What are Clones?
If you read our How to Grow Cannabis 121 article (about seeds), you’ll remember that we briefly mentioned clones as a source of genetics, and that we’d get to them later. Well, it’s later. Here we go.
A Cannabis clone is an plant grown directly from a cutting of a “mother” plant, and as a result it is genetically identical to the parent plant. We create clones from mother plants via the following steps.
- Take a cutting from mother
- Plant the cutting in medium with a rooting hormone and follow-up with rooting stimulant
- Transplant the cutting when roots are established
There are several great advantages to cloning versus growing from seeds. Cloning from a known “mother” is going to (generally) assure female plants, which is you want for the biggest and best flowers. Cloning also allows you to reproduce the exact characteristics that a desirable mother plant may have, without the variation you’d get from seeds. While there are clear advantages to using clones, it really depends on what you want from your grow.
Let’s talk a little bit more about the steps involved:
Without getting too technical (there will be time for that in later articles), a cutting is made from removing a low growing branch from the mother plant. The cut end of the small branch is where the new roots will develop. The cut end is placed into water to avoid air bubbles getting into the stem, which will hinder new growth.
2. (Re)Plant in a Medium
The cutting is then typically given a rooting hormone to help stimulate the formation of new roots. The cutting is then placed into a rockwool cube or other growing medium and kept in a humid environment while the new roots develop from your cutting. Typically, to keep the environment humid, the clones are placed into plastic domes that are kept warm and moist. Clones should be ready for transplant in 10-14 days but be sure to visibly inspect your roots before you transplant.
When the roots have been established, you can transplant your new clones into a larger container for continued growth. The added space allows the roots to spread and for plant growth to really take off. Once you’ve transplanted the clone and it continues growing successfully, you have entered the vegetative state.
So there you have a very basic introduction to Cannabis clones. Please be sure check out the other “How to grow Cannabis” articles, including our further reading on intermediate and advanced genetics. In future articles we’ll also discuss the specifics of how to take cuttings and properly root the cuttings.
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About the Author
Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network. In addition to editing the GN blog, Chris also works on the Canna Cribs series.