How to Clone Cannabis
What's In The Article?
Knowing how to grow your own cannabis is obviously a very handy tool because it means you will never run out of cannabis. Knowing how to clone cannabis plants in particular is a great skill to have because it provides you will full control over the growing process. Once you have had some time to experiment with the plant cloning process and to get to know the do’s and don’ts, then you will see that it is quite simple to do and you will feel more comfortable to start cloning other plants that you like. Cloning improves your gardening skills and can save you lot of time and money on sourcing and paying for clones that you like.
Growing from Seeds or a Cannabis Clone
There are many ways to grow your own cannabis plant each with their own benefits and disadvantages.
Growing cannabis from seeds
- Advantages from growing cannabis from seeds:
- Seeds are easy to find, easy to grow and are reliable
- They allow a fresh start because their health has not been affected by a mother clone plant who was grown in a poor environment
- They provide the opportunity for growers to create their one strain of cannabis by breeding their favorite male with their favorite female
- Seeds are generally legal
- Disadvantages of growing cannabis from seeds:
- Some seeds won’t germinate, no matter what you do. Therefore, you will always need to start with a few seeds
- Seeds are different to their mother plants and to their siblings so it is impossible to grow a crop with the same traits
- It will take longer to grow a cannabis plant from seeds. It takes at least two weeks before the seed becomes a mature seedling
Growing cannabis from a clone of a cannabis plant
- Advantages of cloning to grow cannabis:
- Using a clone is a quick way to grow and the clone will take on all the features of the mother plant
- Cuttings from a female mother plant will always result in a female plant
- A cutting that is rooted is automatically ready to grow so it takes less time for the cannabis plant to start growing
- Cloning is virtually free, besides some inexpensive rooting powder and cubes and I don’t know many people who don’t like getting something for free
- Disadvantages of cloning to grow cannabis:
- Cuttings need to come from an active vegetative plant so they are more difficult to find and can be illegal in certain countries
- Cuttings are more sensitive and fragile and need a consistent temperature and optimal humidity levels before they will start to develop roots
- If the mother plant has any any genetic faults then the clone plant will inherit these traits
I personally think that growing from seeds is best because I find the experience quite rewarding. I like to watch my seed begin to grow into a flowering plant. However, more experienced growers tend to prefer to use clones to grow cannabis because by replicating clones, they are able to keep a certain standard of high quality cannabis readily available.
What is Cloning?
If you have found the perfect, high quality cannabis plant that you want to replicate then cloning is the best option for you. Cloning is the process of first selecting a plant that you want to clone, taking a cutting from that plant, putting it into the ground and waiting for it to root. The clone plant will be identical to the mother plant and therefore will have the same buds, taste and potency as the mother plant.
How to Clone Cannabis?
Until a friend told me about cloning, I didn’t know of a way to get access to cannabis clones, other than purchasing from a supplier. I thought you had to be a expert cloner with years of experience before you could produce worthwhile clones. However, I did a bit of research and read up online and found out that cloning is pretty easy and anybody can become a cloner with minimal effort. I also found this easy method for cloning cannabis which only involves eight simple steps so I tried it out a few times. The great news is that I was amazed at how close my clones were to my original plants. Therefore, I thought that I had to share it with other other people looking to become an amateur cloner in no time.
You’ll need the following equipment to begin cloning:
- Scissors to take cuttings of the mother plants
- Razor for trimming the cuttings
- A rooting medium e.g. Rockwool cubes to promote root growth
- Rooting hormone
- 7-inch vented dome
- Grow lights
Simple cloning steps to follow:
Step 1: Select a mother plant
Choose a female plant that is at least two months old, that is from a great harvest or has the best strain of marijuana and make sure that the plant that you want to clone grows well, is strong, has large roots and strong buds. It is easier cloning cannabis plants for indoor use if you select an indoor plant to clone and vice versa. Use mother plants when they are in a vegetative stage rather than in the flowering stage because cloning during the flowering stage can decrease the chance of the clone’s survival. Consider the factors below before selecting plants for cloning:
- Strength: Choose the best plants for cloning, i.e. strong, healthy plants with thick stems and green leaves
- Aroma: You don’t get much of a sense of the taste of the plant while it is growing but the smell of fresh plants may provide a good indication of the potential taste and potency of the final product
- Yield: How much the crop yields is important
- Aesthetics: Take a clone from plants that have good looks
- Phenotypes: Take the time to research and find the marijuana strain that you like and whether it has a tall or short phenotype
Step 2: Prepare the mother plant
Next prepare the mother plant for cloning by giving it ten percent less nitrogen before you cut its branch. Stop fertilization a few days before cutting as this will increases the chances of the clone developing roots.
Step 3: Choose a rooting medium and setup
You can use rockwool cubes which is a fine thread of melted rock which provides good airflow and moisture for the plant and they are also easy to find.
Step 4: Take a cutting
Sterilize your equipment and then, using scissors, cut a healthy, lower branch which includes at least two nodes and is roughly 8-10 inches. Choose at least a medium sized branch to cut. Using the razor, cut below the node on the new cutting at a 45 degree angle to increase the surface area and allow for the clone to grow quickly. Ensure to match the stem with the rooting hole of the cubes for the best fit. Immediately after taking cuttings, place them into water and cut extra cuts in the stem to help improve the likelihood of rooting. If the cutting is left out of water for too long then it might develop bubbles in the stem which prevents the cutting from absorbing water and ultimately killing the clone.
Step 5: Begin the rooting process
Your new clones need a lot of light, roughly 18 hours, and humidity. The ideal temperature is between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 90% or more. It will take roughly 10 days before your new clones will develop roots if you follow the process below.
