How to Clone Your Favourite Herbs
The act of cloning involves creating multiple plants from the exact same genetic material. They are genetic clones created from mother plant cuttings, as their name implies.
Every farmer should have the ability to clone their plants.
In this post, we’ll look more closely at the crucial procedures and hints novice growers should be aware of while cloning plants at home.
What Is a Clone?
A clone is a genetic duplicate of another plant, known to growers as a “mother plant” or “parent plant.” Because it involves taking a cutting from a mother plant and re-rooting it in soil or water, cloning is a type of plant propagation.
Mary Jane plants are cloned by growers primarily to replicate superior or unique genetics.
For instance, a farmer can replicate a single plant’s high yields or high T H C concentrations via cloning rather than growing from the same batch of seeds.
Furthermore, as cloning is a form of asexual reproduction, there is no possibility that your cloned plants would mature into males.
A plant can easily be cloned.
All you have to do is cut a tiny cutting from the mother plant you want to use. Put the bottom of the cutting into a good soil combination, fresh water, or a rooting cube-type medium. Transplant the clone after allowing a root system to develop, just like you would your other plants.
You should expect clones to produce similar yields and genetic makeup of substances like cannabinoids and terpenes if cultivated under conditions that are somewhat similar to those of the mother plant, even if they won’t be 100% identical.
Cloning’s Benefits for Growing Herbs
Reproducing the genetic make-up and physical traits of a specific plant is the main advantage of cloning plants.
Another advantage is that it bypasses some of the seedling and vegetative phases as well as the germination period, depending on when you trim your cutting. As a result, cultivation takes place more quickly overall.
The clone will develop at the same stage of development that the mother plant did at the time of cloning.
Since seeds must initially germinate, starting plants from seeds might take a long time. Additionally, the seedlings could develop into male plants or have unfavourable DNA or traits.
Additionally, one plant can yield several clones. You might get six to eight additional plants from your mother plant if you, for instance, let it reach a height of at least a foot.
In a week or less, you could have multiple plants ready to grow from just one mother plant. Seeds would need at least a month to develop into strong seedlings.
Another important advantage is the cost-effectiveness of the cloning procedure. Producing more plants should be almost free if you’re using clones of your own plants. Buying clones from dispensaries or other cultivators is certainly an option, but if you’re a do-it-yourself grower, you could make your own clones for the price of a pair of scissors and some water.
Why doesn’t everyone just clone the top plants all the time, you might wonder.
Sadly, it appears that there is a maximum number of times you may clone a mother plant before the quality of the succeeding clones starts to deteriorate.
Some manufacturers explain this behaviour as being caused by clonal degradation. Clonal degradation is a contentious issue, and many growers believe that environmental changes, not genetic drift, are to blame for seedling changes. But eventually, new mother plants will need to be created, regardless of whether the introduction of undesired modifications occurs owing to changing environmental variables, disease, or another process.
Additionally, not everyone wants cloning’s consistent genetic makeup. Some growers might like a varied crop from various strains. They begin with seeds in order to achieve this and benefit from the genetic diversity brought about by sexual reproduction.
Qualities of a Good Mother Plant
The original plant from which the clone was taken is referred to as the “mother plant.”
You must be careful when selecting your mother plants because your clones will only be as good as their mother plants.
When selecting your mothers, there are numerous qualities to consider.
First and foremost, in addition to starting with healthy plants, it’s important to make sure the plants are female because only female plants, which don’t release seeds, are capable of producing significant amounts of the hallucinogenic component T H C.
A mother plant should preferably be in the vegetative stage if you want to make clones because this will allow the clones to grow as much as possible and increase your output. Clones can be produced at practically any growth stage.
The remainder of the mother plant’s features are purely a matter of taste. Finding a mother plant with the genetics you want to duplicate is important.
Maybe you’re looking for higher yields. Perhaps you’re looking for plants with a particular terpene profile or ones that are very pest-resistant.
Whatever the case, you should select the healthiest mother plant that has the traits you prefer in order to create the best clones.
How to Clone Your Plants
Cloning is an easy technique to understand.
Cloning a plant involves these four steps:
- Choose a growth medium.
- Cut a cutting off the mother.
- Transplant the clone.
- Clean and isolate the clone.
You will require:
- Your ideal mother plant of choice,
- A pair of clean scissors or garden shears,
- Plant starter cubes, or high-quality soil
- Rooting hormones for plant cuttings,
While you can use water or soil to clone a plant, it’s recommended that you use plant starter cubes and rooting hormones for the best possible results.
Starter cubes are small plugs you’ll place your cutting in after you’ve removed it from the mother plant. They may come in many growing mediums, but they are all designed to provide the perfect amount of air and water to the cutting to help facilitate root growth.
Rooting hormones are chemicals or nutrients that also help the cutting produce clone roots.
How to Select A Medium For Rooting and Setup
There are numerous growth mediums available for plant starting cubes. You should choose the rooting medium to utilise first before you cut clones off your mother plant.
Many cultivators place their cuttings in rock wool, peat, foam, or another type of growing medium.
Rockwool cubes are a preferred option since they offer your clones excellent ventilation and excellent water retention, both of which are necessary for the development of robust root systems.
Avoid using loose soil as your rooting medium since it is too soft and lacks the firmness and structure needed to support the growth of robust roots.
