The art of cannabis cultivation has scaled phenomenal heights over the past couple of years.
Extensive research is constantly being conducted to develop several effective methods and techniques to guarantee success. One of the most efficient techniques is a cultivation practice referred to as cloning.
Read on to learn all there is to know about the most effective techniques of cloning cannabis plants.
Why Clone Cannabis Plants?
There are two major techniques that are employed in the reproduction of cannabis, seeds, and cloning. Reproduction via seeds is a sexual form of reproduction that involves the cross of male and female cannabis plants via the process of pollination that results in the production of new seeds by the female plants.
Unlike the method explained above, reproduction via cloning is an asexual form of reproduction. It basically involves the cutting and cultivation of a part from the original plant referred to as the ‘mother plant’.
A lot of cannabis growers today are gravitating towards cloning because of the efficiency of the technique and its wide range of beneficial attributes. Cloning makes it possible to produce a new generation of plants that are the exact duplicates of your best plants. With cloning, growers can preserve and maintain a certain flavor, genetic profile, grow time, cannabinoid profile, level of yield, and so many other characteristics from the mother plants that they like. By creating a clone you ensure that the desired gene is passed on which enables you to produce more buds with the same attributes.
What is Needed When Cloning a Cannabis Plant?
What’s required while cloning cannabis plants vary widely depending on the technique being employed but below is a list of a couple of the major requirements:
- A “mother” plant (source of clones)
- Starter Cubes (holds the new clones)
- Cloning gel or cloning powder
- A light source
- Humidity Dome For Clones
- Aeroponic Semi-Automatic Cloner
- Heating Mat (especially in cold climates)
- Rooting hormone
How to Clone a Cannabis Plant?
Cannabis growers all over the world employ different effective techniques of cloning cannabis plants. A few of the most effective techniques of cloning cannabis plants available include:
Cuttings – This is without a doubt the most popular technique of cloning cannabis plants. It involves the utilization of cuttings (stem or leaf taken from the mother plant) that are cultivated in suitable growing media. The cuttings will grow and develop into identical new plants to the original mother plant.
Grafting – This is also a very effective technique of cloning cannabis plants. A graft is literally a branch of a plant attached to the trunk or stock of a new plant. It should be noted that it is possible to graft more than one plant to one root stock.
Layering – This is a cloning technique employed majorly in plants that can’t be cloned via cutting. It involves taking the stem of the mother plant and placing it into a well nourished growing media while it’s still attached to the mother plant’s root. The setup is left in place till the stem starts developing its own roots after which it is detached from the mother plant developing to form an identical new plant.
Autocloner – This is not just one of the most effective techniques of cloning cannabis plants available today, it’s also one of the most advanced. Unlike other effective techniques of cloning cannabis plants, it employs aeroponics to nourish the plants with the needed nutrients and moisture at fixed intervals to promote optimal growth and development of the cuttings. Although it’s pretty expensive to set up, it is a huge favorite amongst canna growers all over. Majorly because of the level of efficiency associated with it, and the limited amount of labor required to implement it.
Rooting cubes – This is a very popular technique of cloning cannabis plants. Unlike the autocloner method, this is pretty straightforward and cost-friendly. To implement this technique all you need is a dome, a tray, and a few other minor things. This technique involves placing the clones in the rooting cubes which are then placed in the tray cells that are inserted in a wide tray that contains water. The dome is placed over the setup to maintain the humidity levels and to control and regulate temperature a heat mat may be used.
Rockwool – This technique of cloning cannabis plants is also a relatively straightforward method. It involves the use of a Rockwool, a melted rock that has been processed into a smooth, fine thread with incredible moisture-retaining airflow capabilities.
Regardless of the setup you choose it’s imperative that the new clone enjoy adequate levels of humidity, and light (at least 18 hrs). Also, it should be noted that regardless of the technique of cloning employed paramount processes like (how to take a cutting, or how to properly transplant your plants) remain the same.
What Are the Benefits of Cloning Cannabis Plants?
Consistent growing – As explained above, cloning of cannabis plants makes it possible to maintain desired genetics in cannabis plants. Therefore, you know what to expect in terms of flavor, yield, potency, taste, and so on.
Cost friendly – A lot of cannabis cloning techniques are very cheap to acquire. Also, with cloning, you don’t have to purchase fresh seeds every time you want to grow a new plant.
Convenient – Cloning of cannabis plants isn’t just very easy to learn it is relatively straightforward to carry out.
Speed – Unlike other means of reproduction clones grow pretty fast as they begin growth at the age of the mother plant.
Pro Cannabis Cloning Tips for Smart Growers
- It’s advisable that you don’t fertilize the mother plants prior to the cutting process to enable the leaves to purge itself of excess nitrogen. Excess nitrogen in the plants can make your clones focus on vegetation instead of rooting which is what’s needed in those early days for their survival.
- Work in a sterile environment, make sure all equipment (gloves, razors, scissors, etc) are properly disinfected.
- While cutting, go for the branches that are sturdy and healthy. It is advisable that the final cutting has at least two nodes, so go for a branch that is healthy and long enough.
- Don’t take a clone off a plant once it starts flowering.
- Keep the leaves of each new clone gently moist
- All clones should be adequately nourished with nutrients, moisture and a little something extra like cloning gel or powder
- Make use of properly stored rooting powder or gel
- It is advisable that clones are taken from the bottom of the plant as this promotes faster rooting or from the top of the plant as this promotes faster flowering
- Always take more clones than you need in case of accidents, stunted growth in some clones, and so on
- It is highly advisable that you properly label every cannabis clone regardless of the technique of cloning cannabis plant employed
The world of cannabis cultivation is ever expanding and without a doubt as more studies are conducted more and more effective techniques of cloning cannabis plants will be developed; music to the ears of all cannabis lovers.