[How To] Clone Cannabis Plants the Easy Way (+ Increase Yields!) [Updated 2021]
If you are new to the art of growing cannabis indoors, then you are bound to come across the term “cannabis cloning”. Now, while most seasoned cannabis farmers know about the potential benefits of cannabis cloning, only a handful know how to do it correctly for optimal results. You should know that professional cannabis growers love to take full advantage of cloning in achieving top-quality buds. Being able to sustain the unique traits of high-producing plants is only one of the many reasons why you should consider cannabis cloning. But first, what is cannabis cloning itself?
What Is Cannabis Cloning?
Cloning is the process of removing a small branch from a living plant (called a cutting) and regrowing it as its own plant. This is a very common process for both home growers and commercial growers. Interestingly enough the vibrant red and green Poinsettias you see in the holiday season each year are usually all clones produced in a greenhouse. Cannabis cloning is the process of removing a cutting from a live cannabis plant (called the mother plant), and then regrowing it to become a new plant on its own.
Plant cloning is not a new concept as the practice dates as far back as civilization itself. Humans have been cutting off stems and branches of desirable wild plants to regrow them closer to home. Cannabis is one such plant that can perform excellently with proper cloning techniques. Now that you know what cannabis cloning is, I bet you are wondering why you should even bother with it anyway. Well, let's take a look at the factors that might require you to consider cannabis cloning.
Reasons Why You Might Consider Cannabis Cloning
1. Supplement Your Seeds
High quality cannabis seeds can be very pricey. If you clone your cannabis plant at the right time you can grow several cannabis plants from just one seed. This can save you some big bucks in the long run!
2. For Quality Control
Another reason why many people take on cannabis cloning is so that they can grow more plants with all the desirable traits from the mother plants. Commercial growers use it to keep the favourable traits of their best plants in the crop, and selectively breed the highest quality plants.
With cannabis cloning, you have already gone through the process of observing what works and what doesn't. At the point of cloning your desired mother plant, you know all the factors that can influence the growth of the new plants. Based on the data collected during the growth of the mother cannabis plant, you are better equipped to maximize your results and grow high-quality crops.
3. To Regrow Hybrids
Did you know that the avocado was initially much rounder with a larger seed, and had very little edible flesh? (What?!)
With most hybrid plants, the production of seeds is sometimes limited or completely impossible due to infertility and other factors. Cannabis cloning is usually the only way to regrow these hybrid derivatives of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis Cloning: The How-To
If you have decided to explore cannabis cloning for your indoor growing, you should know the techniques and methods that guarantee the best results. Below is the step-by-step process for successfully cloning your plants and getting new ones going.
What tools do I need for cloning, you ask?
1. A razor for cutting the stem. Always resist the temptation to use scissors because doing so might lead to crushing the inner tissues of the stem and therefore, making the cutting less likely to root.
2. Rubbing alcohol. This is used to sanitize the razor. If bacteria and/or fungi exist on the razor, it could transmit to the cannabis plant and potentially kill it. While this is a low risk, it's not worth taking chances.
3. Rooting hormone as this will provide synthetic plant hormones to increase the chances of your cannabis plant rooting and speed up its growth. Auxin is a plant hormone that aids with root development and vertical growth. Rooting hormone is packed with synthetic auxin which will significantly benefit your cutting.
4. Some form of growing medium to place the cutting in. More information on ideal growing mediums is coming up.
1. First, you should select your desired cannabis plant for cloning. Plants with healthy growth with no pest damage are best for this procedure. Ideally the cutting will be around 6 inches tall and at least 2 months of age. The plant should also be in its vegetative growth state. This is when the cannabis plant is growing taller and bushier. If a clone is taken when the plant has begun flowering (bud development) it is less likely to take root and grow bigger as the plant is focusing its energy towards the buds.
This cannabis plant is in the reproductive growth stage. Note the small white strings that are circled. These are called stigmas, which are a female cannabis plant's reproductive structure. They serve the purpose of collecting pollen from male plants. If your cannabis plant has stigmas, it is too late to clone.
2. Using a sharp and sterilized blade, cut a side shoot or the lower part of the plant stem that you'd like to regrow. The cut should be made at a 45-degree angle to provide the maximum surface area for successful germination. The red circles in the image are highlighting the best spots on the mother plant to take a cutting from.
3. The next step is to immerse the cannabis cuttings in water as soon as possible. Doing this ensures that air bubbles do not form inside the exposed stem.
4. If your cutting has many leaves still left on it, it is advisable to trim some of them off. Having fewer leaves allows the new clone to focus its energy on growing viable roots and quickens the overall growth of the plant as a whole. It is best to remove leaves closest to where the cut was made. These leaves are older, and will not affect new growth.
5. Next, you can apply a rooting hormone to the exposed tip of the clone cutting before it is placed in a growing medium. While it is ideal to use a store bought rooting hormone, honey and cinnamon both work shockingly well as rooting hormone. Both have anti-fungal properties and inhibit the growth of spores on a fresh plant cutting. Simply dip about half an inch of the cutting into your rooting hormone.
6. Once the above steps are completed, it is time to place the cannabis clone into a growing media of your choice. If you plan on growing your cannabis plant in soil, we recommend using a balanced potting mix, rockwool, or coco pod. Advanced systems such as the Grobo growing system can also be used for a rooted cutting, also known as a clone and will help you continue to grow your plant with little stress. Simply place your clone into the Grobo and watch your plant thrive! You can purchase a small humidity dome to get root your cutting, transforming it into a clone.
If the above steps are done properly, there is about an 80% success rate that your cannabis clone will grow into a full plant. You can take your cloning efforts a step further by using a Cloner. This is a device that works as a humidity dome for keeping the clones in optimum conditions until they grow strong, healthy roots that can be safely transplanted.
Anyone can replicate the method of cannabis cloning described above, even with limited growing experience. However, there are also more advanced methods of cannabis cloning, one of which is known as tissue culture cannabis cloning. It is a more complicated process that requires equally advanced equipment, experience, and expertise. Check out these 10 advanced cannabis growing techniques.
Cannabis cloning is a process that is highly beneficial to commercial growers and home growers alike. Rather than worrying about how your next batch of cannabis plants will turn out, cannabis cloning can offer a decent level of stability in yield and crop quality.
Cannabis cloning can save you time, money, and a whole world of stress if you do it right. And like everything else, the more practise, the better you get at it.
Here is an awesome video to help get you cloning your cannabis plants!