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How to Make Marijuana Clones

One of the most essential skills of successful plant growers is having the ability to clone your most prized plants. One of the most reliable ways to have a bumper crop year after year is to clone the plant that has the highest percentage of attributes you are looking for. Marijuana plants will vary within each crop, so when you find the one that has the exact characteristics you are looking for, it is very beneficial to make a copy of that plant and take the element of variability out of the process.

Main Reasons for Cloning Plants

Marijuana plants are created from seeds that are produced by a male and female plant. Each plant produced from seed will carry some characteristics of the parent plants. Cloning plants is unnecessary to produce plants, but it removes the variability in plants which can give a more consistent and reliable harvest. That being said, there are some downfalls with cloning as well, which we will get into a little further on.

The quality of marijuana plants comes down to potency, taste, and buds. When you grow a plant that hits high marks in each of these areas, then cloning that plant will allow you to have a consistent way to produce high-quality plants. When you clone a plant, you are building the code from the mother plant into the clone. This allows you not only to grow a plant close to the original, but to produce an exact copy. The genetics within the cloned plants will not change. It is also possible to keep a genetic line of a plant going for many years. One mother plant can produce many clones each week. This gives you the opportunity to reproduce your perfect marijuana plant many times over. Clones can be planted outdoors in Colorado or California, and they can also thrive indoors in grow rooms from Texas to New York – the choice is yours.

When you have a good harvest, you might think it would just be simpler to take seeds from the successful plants and grow more marijuana from them. While this can produce more plants, the THC levels within them will be lower. Each time a plant gives off seeds, the plants grown from those seeds will have lower levels of THC. If you want to all but guarantee yourself a successful growing season year after year, then cloning is a wonderful option.


The Process of Cloning

The logic behind cloning marijuana is fairly simple. To make an exact copy of a plant, you can take a cutting from the plant and put it into the soil. Once that plant takes root and grows, you will have created a clone. With marijuana plants, the process is more involved but still straightforward and simple.

If you are an outdoor grower, you will need a longer season to produce clone plants. You can take the cutting from your original plant at the three-month mark when the mother plants are mature. This will not likely leave another three months for the clones to reach maturity, but it might not matter. Even clones that end up being smaller or shorter than their mother plants can produce a successful harvest. Shorter clones have been known to produce several buds in the top layer regardless of their overall height.

When you do find the mother plant that you want to make clones from, start by taking some bottom branches of the plant. Taking the bottom branches of the plant will not hurt the health of the plant, and those branches are the least likely to produce anyway due to the lack of sunlight they receive. You can make a clone of any plant, but you will probably have the most success with a younger plant around three months old.

There is not much that can go wrong when you clone weed plants, but the simplicity of the process does not guarantee success by any means. The fact is that most marijuana clones will die before they establish a root system within the soil. It would be typical for about ten percent of clone plants to survive, grow and add to your harvest. If you know this going in, then there should be much less frustration or disappointment with clones that do not survive.


Select the Mother Plant

Selecting the right mother plant is crucial to having a successful clone harvest. There are several key characteristics to consider when making this choice. Take your time and be thorough in this selection process because it will save you time down the road and yield much better results.

Healthy plants are the starting point for your search. You want to single out the heartiest and fastest-growing plants. You also want to look at the harvest a plant produces and the number of buds that are present. If the plant you choose is growing inside, then the clone will do well if also grown inside. You can say the same for a plant grown outside. The root system is the final checkpoint to use. You want to select a mother plant that has a strong root system because this will increase the chances of success when cloning.

Marijuana plants go through different growth like any other plant. To have the greatest chance of a successful clone, you will want to take a cutting from your mother plant when it is in the vegetative stage. The vegetative stage typically starts around the third week after you have planted the seeds but can last up to the sixteen-week mark. Taking a cutting during this stage will allow the clone plant to take root much more effectively.

If you wait until the flowering stage in the life cycle of the plant, the chances of that clone not surviving go up significantly. The plants typically hit the flowering stage around week seventeen. This is when buds will develop.

