Five Rules For Successful Marijuana Cloning
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | August 02 2011 | 61392 views
By Lee G. Leissett
Always take your cuttings from a healthy mother plant to reduce stresses.
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One of the hardest aspects for the medical marijuana gardener to master is the art of cloning. Gardeners rely on successful clones to ensure they have enough plants to fill their garden and when that need is unmet, frustration sets in. Throughout my years of gardening I have been able to be successful at cloning in different mediums and methods because I stick with some basic rules.
Take cuttings from a healthy mother plant. When cloning, you are creating a genetic duplicate of the mother plant. Unfortunately, that includes any problems the mother might have as well. Do not take cuttings from sick or stressed plants. Doing this will only assure you low success rates and many problems down the road.
Temperature. A consistent temperature is imperative to successful cloning. Inconsistent temperatures will slow the rooting process down and lower success rates.
One of the reasons it is advised to leave your lights on for 24 hours in cloning is to help maintain a consistent temperature. Optimal temperature for cuttings is 75-80 degrees F. Remember to monitor your temperatures throughout the whole 24 hour period. The temperature needs to consistently be in the desired zone to get roots fast.
If your temperatures are too cold the cuttings will usually go into a state of suspended animation; they will look healthy for weeks but never form roots and eventually will die. If you are experiencing low temperatures, purchase a heating mat for cuttings in propagation trays or submersible water heaters for cuttings in an aeroponic cloner.
If the temperature is too hot the cuttings will generally dampen off or rot. If you are experiencing hot temperatures, purchase better fans or an air conditioner. You can also move your cutting station to a more desirable location, like a basement. In an aeroponic cloner, if your water temperature is too warm, try cycling the pump on and off with a cycle timer. Submersible pumps create heat and cycling them will allow the water to cool down.
Humidity. Cuttings like high humidity for at least the first few days. Using a humidity dome will enable you to achieve the 80-100% humidity the cuttings prefer. I use a humidity dome for the first three days then I slowly acclimate my cuttings to the ambient air by removing the dome for two hours the first day, four hours the next day and so on. A lack of humidity can cause the cuttings to wilt and eventually die.
Lighting. You do not need high wattage bulbs for successful cloning. On the contrary, it seems to hinder the process. I have always used florescent bulbs for cloning. I run a 24 hour light cycle until my cuttings have roots.
Sterile equipment. Clean trays, domes and scalpels before each cutting session. Only use fresh, new mediums. Saving a buck on cloning equipment could cost you much more in the long run so it is worth buying new medium for every clone cycle.
Proper cutting techniques should produce healthy root formation in a week to ten days. If success rates fall below 90% it is a good idea to reevaluate your cloning environment and techniques. I also recommend taking twice the clones you need for a fail-safe and donating any extra cuttings to friends or patients in need.
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Tuesday, 02 August 2011
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Aug. 2nd 2011