If you've ever picked up a juicy bud and wondered, "What gives weed its flavour…
If you’re in possession of an amazing plant from seed, or your friend has a beautiful specimen growing, you may want to clone it.
Cloning your cannabis plant is easy and fast. But there’s a lot to monitor and new terminology you’ll need to learn. So, let’s talk about the Mother Plant, what it is, and why it is important.
What’s a mother plant?
When taking clippings from a plant, that plant is referred as the mother plant. These mothers should be healthy and sturdy, as you will be making a genetic copy of them. So, if your mother plant suffers from disease or sickness you’ll be repeating this issue in the new plant.
The mother plant should always be in a vegetative stage when snipping off clones. Don’t clip off if your plant is flowering as this can produce a hermaphrodite as well as damage the flowering cannabis plant.
If you have a great, sturdy cannabis plant that is a constant producer then you might want to have a dedicated mother plant that you take cuttings from. For those with limited grow space this might not be an option as it requires a dedicated area as well as costing extra to maintain it at a certain level.
Having a mother plant means that you can grow a crop that is genetically consistent.
Then, selecting this individual plant means spotting a few characteristics, such as:
- Large growth;
- Aromas and flavours;
- Big harvests;
- Dense trichromes;
- And resistance to pests and mould.
A rule to be aware of is the fact you will need to withhold on fertilising the mother plant for a few days before taking a cutting. Why would you do this? Because you want to allow all the nitrogen to work its way out the leaves. When you leaves are filled with nitrogen it tricks the clone into trying to force itself into vegetation instead of diverting energy into rooting.
Now that we know what you’re looking for, we need to clone the plant.
Time to clone!
When you’re ready to start snipping clones you will need:
- a razor (for trimming the end of the cutting);
- some sort of rooting setup (we’ll elaborate);
- and rooting hormone.
Now that you have your tools, you will need to decide how you’re going to root these clones.
There are a number of options when propagating. You can choose between using just water, a Jiffy pellet, or Rockwool. There’s even a misting system or aeroponics. The best method really depends on your experiments.
Also, make sure to keep all the instruments clean. Wear gloves and disinfect cutting implements.
Now, it’s time for the snip-snip!
Now you have the mother plant ready and tools in hand, it is time to cut. While you might be tempted to chop the biggest branch, you actually need only to look for branches that are sturdy and have at least two nodes. A branch that’s too long will require more energy to grow healthily.
Make sure that the bottom of the cutting is above the last node. If your plant’s main stem has branched off, you might want to snip off the one side at the fork.
Once you’ve made the cutting, use the razor to make a fresh 45 degree cut into the branch.
After cutting immediately dip or spray the rooting hormone, then place into your propagation station.
Then the final step is to remove excess leaves from the bottom of the cutting. You want to promote photosynthesis, so always leave two leaves. By doing this you’re ensuring that the clone isn’t wasting energy keeping excess leaves alive.
Also, ensure that humidity is high, as this will assist in the rooting process.
And remember, not every one of these clones is going to make it. So, if they die, remove them as they can contaminate the rest of the crop.
Now you’ll need to wait for the next step…
Planting the cannabis clone!
After 10-14 days you should be able to see roots sprouting out the stem. This can vary depending on conditions and how the hormone is working.
When the roots are around 2cm-5cm long they are ready to be transplanted.
While it maybe surprising, these clones can still suffer from transplant shock. So, make sure that the environment is sterile and has some root hormone as well as moist soil.
And when preparing the hole, make sure the roots have enough space and do not the compact the soil.
From there, it should be smooth sailing.