This is the third article in our series on marijuana motherplants.
In our first two articles, we learned motherplants are valuable to many marijuana growers because they allow you to take many generations of clones from favorite female genetics.
And that motherplants have to be specially lit and cared for due to their tendency to pre-flower, or to become rootbound.
One of the most important factors in keeping motherplants healthy and in producing good cuttings is how you feed motherplants.
Professional commercial marijuana growers feed standard grow phase base nutrients at the lowest parts per million they can get away with without creating nutrients deficiencies.
In most cases, this means using hydroponics base nutrients at 50-70% of recommended dosage, and only feed every other watering.
Notice I said hydroponics nutrients. I don’t recommend cannabis motherplants be grown in soil.
Why? Because your marijuana motherplants are going to be in their pots for many months or even years.
If they’re in soil, they’ll deplete the nutrients within a few weeks, and unlike with hydroponics growing (which uses inert root zone media so you can totally control what nutrients your cannabis roots get), you have a hard time amending soil or un-potting the plants to add new soil that has fresh nutrients.
The ideal root zone media for marijuana motherplants are rockwool cubes, coco coir, or peat-based soilless mix.
It’s way easier and cleaner to do root pruning and transplanting, and feed cannabis motherplants, in these inert soilless media.
One crucial factor in creating shoots that are most likely to root when made into cuttings is cut back on nitrogen-heavy grow phase base nutrients and use a mixture of 50% grow phase hydroponics base nutrients with 50% bloom phase base starting ten days before you take cuttings.
This improves your cannabis cuttings’ chances of taking root faster.
Another trick for motherplants, and one that saves you electricity, is to alternate your plants between LED or fluorescent lighting, and HID metal halide lighting.
After you take cuttings, you put your marijuana mothers back on only grow phase base nutrients, and you put them under HID metal halide.
Keep them under metal halide for three weeks, then put them under fluorescent or LED until two weeks before you take another set of cuttings.
Not only does this save money on lighting electrical costs, it keeps the heat down in your marijuana motherplant room.
Speaking of heat, motherplants can handle cooler temperatures (around 71 degrees Fahrenheit), when compared to regular marijuana plants being grown from clone/seedling to harvested plants.
This is another reason to rely on mixed lighting in your motherplant room rather than only HID lighting… it lowers the amount of heat generated by lighting.
In the final article in this series, we’ll hand you special methods for feeding, trimming, and taking sure-rooting clones from marijuana motherplants. See you next time!