their clones can take a lot longer to root, or may not root at all.
If you grow a plant in the vegetative stage for about 2-3 months, you will be able to get dozens of clones off a single plant.
It’s completely fine if you plan on just taking a couple of clones from a plant then letting it continue growing. In fact, it’s best to take the clones off the bottom of the plant since these clones tend to take root in much less time than clones taken from the top of the plant.
5.) Take clones off the bottom of the plant for faster rooting, off the top of the plant for faster flowering
If getting plants to root as fast as possible, it’s best to take the clones off the bottom of the plant since these clones tend to have more root hormones and tend to take root in less time as clones taken from the top of the plant.
If you want to flower the plant right away to determine the gender, then you’ll often have better luck taking a clone from the top of the plant, which tends to be more primed to flowering.
6.) Prepare the mother plant for cloning if you can
If possible, give a potential mother less nitrogen then usual when feeding for a week or two before cloning as this will promote better rooting in her clones. Regular flowering nutrients work well.
7.) Take more clones than you need
Save yourself a boatload of frustration by always taking more cuttings than you need. You will lose a few clones in the beginning, but I promise it will get easier.
Some clones take longer to root. I’ve had a clone that didn’t really do anything for almost a month (it didn’t wilt or grow) and I was just about to throw it away before it suddenly exploded with new growth and became a healthy adult plant. However, it’s usually a lot easier to take many extra marijuana clones and throw away any that are taking longer than the others to make roots.
8.) Don’t forget to label every cannabis clone, or you will regret it!
You might be amazed at how much you can forget in the week it takes for roots to form
9.) A cannabis clone from a flowering plant will grow differently at first, this is normal!
You want to take clones off a cannabis plant when it’s in the vegetative stage if possible because cuttings will root faster, but you can also take clones from a flowering plant if you have a prize plant you want to save. When taking clones from a flowering cannabis plant, choose clones from the bottom of the plant and immediately pinch away any buds you see. Other than that you can treat new clones exactly the same as any other.
Clones from flowering plants may grow more “bushy” than their parent plant, and will often show other strange growing patterns especially in the first few weeks after being cloned (for example rounded leaves). It’s completely normal for clones taken during the flowering stage to have weird leaves and growth patterns for the first few weeks.
Marijuana clones taken from a flowering plant will display strange growth for the first few weeks, but leaves will soon start growing normally again.
10.) Choosing and taking care of “mother” plants
Pictured to the left is an example of a “mother” plant. This plant is known to be female, so all her clones will be female too.
All clones are genetically identical to the plant you took them from. So if you have an incredible specimen of a plant, you can make more plants that will have all very similar characteristics as the mother cannabis plant. You can take dozens of clones from a single plant. In fact anywhere there’s a “growth tip” will yield a clone!
Cloning Cannabis: How to pick a valuable female plant to clone
As the grower, you’re looking for hardy female plants with fast growth, big roots, huge yields, and potent buds.
Now it is generally recommended to take clones during the vegetative stage of marijuana because clones taken during the flowering stage can have a much harder time taking root. However, if you take clones from the bottom of a cannabis plant in the flowering stage, you can usually get it to clone by pinching off any buds and following the normal steps. This can be a great way to save a plant that is performing really well in the flowering stage!
Note: Some growers take clones during the flowering stage on purpose, with a technique known as Monster Cropping. Clones taking during the flowering stage can sometimes display unusual growth patterns and can become crazy branching monsters. Depending on the grow setup, this can be taken advantage of. Learn about monster cropping and other ultra-advanced techniques in this guide (for SERIOUS growers only).
Ok, so you want to take clones during the vegetative stage if possible, yet how do you choose the best mother plants that will give you the most potent buds and greatest yields? You don’t know how the plant is going to turn out yet since she’s still in the vegetative stage.
You could just choose to clone any plant, and maybe that’s what you want to do if this is your first time cloning. Yet if you want to get the best results, you should choose to grow clones from only the best plants.
But how do you know which plants are going to be good when you have to clone in the vegetative stage?
