Learning how to make cannabis clones is an extremely valuable skill for all cannabis growers. It allows us to make exact genetic replicas of our favorite plants so that we can reproduce the final buds.
There are lots of benefits to cloning and whether you’re a seasoned cultivator or just starting out, learning how to make cannabis clones can save you time, effort, and money while ensuring you always have your favorite strains on hand.
In this comprehensive guide, I will cover everything you need to know about cannabis cloning, from choosing a mother plant to taking care of clones and transplanting them.
Why clone cannabis plants?
Cloning cannabis plants comes with several benefits over growing with seeds. When you grow from cannabis seeds, you will notice that each seed produces a slightly different plant even though they come from the same strain. Some plants will have higher cannabinoids, other higher in terpenes, and they will have different looks etc.
Once you have found a healthy plant with an optimal genetic makeup and the cannabinoid and terpenes profile that you like, you can reproduce the original plant by creating clones.
The benefits of clones are
- Consistency — Clones are genetically identical to their parent plant, which means you’ll enjoy the same taste, potency, and yield from each plant.
- Efficiency — Cloning is a faster process compared to growing plants from seeds, as clones can be harvested earlier.
- Cost-effective — Cloning is an affordable way to expand your garden without the need to purchase seeds continually.
- Branding — If you find a unique pheno of a strain, you will be the only grower to have that exact variation. With clones, you can reproduce it and build a brand around it.
If growing from seed is your only option, you can follow our guide on how to germinate cannabis seeds here.
What is a cannabis mother plant?
A cannabis mother plant is a healthy, mature female cannabis plant that serves as the source for making clones. These plants are kept in a vegetative stage to ensure a continuous supply of fresh, healthy cuttings for cloning.
This mother will be the original plant that all other clones come from so take good care of her!
How to choose a mother plant to clone
When selecting a mother plant, consider the following factors:
- Genetics — Look for a female plant with desirable traits, such as high yield, potency, and resistance to pests and diseases. Some marijuana plants are great producers but have other flaws that make them poor mothers so choose wisely.
- Health — A healthy mother plant will produce healthier clones. Ensure the plant is free from diseases, pests, and nutrient deficiencies.
- Age — A mother plant should be at least two months old before taking cuttings. This ensures the plant has reached maturity and can produce viable clones. If the plant is too young or too old it makes successful cloning more difficult.
How to clone a cannabis plant: The cloning process in 8 simple steps
Choose a rooting medium and setup
When cloning cannabis plants, you have a variety of rooting mediums to choose from, such as rockwool cubes, peat pellets, or even just water. Select a medium that best suits your needs and preferences.
Personally, I like using rockwool because it is easy and has a high success rate. Learn how to use rockwool here.
How to clone in rockwool or starter cubes
- Prepare the rockwool — Soak the rockwool cubes in water with a pH of 5.5-6.0 for a few hours to adjust their pH. Drain the excess water.
- Take a cutting — Choose a healthy, vigorous branch from the mother plant and cut a 5-8-inch-long stem at a 45-degree angle using a sterilized razor blade or scissors.
- Remove leaves — Remove the lower leaves, leaving only the top two or three sets of leaves on the fresh cutting.
- Dip in rooting hormone — Dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone to promote root growth.
- Insert into rockwool — Gently insert the cutting into the rockwool cube, ensuring the stem is in contact with the medium.
- Maintain humidity — Place the cutting in a humidity dome or cover with a plastic bag to maintain high humidity levels around the cutting.
- Provide light — Place the cutting under fluorescent lights or LEDs, keeping a light schedule for clones of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.
- Monitor and water — Keep an eye on the cutting and water it as needed. After a couple of weeks (generally 1-2 weeks), the healthy clones should develop strong roots and be ready for transplanting.
How to transplant your weed clones
Once your clones have developed a healthy root system, it’s time to transplant them into their final growing medium.
- Choose a suitable medium — Select the best soil for weed clones or a hydroponic system, depending on your preferences and experience.
- Prepare the transplant site — Dig a hole in the soil or prepare your hydroponic system to accommodate the clone’s root system.
- Remove the clone from the rooting medium — Carefully remove the clone from its rooting medium, ensuring you do not damage the roots.
- Place the clone in the transplant site — Gently place the clone in the hole or hydroponic system, ensuring the roots are well covered. If you are continuing in rockwool, you can place the starter cube inside a larger rockwool slab directly.
- Water and provide nutrients — Water the clone thoroughly and provide a balanced cannabis nutrient mix to support the clone’s growth.
- Monitor and adjust — Keep an eye on your transplanted clones, addressing any issues like clones drooping after transplant. Adjust light, temperature, and humidity levels as needed to ensure healthy growth and further the rooting process. Use Amplify for a higher success rate.
What to look for when buying a marijuana clone
If you’re considering purchasing a cannabis clone, there are a few things to look for to ensure you’re getting a healthy and viable plant.
- Inspect the cannabis clones — Look for clones with bright green leaves, no yellowing or wilting, and a thick stem. If you can see the mother cannabis plant, that is a plus.
- Stem width — A thicker stem is often a sign of a healthier clone and it gives you a stronger plant that is easier to transport to your grow.
- Clean and quarantine your cannabis clones — Once you’ve bought a clone, ensure you clean and quarantine it before introducing it to your garden to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
FAQs about cannabis cloning
Why are my clones drooping?
Clones may droop due to overwatering, underwatering, or transplant shock. Monitor your clones closely and adjust your watering and care routine accordingly.
How much light for transplanted clones?
Transplanted clones should receive 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness, just like during the rooting stage.
Do clones need darkness?
Yes, clones benefit from a period of darkness, as it allows them to rest and recover. A light schedule of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness is ideal.
Best temperature for clones?
The ideal temperature for clones is between 72-77°F (22-25°C), with a humidity level of 70-80%.
How to cut clones?
To cut clones, choose a healthy branch from the mother plant and use a sterilized razor blade or scissors to make a 5-8-inch-long cut at a 45-degree angle.
Clones look healthy but no roots, what to do?
If your clones appear healthy but have not developed roots after 2 weeks, consider the following
1. Check the environment — Ensure the temperature, humidity, and light levels are optimal for root development.
2. Use a rooting hormone — If you haven’t already, dip the cut end of the clone in a rooting hormone to promote root growth.
3. Be patient — Some strains may take longer to root than others. Give your clones additional time before discarding them.
How long should clone roots be before transplant?
Clone roots should be at least 1-2 inches long before transplanting them into their final growing medium.
In conclusion, cannabis cloning is an excellent way to propagate your favorite strains while maintaining consistency and efficiency in your garden. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking care of your clones, you’ll be well on your way to a thriving cannabis garden with your favorite strains. Happy cloning!
Cannabis Grow Series
This article is part of the cannabis grow series where we want to teach you how to grow cannabis step-by-step in a simple and effective way. Explore the full series here!