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How To Make Cannabis Clones 101

Francis Cassidy
cannabis plant clones

There are many advantages to using clones to expand your operation, including getting exactly what you love most.

Mother nature works in some magical ways, and cannabis clones provide us with the ability to easily expand our grow with some quality genetics.

What Is Cloning?

Cloning is a form of plant propagation — the process of producing new plants from different sources. When it comes to cannabis, the two most commonly used options are cloning and growing from seed.

row upon row of plant clones

Cannabis Clones

Cannabis clones are a method of propagation that involves taking a cutting from a mother plant and transplanting it. The cuttings are genetically identical to the mother and thus provide growers with a low-cost method of reproducing their favorite strains.

Done correctly, cloning will produce a replica of your top strains. With proper care, it helps ensure the ability to closely match the flavor and yield of the mother, not to mention cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Cloning is the most common way to propagate the cannabis plant. The main advantage of a clone is the head start it has over growing a plant from seed. In addition, plants that are cloned are genetically mature. This allows the grower to induce flowering with a reasonable assurance that the plant will respond consistently.

Seed Propagation

This is the other common way in which cannabis plants are grown. Starting a plant out from seed ensures that you produce a genetically fresh specimen each time. This method also guarantees that a plant starts out disease-free. Many advanced growers like to take their favorite strains back to seed every few years. Doing so helps ensure more genetic stability and increased yields. However, unless you’re producing your own seeds, this is a much more expensive and time-consuming way to grow cannabis.

How to Create Cannabis Clones

To successfully create cannabis clones, you’ll require the following.

  • A mother plant
  • A razor or good pair of scissors
  • Water
  • Rooting hormone
  • Rooting Medium

Experienced growers will generally keep plants that are dedicated to producing cuttings. Generally the healthiest and most well-cared-for plants, they provide the best quality cuttings free from disease and thus provide the best starting material for new plants.

gardener making a cutting

The process of taking a cutting from a mother plant is not complicated. By following a simple protocol, it will provide you limitless cuttings from which to expand your grow.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Avoid fertilizing the mother plant in the days before taking a cutting. This helps ensure the plant leaches some of the nitrogen from within its leaves. Decreased levels of nitrogen will speed up the rooting process.
  2. Prepare a dish in a sterile environment with some room-temperature water with the optional inclusion of B vitamin in it. Have a separate dish with your rooting hormone where you can easily dip the cutting
  3. Select a cut from low down on the plant. Choose an area with fresh growth.
  4. Slice the cutting at a 45-degree angle with a razor or sharp scissors. This increases the surface area of the cut and gives it a better chance of rooting correctly. Dull blades will crush the plant stem and prevent nutrients from traveling up it. Aim to take a cutting that’s three inches long and remove undesirable growth from lower down.
  5. Tools should be sterilized each time you take cuttings from a mother plant. This helps prevent the spread of viruses. This can be easily achieved by soaking the tool in isopropyl alcohol before applying a flame to the metal.
  6. Once you take a cutting, transfer it immediately to the water. Failure to do so may result in the death of the cutting. Once transferred, make a second cut under the water to ensure that the water is the first substance to enter the stem.
  7. After a few minutes, transfer the cutting from the water to the rooting hormone before transferring it to the rooting medium.

Rooting Mediums For Cannabis Clones

A rooting medium is a type of substrate that promotes root growth. It generally consists of a wide range of organic compounds and minerals. For cannabis clones, there are three popular rooting mediums.

Rockwool cubes

Rockwool exhibits two notable characteristics that help ensure optimal rooting: airflow and excellent water retention. They can be easily sourced online or at garden stores

Transplanting into soil

It’s important to not use soil that’s high in nutrients. Also, take special care when watering the soil. Both underwatering and overwatering will inhibit the ability of the clone to root.

Rooting in Water

Rooting your cuttings in water is the simplest method. It’s important that the roots don’t come into contact with the air. Simply place the cutting in the water and wait until roots develop. There is no need to apply rooting hormones if using the water method.

Once cannabis clones develop roots in the rooting medium, they are ready to be transplanted to a larger medium.

Transplanting The Roots

Once new vegetative growth begins to develop on your cuttings, you’ll know it’s time to transplant them into larger containers. Make sure that you maintain sanitation and take extreme care during the process. Transplant shock is common when cloning and it results in the plant poorly establishing itself.

gardener at work on cannabis clones

The Potential Problems of Cloning

Cloning is a relatively simple process and with a little practice, it can be mastered by anyone. If done correctly, it can help ensure a continual harvest at very little expense.

However, inexperienced growers can often run into problems. When you take a cutting from a plant, you are in effect cloning an extension of the mother plant. In essence, it’s the same plant, with the same characteristics. And issues commonly arise when disease strikes. An infected mother means an infected clone, so if the cutting was from a plant with root disease, then the clone will also have root disease.

For those who master the delicate balance of maintaining plant health, there’s little that can go wrong. Cannabis clones provide unlimited potential when it comes to expanding your grow with quality genetics.

Francis Cassidy

Francis Cassidy is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics. With a particular focus on the cannabis industry, he aims to help ensure the smooth reintegration of cannabis back into global culture. When not writing, he's to be found exploring his new base in British Columbia, Canada. You can follow his other works including his photography on his blog thestrayphotographer.com

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