It’s usually ideal to maintain starting cubes in a growth tray when utilising them. The tray holds water that could otherwise seep through the cubes and keeps everything organised in one place. Additionally, growing trays will have a humidity dome or plastic cover that fits on top of the tray. Most of the liquid that evaporates from the tray is captured by these covers.
For your cuttings to develop their own roots, plenty of water and a steady level of humidity are required. They will perish if not. These trays make sure the growing environment is suitable for root development.
You could omit this if you choose to use an auto-cloner. The bottom of the cuttings are sprayed with nutrient-rich water by auto-cloners, also known as cloning machines, during the initial phases of cutting root development.
Whatever method you choose to use to root your new cuttings, make sure they have enough light (18 hours a day) to develop into robust plants on their own.
You can use a cloning machine in place of a growing medium. All of them contain the cuttings and automatically keep them moist and aerated as they develop new roots. They come in a range of designs.
There are typically two primary types of auto-cloners. Either aeroponic or hydroponic systems are used.
The most common kind of auto-cloners are aeroponics ones. They are made up of starting cubes on top of a chamber that contains water and nutrients. The machine periodically sprays the cubes’ bottoms, keeping the moisture level constant. In contrast, the roots are grown “in the air,” hence the name “aeroponics.”
Cuttings are placed within starter cubes or pods that are submerged in nutrient-rich water that is cycled by a pump in hydroponics cloning systems.
If you intend to clone your plants frequently or in large numbers, cloning machines can be a wise choice.
How To Take A Cutting From The Mother Plant
You’ll be prepared to make your cutting and create your clones once you have all of your supplies and your rooting media on hand.
The strongest, healthiest female plants that are roughly two months into the vegetative phase of growth yield the best clones in the end. when technically conceivable, it is not advised to clone a plant when it is in the flowering stage.
After selecting the healthiest plant possible for cloning, it is preferable to wait two to three days before fertilising the plant to allow the nitrogen to flow out of the plant and into the leaves (which you will remove). You want a high nitrogen content for this phase since it will direct the clone’s energy towards producing foliage rather than roots.
Your working space should be pristine and antiseptic before you begin. When producing your clippings, always use clean equipment and gloves.
You don’t want to take the chance of mildew or mould killing your clones.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cut your herb.
- Choose the strongest, healthiest-looking branches on the mother plant. You should strive for two or more plant nodes on your cutting. The branch you choose should be long and bushy.
- Using your scissors or garden shears, cut the branch above the primary node.
- Once the branch has been removed from the mother plant, cut it again below the primary node. The roots will grow fast and strong if you cut the node at a 45-degree angle.
- As soon as you cut the branch from the mother plant, you’ll want to place the cutting into your rooting hormone or rooting gel then growing medium as soon as possible.
How To Transplant The Clones
Your cuttings will eventually develop a root system. They must be transplanted into the potting soil within a few days; this could take between 10 and 15 days.
You can transplant them into the soil with no problems as long as the roots that form are 1 to 2 inches long.
Make sure to visit them every day. Your cuttings won’t root if you don’t maintain the right humidity and moisture levels.
Sadly, even if you are careful, some of your cuttings can pass away before they can develop into full-grown plants. Make sure to get rid of them from other plants as quickly as you can if this occurs. If not, when they decompose, they can gather mould or mildew, which might spread to your other live clones.
How to transfer your clones is provided below.
- Fill your planting pots with your potting soil,
- Make sure the soil is moist before you transplant.
- Give the water a few minutes to drain
- Make a small 1-inch hole within the soil,
- Place the roots of the clone within the hole
- Lightly bury the roots with more soil.
From there, all you’ll need to do is wait and watch.
Clean And Quarantine Clones
You may not have to worry as much about bringing new pests into your garden if you are making all of your own clones.
Sadly, if you get your clones from a dispensary or another cultivator, you run the danger of perhaps introducing pests that could ruin any more plants you might have.
It is wise to clean and isolate your clones before integrating them into the rest of your crop for this reason.
The clone cuttings’ rooting material could be different from the medium used to grow the other plants. As a result, if you’re not careful, bugs, mould, or mildew could grow within the rooting medium and contaminate the rest of your plants.
In order to ensure that your clones are free of any foreign pests, mould, mildew, fungus, or anything else that could endanger the rest of your crop, it may be a good idea to keep them apart from your main garden for a while.
Lightly Trim Your Clones
It may be a good idea to trim your clones shortly after cutting them from the mother plant for the most successful cloning. Otherwise, excess fan leaves remaining on the clone will divert energy from producing strong roots.
Regulate the Temperature
You’ll want to be mindful of the temperature of your grow room. The ideal range is between 23-26°C. If the temperature is too cold, your clones won’t be able to produce roots and will die.
Many cultivators find that placing a heat mat or pad underneath their young cuttings helps regulate the temperature.
Choose the Right Lights
You must also remain mindful of your choice of lights. Clones, especially after being freshly cut from their mothers, are sensitive to grow lights. If they are too intense, like HID lights, for instance, you risk burning the plants.
The most optimal grow lights for your clones are fluorescent lights or CFL grow lights.
Canna producers and home gardeners can benefit greatly from cloning plants. The procedure is straightforward and fast. Your clones will soon begin growing into mature plants once they form roots.
You must, however, be informed of the production laws, restrictions, and guidelines in your state before you begin.
Only educational purposes are served by the content in this article and any accompanying graphics or charts. This information does not replace or serve as a substitute for expert legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always see a lawyer, doctor, or other licenced expert if you have any worries or inquiries regarding the law, the rules, or your health.