How do you even know if the plant is a boy or a girl?
This is where things get a little bit tricky…
There are two major ways to identify male and female plants in the vegetative stage. Looking at pre-flowers or taking an early clone and flowering it.
Although you can identify the gender of a cannabis plant when it’s just 3-6 weeks old from seed, you may choose to clone your plant earlier, and therefore won’t know the gender. To get around this, you can always take clones of all your plants right before you put them into the flowering stage. This will give you a “copy” just in case any of your plants end up blowing you away with their quality.
Keep these clones in the vegetative stage and allow them to start growing. I have a vegetative tent and flowering tent, and I just stick new, healthy clones in the vegetative tent until I’m ready to flower them.
Continue to nurture these new clones and allow them to start growing into full-size plants. Meanwhile, as your main garden starts flowering, the “parent” plants will start revealing their true characteristics.
At this point, throw away any clones that came from a male plant, or from a plant which grows slowly. You’ll be glad you labeled them!
After harvest, you will know which plants had the best yields, growth, etc. Keep the clones you took from these best plant(s). These clones will become your “mother” plants which you can take further clones from whenever you need new babies.
How do you keep a mother plant from getting too big?
You can easily keep a mother plant in the vegetative stage for two years or more as long as you keep the plant under a vegetative light schedule. Any clones can be kept in the same place until you’re ready to move them into your main growing area. Make sure the mother plant is well-fed and happy so that any clones you take off her are healthy and strong.
However, if you keep light and nutrient levels low, the plant will tend to grow slower, so you can keep the genetics without growing a huge plant. You can take clones off the top of the plant to help control height, and plant training can be used to train a plant to grow into almost any size and shape.
Enjoy the power of marijuana cloning!
Cloning gives you the power to take one plant and get unlimited new cannabis plants for practically forever! You can clone clones without a problem. Each new clone is a genetic copy of the original plant.
Take your newfound power and let’s help overgrow the world
About Nebula Haze:
Medical marijuana is important to me as an epilepsy patient, and I’m dedicated to showing you how easy it can be to grow your own medical-grade buds.
I believe people should be able to grow cannabis in the privacy of their own homes! I have made it my mission in life to build the best growing resources available so anyone with an internet connection can become an advanced grower!
Are You Ready To Go Pro With Your Garden?
I know you are dedicated to growing the best marijuana possible.
Advanced techniques like monster cropping, which was mentioned in this article, are not for the faint of heart.
Learn the most advanced growing tactics and techniques right here:
FOR SERIOUS GROWERS ONLY
You need to learn this plant’s language if you want to grow real chronic buds and get the best yields possible.
So you could spend years and years learning from trial and error…
Or you can take the shortcut to consistently producing outstanding results by learning from real growers who have done all the work for you.
Every experienced grower has their own grow style, and over time as you get exposed to more info, you will begin to finely tune your personal grow style.
Now, there is a lot of great info in Ryan Riley’s Growing Elite Marijuana book. If you read the entire thing from front to back, even a totally experienced grower will learn something, and probably a whole lot of things. For a beginner, this book has literally everything you will need to know.
As you probably know, the growing forums can be a rough place to learn how to grow weed, You must be on the lookout for bad information and will always be second-guessing whether this or that person in the forums actually knows what they’re talking about. That’s why investing in growing books by known pros will pay off in the long run.
I’ve read several marijuana books over the last decade (read some of my reviews about the best growing marijuana books), and learned a lot from all of them. Each book I’ve read has leveled up my growing skills.
Now the price tag for this resource is pretty high, so it’s only recommended for growers who want to go pro with their growing skills. Still, I’m glad that I invested in this book, and I definitely have gotten my money’s worth out of it 100x over via increased yields and saved time/frustration. If the price of this book is going to kill your growing budget, then you are going to have a tough time growing elite marijuana anyway.
This book isn’t for you if you’re just looking to grow a tiny amount of buds to smoke a few times a year.
