Successful marijuana cloning is a very necessary skill when you’re a marijuana grower.
When you do successful marijuana cloning, you avoid having to germinate marijuana seeds, and wait for them to develop leaves and root systems.
What’s more beneficial compared to seed growing is you know all your clones are female marijuana plants, what they’re going to look like, how they’ll grow.
You don’t have to worry about male plants, or extreme variations in plants.
Here are some surefire ways to ensure that you’re marijuana cloning works well for you…
Start With Healthy, Potent Motherplants: Marijuana cloning can only give you clones as healthy, potent, and strong as the marijuana motherplants they come from.
Motherplants that are six months to two years old are the best.
Also read this series of articles on taking care of motherplants to ensure they’re as healthy and primed for taking cuttings as possible.
Sterilize Your Grow Room and Cloning Equipment: A cutting has a cut, and a cut is a place where pathogens like to attack.
These pathogens rot the cut end of the cutting.
Sterilize your grow room itself, your plant trays, your cutting tool (use an Xacto knife), your water (use reverse osmosis water), your nutrients reservoir, your walls, floors, and anything else that could harbor harmful microbes.
The most benign cleaning solution is hydrogen peroxide. You dilute it in reverse osmosis water at a 1-5 ratio, and use it as a spray.
Bleaches and other materials can leave residues that off-gas or otherwise harm your marijuana cloning efforts.
Use Cloning Gel Instead of Rooting Powder: Read this article about cloning gel and powders.
I prefer cloning gel instead of powder in marijuana cloning because the gel gives your cutting an immediate seal against moisture and atmosphere that could otherwise travel into the cutting and harm it.
Rooting powders are messier, and don’t offer this gel-like protective barrier.
Ensure Correct Temperature and Humidity: Both factors are crucial to marijuana cloning success.
I use a humidity dome that has adjustable openings. I place a humidity gauge inside the dome.
For the four days after cloning, my humidity is 86%.
For the next four days, I drop it to 76%.
Then when I see sufficient root development, I drop it to 66% or slightly lower.
As always, these kinds of specific marijuana cloning recommendations are approximate. Only by monitoring your cuttings can you know if your humidity is at the optimum percentage.
If you drop the humidity and your cuttings wilt and wilt for more an hour, it could mean that the roots aren’t developed enough to support the cutting.
Try raising the humidity and seeing if the cuttings recover.
When you see at least five root strands poking out from your cannabis cutting and the cutting looks green and healthy, remove the humidity dome.
But when you do that, make sure your grow room humidity stays around 60% for a few more days.
Manipulating relative humidity is a way to encourage your marijuana cuttings to put out roots.
If your humidity is too high, the cuttings won’t feel as much pressure to create roots.
Keep the root zone and air temperature at 74F, if possible.
You may have to use a seedling heat mat with a thermostat to ensure constant, consistent root zone temperature.
Use Rockwool Cubes or Root Shooters: Unless you’re using aeroponics cloners, the best rooting media are cubes and shooters.
Rockwool is sterile, neutral, and easy to manage.
Root shooters are clean, semi-organic natural plugs that look like the small-size rockwool cubes (except that the color is different).
Root shooters are slightly easier to use because unlike rockwool cubes, they don’t have to be pre-treated to adjust their pH.
Use Hortilux PowerVeg T-5 Fluorescent Lights: I used to use metal halide HID grow lights with cuttings right from the start.
I had to back them off three feet or more to prevent burning.
There were times when metal halide lights were too intense and/or hot for cannabis cuttings and newly-germinated seedlings.
Over time I realized that using metal halide in the first days after marijuana cloning, or in the first 2-3 weeks of seedling growth, was a waste of electricity.
I started using Hortilux PowerVeg T-5 bulbs after hearing about them from other growers on the BigBudsMag.com grow team.
Hortilux says that because PowerVeg bulbs have a high ratio of ultraviolet output and other wavelengths that are especially good for early growth, seedlings and clones do better than under other brands of fluorescent bulbs or LED lighting.
The Hortilux claims appear to be true. I saw faster above-ground growth, greener leaves, and faster rooting using those bulbs.
Handle Marijuana Clones Carefully: As soon as you make that cut and have a cutting in hand, be supernaturally fast in dipping it into rooting gel and getting it into its cube or aeroponics cloner.
You want to seal that cut as soon as possible.
Be sure your hands and cutting blade are absolutely clean when you take cuttings.
Before you see roots popping out of the bottom of your cuttings, have their next container ready to go.
You don’t want the new roots to get jammed up by emerging, and then sitting crimped in a cloning tray.
As soon as they have viable roots, put them into their next grow container.
Mist your clones once every couple of days, but don’t put nutrients into your mist.
Too much foliar misting, or foliar spraying with nutrients, deters root growth.
Give your cuttings Roots Excelurator three days after they’re showing roots.
Give them 1/5th of the manufacturer’s recommended full strength dose of B-52 starting six days after they’re showing roots.
B-52 is the most complete B vitamins formula, and the only one made for marijuana.
B vitamins help cuttings and seedlings tremendously.
Read this for more about those benefits.
Continue using these products in your marijuana cloning feed program for at least 2-3 weeks after your cuttings have rooted and are able to live without a humidity dome at regular grow room humidity rates.
You can use the Roots Excelurator per the label instructions.
Use the B-52 at every other watering, at 1/5th strength.
For even more detailed information on marijuana cloning, with a special section on aeroponics marijuana cloning, look here.
With all this information, you’re certain to see a higher success rate from your marijuana cloning efforts.