Indepth: Quality Cloning
The following cloning information is for beginners as well as people that have done it a number of times. Cloning is not by any means hard, at the very most it might be tricky to keep every one of the clones alive for one or two probably won't make it. One of the great things about marijuana is that it grows all over the world in different climates, temperatures, humidity levels, and all together surroundings. If you already feel I've gotten too technical just think back to the days in elementary when the teacher announced the class would be planting apple seeds… Because that's how easy it is, plant the seed and wait. In this case however it's a matter of cutting and planting. The reason to clone is to ensure all plants are female or you may have a good strain you don't want to lose. Either way clones cut down on harvest time with optimal yield. Needed materials:
- Healthy mother plant
- Sharp & sterile razor
- Rooting solution (indolebutyric acid) e.g. root-tone, stim-root…
- Decent soil or rockwool cubes
- Small cup of luke warm water
Before you begin make sure and double check that all materials are on hand and ready to go. You will want to start by having a sterile razor blade, you can go about doing this by placing just the blade in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, heating it with a lighter or small flame, or by wiping it down with a high alcohol or antibacterial solution. If you are using rock wool cubes you want to make sure they are saturated with water. Dirt users, be sure the soil you are using has perlite, vermiculite or at the very least sand mixed in evenly for proper drainage. Without drainage things like root rote can happen. A good mix would be 60-40 or 70-30 ratio of dirt to perlite or what ever your using. Also be sure to use an appropriate sized planter or bucket, the more times you transplant the better (so long as you do it right). Next a small dish, like a shot glass or even the lid of the rooting solution for the rooting solution to sit and be open and ready for use. Rooting solutions come in three forms liquid, gel, and powder. I prefer the powder or the gel so you can easily see how much is on the clones stem. After having a clean razor, saturated rock wool or dirt in small buckets, a ready solution, you will than have to get a bowl or glass of luke warm water. You will want to place these materials next to the mama plant you will be using. One of the most important things to remember is that a clone can not be cut an held for a long period of time, any longer than a minute or two starts to do serious damage. Unless the stem is placed in water, if a clone stays in open air it will begin to pull air up the stem, this is called embolism and it's a very bad thing. So take one last look at your set up make sure you can cut and move quickly through a few steps. Be sure your dirt or rock wool has a ¾ to 1 inch hole for the stem to be placed.
With your knife, planting medium (dirt, rock wool), rooting solution and water you're now ready for action. You will need to look at your mama plant to find good soon-to-be clones. Anywhere on the plant is a good place to start, some people prefer bottom appose to the top. The lower on the plant you go means the slower the growth only at the start of things, the reason the growth is slower is because there is lower nitrogen and higher carbohydrate levels. So all though it's slower it is healthier in how it has more natural food. One of my favorite places to clone is right by the top or anywhere right off the stock. A good color choice would be the lighter green or the newer growth. A good size would be four nodes or four sets of leaves (eight leaves all together, 2 per set). Some people will leave a node on the bottom of the stem because hormones will tell a node to become one of three things depending on what's going on with the plant. A node can become a leaf, bud or root, there fore using the same sharp knife or razor used to clone you would cut off one set of leaves leaving the node behind, be sure to bury it and it should become a root. Also a good clone won't have damaged or excessively large sized leaves. Now that you know what to look for in a clone:
1. cut stem at 45 degree angle (cut smooth)
2. put bottom of plant stem in water for 5-10 seconds
3. put bottom of plant stem in rooting solution ¾ to one inch from bottom up, covered all around, this should take 15-25 seconds
4. place new clone in soil or rock wool (only worry about excessive rooting solution if it's clumped on, otherwise a thick coating is good)
5. make sure soil is fairly tight all around the clone and add a small amount of water to let soil settle against the clone
Lighting for clones isn't terribly important other than the hours. A fluorescent light or sunlight through a window works fine, but the clone does need to get at least 15 hrs of light. I suggest 17-20 hrs light, others may argue 24 hrs a day is good. I don't understand this because just like people, plants need to sleep. Marijuana is a plant that doesn't like to have a saturated medium, so you should allow the clones dirt to become light in color and very weightless, if you pick up the little girl and she's got weight to her you may want to wait a day. A clone should get 100ml-200ml of water at one time. I have heard of people leaving water out over night to let any chlorine in the water evaporate, it's probably a good habit. If your clone isn't getting lighter and moisture is in the soil for 4-5 days you may have over watered or not had enough perlite or vermiculite in the soil, drainage is very important make sure to have holes in any home made buckets for the plants.
Clones are fragile at this stage so you're going to have to be careful with them and wait. Hope fully you will notice new growth in 5-10 days, people using soil may need to wait as long as 15 days. To help the chances of your clones living give them an environment much like the outdoors. A fan or something to circulate the air is a good idea, this should be done at least twice a day. Misting clones is much like using lower branches for clones in that they both give the plant lower nitrogen levels to slow the growth and provide higher carbohydrate levels for a healthy baby girl. I've found that a light green color in plants seems to grow the fastest and healthiest. You now hold the power in your hands to over grow successfully! One last note, never give the plant any nutrients that contain indolebutyric acid other wise known as rooting solution if a marijuana plant receives this acid twice in it's life I've read it will make the plant quite sick and may be fatal.
I look forward to hearing good stories of how your clones turned out