If you have your own marijuana garden, especially if you are growing marijuana indoors, using weed clones may be a great option to make your garden more efficient. More than that, clones allow you to shorten the time of growing significantly.
Unless you want to create your own stock of cannabis seeds, buying them all the time can be quite costly. You need to wait until seeds germinate, taking into account that not every seed will grow properly. Plus, some of them may not germinate at all.
With the clones, your chances to fail are minimal. Of course, doing it for the very first time may bring some anxiety, especially to those who have never learned how to clone weed. But, believe us, this is not rocket science. There are plenty of methods for taking clones, and we are sure you can find something that would suit your growing style the most.
Cloning the plant means that you need to cut the side branches from a donor plant and create one or more plants with exactly the same genetic makeup. When cloning weed, it is very important to know for sure whether your donor plant is female.
If you grew your donor plant from seed, you should probably wait until it is 3-4 weeks old. Wait until the branches are formed and have several leaves on them. Branches that are too young are no good for cloning. Each start should have at least three nodes (nodes are the places where the leaves are connected to the stem). The plant will use these places later to create new side branches with new sets of leaves.
If you are not going to harvest the donor plant (for instance, because you are growing it only for cloning or because without side branches there are not enough leaves for further growing), you may also use the top of the plant as another clone.
The next step is to choose the way of rooting the cuttings. There are several options, all of them are great, and no method has a clear advantage compared to the others, they all have their own pros and cons. You may stick to one method which seems to be the most suitable for you, or experiment with all of them to find out which methods works better with the strain you are growing.
Mineral wool, mostly known by its Danish brand name of “Rockwool,” is molten rock furnaced at a temperature of 2910 °F. The strong stream of air turns the heated rock into a fiber material that is often used for heat conductors, sound absorbers, and, what is more interesting for us, as a growth medium in hydroponics.
The key advantage of this medium is that it retains a lot of water and air at the same time. The main downside is that natural pH of the mineral wool is way too high for the plants and may kill them very quickly. Therefore, you need to soak mineral wool in a special conditioning solution first (you may find it on Amazon or ask for it in a flower store) that will lower the pH to the level appropriate for cannabis plants.
If you do everything right, mineral wool will work like magic to your cuttings: the ability to retain water and air will help the roots grow fast and strong. And it is impossible to overstate the importance of a solid root system for successful marijuana-growing operation.
Another important thing to remember for everyone working with mineral wool as a grow medium is to use gloves and wear safety glasses (or at least be extremely careful with the material). Just like fiberglass insulation, mineral wool consists of tiny particles that can scratch and irritate your skin.
These two ingredients are usually mixed in a 50/50 combination. TThis approach allows the mixture to hold a large amount of air and water. Perlite is a special kind of heated volcanic glass that has lots of “pockets” where the air and water can be stored. Sphagnum (or peat moss) is a bog moss that holds the water without letting it evaporate.
When you transplant the cuttings with root, the mixture can be easily removed. However, this mix does not hold shape, so you need to use pots for it.
Oasis cubes are a special material for growing plants from seeds or for rooting the cuttings. This material is made from open-celled foam in a shape of connected cubes with a hole in each cube. It is very easy to place the cutting into these holes, and if the holes are not deep enough, you can easily make them bigger. The material has no influence on the pH level, so once you buy it, it is ready to use. It keeps water and air nicely, giving the roots an opportunity to develop fast and densely.
Oasis cubes are friendly to your skin but are not too friendly to the environment as they do not compost in the ground.
Rooting plugs are made from natural materials: a mix of composted tree bark and a binder. It may take you about 6-12 days to see the roots on the cutting, which is a bit longer than on mineral wool, but still this method provides almost 100% success. Basically, rooting plugs work like a sponge, so it holds moisture for a long time. Just keep an eye open for the mold.
The process of cutting off the branches is quite universal. Find some branches with at least three nodes, then cut them with the sharp knife. We would not recommend you to use scissors as it will smash the stem; later, it can slower the developing of the root system.
It is better to cut the plant at 45-degree angle; such cut can help the branch get more water from the medium. You can even gently peel the very bottom of the brunch from its skin to give the plant more surface for absorbing the moisture.
We would also recommend you to use root stimulator, a product that contains a special vegetative hormone that pushes the plant to create the root system faster. Simply deep the cut edge of the branch into the stimulator powder and then place it into your chosen grow medium.
Now, all you need is to be patient and wait until the root system develops enough for your plants to be transplanted into bigger pots. Keep an eye on your little garden, do not let the medium get dry. Depending on the humidity, lighting (we would recommend 24 hours of light at this time), and temperature, it may take the cuttings 5-14 days to root.
As you can see, the whole process is not difficult at all and is definitely worth trying. Happy cutting!