Cloning Practices 101 — Getting Started
Cloning is a great way to jump-start your cannabis grow operation! Whether you’re a Colorado start-up, established dispensary, or a fledgling home grower, cloning can take weeks off the process compared to starting from seed. It’s also a great way to save money on seeds, quickly expand your grow operation, or carry on the legacy of your favorite plants!
Simply put, cloning is taking a cutting, allowing it to grow roots, and replanting it. The clone will be the exact genetic replica of the mother plant.
The first step is carefully selecting at least one mother plant. Obviously, you’re looking for a strong, healthy plant with all of the qualities you’re hoping to replicate. This could be a favorite plant from your own garden, or you can buy one from a trusted source. We sell many varieties of healthy, vigorous plants to get you started. Or, if you’re not in a hurry, you may choose to start from seeds and grow several plants. Once these mature, you’ll be able to choose your favorites from which to take your cuttings.
Take cuttings when the plant has at least 6 nodes and is between 4 to 8 weeks old. Cutting when too young may result in a weaker clone. When taking cuttings, always use a sterilized blade and cut at a 45 degree angle.
Now comes the 10-14 day rooting process. At this time, place the cuttings in water in simple cups or a propagation tray that will give them support. Cover cups with a plastic baggie or put the cover on the propagation tray. Place in an area with low light. Other than changing the water every 3 days, this is the hands-off period. Just leave your clones to develop their roots. You can transplant your clones when the roots are at least a 1/2 inch, but you may prefer to wait until they are 1 inch or longer. The longer the roots, the less shock they will experience when you transplant them.
Select the clones that look the healthiest and have the strongest looking roots. Handle them carefully—the roots are very delicate at this stage.
We like to transplant our clones in 2×2 inch pots with coco fiber (coconut coir). This allows the roots to keep growing without wrapping around themselves. We like the versatility of coco fiber, because it can be transplanted into any substrate, even hydroponic systems (just rinse the coco fiber off the roots). Plus, coco fiber is pH neutral.
We choose to water the clones only with pH water. The transition into your garden will go smoother and your plants will experience less shock. Always be careful not to overwater your clones. This will weaken your roots. Over the next week or two, the root systems will develop and become stronger, and your clone babies will be ready for the big time! Just repot into larger containers with your chosen medium.
This is obviously just a brief synopsis of how to clone. A quick Google search will provide you with an overload of information on cloning techniques, dos and don’ts, equipment needed, etc. Or you can simply contact us with your questions, and we’ll be glad to help.