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?
You will need:
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, this 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!
Until next time, with more content on safe and healthy cultivation!