Yet if you’re a daily toker like me and are dedicated to growing a constant supply of chronic buds for as cheap and easy as possible, you’ll be glad you invested in Ryan Riley’s ultimate guide to growing.
How to clone cannabis plants
A clone is a cutting, such as a branch, that is cut off of a living marijuana plant, which will then grow into a plant itself. A clone has the same genetic makeup as the plant it was taken from, which is called the mother plant.
A typical clone is about 6 inches in length, give or take, and after cutting it off the mother plant, the clone is put into a medium such as a root cube and given a hormone to encourage root growth.
After roots develop, it is then transplanted into a pot or the ground, and it will grow like any weed plant.
Why clone cannabis plants?
If you don’t want to mess with seeds, clones can be a great option for starting a marijuana plant. Growing weed from a clone will save you time—even though they need time to root out, you don’t have to germinate seeds, which will shave off a month or so of the growing process.
Clones will also save space in your garden—with seeds, you have to grow many and sex them out to identify and get rid of the males. Also, usually some seeds don’t germinate. You’ll need extra space for all those seeds, and they might not even turn into full plants.
If you take a clone from a plant you already have, they’re free! You just need to invest in some supplies. Although, you can buy clones from a dispensary if you want.
One of the best things about clones is they are exact genetic replicas of the mother plant from which they were taken. If you have a particular marijuana plant you like, whether for its appearance, smell, effects, or something else, you can take clones of it and grow it again, ad infinitum.
There is some speculation that clones can degrade over time based on environment stressors and other factors, but that is open to debate.
What is a cannabis mother plant?
A mother plant is any cannabis plant you take a clone from. Mothers should be healthy and sturdy, as their genetics will pass on to the clones—if you have a sickly mother plant, its clones will also be sickly.
Mother plants always stay in the vegetative stage as clones are clipped off. It’s important to not take cuttings off a flowering weed plant—this can cause the clone to turn into a hermaphrodite and may also damage the flowering plant.
Some growers have dedicated mother plants only for taking cuttings, but this setup takes up a lot of space and materials—you’ll need to keep the mother plant alive, but you won’t get any buds off it because it’ll always stay in the vegetative stage. Some growers find it hard to justify devoting time, energy, and space to plants that won’t produce buds. If your grow space is tight, this might not be the best setup.
Another method growers employ is to take cuttings off a set of mother plants before they flower, then flip the mothers into the flowering stage. The next generation of clones is grown, and when those get big enough, cuttings will be taken from those before getting flipped into flower. Because clones are genetically identical, each generation will be an exact copy of the first-generation mother and all subsequent mothers.
Cannabis mother plants guarantee genetic consistency, so each new generation of clones taken will have the same taste, flavor, effects, and other characteristics. Clones will also generally grow at the same rate as the mother, produce a similar quality product, and grow with the same vigor, allowing you to dial in your process and really get to know how to grow that particular weed plant.
Clones also guarantee that all of your weed plants are females, so you don’t have to spend time growing from seed, sexing plants, and discarding males.
What to look for in a mother plant
As genetics are identical between a mother and a clone, it’s important to choose a good plant as a mother. A wilty plant, or one that doesn’t produce good buds, won’t make a good mother.
Growers usually look for these qualities in a mother plant:
- Sturdy, vibrant growth
- Great aromas and flavors
- Big yields
- Dense trichomes
- Resistent to pests and mold
How to clone a cannabis plant
What do you need to clone cannabis?
Cloning cannabis is relatively easy and requires just a few key items:
- Scissors (for taking cuttings off the mother plant)
- Razor (for trimming up cuttings)
- Rooting setup (tray/tray-cell insert/dome/root cubes/heat mat, or an auto-cloner)
- Rooting hormone
Choose a rooting medium and setup
Common rooting mediums include rooting cubes, rockwool, or other non-soil equivalents like peat or foam. Rockwool is melted rock that has been spun into a fine thread, and it has terrific airflow and moisture retention. You can find any of these cubes at most grow stores or online.
