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Cloning Cannabis: a Complete How-To-Guide

If you grow your own marijuana plants for recreational or medicinal use — or if you’d like to start — consider cloning cannabis instead of growing from seed.

Cloning is an easy way to preserve a plant’s growth and production genetics from one generation to the next. You’ll have to start your grow the normal way, but, after it gets going, you’ll never have to buy seeds again.

In this article, the cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana tell you everything you need to know about this unique growing method.

What Is Cloning Cannabis?

Cloning is the process of cutting off a piece of a plant in its flowering stage, replanting the cut piece, and nurturing that sprout until it grows on its own.

Scientists call this cutting-and-replanting action cloning because it creates an exact copy of the original plant (known as the daughter and mother respectively).

This may not seem like a big deal, but the daughter plant will have identical genes and growing characteristics as the mother.

So, if you clone a mother plant that produces lots of flowers with high levels of the cannabinoid you’re after, chances are high that the daughter plant will, too — all without having to spend money and time starting from seed.

What’s more, cloning cannabis is drastically different from growing a new plant from seed because the seed itself contains slightly different genetics than the mother plant from which it came. Sorry, but that’s just the way plant biology works.

For example, if you take a seed from a mother plant that produces lots of flowers with high levels of the cannabinoid you’re after, put it in a pot of soil, and grow it to maturity hoping to get the same traits in the new plant, you might be disappointed.

The next generation may produce lots of flowers, but tiny genetic variations may reduce the concentration of the cannabinoid you’re after. If you continue harvesting seeds generation after generation, eventually, all the traits you enjoyed in the original plant will change.

Cloning cannabis, on the other hand, preserves the genetics, growing characteristics, and plant traits from one generation to the next.

How To Get Started Cloning Cannabis

Choose The Right Plant

Not all strains of cannabis make good subjects for cloning.

In fact, not all plants within the same strain make good subjects for cloning.

So, how do you go about finding the right mother plant to cut?

Here’s the bottom line: Choose the plant with the right combination of characteristics to maximize your bud yield.

Yes, the strain is important as it applies to general growing characteristics and the effects you hope to achieve with the finished product (i.e., recreational or medicinal).

With cloning cannabis, however, it’s more important to find an individual plant within the strain you choose that demonstrates a specific set of traits.

We recommend cloning cannabis from a plant that:

Grows quickly and vigorously in the vegetative stage
Grows quickly and vigorously in the early part of the flowering stage
Grows lots of stems and bud sites
Grows to medium height
Is not of the autoflowering variety

Why do we recommend these traits?

Because plants that grow slowly often take a long time to restart, re-veg, and get going again after you clip off a piece for cloning. That’s why we like to clone plants that grow quickly in the vegetative and flowering stages.

Similarly, you want to choose a plant that grows lots of stems and bud sites with as little outside interference as possible. Why? Because, really, that’s the whole point of cloning cannabis — to get as many flowers as possible from a single plant.

When you find a plant that grows lots of stems and bud sites, that trait will transfer to all the clones cut from the original plant and give you the high yield you’re looking for.

The last thing to consider is the height of the original plant. You don’t want a mother plant that is too short (because it will have a hard time restarting), nor do you want one that is too tall (because the daughter may be even taller).

For optimum growth and yield, choose a medium-height plant that fits with the other characteristics on the list above.

And, as we mentioned, never try to clone an autoflowering strain. These types of cannabis plants are not affected by light exposure so you cannot force them to revegetate.

For example, let’s say you want to clone a high-CBD/low-THC strain, like Harlequin, and you germinate five seeds.

Watch for a plant or plants that exhibit the characteristics we mentioned above — fast, vigorous growth in the vegetative stage and early part of the flowering stage, lots of stems and bud sites, medium height, and is not of the autoflowering variety.

Keep in mind that some plants will have these characteristics and some won’t.

You may only get one or two plants that fit the bill, and, from those, you may only take one or two clippings. But those will turn into brand new plants that you didn’t have before.

Now that we’ve discussed how to choose the right plant, let’s dive into the particulars of cloning cannabis.

Cloning Cannabis Option #1

Supplies

Razorblade, scalpel, or sharp scissors
Rubbing alcohol
Glass of water (properly pH-balanced if possible)
Plastic bag
Long-term growing medium
Grow lights

Directions

At about three weeks into the flowering stage — 28 days into the 12/12 bloom cycle (that’s 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark) — choose your best female plant.
Sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol.
Select a branch low on the plant with two or three nodes (avoid woody branches).
Find a spot about ¼ of an inch below a node.
Cut into the branch at a 45-degree angle below the node.
Place the cutting in a cup of water so that the liquid covers at least an inch of the stem.
Cover the cup with a plastic bag to retain moisture (make sure the bag isn’t airtight).
Change the water every three days.
Transplant the clone into the long-term growing medium when the roots are at least one inch long. Some growers wait until the roots are six inches long. This takes more time but doesn’t shock the plant as much when you transport the new growth to its final growing space. If you don’t want to wait that long but you still want a modicum of shock prevention, try transplanting when the roots are three inches long.
Nurture the clones back to the vegetative state by exposing the new growth to the same light/dark schedule you’d use for a regular plant in the vegetative state (e.g., 18/6, 20/4, or even 24/0).
Maintain this re-veg process until the clones branch profusely and their leaves return to normal growth and appearance (about 30 days from taking the cuttings).
Continue growing the clones as you would a regular pot plant from seed.

Cloning Cannabis Option #2

Supplies

Razorblade, scalpel, or sharp scissors
Rubbing alcohol
Rooting compound gel or powder
Rooting cube
Long-term growing medium
Grow lights

Directions

At about three weeks into the flowering stage — 28 days into the 12/12 bloom cycle (that’s 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark) — choose your best female plant.
Sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol.
Select a branch low on the plant with two or three nodes (avoid woody branches).
Find a spot about ¼ of an inch below a node.
Cut into the branch at a 45-degree angle below the node.
Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting.
Dip the stem in rooting compound.
Poke a hole in the rooting cube with a pencil.
Place the clone in the rooting cube.
Keep the rooting cube moist. If you’re using a plastic tray, maintain about ¼-inch of water at the bottom.
After a few weeks, you’ll notice roots pushing through the bottom of the rooting cube.
Transplant everything (rooting cube and all) into the long-term growing medium.
Nurture the clones back to the vegetative state by exposing the new growth to the same light schedule you’d use for a regular plant in the vegetative state (e.g., 18/6, 20/4, or even 24/0).
Maintain this re-veg process until the clones branch profusely and their leaves return to normal growth and appearance (about 30 days from taking the cuttings).
Continue growing the clones as you would a regular pot plant from seed.

Should You Try Cloning Cannabis?

If you always buy your bud at the corner dispensary and leave the growing to someone else, it’s probably not a good idea to try cloning cannabis your first time out of the gate.

Instead, cultivate a plant or two all the way through to the end first so you have some idea of what’s involved in the entire process.

Once you’ve gone from seed to smoke sesh with your own grow operation at least once, you’ll be better prepared to take on the more advanced task of cloning cannabis.

On the other hand, if you’ve grown at least one crop of sinsemilla to completion, you should absolutely try cloning cannabis.

As we discussed in this article, the process does require a bit more time, effort, and knowledge than raising plants from seed, but all that extra work will be well worth it when you’ve got piles of ganja safely tucked away for a rainy day.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100% all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.

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Article: honestmarijuana.com

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