With the advent of aeroponics cloning machines, more effective cloning gels, and updated marijuana cloning techniques and strategies, now’s a good time to look at this important hydroponics skill.
And fortunately, marijuana scientists testing cloning techniques, and professional marijuana growers who produce thousands of clones per year, have provided the following tips that’ll give you more hydroponics marijuana cloning success:
- For two weeks before you take clones, feed your motherplants organic materials such as Nirvana hydroponics formula, along with hydroponics Vitamin B. These strengthen plant tissues to spur earlier root growth. They also help your marijuana cuttings handle the stress of cloning.
- Take cuttings from a motherplant that’s been through one harvest cycle and re-vegetated. Wait until you have at least six inches of healthy new growth.
- When the motherplant has lots of healthy new growth (usually it takes 3-6 weeks after you harvested it and put it back into grow phase), you have good material for marijuana cuttings.
- Pre-treat rooting pucks or cubes with House & Garden Roots Excelurator. Continue to use Roots Excelurator for the first 2-6 weeks of your clone’s growth cycle. Some people use it up to halfway through bloom phase. It’s like putting your roots on steroids.
- Examine motherplants to ensure they are free of thrips, mites, aphids, diseases and other problems. Never take clones from a troubled marijuana mother.
- Use a clean, sharp X-acto knife or similar tool for taking cuttings. Sterilize your X-Acto knife, hands and all nearby bench and other materials with isopropyl alcohol before cloning.
- What to cut? Select terminal stems from the middle of your marijuana motherplant…not the topmost set of stems or the stems at the very bottom. Select the most vigorous terminal stems. Cut a portion that’s about four inches long.
- * Before you cut the clone’s stem from the motherplant, remove the bottom set of leaves. You don’t want leaves touching your root zone material.
- Carefully and gently make a 45° angle cut just below the bottommost leaf node. Immediately dip the cut end into cloning gel. What cloning gel or powder should you use? That’s a complicated question and you can read more about that topic right here.
- Unless you’re using aeroponics cloning machines, the best immediate rooting environment for your cuttings are Jiffy Preforma Root Shooters. These cubes contain natural materials and an inner structure that air-prune roots for faster, stronger root development.
- Keep the cubes moist but not dripping wet. Ideal ambient temperature for clones is 72-75°F. If you choose to use a cloning heating mat, use with care so you don’t fry your cuttings.
- Provide 18 hours per day of T-5 fluorescent light. Use a humidity dome, but remember, if you give your hydroponics marijuana cuttings too much humidity, too much light, too strong nutrients or too much water, you may kill them.
- Marijuana cuttings can root in 4-16 days, although, if you’re having to wait more than about ten days to see healthy root development, something’s wrong.
- After a couple of weeks have gone by, if you’re not seeing root development, you might as well start over. If your cuttings go yellow or brown, or if they droop and don’t recover, they’re dead and you need to remove them from your hydroponics marijuana garden area.
- When you see a healthy ball of roots on all sides of your cube or puck, and your cuttings are green and leaves are upright, you’re ready to transplant your marijuana clones.
- Take notes, carefully study your results, network with other marijuana cloners if it’s safe to do so, and always work to improve your cloning technique and success rate.
Crucial Tips for AeroponicsMarijuana Cloning
Many marijuana growers use aeroponics cloners because aeroponics cloning machines produce faster-rooting and more vigorous marijuana clones by providing more root zone oxygenation and better root zone environment than you get with standard cloning methods.
Hydroponics marijuana growers and hydroponics retail experts are split on which aeroponics cloning machine to recommend. The two front-runners are the EZ Clone and the Botanicare Power Cloner.
They range in price from $300 and up, depending on how many cloning sites the model has. You can do 165 clones at a time with the top Botanicare model.
There are three primary features that distinguish between the Botanicare and the EZ Clone. One of those features is that the Botanicare cloners have a humidity dome and the EZ Clone units don’t have one.
EZ Clone says this is not a problem—it’s actually a plus. They claim that overly moist leaf environments in a humidity dome don’t encourage plants to put out roots that search for moisture.
Some growers who’ve competed the EZ Clone against the Power Cloner say the EZ Clone roots faster and better.
Perhaps you will have a different experience, but it is logical to assume that marijuana cuttings in a humid environment might be less motivated to develop roots to suck water in with.
Another differential feature is that the EZ Clone uses a proprietary system to inject extra oxygen into the mist that it sprays onto the cutting terminal points. Oxygenation is like steroids for root development and health.
The third feature is that each manufacturer has a different end-stem treatment program.
In regular cloning, you dip your cuttings into a rooting powder or gel and then place the stem into a solid puck or cube. In aeroponics cloning, you stick the stem into a collar so that the stems hang naked in the mist chamber.
In some circumstances, you’d expect the mist to wash off any gel or other rooting aid that you coated the stem with.
I suggest you utilize a small amount of Roots Excelurator in the aeroponics cloner’s water.
Even if your cloning gel washes off, the Roots Excelurator is legendary for creating rapid, dense root growth.
Speaking of water, it should be in the 72-76°F range.
Use reverse osmosis water. Polluted water can clog your aeroponics mist devices, and may contain chemicals and/or pathogens that harm your cuttings.
Be aware that as with any reservoir hydroponics system, you’ve got to watch out for pathogens in your clone machines.
One other thing that many people ask about is how do you use an aeroponics cloner when you’re not going to grow the marijuana plants all the way in aeroponics.
Great question, especially when you see that aeroponics cloning means you take the cutting and stick it into a neoprene collar with no root zone material below the collar at all.
The roots pop out of the stem and hang in space being misted in the aeroponics cloner.
So how do you get the rooted cannabis clone out of the collar and into root zone media without damaging the roots? The answer: very very carefully.
Aeroponics marijuana cloning experts tell me that aeroponics clones transfer well into full-phase aeroponics systems, deep water culture, hydroton ebb and flow, and similar situations.
But they have a harder time transferring into soil, coco coir, and rockwool.
You can see why aeroponics marijuana clones might have a had time transferring to coco coir, rockwool and soil: the roots are just sticking out bare on the stem.
When you have to settle the stem/roots into a grow medium, it’s tough. It’s hard to stabilize the cutting so its roots immediately anchor into the transplant situation.
So yeah, I am going to keep cloning using Jiffy Preforma. Aeroponics cloners often root clones faster (about 5-7 days) and in some ways easier, but in other ways, naaaah, not for me.
Jiffy Preforma gives me big roots that I can easily stick into most hydroponics media and systems. I see healthy, awesome cannabis root systems in my Jiffy Preforma within 7 days.
I don’t really need the extra hardware of an aeroponics cloner, but if you do, go for it.
Now we’ve given you the definitive marijuana hydroponics cloning guide, and the videos embedded here are also going to expose you to marijuana cloning techniques and approaches for your consideration.
Marijuana hydroponics cloning is an art and science. Practice makes perfect.
If you get less than 85% success rate, or if your clones are taking more than 12 days to produce a nice set of roots, you’ve got to double down on your technique and materials and look for what you can improve.
Using the tips in this article, with a little practice and care, you can get close to a 100% hydroponics marijuana cloning success rate!