If you’re using cubes of any kind, you’ll need to invest in a tray, a tray-cell insert, and a dome. The clones will go in the cubes, the cubes into the tray-cells, and all of that sits in a tray which will hold water. To keep in humidity, make sure to use a dome over your tray, and you may even want to use a heat mat.
Another method is to use an auto-cloner. There is an initial cost for buying an auto-cloner, but if you plan on cloning a lot, they are worth it. Auto-cloners cut down on the amount of labor needed to care for clones. Using aeroponics, these machines spray the bottoms of your cuttings with nutrient water at set intervals to promote root growth.
Experiment to see which setup works best for you. Whichever method you choose, make sure your new clones get plenty of light—preferably 18 hours—and humidity.
For more info on cloning setups, check out our Guide to cannabis cloning equipment.
How to take a cutting from a cannabis plant
When selecting a mother plant to clone from, look for plants that are healthy, sturdy, and at least two months into the vegetative cycle. Don’t take a clone off a plant once it starts flowering.
Don’t fertilize mother plants for a few days leading up to taking cuttings. This will allow nitrogen to work its way out of the leaves. When you take cuttings, an excess of nitrogen in the leaves and stems will trick your clones into attempting to grow vegetation instead of diverting energy to rooting.
Be sure to work in a sterile environment. Use gloves and disinfect razors and scissors.
The beginning of a cannabis clone. (David Downs for Leafly)
To take a cutting:
- Look for branches that are sturdy and healthy. You want at least two nodes on the final cutting, so pick a branch that is healthy and long enough. A sturdy clone will lead to a sturdy plant.
- Cut the clone off the mother, cutting above the node on the mother plant. It’s OK to use scissors here; it may be hard to get a razor in the middle of the mother plant.
- Then, using a razor, cut below the bottom node on the fresh cutting at a 45° angle to the branch. This will increase the surface area of the rooting surface, promoting faster growth.
- Place your fresh cutting immediately into a rooting hormone. Then, put it directly into a root cube. If using an auto-cloner, put a collar around it and place it in the auto-cloner; you’ll put rooting hormone in the cloner after all cuttings have been taken.
- Once done taking the cutting, remove unnecessary leaves toward the bottom and clip off the tips of the remaining fan leaves on the cutting. This supports photosynthesis, helping your clones uptake nutrients and water.
Transplanting your weed clones
Check your clones daily to make sure they have enough water by checking the bottom of the tray or auto-cloner. To increase humidity, you can spray water on the leaves with a spray bottle. If any clones die, discard them so they don’t cause mold in the rest of the clones and also to give the remaining clones more space.
Most clones will be ready to transplant into soil in 10-14 days, but some root out quicker, and some longer. You’ll know they’re ready when the white roots are an inch or two in length.
When getting ready to transplant, be sure to keep the environment sterile. Transplant shock can occur, so be sure to use gloves when handling clones.
- Put soil in your pots first.
- Water the soil before transplanting so soil doesn’t move around once the clone is in its new home.
- Once the water has drained, dig out a hole 1-2 inches deep with two fingers, or just enough to bury all the roots.
- Put the clone in and gently cover with soil.
What to look for when buying a marijuana clone
If you live in a medical or adult-use state, you’ll be able to get clones from some local weed shops, but make sure it’s a reputable shop.
Most of the time, these clones come from growers who focus solely on producing clones, but sometimes cuttings will come from a third-party source. When purchasing clones for your home garden, always ask your shop where they came from. If you can’t get a legitimate answer, find another source.
It’s important to know the origin of your clones because that’s where problems originate—diseases, pests, incorrectly labeled genetics, and unknown pesticide residues can come with a mystery clone.
Never hesitate to research a dispensary or grow facility before buying clones.
Inspect the cannabis clones
Not all pests, diseases, pesticide residues, or genetic markers will be easy to spot with the naked eye, but give your clones a good look before introducing them to your garden. If they look sickly or weak, they likely won’t grow well.
A clone’s stem width is a great way to get a sense of its overall health and vigor. Thin and narrow stems typically mean the clone was taken from a weak or less viable branch. These cuttings may be more prone to disease or death and their root systems may take longer to develop.
