Cloning cannabis is essentially a process of producing genetically identical copies of the plant. Cannabis can be cloned at any stage of its development, and the clone will have the same characteristics as the original plans, or “mother.” There are many aspects about how to clone cannabis that are worth discussing.
All Cannabis plants can be cloned, although some strains will root and grow faster than others. Strains that are slow to root may take several weeks or months to develop a good root system when grown from cuttings. They may also tend to grow tall and spindly until they get large enough to start flowering. This is a result of the plant trying to create energy reserves by putting its energy into growing stems and leaves instead of flowers.
If you take cuttings from a flowering cannabis plant, it will root and continue flowering, creating clones that are female. Clones taken from flowering plants will root faster and flower sooner than clones taken from non-flowering plants, however they’ll also have less time left in their flowering cycle so you’ll get slightly smaller yields than if you’d taken clones from a plant that was still vegging.
If you take cuttings from an undifferentiated male or hermaphrodite plant, it won’t flower but will sprout roots instead. This type of cloning is called “asexual” because there’s no genetic recombination necessary to reproduce the new plants.
There are several benefits to cloning cannabis. For one, clones are genetically identical to the plant they were taken from, meaning that they will have the same characteristics, including flavor, aroma, and potency. Clones are also free of the prior growing cycles – including fertilization, flowering, and harvest – so they’ll be ready for harvest almost immediately after rooting.
Clones are also inexpensive to produce. All that’s required is a piece of the plant you wish to clone. Cloning allows growers to select only the healthiest plants for seed production, ensuring that the next generation of plants will be strong and disease-resistant. Clones also tend to be easier to grow and maintain than seedlings, and they can be used to speed up the growth of new plants.
Your How-To Guide for Cloning Cannabis
The required equipment to clone cannabis depends on whether or not you’re taking your cutting in soil or in water. If you’re taking your cuttings in soil, you’ll need a sharp knife or scissors, a pail or other container to hold the soil, and some plastic wrap to cover the soil during transport. You will also need rooting hormone if you want to encourage rooting, which can be found at most garden centers.
If you’re taking your cuttings in water, you will need a clear vase or other container, an aquarium air pump and airline tubing, rooting hormone (optional), and some plastic wrap to cover the top of the vase. You will also need some activated carbon for your filter if your vase doesn’t include it already.
First, cut a 4-in. to 6-in. piece off of the stem of your chosen plant. Make sure to cut just above a node (joint) so that there is some stem tissue on the cutting. If you’re taking your cutting in soil, dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone and tap off the excess. If you’re taking your cutting in water, skip this step.
Next, fill your pail with room-temperature water (or put some ice cubes in it if it’s very hot outside). Then place your clone into the water vertically by pushing it directly into the soil at the bottom of the pail.
Cover the top of your pail with some plastic wrap and place it in a warm, sunny location out of direct sunlight. If you’re using ice cubes, make sure to change them every few hours so that they melt completely.
Check on your cuttings every day to see if they have rooted or sprouted roots. Once your cuttings have a few roots or sprouted a visible root, you can remove them from the water and transplant into your final medium.
If you’re taking your cuttings in soil, fill several small pots with moist potting soil 1/2-inch deep. Gently squeeze each cutting to release the roots surrounding it and place each one in a separate pot. Cover the pots with plastic wrap and put them in a warm, sunny location out of direct sunlight. Keep your clones evenly moist but not soggy by watering once a day. Remove any dead leaves or stems from the clones as necessary.
Once your clones have rooted, you should wait for them to enter the vegetative stage of growth. During this phase, your plants will get their energy from light rather than making energy through the process of photosynthesis like they did when they were still seedlings. Once your clones have entered the vegetative stage, you can transplant them into larger pots or directly into your final medium if it’s large enough.
Once they’re in the vegetative stage, it’s likely that your plants will begin to grow very quickly. Ensure that you provide them with enough nutrients and water, as well as adequate light, ventilation, and humidity. If not given enough resources during this phase, your plants may suffer from nutrient deficiencies or die from root rot.
It is important to note that when cloning cannabis, you should choose an appropriately-sized clone to prevent overwhelming your final plant. For example, if you want to grow a 100-square foot plant, you should take your clones from a smaller plant so that it will still be manageable in the flowering stage.
Cloning cannabis is a great way to get new plants without having to buy new seeds. It’s also a great way to preserve your favorite strains. By taking your cuttings properly, you can ensure that they will successfully develop into full plants and eventually flower. Just remember to choose a strong plant with many leaves and healthy-looking nodes and follow these steps for best results.
With a little bit of time and effort, you can create an unlimited supply of healthy plants from your favorite mother plant. Be sure to keep an eye on your clones and give them the care they need so they can grow into healthy, productive plants.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.