Cloning weed plants is an excellent way to preserve and propagate your favorite strains without having to spend money on new seeds each time. Yet, cloning marijuana can be a difficult skill to master as it requires knowledge, care and a lot of patience. Therefore, here is our detailed guide to successfully cloning weed plants.
> Quick jump to: How To Clone a Weed plant Step by Step
What are Cannabis Clones?
As the name suggests, cannabis clones are smaller genetic copies of their parent plant. Cloning weed involves cutting off a small piece, or cutting, from the mother plant. It is then allowed to grow and form its own roots, becoming a plant with the same genes as the mother plant. This allows you to create additional plants with the same characteristics as the original.
Advantages of cloning marijuana plants
Cloning cannabis has several advantages. Firstly, cloning cannabis plants is a low-cost way to grow additional plants and not having to purchase marijuana seeds will save you money. Secondly, it will save you time as well since you won’t have to go through the process of germinating seeds. Thirdly, you will have complete genetic replicas of the original plant. Therefore, if there is a specific strain you like, you particularly like, you can clone it to make as many copies of the same strain as you wish.
Selecting a Mother Plant to Clone (Tips)
When selecting a mother plant, make sure to choose one that is healthy and well nourished. Mother plants will not only pass their genetics to their clones but also any health problems and stresses, so make sure you choose one that is free of any defects. It’s always better to take cuttings from plants in their vegetative stage: taking cuttings from flowering plants can be risky and do not always produce the best results. Finally, try to select a plant that grows well, produces great aromas and flavors, is resistant to pests and diseases, and is known to produce excellent yields.
- Get your tools ready
- Choose rooting medium
- Prepare rooting medium
- Select cutting
- Take the cut
- Plant your clone
- Take care of your clone
In order to start cloning weed, you will need the following items on hand:
- A healthy and well-developed cannabis plant. This will be your mother plant, and it should have at least ten nodes or branches.
- A tray or similar container for growing your plants.
- Rooting medium such as Rockwool, Jiffy pellets or Rapid Rooters.
- Sterile scissors and/or razor.
- (Optional) Cloning powder or gel.
- (Optional) Humidity dome with CFL or LED light or Auto Cloner.
- (Optional) Heating mat for growing in cold climates.
There are a wide variety of rooting mediums to choose for cloning weed plants. Some of these include rockwool, peat, foam or even water. Rockwool in particular is a popular choice as it allows for plenty of airflow while also retaining moisture. You can purchase any of these rooting mediums from any grow store or online. Another option for a good rooting medium is Rapid Rooters, which is designed for rapid hydroponic growth. In any case, once you have chosen your rooting medium, set it aside ready for the next step.
First, soak your rooting medium for 12-24 hours to create a more stable pH level. Once done, add them to your tray and fill it with half an inch of water to maintain the moisture content. Additionally, you can add cloning gel or powder to the container to help the clones grow faster.
Make sure it is sterile before you add it to prevent contamination from fungi and bacteria. Cloning gel will improve the success of growing your clones, but you can choose not to add this product if you prefer your plants to develop roots naturally.
When selecting a cutting, make sure the mother plant is healthy and at least two months into its vegetative cycle. It is best to avoid taking a cutting from a plant that is already flowering if you want the best results. In addition, you should avoid fertilizing your mother plant for a few days before taking any cuttings so that nitrogen can spread out into the leaves. The more nitrogen in the leaves and stems, the more your clone will focus on vegetative growth. Look for branches that have at least two nodes on them with stems that have less thickness than pencils, as these will be worthy candidates for cutting. Make sure you wear gloves and properly sterilize your scissors or razor before cutting.
Cut the clone off just above the node on the mother plant. Then, cut away the branch at a 45-degree angle just below the bottom node of the fresh cutting. This will help increase the surface area for rooting and allow the plant to grow faster. In total, your cutting should be between 10 and 20 cm in length. Put the cutting in some water to avoid air bubbles getting into the stem. Do this for each cutting you take until you are ready to begin planting them. Remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem, leaving just the top leaves and growing tip in place.
Take your cutting and place the cut end in some cloning powder or gel if available. Afterwards, add it to the rooting medium you have prepared earlier. If your medium has a premade hole for your cutting, place the plant inside. Otherwise, you will need to cut a hole the exact size of the cutting, making sure that it fits firmly within. The tighter the fit, the healthier the roots will be. Try not to push your cutting too far to the bottom of your medium. Make sure everything is in place before planting to minimize the loss of water.