Be sure to inspect all areas of your clone for the presence of pests. Large pests such as fungus gnats and spider mites can be spotted relatively easily.
Check under each leaf and also check the soil medium, as some pests live there. Certain pests can also leave markers—spider mites leave spots and webbing, and other insects can leave trace bite marks.
Many diseases can be difficult to detect in cuttings, but there are a few visual cues that can be seen early on. A lack of vigor is a major cue—check for limping leaves, irregular or mutated growth, and discoloration.
Powdery mildew (PM) is a very common disease found on clones, and mold spores can transfer to other plants. Keep an eye out for white powder on stems and leaves.
It’s almost impossible to detect harmful pesticides or fungicides on a clone. Often, these applications leave zero residue and can stay on a plant for the rest of the plant’s life. If you see any suspicious residue on a clone, ask the grower about their in-house integrated pest management (IPM) and always err on the side of caution.
Clean and quarantine your cannabis clones
If some clones look OK at the shop and you decide to take them home, make sure to take a few last precautionary steps before introducing them to the rest of your garden.
First, transplant your new weed clones into a more permanent container and medium. Often the grow medium used to house fresh cuttings at the shop will be different than what you use. Also, pests may be present in its medium when you bought it—transplanting your clone to a cleaner space will help mitigate any potential root damage.
Take this time to properly clean your clone with whatever IPM solution you deem fit. A popular method for cleaning new clones involves dipping them into a light solution of whatever safe and approved pesticide you choose.
After your clones have been properly cleaned and transplanted into their new medium, make sure to keep them quarantined for a few days to a week. Doing this will protect the rest of your garden if they do develop problems, and you’ll be able to pull them out easily.
If they look good after a week or so, go ahead and introduce them to the rest of your garden.
Patrick Bennett and Trevor Hennings contributed to this article.
How To Clone Weed Seeds
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STEP BY STEP: HOW TO CLONE YOUR CANNABIS PLANT
Cloning is an awesome strategy to propagate plants in a cheaper way and to maintain good genetics! Come and learn this incredible method of propagating your favorite strains without needing seeds.
When we talk about clones, we already start thinking about science and how to make two equal humans or animals. But the truth is, cloning your plants is already possible, and it is not difficult at all. Cannabis cloning is one of the cheapest ways to propagate this plant species, because you don’t need seeds for that, just a living, healthy plant. Something interesting about clones is that its genetic identity will be exactly the same as the mother plant. This means that cloning is also a strategy to propagate the plants you have selected, according to the characteristics that you like best.
Want to know more about this incredible method of propagation? Here, we tell you everything about it – and even teach you how to make it at home, with your own cannabis plants.
What are clones
Here on the blog, we already talked a little bit about clones, but let’s make a recap! Cloning is the main method of asexual reproduction of plants. While seeds, which are the sexed method, are grown to find specific phenotypic characteristics (tastes, smells, etc.) , cloning will allow you to perpetuate those characteristics you enjoy – while the mother plant is alive.
It is important to remember that, even genetically equal, it is not possible to guarantee that these plants will be identical to the mother throughout life. This depends a lot on the culture medium and the conditions you will give during its life cycle! Different environments, climatic conditions, sources of energy and nutrition may accentuate or attenuate certain characteristics throughout the growth of your cannabis.
Important points to remember
There are some curiosities that can help you find the perfect mother plant for your clones.
A clone, in addition to the genetic profile, carries the emotional load of its mother plant. So it is essential to select a healthy, well-nourished and trouble-free cannabis as it grows, to ensure a clone with the same characteristics.
Promoting a pheno hunt is a great way to select genetics. Cloning is the way that you can perpetuate the good genetics you find. Our grower Alice is bringing some of these experiences that are happening through our Instagram account @girlsingreen710. It goes something like this: first /some seeds of the same strain are germinated. After the plants are sexed,, numbered clones are taken from each plant with tags. Once these plants have grown and are in bloom, you will be able to select the phenotypes that you like best to select the clones of the genetics you want to keep!
