Motherplants are a smart idea for most marijuana growers.
One thing for sure is your motherplants have to be carefully maintained in a way that’s different than your regular cannabis plants.
Lighting for motherplants is a mild dose of grow phase light from LEDs, light emitting ceramic, or metal halide.
You try to get away with the minimum hours of light and the minimum intensity necessary to keep your motherplants healthy and green—except you give a longer daily dose of light starting a week or two before you intend to take cuttings.
I give my motherplants 15.5 hours of light per day using LEDs until ten days before I intend to take cuttings when I up that to 17.5 hours of light per day until I’ve taken the cuttings.
Then I dial back to 15.5 hours per day.
Growers who have a veg room and a bloom room sometimes keep their motherplants permanently in the veg room at the margins and give the main lighting to the clones and/or seedlings directly under the lights.
You want to give your motherplants as few hours of light as possible (to save money on lighting) but not so few that your motherplants start flowering.
I also use a cost reduction program regarding water and nutrients.
I use grow phase nutrients at a reduced parts per million, and less water than usual.
The reason you do this is your marijuana motherplants are going to keep growing. Unless you’re taking cuttings from them every two weeks, if you give them too much fertilizer and water, they’ll overgrow your room and make too many sucker shoots.
Motherplants and rejuvenated plants usually need root pruning and transplanting.
Many growers have their motherplants in 10-20 gallon containers, but even those containers can be too small for the root zone of a motherplant that’s been alive for many months or years./
No matter if you’re using soil, rockwool, coco coir, deep water culture or other root feed and placement systems, roots can overgrow your container space.
Root pruning is preferable to having to constantly put your motherplants into larger and larger pots.
You do root pruning using sharp, clean manicuring trimmers to evenly remove a percentage of the root ball, no more than 15-20%.
You only do root pruning after taking cuttings, no sooner than a month before taking cuttings, and no more often than once every seven weeks.
Your marijuana motherplants are in an unnatural situation.
They never get to go into flowering, and they suffer from having cuttings taken.
You have to monitor the plants for signs of stress.
They might go into hermaphroditic pre-flowering, for example.
I feed my marijuana motherplants B-52, an anti-stress B vitamins booster that also has some N-P-K.
I also give beneficial microbes such as Voodoo Juice, and Rhino Skin, which is potassium silicate that strengthens plants and fights stress.
These additives are especially important as a root feed just after you take cuttings.
And after I take cuttings I do a couple of foliar sprays on my motherplants consisting of B-52 and Rhino Skin.
My foliar spray is 200 parts per million at 5.7 pH.
I also use a 200 ppm foliar spray of B-52 and Rhino Skin 2-3 days before I take cuttings.
For basic feeding, I use pH Perfect hydroponics base nutrients because they offer very reliable root zone pH which is very important when plants are going to be kept alive for a long time.
Marijuana motherplants wear out after 2-5 years depending on their genetics, plant maintenance, what you feed them, grow room conditions, and how many cuttings you take and how often you take cuttings.
After marijuana motherplants wear out, the clones you get from them aren’t as vigorous or potent.
I recommend that all marijuana growers grow from seed for at least one crop cycle per year.
Healthy motherplants save you time and money, and preserve treasured genetics.
Using the tips in this article, you’ll keep your marijuana motherplants healthier and more productive.