Once your cuttings have been placed in their rooting media, you will need to place them in a high humidity environment with low light levels to grow well. You should keep the temperature of the environment around 22-24C for best results. To make growing your clones easier, you should consider investing in a humidity dome with a low watt CFL or LED light source. The dome will keep the conditions warm and moist inside the dome, while the light will be low intensity enough for the plants to grow with an 18/6 light cycle. You can even add a heat mat to increase the internal temperature if growing in colder environments. Another option for easy cloning is an auto-cloner. These automatically spray the clones with nutrient water at regular intervals to promote growth. Auto-cloners can be very expensive at first, but if you plan on doing a lot of cloning, it will work out to be cost-effective in the long term.
Leave the plants to grow for the first few days, then check on them each day after to make sure they are healthy and growing well. Spray some water on them if the media has dried out. After a week, you should start seeing roots appear, at which point you can begin acclimatizing your plants to more light and air. However, you should immediately close up the vents and reduce lighting if the plants start to wilt and try again when the roots are a bit stronger. Remove any dead plants, as these might develop mold that could harm the surviving plants.
Between 10 and 14 days after planting, your plants should be ready for transplanting into soil.
Check that the white roots of each plant are a few centimeters in length. At this point, you will know that your plants are ready to be transplanted into soil. Make sure your environment is sterile and also wear gloves before commending the transplanting process. Fill each pot with soil and water it to ensure the clone remains stable when planted. Once the water has drained from the soil, create a small hole of about 3-5 cm to cover the roots. Then put the clone in the soil and cover up the roots while gently patting around the stem. You will need to keep the lighting at a lower setting and slowly increase it until the plants are fully acclimatized.
Different Marijuana Cloning Techniques
While the above is a common guide for learning how to clone a weed plant, there are some other methods that are also worth looking at. These methods on how to clone cannabis include:
- Cloning weed plants in water
- Cloning cannabis plants in soil / dirt
- Cloning marijuana plants in rockwool
- Fill a container such as a glass or bottle with unchlorinated water (pH level should be around 6).
- Take your cutting, dip it in rooting gel or powder, and then place it in the water.
- Replace the water every two to three days to avoid the risk of bacteria or algae building up.
- Monitor your plants, then transplant them when the roots develop.
- Prepare your soil and pots. Make sure the soil is unfertilized as this could harm the cuttings. Consider using a light potting mix with perlite in the soil for healthy growth.
- Soak the soil with water and let it fully drain out.
- Take your cutting, dip it in rooting gel or powder, and then place it directly in the soil.
- Gently pat down the soil around the stem to make sure it remains in place.
- Move the cutting and pot into a growing environment such as a humidity dome. Spray it with water to boost humidity if needed.
Tip: If using small pots, transplant the cuttings to larger ones with more soil once the roots reach the sides.
- Soak each rockwool cube in slightly acidic water for between two and three hours. The pH level of the water should be around 5.5.
- Make small holes at the center of each cube using a sterile blade.
- Take your cutting, dip it in rooting gel or powder, and then place it directly in the hole in the soaked rockwool cube.
- Move the cutting and rockwool cube into a growing environment such as a humidity dome. Spray it with water to boost humidity if needed.
Cloning Cannabis Plants Q&A
Here are some common questions regarding how to clone cannabis plants.
Can you clone weed without rooting gel?
It is possible to clone cannabis plant cuttings without any sort of rooting powder or gel. Some advanced growers choose to avoid using such hormones, as they prefer to let their plants develop roots naturally. One way to grow your plants naturally without gel or powder is by filling a non-transparent container with unchlorinated water. Place your cutting in the water and trim the lower leaves to keep them out of the way. Place the cutting somewhere away from direct sunlight and in an environment of about 22-24C. Within 10 days you should notice roots beginning to form, and the plants should be ready to transplant after three weeks. In addition, you can add powdered aspirin or vitamin B1 to the water to promote faster growth.
Can you clone cannabis during flowering?
While we recommend cloning cannabis plants when they are in their vegetative state, it is possible to clone plants when flowering. If cloning from a flowering plant, choose cuttings from the bottom of the plant and immediately pinch away any buds found there. Clones from flowering plants will take longer to root, and may appear bushier than the mother plant, along with other strange growing patterns such as rounded leaves. Nonetheless, after the first few weeks of growth, the plant will begin to show normal growing patterns again.
Let’s clone some Weed Plants!
Now that you know how to clone your weed plants, it is time to try it yourself! Some seeds we recommend to buy for growing weed plants that are easy to clone are Jack Herer seeds, White Widow seeds and Critical seeds. You can find these strains and more at Weedseedsexpress.