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Cloning Cannabis: Fundamentals for the new grower

May 31, 2016

Cannabis cloning is the process of creating an exact copy of a favorite plant. You can grow without ever having to plant a seed; this means you will never run out of bud again. Cloning guarantees a female plant that inherits the mother plant’s characteristics.

Here’s a step-by-step review of a cloning technique designed to give you a consistent and high quality product.

Equipment: rubbing alcohol, scissors, hormone (you can choose from liquid, gel or powder), rooting cubes, plastic cups, 2500K CFL bulb (a weaker light source is better for cloning), labels and a marker.

Make sure that the surface you are working on and the tools you are using are cleaned thoroughly.

1. Choose a mother plant that exhibits the characteristics you are looking to reproduce. Your mother plant should be healthy and at least 4-5 weeks old. It must be disease- and pest-free and already in flower. For best results, feed your mother plant a high-phosphorous, low-nitrogen fertilizer at least one week prior to cutting.

2. Select a strong healthy branch from the mother, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch in diameter. Directly above the third node down, make a 45° cut across the stem with a sharp blade or scissors. Be careful not to cut the stem in the process.

3. Take off the lowest two or three leaves, being sure to trim them off at the node.

4. Trim the remaining leaves horizontally in half. This will keep them from overlapping and reduce the water evaporation from the clone.

5. Fill about one-fifth of a plastic cup with water and place the cutting into the water. Each cup will hold approximately five to 10 clones.

6. Soak the rooting cubes you have chosen (this is called your medium) with water. Make the hole big enough for your cutting. Put the rooting hormone in a separate container to avoid contamination. Dip each of the cuttings into the hormone up to the first node. Make sure that the solution is covering the stem evenly, and then gently push the cutting into the medium.

7. Water the medium lightly and evenly. It is imperative that you keep the moisture levels up, because the clone has no roots and cannot supply water to the leaves. However, you can have too much moisture. A great way to tell this is by squeezing the medium; if it is soggy, it has too much water. Remove any excess.

8. Label each of the cuttings with the date you have taken the clone and the type of plant.

9. Place the clone under a fluorescent bulb for 18 to 24 hours a day. Keep your clones about 4-6 inches away from the bulb.

10. You will get a better root system if the medium is a bit warmer than room temperature. Best results can be had at 75-80°F. Your medium can be heated using a heating pad or incandescent bulb placed below the cuttings.

11. Your clones may wilt a bit but will return to normal by the end of the week. If not, remove them from your grow.

12. New roots will take 2-3 weeks to appear. Once they have started, move the lights closer (about half the distance).

13. Finally, transplant your clones once they have fully developed, functioning roots.

This system should have you cloning your favorite strains with ease and precision.


By Kelly Martin

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