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How to Clone Cannabis

Cannabis plants can be tricky to clone. This is because when cannabis plants are grown, they have a very low success rate in cloning. The good news is that there are some things you can do to increase the odds of your cloning attempt being successful. 

In this article, we will discuss everything on how to clone cannabis and provide tips on making it happen successfully!

What is a Cannabis Clone?

A cannabis clone is a vegetative cut-off at the bottom stem and roots, which method growers can use for propagation. This is the method by which growers can make clones from their best-growing cannabis plant.

The cloning process allows growers to have an exact genetic copy of their favorite strain that they’ve been cultivating for years or months to share with friends. The clones are grown from cuttings taken from one plant, the mother, to produce genetically identical offspring without any alterations.

Cannabis growers also use clones as test subjects before growing out large batches. This ensures they know how well-suited the clones will be for indoor or outdoor cultivation.

Benefits of Cannabis Clones

Some of the noteworthy benefits of cloning cannabis plants are as follows:

– Clones are notorious for being more disease-resistant than seedlings. These plants can come in handy when an outbreak of pests or diseases threatens your cannabis crop. 

– A cloned cannabis plant is usually more sustainable and lasts longer than plants grown from seeds. Cannabis clones can also grow faster because the vegetative cycle is shorter. 

– Clones have a lower risk for genetic mutations since only one plant is used as the parent compared to using seed-grown plants where many different strains exist, which could cause mutation. 

– Finally, cannabis-cloned flowers tend to produce more THC per square foot with fewer inputs like water or nutrients required for growth.

As you may know, it’s illegal to sell marijuana in some states. However, if the law does not apply to your region, then marijuana clones could help you save money!

Cannabis Mother Plant

What Is a Cannabis Mother Plant?

A cannabis mother plant is a cannabis plant that has been carefully selected to produce clones.

The clones will take on the genetics of the father and mother plants, so it’s important to use parents with desirable traits such as high yield or low THC content for medical purposes.

You can also select an older female cannabis plant and breed her with male mates to create new strains from specific genes you want in your garden (such as blueberry). This process produces more pollen which may affect other flowering females nearby; if this isn’t what you’re aiming for, be careful about selecting males who are too close in proximity at any given time.

The best way to avoid accidental pollination is by isolating all but one flower per plant. This means you’ll have to be patient and wait about two weeks before the plant can produce a usable clone, more on that later.

If your plants are in an outdoor garden, make sure they’re pollinated by natural means; if not, manually hand-pollinating will do (exact instructions below). 

Once the male pollen is removed from flowers on the mother plant with cloth or paper towels as soon as it drops off naturally (before it touches any other flower), she can continue producing clones indefinitely without risk of accidental cross-pollination.

Mother plants only provide cuttings from the plant in the vegetative stage. You shouldn’t take clones off during the flowering stage of the mother plant- they may become hermaphrodites and severely damage the original plant.

Qualities of a Good Mother Plant

Here are some qualities you should look out for in a mother plant before cloning:

  • The mother plant should be healthy and not diseased or genetically defective. 
  • She should grow rapidly, with high yields of potent flowers resistant to mold and pests. 
  • It is important for the mother plant to have adapted well to its local climate to produce viable offspring in various environments. 
  • She should be able to produce the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for which cannabis is renowned. 
  • The mother plant should have a large genetic diversity to pass on its strengths to successive generations.

The importance of these characteristics in producing a quality cloning solution cannot be overstated: without them, your clones will end up being less potent and more prone to disease than their parent plant was before you cloned from it. If you want healthy plants with desirable traits, then make sure the mother flowers are of incredible quality.

Tools Needed for Cloning Cannabis

There are some key items you’ll need when cloning cannabis as a grower, and they’re all relatively inexpensive: 

  • Scissors (for taking cuttings off the mother plant), 
  • A razor (to trim up those cuttings), 
  • A rooting setup with the soil medium of your choice, rooting hormone.
  • A spray bottle is also helpful for misting the leaves to prevent wilting or drying out while waiting for roots to establish themselves. 
  • Inserting a cloning tray will speed up the process as well. 

As long as these five things are on hand, any ambitious grower can successfully clone their favorite plants at home! 

cannabis trees

How to Clone Cannabis Plants

Cloning cannabis plants is not difficult, but it does require some care and consideration. Cloning is an option if you want to grow cannabis plants quickly without waiting for seeds or germination time.

