New strains can be grown from seeds, but what about when you grow that perfect strain? You found the one that produces high-quality, high-yield buds, but now what do you do? The key to success is plant cloning. Successful plant cloning guarantees the same, consistent results that you got from the first plant. Cloning has been used in gardens worldwide for centuries, and cannabis is only the latest addition to plant cloning.
What is Plant Cloning?
Cloning is taking a plant cutting and successfully establishing its roots. When the cutting has successfully taken root, it is then considered a clone. As a clone, it is a genetic copy of its mother plant. A grower that can successfully clone a plant ensures that they will have a self-sustaining garden that can produce consistent results.
Editor’s Note: Many growers use rooting solutions to accelerate the process of root formation. As discussed in our article on Vapor Pressure Deficit, many growers choose to use a plastic dome to keep humidity high and cuttings comfortable while they establish their roots.
Clones can be purchased, but the health of a purchased clone is questionable. Did the grower use pesticides on their mother plant? Is the clone free of pests like spider mites? How certain is the grower that they’re selling the strain they claim to be selling? Are there pathogens hiding on the clone? These are all valid questions to consider before purchasing a clone. Rather than bring pests into your garden, you can learn to clone your plants and keep your favorite strain in rotation without worries.
Benefits to Plant Cloning
There are multiple benefits to cloning plants:
- When you clone a plant, you are improving the odds that the plant will produce the same amount each harvest. A plant clone will have identical traits to its mother plant.
- You can replicate any desirable traits via cloning.
- Clones are predictable. When a plant is cloned, you will already know how that new plant will grow. Because it is a genetic match to its mother plant, it will grow similarly to its mother if it’s under the same environmental conditions.
- Cloned plants reproduce faster. If you want to speed up your harvest time, one of the best ways to do that is to use clones instead of seeds. Cloned plants have adult leaves and a root system. It is weeks ahead of a seed started at the same time.
- Growers typically see roots within two weeks of taking a cutting.
- You don’t have to worry about having dud seeds. You can instantly see the results if a cutting is failing.
- You can reproduce pest resistance. A strong mother that has shown resistance to pests and disease will pass that trait onto its clones.
Plant cloning is a tried-and-true method to maintaining a self-sustaining garden. If you want to keep your favorite strains in rotation, plant cloning is the way to go.
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About the Author
Carissa Johnson runs the marketing department for Hydrodynamics International. She writes on all things grow-related, with a focus on plant propagation.