By Robert Bergman, ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com
The knowledge and ability to make marijuana clones is an added bonus for any successful grower – as well as growers of any type of plant. Cloning is a reliable way to have a better harvest and yield without risking certain important factors such as potency. As long as you know which of your plants are the healthiest and most successful, as well as which are males and females, you will be able to clone correctly. If you don’t know these things at this stage in the growing season, you may want to take up a new hobby.
You might even have a specific favorite plant already, which will make the decision process quite easy when it comes to cloning. Cloning is about as close to a guarantee as you can get in the marijuana growing business, so proceed with confidence because it has a very high success rate.
This article will help you successfully clone any plant that you want. We will cover the various methods for cloning and transplanting, as well as more advanced techniques and options that you as the “cloner” can look further into if you are interested. Keep reading and learn to clone like a pro!
What is cloning
Cloning marijuana plants itself is actually just using the clipping of one of your plants and moving it elsewhere to begin growing by itself. It’s as simple as that!
While the theory is extremely simple, the actual practice isn’t foolproof for some people. For outdoor growers, cloning is the most successful when it’s done in a region with a long growing season. Even with a very long growing season, you can’t expect your clones to reach their full height potential. This is unlikely since they will only start growing about 3 months into the growing season when your original plant is mature. That being said, even short clones can end up with a superb yield, sometimes having a top full of buds.
Most cloners prefer to take the bottom branches from their plants since those branches would receive less light and struggle for survival anyway. If you take between two and four of each of your plant’s bottom branches to make clones, you have at least doubled your harvest. Do you understand now why cloning is such a popular practice?
Although cloning is relatively risk-free since it does not risk the health of the original plant and your main harvest, clones often die before they are even able to root. It is not uncommon for just one out of ten clones to survive, so don’t be discouraged when most of them die.
Select a mother plant
Don’t be hasty when you are trying to decide which of your plants to clone from. You need a plant that is hardy, growing rapidly, with great yields, large roots, and strong buds. When taking cuttings to clone your plants, you should make sure that your plant is in a vegetative state. If you take them during the flowering stage, then it will become much more difficult for your plant to take root, thus making your clones’ mortality rate will be higher.
If this is your first time cloning, then you may not actually know your plants well enough or have enough experience to know which ones are the best to choose. Regardless, if you choose a female that is in its vegetative state that appears relatively healthy, then you are probably choosing one that will work fine for cloning.
Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more cloning tips
At the absolute minimum, your chosen plant needs to be two months old. In fact, it should have been in the vegetative state for two or three months already. If you wait this long to remove branches for cloning, then you should be able to get many clones from the one plant.
Once you decide on a plant, be sure to prepare it properly. It should receive ten percent less nitrogen than normal starting a week or two before you clip its branches. This will help its clones have a higher chance of successful rooting after you have clipped them off.
When you cut the branches from your plants, make sure you end up with 6 to 8 inches of each branch. Also be sure to leave at least one pair of leaves on the branch so that two new branches can sprout. Remember to cut out branches from the bottom, since they aren’t as productive as branches higher up on the plant anyway. This will promote faster rooting in the clone. That being said, you also might want to consider cutting from the top if you want the resulting plant to flower more quickly.
You will need a knife that is quite sharp (to avoid any ripping during the cutting process). Make sure you always cut diagonally, since this will maximize the surface area from which roots will hopefully sprout. Buy cloning gear like knifes, rooting gel and rock wool cubes at this link
Rock wool method. All you have to do is trim healthy cuttings from healthy plants. Make sure to clip off most of the leaves, but leave the top ones intact. Dip each cutting in rooting gel or powder and then place it in a rock wool cube under a CFL light. The ideal temperature is around 72-75*F (22-24*C). The roots should start showing up in 8-12 days. Make sure to soak the rock wool cubes in pH 5.5 water for a few hours.
The Potting Soil Method. Because you will want the cutting to use all of its resources and energy for sprouting roots, take away any mature leaves that are on the stalk. Then wet the sliced bottom of the stalk and dip it into rooting gel or powder. Right after that, stick the plant into the saturated potting soil under cfl lights, where it should remain while roots are forming.
The Water Method. You should also remove the mature leaves from the cutting with this method. After that, get a container of some sort (a plastic bottle of about 16 ounces is best, since it has a narrow neck that will be helpful in holding the plant up) and fill it with water that has been treated with plant food. Submerge the stalks of your plants into this water and leave them there, mixing things up every couple days to make sure algae doesn’t grow too much. If you do discover an algae problem, you can change the water.
Keep sunlight indirect or less intense than normal until new leaves are growing at the top. This new leaf growth usually happens at the same time as root growth. You should soon have a nice ball of roots as a sign that it’s time for a transplant.
Since you probably have already transplanted your seedlings during this growing season, you will already have the knowledge for transplanting your clones that have rooted in soil.
Clones that were rooted through the water method, on the other hand, will require a new technique. First, dig a hole that is one foot deep and one foot wide. You will then need to move the actual container that is holding the rooted plant and its water all the way to the site where you will transplant it. It is crucial that you do not expose the roots to the air, so despite the inconvenience this is an important part of the transplanting process.
Put the plant in the hole and fill the rest of the hole with potting soil mixed with dirt that was dug up. Pat down the soil firmly but gently, then water the entire area with a half gallon or more of water mixed with plant food.
In general, clones that have already taken root have a very high chance of survival. This is simply because the original plant they were a part of were already mature and strong, meaning that a clone with roots is no different. It should begin the flowering stage within two or three months. Take note, however: sometimes the clone ends up being a different sex than your original plant, so don’t be shocked if it happens. Read the article When and how to transplant marijuana plants for more info
Caring for your clones
You should keep your clones’ grow room temperature a bit warmer than standard room temperature, so between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Since cuttings don’t have roots yet, watering the soil around them will not do any good. Instead, spray them with water several times a day so they can absorb the water through their leaves. You may also want to consider spraying a mild nutrient solution as well. Make sure it’s also hitting the leaves since they will also absorb the nutrients through their leaves as well.
If you invest in a mechanized cloner, you won’t have to worry about monitoring the moisture or temperature. The cloner will do it for you, thus (more or less) automating the entire thing.
Some growers make the decision to not use any lights at all for a day or two while the clones are adjusting to their new surroundings. Others start with a bright light and then use a dimmer grow light after a couple days. For roots to form, you should also ensure that there is at least some darkness each day. Try 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.
When you are using powder or gel that is designed for rooting, ensure that it has been stored properly. It, like many products, needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. If there’s any chance that it has been contaminated, definitely do not use it under any circumstances. Whether the packaging wasn’t sealed properly or anything fell into it, even natural materials like leaves or dirt, it could have a negative effect on your plants.
In general, the most effective way of giving your clones a chance at growth is to keep a constant, close eye on them.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible