Cloning

Cloning

Clones

Don’t let the term scare you or conjure up images of Dolly the Sheep or complicated  George Lucas fantasies. Cloning plants is a very straightforward process that has been going on naturally in nature for billions/millions of years.

Cloning is simply the process of cutting a healthy plant shoot and then making it take root.  The new plant that will be produced will be an exact genetic copy of the original “Mother Plant” and will have only that one parent.

There are many, many advantages to cloning including:

  • Quicker ability to insure you have an all female crop after having removed the male plants.
  • Saving money on not needing to buy more seed once you have established a successful crop.
  • It’s easier to produce large quantities of plants faster.
  • You can ensure that once you have developed a great tasting, well-balanced crop that you are able to maintain this from crop to crop as the genetics and the taste will always be the same moving forward.  A wise man once said,  “If it ain’t broken, no need to fix it.”

How to start cloning – taking your cuttings:

Cloning

Cloning with Cloning Gel

In order to being cloning successfully, you’re going to need to learn how to take cuttings from your plants.  Cuttings are best taken during the vegetative stage. You can take them during the flowering stage as well, but this will waste time on your new plant’s growth as the cutting will have to revert back from flowering to vegging states, as it will initially be confused with its switching gears at first.

When you choose a mother plant for your cloning make sure that you are dealing with a plant that is at least 4 weeks old and has a minimum of 6 branch/leaf nodes so that it will be healthy enough to survive the cutting and to provide you with a cutting that is healthy enough to start out on its own.

Choose a healthy looking branch from low down on the stem. Make sure the branch has at least 2 or 3 nodes.  With a sharp razor or pair of trimming scissors cut the branch away from the stem with a 45 degree angle cut.   Remember to clean the razor or scissors first with rubbing alcohol so that you aren’t introducing unhealthy elements to both mother plant and the cutting, thereby jeopardizing both of their futures.

The next step will be to make sure that your cutting is able to start rooting.  It’s possible to do this by putting the cutting into a cup with water for 6 to 14 days so that it can sprout roots. Covering the cup with plastic will help retain moisture.

The better method for rooting is to first dip the bottom of the cutting into a rooting gel or powder such as” Clonex Gel.”  Following that, you can insert the cutting into a good grow medium such as Rockwool.  Covering the top of the wool in order to block out light from the cutting while it takes roots its recommended as the cutting is now in a very delicate stage and we want to avoid over-lighting it.

Low level lighting conditions from fluorescent lighting is fine at this point. You will gradually increase lighting as the plant gains roots and is growing.  At this point, you do not want the fluorescent light to be any closer than 10 inches from the young clone.

Once you are at the stage to transfer up to a larger pot or container of grow medium, the young clone can be brought into your grow room along the rest of your crop if wanted.  Consider for its earlier stages partially shielding it from the grow room lights as it is still more delicate that more mature plants.  Utilizing partial shade provided by a larger mother plant is a good method of sheltering these new plants from too much light.

Once you are at the stage to transfer up to a larger pot or container of grow medium, the young clone can be brought into your grow room along the rest of your crop if wanted.  Consider for its earlier stages partially shielding it from the grow room lights as it is still more delicate that more mature plants.  Utilizing partial shade provided by a larger mother plant is a good method of sheltering these new plants from too much light.

It’s recommended that for the first few days after the plant has rooted to feed the young clones only with water.  Make sure you have the proper drainage so that the roots can get plenty of oxygen.  After that you can begin with a diluted nutrient mix and gradually work your way up. After approx. 2 weeks, when the root system is firmly developed enough you can re-pot your young clones into larger pot of whatever grow medium you plan to use until maturity.

It’s recommended that for the first few days after the plant has rooted to feed the young clones only with water.  Make sure you have the proper drainage so that the roots can get plenty of oxygen.  After that you can begin with a diluted nutrient mix and gradually work your way up. After approx. 2 weeks, when the root system is firmly developed enough you can re-pot your young clones into larger pot of whatever grow medium you plan to use until maturity.

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