Cloning is a process that may stress the plants depending on how and when it is done. But it may be a good idea to combine cloning with cleaning! Thus, you can defoliate, select branches to clone, and give time for the plant to recover without being stressed again. Remember that pruning is mega important, so that your cannabis is always well ventilated, healthy and free from mold or pests.
Positive aspects of cloning
Cloning saves you money, as you can propagate plants without having to spend a lot on seeds.
It allows you to replicate a genetic variety. By skipping the germination time, this process is even faster. Saves you time, work and money!
If you make a good clone, following all the steps correctly, within two weeks it will be rooted and ready to plant.
Step by step
Now that we know all of this, let’s get our hands on the dirt?
A well-developed cannabis plant. Ideally, the plant you are going to cut has to have at least ten nodes or branches;
The means of choice for placing the clone. It can be water, rockwool, peat, foam, or a cloning tray;
A tray or container;
Rooting hormones. They are growth hormones that help the plant take root. It can be aloe vera, a very natural medium, or purchased hormones, made with auxins, which are plant growth regulators and have an essential role for the plant to develop. It can be used both in powder and in liquid formsl.
Step one: separate your tools and put some rooting gel in a clean container. It is important not to take it straight from the original pot, as it can be a receptacle for fungi and bacteria – and we need a very clean environment for your clone to grow healthy.
Step two: fill your container with half an inch of water. Moisture is a key factor in the development of the clones’ roots and in the healing process of the cut made.
Step three: from the top of the branch of the chosen parent plant, count four branches or nodes. At the top of the fourth node, you must make your incision.
Step four: make a cut at a 45° angle at the top of this fifth node. Do not leave any additional branches or stems between the fifth and sixth knots, as it will rot and can become a focus for fungi and pests. The 45° cut is ideal because it covers the area of exchange of the plant, phloem and xylem, and leaves it exposed to the rooting hormones of your choice.
Step five: hold your branch gently, and cut the lower branches to have a larger area to insert in the chosen medium. These cuts must be made in the same way as explained above, in a very clean way. This will also promote the vertical growth of your clone.
Step six: take your recipient with the chosen rooting gel and dip the 45° cut into the substance. Make sure that this gel has taken over the entire area of the cut, plus an additional piece of about ¼ inch.
Step seven: place your clone in the chosen medium, from ⅔ to 4/3 depth. This ensures that your cut will not lose all of the rooting gel, and will not be so shallow that it can dry out.
Repeat the process with other desired branches!
How to take care of the clones
During the time of rooting, which can take one to two weeks, there are specific climatic conditions that will help you to recover and grow faster. Low temperatures increase the rooting time and the lack of air circulation contributes to the appearance of mold.
For this reason, after being collected, your clones need to stay at a constant and pleasant temperature – root zone and environment ideally at 24°C (75F). Your clones will also depend heavily on moisture, and will even suck it out of the air. Make sure they are in an environment with 80-85% relative humidity in the air for the first few days.
It is important that you do not feed them until the roots are quite strong. Nutrient solutions are usually strong, and can damage the recovering area, which is really sensible. Once the roots are visible, you can put them through one cycle with a solution with half the nutrients you usually use. In the next cycle, you can already nourish them normally.
Making clones can be a very interesting way to propagate your favorite plants, maintaining a desirable phenotypic pattern for you. In addition, t his process also allows you to have plants in different cycles : if you have a plant at the beginning of the flora, you can take a clone to have one in the vega and do a closed cycle – then, you never run out of harvest if you have space!
But be very careful: pruning and cloning are stressful processes, as we have already mentioned, so they should not be done in more advanced stages of flora. Do it before you put your plants to flower, or right at the beginning of flowering. If they are already in full bud production, wait for the next cycle. You don’t want the plant to take the energy from flower growth to heal itself, do you? She may not be able to resist.
Hey guys, did you like this post? Because we loved making it for you. Always remembering that if you have more tips or doubts about cloning, you can just leave it here in the comments for us!