Cloning is the process of making small copies out of full grown cannabis plants. This can be a tricky process and its very easy to kill them so proper care has to be taken. Clones are easy to do if you follow a few easy steps although even done properly there could be a few losses. It’s worth the experience to learn this, seeds can be hard to come by and very expensive. Clones allow you to make copies of the plant you are using so you want to make sure that it is female, healthy and has a lot of tips to cut. Usually if you know you are going to cut a certain plant for cloning, you want to top it while it’s young so more branches grow out from the plant. The more branches the more tips you have for cutting. Cloning is the best way to make sure all the plants you plant are females and a great way to keep growing a strain you know is good.
Proper cutting is the beginning of these steps so let me explain. When you make clones, you are cutting off parts of a full grown female plant, the parts you are cutting are the tips of the branches and generally around the base of the plant, the root hormones are more prevalent the closer to the base.. When you cut these tips of you cut them at a 45 degree angle at this time or just cut them right off the plant. Before you treat them with hormones and put them in a growing medium you have to cut them at a 45 degree angle, it also helps to rough up the skin of the stalk where you are dipping in hormones. This allows more surface area to be treated and more of a chance for the plant to absorb the hormone treatment and water. Usually I use what is called Rootone, it is a hormone mixture that you dip the tips of the cuttings you cut for clones. It comes in powder or gel form. You dip the cutting into the Rootone several times to about 2 inches from the cut you made. Then you push the cutting about 2 inches into the growing medium. As far as the growing medium, you want something that is rich and black! It has to be well composted and no sticks an bark so get the good stuff with fertilizer included. Spend the money, it’s well worth it!!
Proper Enclosure is also very important for many reasons, you want to protect your clones and be able to control the water for feeding and the humidity they are growing in. Store bought plastic trays are great for this, they are cheap and you can get them with a bubble top so when you put your clones in they are protected and sealed. they also will have room to grow a little. The other nice thing is they provide nice little cups for your clones that sit in the tray, that way you can put water in the tray and make sure the clones stay very moist. A heating pad on low uner your tray will work wonders.
There are many cloning machines available now that work great once you get the system down! You still have to cut and dip but then you just place in the machine and walla! You have rooted clones in 5 to 7 days.
Proper temperature means between 70 and 80 degrees, A good place would be say on a heating register for forced air furnaces. Or in a furnace room where it is warmer constantly. (Heating pad)
Proper lighting means NO DIRECT SUNLIGHT! The clones are very fragile and if you have an intense light on them for very long it could kill them! The light you use could be florescent, LED or incandescent or any of the high intensity light as long as they are not to close to the clones. You don’t need a lot of wattage here but you need to have good light, a 150 to 300 watt halogen fixture would be sufficient but keep the light at least a foot away from the clones. Two 30 watt florescent would also do the trick, preferably grow bulbs and you could put the florescent’s right up to the clones! There is no real heat generation from these bulbs. The amount of light should be at least 16 hours per day on a timed schedule, you could easily go to 20 hours of light if so desired but the plants need time to regenerate, grow root and a lot of the growing process takes place at night while the plant utilizes all the food it has crated during the day.
Proper feeding and Watering is the key! Your clones have been cut off a plant and basically are in shock. The hormones on the end will promote root growth at the area of the cutting and up the stem but as the plant grows, everything under the ground will begin to root assisted by the rooting hormone. That is why you want to make sure you dip the cuttings deep into the Rootone a couple times because that will promote rooting everywhere it is touching the stem and the excess that comes off as you push it info the soil will also help protect the base of the cutting. (Rootone and other products like it are plant hormones, hormones that promote growth and rooting.) The cutting cannot absorb much because you have cut the life blood access to the roots. The Rootone will be sucked up into the plant at the cut and trick it into rooting and growing roots. The growing medium varies from cubes made from different materials to cups with soil or medium of some type. Too water I guess it depends on what you are actually using! If you are growing in small enclosed trays with cubes, you want to open them up every morning and evening and spray all the leaves until wet, spray the inside of the cover and put it back on. I also will breath a bit into the vents at the top and then close them to put CO2 into the container. You do not want the cubes soaked or sitting in water or it will rot the base of the cutting. If you are growing in cups and soil, keep the soil moist but not damp, it really helps if you can cover them so that you can keep the humidity high, starting clones the humidity should be around 70%, Temp in the 70’s so any way we can control this is great. the only way the clone is going to be able to absorb water and nutrients is through the cut you made at least for the first week anyway, it will be drawing in the rooting solution and efter 5-7 days, roots should start growing. after the roots begin to grow it will be able to absorb nutrients and water and should be transplanted into a larger pot.
Air cloning is the process of making your clones on the plant. This is great for a lot of reasons. You are not cutting off the plant/clone and you don’t have all that stuff to deal with! The best thing for Medical patients is the clones are left on the plant so they are not counted against your total number of plants allowed. What you do is pick your spot, slice it with a razor or exact o knife and rough up the skin of the plant where you are slicing, inject cloning jell in the slit you created. Take a thin piece of material and put your cloning jell on it and wrap in around where you cut and injected with jell. Fasten it securely and in several days you should see roots coming out of the material you have wrapped around the plant stem. Usually 5 to 7 days and when you see the roots, you can cut the clone off and place it in the medium you are using and your all set! When you get this down, you will never go back to the old way!