Cannabis propagation is an essential topic for any grower, whether they are growing plants for a personal purpose or in a commercial setting. Both seed germination and cloning have their own benefits and disadvantages, but when it comes to choosing the most secure method, plant tissue culturing is beyond competition.
Propagating cannabis with seeds is applicable if you want to create a new strain or enhance some properties of the existing strain. However, genetic mutilation can be a disadvantage if you want to get plants with certain characteristics and expect your cannabis to show no variations in traits.
Cloning does give you the opportunity to get new plants that are genetically identical to the mother plant. However, this method also has some drawbacks. First of all, it is labor-intensive and associated with a high risk of losing the clones if the conditions are not perfect. Moreover, cloning is a very time-sapping task: you need to grow a mother plant, protect it from all the possible diseases and pests, take clone cuttings, clean them up, plug them, and treat them as carefully as it is possible until they become strong and can grow independently. Often, young clones become the first victims of pests or different pathogens, especially before they start functioning like regular plants in their vegetative stage.
At the same time, plant tissue culturing can give you much better results in cannabis propagation. The only condition that should be observed is a sterile lab area. Once this requirement is met and the plants receive growth hormones, your work is done, and the rest is up to them.
The best thing about tissue culturing is that this method removes the guesswork. If you provide a sterile environment, the plants cannot be destroyed by pests or diseases. Even if you cannot provide such conditions within your facility, there are numerous companies that offer such a service. They can provide you with the tools you might need for this procedure and guide you through the whole process of performing tissue culturing.
The plant tissue method allows you to regenerate a whole plant identical to the mother plant from a small piece of a leaf, stem, or even root. It can be possible due to the special medium that includes plant growth hormones.
A leaf cutting is placed into a sterile petri dish or special flask together with a sterile solid or liquid medium that consists of some organic nutrients and inorganic salts, vitamins, and, most importantly, plant hormones. These hormones activate cell division.
Since plants can automatically differentiate cell types, no more help from the grower is needed: plants will form their own roots, stems, branches, and leaves. Once the plantlets have emerged in the medium, a grower can slice them off and root them into a new petri dish to allow them to form both roots and shoots and begin to mature. When they look like regular sprouts, they can be placed in a greenhouse or flower pot like a normal plant.
You can grow as many plants as you want from a single leaf―all you need is to place a plant sample in a petri dish and watch it grow. This method allows you to grow a great number of new plants in a very small space, which can be essential for personal use growers or those who have a limited growing area.
Additionally, plant tissue culturing can be applied in cases when you need to save a plant from infection and quickly multiply it. It saves you from degeneration of the chosen cannabis genetic line, and due to the sterile conditions, you may be sure that your sprouts will not die from mold or pest contamination.
Tissue culturing has already become a standard way of propagation for numerous agricultural cultures, such as strawberries and blueberries. It has a great potential for recreational and medicinal cannabis industry as well.