Cloning is a popular method for propagating cannabis plants as it allows growers to replicate their best-performing plants. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to take and care for cannabis clones:
- Choose the mother plant. A well-selected mother plant with desirable traits such as high potency, yield, disease resistance, and growth patterns ensures consistent and predictable results in the clones. By carefully selecting a mother plant, growers can preserve and propagate specific genetic traits, ensuring a reliable and uniform crop. Choosing a healthy and disease-free mother plant minimizes the risk of introducing pests or pathogens into the clone production process, promoting overall plant health and vitality.
- Gather your tools. You will need the following items:
- A clean razor blade/scalpel or scissors. These are used to make clean cuts on the mother plant’s stems and the clone’s stem during the cloning process.
- Rooting medium. This is typically a sterile and well-draining medium like rockwool cubes, peat pellets, or a mixture of perlite and vermiculite used to support the clone as it develops roots.
- Cloning gel or powder. Used to aid in promoting root development on the clone, increasing the chances of successful cloning.
- Clone tray &/ dome. These provide a controlled environment for the clones, maintaining humidity levels and protecting them from excessive light.
- Grow lights. If natural light is insufficient, artificial grow lights like fluorescent tubes or LED panels can be used to provide the clones with the necessary light for photosynthesis.
- pH meter. To monitor and adjust the pH level of the water or nutrient solution used to water the clones.
- Spray bottle or mister. Used to mist the clones and maintain moisture levels during the early stages of root development.
- Sterilizing agent. This can be a bleach solution or rubbing alcohol to sterilize the tools and surfaces, reducing the risk of introducing pathogens.
- Cut the clone. Using a clean razor blade or scissors, cut a 4-6 inch stem from the mother plant. Make sure to make a clean diagonal cut on a healthy branch just below a node, cut at a 45-degree angle.
- Remove lower leaves. Remove any excess leaves from the lower portion of the cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top
- Apply rooting hormone. Dip the cut end of the clone in rooting hormone or apply a cloning gel or powder to the cut end.
- Plant the clone. Plant the clone into your chosen sterile growing medium, and place it into a cloning dome.
- Provide humidity and light. Keep the clone in a warm, humid environment with high humidity (70-80%) and low light intensity for the first few days. A humidity dome is ideal to maintain the right humidity level.
- Monitor and adjust. Monitor the clones daily and adjust the temperature, humidity, and light as needed to keep them healthy. You may need to add a heat mat to adjust the temperature during colder months. Remember to water the clones regularly, ensuring the growing medium is moist but not soaked. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Maintain proper airflow to prevent moulds and pests. Monitor the clones for any signs of nutrient deficiencies or pests and address them promptly.
- Transplant. After a week or two, the clones will start to root. Once they have developed a strong root system, you can transplant them into larger pots or hydroponic systems. (Gradually acclimate the clones to outdoor conditions if planning to transplant them outdoors.)
To care for your cannabis clones, make sure to provide them with adequate light, water, and nutrients. Keep them in a warm, humid environment until they develop a strong root system, and then gradually adjust the environment to replicate the conditions of your grow room.
In summary, taking and caring for cannabis clones requires careful attention and patience, but it can be an effective way to replicate high-performing plants and ensure a consistent supply of quality buds.