Here’s the step by step process from our expert marijuana plant growers;

Pick the Right Medium

Choosing the perfect medium is the first step to successful cloning. As a medium, there are various options available for you to choose from.

However, many cannabis industry experts recommend using Rockwool cubes—made from molten rock that’s been spun into a fine thread. These allow for plenty of airflows and provide great moisture retention. 

Make sure to also invest in a plastic tray (which will hold the cubes and help them retain some water) and a dome or propagator to maintain humidity around your clones.

Make Sure the Tools are Clean and Usable

Both the cutting and mother plant are at high risk of bacterial attack and infection. The tools and hands must be clean while you take care of the plants. 

You can ensure that washing your hands before handling the plant and sterilizing any equipment used in contact with it. This way, you will minimize their chances of infection by eliminating those pesky bacteria. If you don’t have a medical-grade autoclave to do it with, combine one cup of bleach in water with two cups of hydrogen peroxide for an effective antimicrobial solution that can be used as hand soap or surface cleaner.

Prepare the Medium and Root Hormones

As soon as you take your cutting from a mother plant, cut off any roots touching the floor and trim the top of it. Clean away all organic material from around where you collected it (the soil or water) to avoid contaminating other plants with bacteria.

To prepare for cloning, wet your medium before you start the process. We recommend not flooding the medium with water because clones prefer high humidity and a slightly moist environment.

Cutting to Clone Cannabis

Select a Cutting to Clone Cannabis

Choosing a cutting to clone cannabis is an important decision. Once you have the right marijuana plant to clone, you increase your chances of growing a healthy clone of your female cannabis plant.

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s worth being educated on how to go about selecting your cuttings wisely so as not to spend time or money fruitlessly. 

The most popular way to select a plant for cloning is using what growers call “mother plants.” These have been grown in soil over several months (usually one year) before they’re used for reproduction through clones.

You can select a cutting from either a vegging or flowering plant in your garden. Once you take clones from a plant that’s in the vegetative stage or flowering stage, you’re on your way to clone roots. Rooting hormone will come in handy here. But we’ll cover more on that later.

A flowering plant has a higher chance of producing successful clones. This is because genetic material from the mother plant can be transferred to the clone, which will then grow into an identical DNA match. 

If you want to avoid vegging plants this way and use flowering plants for cloning, make sure they’re close enough in height so that your cuttings don’t have too much extra space between them as they start.

The ideal time to take cuttings also depends on what type of cutting you choose: leaf or stem. It’s important to know when these two parts generally produce new growth before taking cuttings at different stages than usual (taking more daily cuttings means less risk).

Make the Cut

To take a clone of cannabis, make sure the cut is at a 45° angle and below the last node. This will ensure your cutting can grow roots more quickly.

For newbies, we recommend taking one clone at a time. Experts recommend taking upwards of three. If this is your first time cannabis cloning, less is probably better until you have the techniques perfected.

Cannabis Clones

Time to Place the Clone on Humidity Dome

The next step is to place the humidity dome over your clone. Adjust the humidity in it to between 45% and 55%. 

There are many benefits of putting a cannabis clone into a humidity dome: 

  • The roots will start generating water up as they grow, which strengthens root growth. This also prevents any fungus from attacking either our leaves or our plant’s root system. 
  • It’s not just about preventing drying out; you can try to induce more moisture by placing some ice cubes on top of an old T-shirt inside the container with your new plants (or even place one under). 
  • The idea is that this keeps the air humid without having to use so much extra water. Great for those who live in dry climates!

Track the Growth

You should track the cannabis clones’ progress so that you can transplant them at the correct time. That’s right. Unlike planting seeds, cannabis cloning cultivation is all about the timing!

At this stage, you should check the roots, branch, and leaf growth at least once a day. Once cleaned, go ahead and use root hormones on either end of the stem before placing into potting medium within containers ready for planting. If using pots without holes in their bottom for drainage, poke some small holes in them so excess water can escape during watering.

It is important to have this information on hand because if you transplant too early, there will be less light available for the weed plants, and they may grow more slowly than planned.

On the other hand, if a clone needs more time in its root zone before being transplanted, it’s much better to know about it now rather than later when your cannabis plant might start showing signs of stress due to lack of nutrients or water depletion. For example, if you don’t move your clone into the soil until after three weeks from seeding (usually by checking roots), make sure not to wait any longer than five days between watering sessions while the clone is in the soil.

