Cloning may seem like something from a sci-fi movie. Although cloning has not yet been mastered in people or animals, there is one type of cloning that is actually quite common: cloning cannabis.
Every marijuana plant is a little unique. Each strain is bred from different parents, and that is how each marijuana strain gets its unique properties. Although two parents may be bred together to create a seed for the new strain, the new plant could still be slightly different.
That’s where the cloning of marijuana comes in. It allows growers to continue to produce a popular and well-performing plant over and over again.
What Does Cloning a Cannabis Plant Mean?
Cloning a marijuana plant is, in short, creating a duplicate of an existing plant. When growers clone a plant, it will have the exact same features as its mother. This includes identical smell, taste, and effects.
Why Clone a Marijuana Plant?
There are many reasons marijuana growers may choose to clone a plant.
The biggest reason growers have to clone a marijuana plant is to produce a plant with identical characteristics to an existing one. The ability to duplicate a plant that has proved popular among customers allows growers to produce that same plant year after year.
But that’s not the only reason to clone a cannabis plant. Other reasons to clone include:
- Since several clones can be created from one marijuana plant, growers can maximize their harvest with minimal effort.
- Cloning supplies are relatively inexpensive, allowing growers to mass-produce a popular plant with minimal cost.
- Clones grow faster than seeds, allowing growers to produce more plants quickly.
How to Clone Marijuana Plants
Cloning marijuana plants is a pretty simple process, as long as you have a good mother plant and the right tools.
First, growers will want to gather their cloning supplies, including:
- The mother plant (must be a female plant) that they want to clone.
- Scissors or clippers of some kind. Make sure they have been sterilized.
- Starter cubes to help make your clone a success.
- Cloning gel or a rooting hormone to stimulate growth.
Then, take a minute to read the information included with your rooting hormone or cloning gel. The instructions will tell you when to use it and how. Reading the instructions early will help make the potting process easier down the road.
Once everything is gathered up, it is time to start the cloning process.
- Take a cut of your mother plant. Many growers will choose to cut the plant’s bottom branches since those receive less light and would struggle to survive if left on the mother.
- Then, cut a piece off the below the new growth at about a 45-degree angle. The new clipping should be between 4 and 8 inches.
- Apply the gel or root starter to the starter cube as the directions previously indicated. Once it has been applied, it is time to place the new clipping into the starter cube.
- Wait for roots to start growing out of the starter cube. This can take anywhere from a few days to a week or two. Once you see roots starting to grow out of the starter, the clipping is ready for the next step.
- Finally, plant the growing cannabis bud in a medium of your choice, however you typically grow plants.
If this seems like a lot of work, clones, like marijuana plants and seeds, can be purchased. All you do is replant the new clones in the container of your choice.
Purchasing Your Clones
Check to see if the seller grows their own plants or purchases the clones from a third- party. It is okay to ask where their clones originally came from.
Caring for Your Marijuana Clones
Once the cannabis clones have been transplanted, they will still need attention to ensure they flourish.
Marijuana clones do best in warm, humid environments. These plants thrive in temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat lamps or setting the cloning tray on a heat map can help keep them at the right temperature.
Be careful with lighting for the newly planted clones. Be sure to give the baby clones some darkness every day. Many growers suggest clones should receive 6 hours of dark and 18 hours of light.
The clones should be trimmed, with dead parts removed should they start to wither. Not doing so can attract pests or fungi that can ruin and kill the cloned plant and its neighbors.
Tips for Choosing the Best Mother Cannabis Plant
Choosing a quality, hearty mother marijuana plant is important. When it comes to choosing a mother plant:
- Make sure it is at least two months old. By this age, the mother will have gone through a few growing cycles.
- Make sure it is not flowering. Cannabis growers should not take a clone off a plant once it starts flowering.
- Choose a mother that has a strong aroma, good flavor, and high potency.
- Ensure it has shown resistance to molds and pests. If these issues have plagued your cannabis plant, it is not a good option for cloning.
By choosing a good, solid mother plant, the cannabis clones will have a better chance of surviving. Plus, why would you want to clone a plant that is not that great?
Cloning Cannabis Like a Pro
Cloning cannabis allows growers to create a duplicate of a plant that is popular or that the grower is fond of. This process makes an exact copy of the mother plant. Cloning is a quick and money-smart way to increase a harvest’s yield and remove the guesswork on the effects a newly grown strain will have.
Experts and amateurs alike can grow cannabis clones, or clones are available for purchase to make things even easier.