The first time you go through the cloning process, you might not have all the experience to know exactly which plant will be the best one. If you follow the simple process of choosing a female plant that appears healthy and is in the vegetative stage, that is a solid starting point. This can also be simplified one step further by choosing amongst our strains of feminized seeds. Choose a plant that is three to four months old to ensure that it is well into the vegetative stage, as this will help with producing as many clones as possible from that plant.

When you choose a mother plant, there are a few steps you can take to prepare the plant for the cloning process. You should reduce the amount of nitrogen that the plant is receiving by about ten percent at least two weeks before you plan to take the cutting from the plant. This will help the cutting have a greater chance of successfully taking root. Your clone plant will also have a greater chance of success if you choose a mother plant grown from regular seeds. Plants grown from feminized seeds or auto-flowering seeds will have a lower chance of producing a successful clone.

Time to Cut Your Stems!

After you have completed selecting the mother plant, it is time to cut some stems. You want to make sure you select a branch that will be long enough to allow the roots to grow. Make sure there are two to three nodes below the top of the branch you are choosing to cut. Nodes are places where the branch and main stem intersect. It is also advisable to take branches that are lower down because they will not be as productive for the mother plant. Larger leaves on a branch are also an indicator that that branch will take root faster. Some experienced growers take branches from the top of the mother plant to encourage a clone that will have a more productive flowering stage. This is something you can experiment with and determine which method produces greater results.

When you cut the branch from your mother plant, cut it an angle. This is typical when making a cutting of any plant because it helps to increase the amount of water that the cutting will absorb. Your cutting should have at least six inches of the branch, and you want to ensure you have maintained at least one pair of leaves. This will allow new branches to grow from the cutting. Sharp scissors are the preferred tool for making a cutting, so you do not crush the stem.

Once you have clipped the cutting, wrap it and place it in a dark area. This will help the rooting process get started. For the rooting process to be successful, the cutting will need some air. Too much air, however, can slow the process down. Cutting the stem while it is underwater or running water over the plant while making the cutting can help ensure that just the right amount of oxygen is getting to the plant. Adding solution to the plant can also increase the chances of success.


Help Your Cutting Take Root

Once you take the cutting from the mother plant, there are several options for helping the new plant take root. The first step that you should take is to use a root powder or gel to help promote root growth. You can apply these products directly to the cutting. The next step is to put the cutting into whatever material you plan to have it grow in. One option is to use pots or cubes. You can purchase these at any store that sells garden supplies. These work well because they give young plants the growing conditions, they need to take root and survive. Another option is to use a water or gel solution. This option does not contain any soil, so it is typically fortified with mineral water.

New plant cuttings usually have a difficult time getting enough air when they are young. You can help your clone plant by creating an environment that will help keep the plant moist and allow enough aeration to work through to the plant. Options for this step in the process could include buying a plastic dome that would sit over the top of the plant or using a propagator that will create the same effect. The dome traps the moisture that would otherwise escape and provides the ideal conditions for the new plant. A DIY method would be to use plastic food storage bags over the top of the plant to create the same effect. You will need to check your new cuttings often to ensure enough air is making its way to the plant.

You should expose your new pot plant to light for about 12 hours a day. You will also need to water it often in the early stages to make sure it stays healthy. The most effective way to water the plant is to use a spray bottle. You also need to keep a close watch on the leaves. If they are looking dried out, then you likely have too much air interacting with the plant. After several weeks of caring for your new plant, you should be able to replant it into your chosen area to grow.

The three main mediums to root your plant in are rock wool, peat moss, and water. You should soak rock wool cubes in water that is neutral to help keep the growing area moist. The temperature for ideal growing conditions is about 75 degrees. You should also maintain the growing area at around ninety percent humidity – so basically your average summer Florida weather. You can use regular potting soil, and you can just follow the same steps you would for any plant. The third option is to put the cuttings directly into the water. When using this method, you need to make sure you change the water every few days to prevent algae growth.

Final Thoughts

Growing a prized marijuana plant may seem difficult, but when you use an easy to follow cloning method, you can grow that prized plant over and over again. Also be sure to use quality American seeds from a trusted seed bank like Weed Seeds USA to start your growing or cloning journey. Take your time when selecting your plant and follow the timelines that are outlined above. You might not have success with some of the plants, but when you do successfully clone a plant, it will be one of your greatest accomplishments as a grower.


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