When you check your clones, it’s important to know that checking earlier than three weeks can cause some cannabis plants to show stress symptoms like wilting or drooping leaves. And if a leaf looks discolored (either yellowing or browning), this could be due to transplant shock, and the plant needs more water.

Unlike seeds, it might take up to two weeks before roots are visible on cannabis clones, so don’t worry if they haven’t yet sprouted! It all depends on how fast your particular strain of weed grows- some will have their root system fully developed within ten days, while others may take twice as long. 

Most cannabis strains need about 20-30 minutes of light per day so make sure your clones are growing under plenty of natural or artificial lighting! And don’t forget that you may need some assistance with controlling humidity if it is too high (or regularly check on things).

Clones should be watered every three days until they’re put into grow space, any longer than five days between watering sessions while the clone is in the soil.

Transplant the Weed Plants

To transplant the clones into soil or coco, remove the plastic cup from around the roots and gently dig a hole in your medium of choice. Then lift one side of the clone’s root ball to make it easier for you to plant- but be careful not to damage any delicate roots! Finally, move on with potting soil or coco by filling in around your new clones, so they are buried at their crowns (or just slightly above).

Remember when cloning cannabis: The most crucial step is caring for them after being planted in the grow space.

Cannabis in Rockwool Cubes

How to Clone Cannabis in Rockwool Cubes?

You can clone cannabis in Rockwool cubes by taking a cutting from the mother plant and sticking it into some moistened Rockwool. Just follow the below techniques;

– Make sure the cube is about three inches away from any other leaf of that same strain, or else you will have doubled up on genetics. 

– Place your cuttings inside sealed plastic bags to maintain higher humidity levels, so they don’t dry out too quickly. Seal them with tape for protection against light leaks.

– Put the bagged clones into another container, like an old milk jug filled with water, and seal its top as well with tape before placing it outside overnight until morning arrives. This creates a mini-greenhouse atmosphere for your clones!

– In colder weather conditions, make use of heated buckets so that the clones don’t freeze.

– Cuttings have a high tendency to dry out before rooting, so make sure you keep misting them with water.

– If the cuttings are in Rockwool cubes and they’re just sitting there on your cannabis plants for weeks without any sign of life – try some new methods!

Common Mistakes Cannabis Growers Make When Cloning Cannabis Plants

Here some of the most common mistakes cannabis growers, especially the newbies, when making clones:

  • Choosing the wrong plant for cloning. You should only clone a healthy female cannabis plant to get a healthy and strong clone. If you want male clones, then pollen from good-quality plants is necessary.
  • Not selecting fresh cuttings with at least four nodes (leaves). Cloning too soon or waiting too long before taking the cutting can result in stunted growth of your new plants.
  • Lacking humidity levels during the rooting process. This can lead to root rot in potting soil mixes that won’t hold moisture well without additional hydration measures. Prepare them with water before planting them into containers or using organic soilless mediums like coco coir instead of peat moss-based ones.
Clone Cannabis

Additional Tips for Successful Cloning Cannabis Plants

We have shared most of the basics above. Here are some other things to keep in mind when cloning cannabis plants:

  • Keep the clone bag moist at all times by spraying it with water or misting it before sealing. A wet surface ensures good adhesion between the leaves and will lead to better-rooting success.
  • For roots to form, clones need air circulation, so don’t seal up your cloners too tight! Darker areas are also important because that’s where chlorophyll is produced, which provides oxygen for photosynthesis (this means you can close off a portion of an area while keeping the rest open). When light cycles change during winter, be sure not to bring your clones out into the full sun, as this could burn their delicate new leaf tissue and prevent them from absorbing enough water.
  • You can use cloning gel to help the clone adhere more tightly or a rooting hormone that will stimulate root growth and increase your success rate of cannabis clones taking root successfully.
  • Don’t water too often! If you keep watering them, they’ll start getting moldy, which is no good for anyone. Be sure not to leave them in stagnant water as this could also lead to fungus growing on top of the leaves from excess moisture. Give it an occasional misting but don’t overdo it!
  • It is important to keep the roots of the cloned cannabis clone wet and moist, so keep it in a container with plenty of water.
  • Keep temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit (21°C – 29°C) without fluctuations up or down too much to avoid shock or stress on plants.

So, that’s all for today. We hope you found this article helpful, and feel free to contact us with any other questions!

Louis Levey
Louis Levey
Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He's passionate about cannabis, sustainability, and helping businesses use content marketing and SEO to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


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