When you want to expand your garden you do not necessarily have to start from seedlings: cloning your plants is an efficient, effective way to grow new plants from strains you found successful and love. Think of this, you want to set up a new grow tent, so if you start from scratch you will need about 4-6 months from germination to harvest.
But if you use clones, the time spent growing is shortened by several weeks because you can eliminate the most juvenile stages of growth or cut down the time required. If this is your first time hearing about plant clones, this may sound a little weird. But in fact, most farmers use this method.
Here I will detail how to clone plants.
What is plant cloning?
When most people hear the word cloning, they think of cloning animals, which sounds like a scientific feat that has nothing to do with ordinary people. But cloning a plant is different. Anyone can do it as long as they understand the specific process. Simply put, cloned plants are made by cutting a portion of the original, or “Mother” plant, and replanting the cut parts. We’ll break the rest down into sections in this article.
When selecting a mother, choose a healthy plant in the vegetative stage. It is important you don’t take cuttings from flowering plants because this can encourage the clone to turn into a hermaphrodite.
Why are clones a good choice for growing？
This is a great way to keep your genes stable.
We will select healthy and thriving mother plants for cloning and this means the genes of the cloned plants are completely identical to the mother plant, so if your mother is growing well the clones will, too. That said, you normally cannot keep clones of auto flowers—they just seem to grow poorly as clones in this stage of research.
Cloning saves time and is efficient.
If the cuttings from the mother plant are mature, they can flower as quickly as normal plants after they take root. This greatly improves the efficiency of your grow space, especially for commercial cultivation.
Cloning plants step by step
Cutting your plants-how to clone plants
Choose a healthy and strong plant as the mother. As we mentioned, make sure the plant is in the vegetative growth stage. After you choose your perfect mother, you can start cutting. Choose a branch with at least four leaves and use a hand pruner to cut from the right side of the plant at a 45-degree angle, close to the main stem. Be careful, just get close to the main stem and don’t cut it. The cut branches should preferably be around 4-8 inches and should have at least two nodes for future growth. Next, use a razor to ensure the bottom of the cutting is at a 45-degree angle to give it the most surface area to produce new roots.
Cut the leaves and stems-how to clone plants
After cutting the stem from the mother, you will need to trim off excess leaves and stems. Some growers say this is not necessary but there seems to be a good effect when you remove parts of the clone—try trimming and not trimming and see which works for you. This method allows more nutrients to be dedicated to producing roots, rather than being allocated to the leaves during the next stage of growth. Try not to cause tears when cutting off the branches, otherwise, the plant will have to devote some of its energy to healing.
Re-plant-how to clone plants
In this process, rooting hormones are very important. Plants can produce their own natural auxin but adding additional rooting hormones can make plants root faster and improve cloning success—so add some hormones to the bottom of your clone, where the roots will emerge.
It is best to add rooting hormone immediately after cutting the stems and leaves of the branches because at this time the branches have the most water and can absorb the hormones to the greatest extent. Next, insert the clone into a planting cube or Rockwool, which will act as a support when the root system develops. Do this for each new clone you make.
Put your clones into a plastic tray with a lid and start misting. Keep watering them daily to keep the plants moist—your clones will be delicate, so they need a lot of help through environmental controls. Of course, your clones will also need light, but they do not need strong light so you can use a t5 grow light, an LED on a low setting, or even an incandescent bulb.
Observe your cloned plants-how to clone plants
You will need to have the lights on for 18 hours a day to simulate natural light and keep the plants moist with a constant spray of water. After about 10 days, you can remove the plastic lid. After about another 10 days, when their roots have been established, they will start to produce leaves. Wait until their stems and leaves are fully grown before transplanting them into grow bags.
If you implement every step perfectly, your cloning will be a success. Place them back into your original growing area where their mother lives and let them grow!
We believe cloning is a skill every farmer needs to master, and we would be honored if this article was of any help to you. “Love What You Grow” is not just a slogan, we should integrate it into our lives and look forward to our own growth alongside our plants!
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