The Ultimate Guide to Cloning Cannabis
Cannabis clones are an integral aspect of grow operations around the world. Cloning cannabis, instead of breeding it the all-natural way, allows growers full control over their harvests. Instead of relying on the natural reproduction process between a male and a female plant, cloning duplicates the ones you already have on hand.
Why would you want to grow an identical plant over and over again? There are many reasons! Perhaps it has the perfect cannabinoid content or a fantastic yield. Instead of attempting to breed it with a male, potentially weakening these properties, you can just clone it instead.
Why Use Cannabis Clones?
Cloning cannabis requires a few specialized skills, but they are easily learned. In fact, you could argue it’s easier than the seed cloning process discussed here. Cloning marijuana is the next logical step to ramping up production.
Commercial growers rely on clones for a number of fundamental reasons:
One of the main advantages of cloning is that you already know what to expect from your plant. Since you’ve successfully nurtured the mother, you will know all the requirements of the clone, considering it is a direct copy of the mother plant.
Take multiple clones at once
Did you know you can take multiple clones from the same plant? Provided it is healthy and bushy, you can make many copies at the same time. Some experts can harvest dozens of clones from the same plant over the course of its life.
Clones naturally speed up the next harvest because they do not require germination. Unlike starting from seeds, clones only require a few days to take root. Growers no longer need to have the patience for the germination process. Instead, they have instant little weed plants ready to grow.
Although cannabis seeds generally aren’t prohibitive in cost, especially for the commercial grower, the price does add up. Clones, on the other hand, are free. This is especially important for anyone wanting to scale their operation.
How To Clone Cannabis At Home
There are possibly hundreds of “How to Clone Cannabis” guides available online, including here! Everyone has a particular preference, but whatever method you use, cloning is a great way to start improving your harvests and replicating your favorite strains.
There are only a few required materials to start cloning. The very basics include a razor blade (or an extremely sharp pair of scissors), starter pellets, and a cloning solution. All of these materials can be sourced from your local hardware store or through Amazon.
Disinfect All Equipment
The most important step in the cloning process is to disinfect all equipment, especially the cutting implement. You want to give your clones the best head start possible, and that means using clean tools. If you consider that you will be cutting into the plant, it could potentially introduce a nasty infection directly into the most sensitive part of the plant.
Prep Starter Plugs
Soak the starter plugs for roughly 15 minutes, until they are fully hydrated. No matter what starter you use, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to fully hydrate. Place the starters in a tray, with at least one space between each plug to avoid unnecessary crowding.
Pinpoint Areas to Clone
Many people wonder when to clone cannabis. Although technically you can clone a plant at any point in its lifespan, it definitely helps to clone during the vegetative state. This is the period where the plant is actively bushing out. If possible, find areas on the lower part of the plant because there will be more growth hormone circulating.
If you have an exceptionally bushy plant, the possibilities for cloning are endless. But, the prime candidates for cutting should always be the areas of new growth. Locate a few areas with new growth and where a cutting will have a few nodes above the cut. Nodes are the different sets of leaves.
Make the Cutting
Cut at a 45-degree angle across the stem, always leaving about 8 to 10 inches above the cut. Because the roots almost always form out of the cutting itself, some experts suggest splitting the cut stem or scraping it.
Prep the Cutting
Immediately after cutting the clone, place the stem in water. The idea behind this step is to stop any possible air bubbles from entering the plant. It also helps to trim off any lower fan leaves the clone might be sporting. If there are too many leaves on the clone, the little cutting could overexert itself instead of focusing on its roots.
If you choose to use a cloning gel or other clone hormone product, dip the cutting into this product instead of the water. It will solve the air bubble problem and should stimulate better root formation. Cover the tip of the cut as far up as you expect the soil to go on the stem.
Plant the Cutting
Finally, after dipping, place the clone into the prepared hole of the starter cubes. Pat down gently around the edges to keep the stem in place and help reduce the risk of air entering the hole.
Promote a Humid Environment
A humid environment is a great final step to the cloning process. Although it isn’t entirely necessary, it can help the roots form. A warming tray and a humidity dome will help the roots form in no time at all.
Just when you think you’ve learned everything about cloning cannabis, a new question pops up. It can be a rabbit hole of learning. Thankfully, the basic steps outlined above will start you in the right direction. It’s almost impossible to mess up, even for amateurs.
It’s very easy to go over the top with informational guides on the subject of cloning, it’s not always necessary. Yes, there is unlimited technical information and technology out there for the perfect clone, but it’s easy to manage with only a pair of scissors. Before your next harvest, identify your favorite plant and try cloning cannabis for yourself.