Place in the Rooting hormone
First dip the cutting directly into the rooting hormone and then insert into the rockwool cubes. The cubes are quite easy to use because they have a tiny hole to put the clones in. Add some water (5ml or so) to the cubes to activate the hormones.
Trim and spray the cutting
Next remove any unnecessary leaves from the cutting. Trimming the leaves will allow the plant to absorb sufficient water and nutrients from the hormone and will aid in photosynthesis. Use a spray bottle to gently spray the cuttings with some water and place them under your lights. Place the dome on the tray and make sure the cuttings are now inside. Depending on which lights you use, you will need to place them 1-2 inches above the dome if you are using CFLs and two feet from the dome’s apex if you are using Metal Halide. The vents of the dome must be closed for the first two days. Remember, the temperature of the grow room must be between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water the clones
Spray the clone cannabis cuttings with water by opening the inside of the dome spraying the inside of the dome. You will repeat this process at least once a day. This spraying process ensures that the clone cannabis cuttings get sufficient water, nutrients and humidity.
Day 3 & 4:
Dry out the cubes
Repeat the spraying process twice a day and open the air vents in the dome which will allow moisture to escape from the dome. This process results in the cubes drying out which promotes growth of the roots as they are forced to search for moisture . By day 4, the clone cannabis plants should be standing independently.
Touch the cubes and check if they are wet or dry. If they have successfully dried out then add some water to the tray. Don’t add too much water to the tray, roughly 5ml water, to allow the cubes to absorb the moisture. This technique will promote root growth as the roots are forced to search downwards for moisture.
Increase Humidity levels
Increase the humidity levels by spraying the cuttings twice a day. Close the vents of the dome to trap the moisture inside the dome.
Close the vents of the dome and you should notice that the roots of the clones are have started taking form and you should be able to see roots by now.
Day 8 & 9:
All roots of the clone cannabis plant should be visible by now. Continue to promote growth by adding 500ml water and nutrients to the tray.
Root Cloning complete
All of the roots of the cannabis clones should be visible now so you can remove the dome allowing the clone cannabis plants to adjust to normal humidity levels. Your new clones are now ready to be transported into soil.
Step 6: Transporting the plants
When the white roots are at least two inches in length and you can see vegetative growth of the clone cannabis plants the they are ready to be transplanted into the soil. First make sure that the environment is very sterile and then, using gloves, put soil into your pots and water the soil. When the water has drained through the soil, make a hole in the soil that is big enough to fit the roots of the clone (roughly 12″ wide and 12″deep.) Then gently take the clone and put it in the pot of soil and gently cover the new clone with soil.
During this process, make sure that the roots never get exposed to the air. It will take at least two months, but probably closer to three months for the new clone cannabis plants to start flowering.
Step 7: Inspect your clone plants
Cloning cannabis plants can be quite tricky because if there are any problems with your clone cannabis plants then your entire grow can be affected and the cannabis clones could end up destroying all your plants. An experienced grower knows that all new plants need to be carefully inspected before being introduced into your garden. Experienced cannabis growers generally recommend inspecting and checking for the following things so keep a close eye on your clones to ensure they keep healthy and strong.
Healthy cannabis clones will not have discolored or limp leaves. The leaves might be slightly yellow in the beginning but other than that the leaves should not be a strange color at any stage. High quality plants should not have powdery mildew, mold spores or white powder on the top of their stems. One of these characteristics means that the marijuana plant may not be disease free.
Cannabis growers recommend looking at each and every leaf (top and bottom of the leaf) to see if there are any pests on the plant. They also recommend checking the soil and pests may make their way through the soil and not be visible on the actual plant.
- Stem width
The stem of the clones should be thick as this indicates that the cuttings for the clones came from healthy cannabis plants. If the stem is narrow this indicates that the plants was cloned off of a weak, unhealthy plant which could mean that the clones will be more susceptible to disease.
If you purchased the cannabis plants to clone and you notice any residue on the plant, this might be an indication that pesticides were used in the growing process. Growers recommend asking your suppliers questions about their growing method so that you have all the information that you need to consider before you begin the cloning process.
Step 8: Take clones into quarantine
Despite all your checks and inspection, your new clones could still not be as healthy as you wish so growers recommend cleaning and quarantining your clones for a week before you introduce them to other plants in your garden.
Other Useful Tips
- You can use some cloning gel or powder on the leaves of the clones which will help the clones to develop roots
- A gel is great to use because it is easier to evenly coat the plant than using a powder. However, you will want to keep the gel in in a tray in a cool, dark place before use. If the packaging has broken rather discard it and buy a new gel because you don’t was to use a gel that is contaminated in any way i.e. if the gel is free to mix with any dust or dirt
- Taking clones from the bottom of the plant may help the clones root faster, however taking clones from the top of the plant may help the clones to flower
- Save yourself time by taking more cuttings than you actually want because only one may survive and root. Therefore, don’t take any risks – this ensures that you should get at least one or two clones
- Label all your clones with numbers starting from one because this will help you to remember which one you removed from the tray and planted first
- One important thing to remember is that you can cut from a clone so therefore you can use your clone to create your next clone which ultimately leads you to save even more in the long term
And voila! You are ready to start cloning
Now that you know how to clone cannabis plants, you can make clones of your favorite cannabis plants which means that you will have a constant supply of high quality cannabis. Take clones of your other favorite plants and you will have a great harvest. Since, I started cloning, so many people have told me that they have been secretly cloning for years. If you know something that I don’t then feel free to comment on this article if you want to share some of your useful tips. Don’t be shy now…
Are you wondering what to do next? Don’t waste any more time, jump on the bandwagon, get cloning and feel free to read the other articles on my site to learn how to make delicious cannabis edible recipes (and of course, rights reserved do not apply) with your new grown cannabis supply. Don’t forget to share some pics of your newly planted babies.