Cloning A Marijuana Plant: What is Cloning and How to Clone Cannabis, Advantages & Disadvantages of Cloning: In this chapter, we talk about cloning – a method of growing marijuana plants which are identical in every aspect without the need of seeds! Cloning is one of the most popular techniques of growing and it is an alternative of the traditional method of growing where you germinate a plant and transplant it. Let us take a look at what cloning is, the benefits that it offers, and the process of cloning.
What is Cloning?
When it comes to reproduction, there are two ways in which plants can reproduce – sexually as well as asexually. Sexual reproduction involves pollination – when the pollen impregnates a plant to give rise to seeds which result in new plants. However, there are also other ways of reproduction – which are asexual methods. Cloning is one of the most popular asexual methods of reproduction when it comes to plants, especially marijuana plants.
Cloning involves a ‘mother plant’ from where cuttings are taken to grow another plant identical to the mother plant. The biggest difference between sexual and asexual reproduction of a marijuana plant is that when you sexually create a marijuana seed, it will be a hybrid of two different plants while asexual reproduction does not give you that luxury.
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Why Should You Clone Your Marijuana Plant?
Cloning is the ideal method of growing marijuana plants if you are satisfied with the kind of crop you are growing and want the exact same marijuana plant again and again. Cloning is a stable and sustainable model of growing marijuana plants and it ensures that all your future plants would be similar to your best performing plant.
These cloned plants provide you with the same flavor, the same chemical composition of the buds, the same amount of flowers per plant, as well as similar grow time. This gives you a greater level of homogeneity when it comes to your plants – as well as more control because when you know how one plant grows you know how all plants grow and the kind of effect a certain change has on one plant would reflect over all the plants.
Cloning also saves you the effort of having to buy new seeds, distinguishing the feminized seeds or taking the chance of randomly growing male and female plants. It also saves you the money when it comes to buying seeds. Once you have found the perfect combination, you can continue to grow that for life.
How to clone a marijuana plant?
Let us now get to the actual process of cloning and how to clone a marijuana plant. Cloning is a process that requires a different kind of approach than regular growing. Let us take a closer look.
Identifying the mother plant
- The first step to cloning is to identify the mother plant. Decide on the plant that you want to be the prototype for the growth of all future plants. Make sure that the plant you are choosing is the absolute best and the healthiest. Cloning a diseased mother plant would result in a diseased growth of all the plants that grow from it. This mother plant needs to be in its vegetative state and should be at least 3 weeks to 2 months old when you decide to cut from it.
- If possible, while cutting the plant, cut using a razor and not using scissors. Scissors tend to be counterproductive as they might end up crushing branches which will make the process harder.
- While cutting, look for lower branches which are sturdy and strong. Moreover, always cut them from as near to the stem as possible and at an angle of about 45 degrees. This angle helps ensure that the surface area is enough for you, ensuring the plant grows faster.
- As soon as you have cut a clone branch, put it in the water. Putting your fresh cutting into the water ensures that there are no air bubbles which form inside the stem. Air bubbles prevent water from reaching the stem – which can result in the death of your clone.
After you have identified the mother plant and cut multiple branches from it, you now begin the process of rooting. Consider this as a parallel to germination. While you wait for the seed to germinate, here you wait for the cut portion of the branch to develop roots. This process is called rooting. There are three ways in which rooting is possible:
- Rockwool Cubes: A Rockwool cube is one of the most popular non-soil alternatives for germinating seeds as well as rooting. This is basically a mixture of rock and sand spun together to provide a good airy space for the initial growth phase. You can place your clone in a rockwool cube as it is good for the air circulation as well as water supply.
- Soil: The second option that you have is to plant your clone directly on to soil. Choose a neutral soil (one which does not have a lot of nutrients). Moreover, when it comes to planting your clone directly on the soil for rooting, make sure that you water it just right (not less or more).
- Water: A third option that many people prefer to use is water cloning. This is a simple process which involves keeping the cut clone in water for an extended period of time till the roots begin to appear.
Rooting usually takes about a week to 10 days. You’ll know your plant is ready and rooted once you can’t tug it out from the cube you’ve planted it in.
Similar to how seedlings are transplanted after they grow a shoot, clones too are transplanted once they grow roots. Once you begin to see new growth happening on your clones, you’ll know it is time to transplant them to a larger container. The growth cycle from there on is the same as it is for a regular marijuana plant.
Let us now take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of cloning.
Advantages of Cloning
- No need to buy seeds saves money, time and efforts.
- Rooted clones take less time when it comes to flowering than compared to other, sexually produced marijuana plants.
- It ensures of a standardized output – you know how your plants are going to be and that all your plants would result in the same kind of output.
- The process of growth of rooted plants to is much faster than seedlings as the plants are already as mature as the mother plant.
Disadvantages of Cloning
- If the mother plant is infected, all the clones too will succumb to the same infection.
- Does not allow you to create hybrid plants – which is something that sexual reproduction does allow.
- Clones need to be handled really gently, especially in the rooting phase, it is always advised to take multiple cuttings.
- All clones are females, which might result in problems if you intend to breed in the future.
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Cloning A Marijuana Plant: What is Cloning and How to Clone Cannabis
All you need to know Cloning A Marijuana Plant: What is Cloning and How to Clone Cannabis
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