How-to properly take clones from a mother plant and root them.
Clones are made by removing branches from a mature adult plant – the “mother plant”. The cut off branches grow their own roots and become a new plant that is genetically identical to the mother plant.
When taking clones, sterilize tools and work space. Your cutting surface and scissors should be sterilized with alcohol or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Wash your hands thoroughly or use latex gloves.
Cuttings can be taken from a mother plant at any time, but during the vegetative (grow) stage is the best time and they will root faster and more easily.
The best place to take the cutting is off the new growth at the end of the mother plant’s branches. Take pieces that are approximately 4″-6″ (10-16 cm) long and have 2-3 offshoots of leaves.
Cut off all the offshoots of leaves so the stem is bare, except for the top 1″ (25 mm) of the canopy where the offshoots of leaves should remain. After trimming, there will be bare nodes on the stem where offshoots of leaves were removed.
It is important that at least one node is buried in the planting medium. If the first node is more than 1″ (25mm) up the stem from the bottom, trim off some of the stem length so a node will be close to the bottom. The more exposed nodes that get buried in the planting medium the better.
Put the stem of the fresh clone into a jar or glass of water immediately after cutting and trimming. This will prevent it from drying out while you continue your session of clone taking.
After you take them from the glass of water, just before you put them into your rooting medium, dip the ends of your clones into a root stimulator about 1/2 inch (13mm).
There are many brands of root stimulator available.
Rockwool cubes must be soaked in water for 24 hours in water that has been pH adjusted to 5.1. To test the water you’ll need a pH testing kit or digital pH meter. Use a “pH down” solution or lemon juice to lower pH.
Household items that can be used to adjust pH:
|Use to neutralize acid (raises pH)||Use to lower alkaline (lowers pH)|
|wood ash||kombucha tea|
Safety note: Be careful when working with Rockwool. The fibres are hazardous to your lungs when the cubes are dry. You should wear a mask and gloves when handling. They are also not biodegradable.
Push the stem of the clones into the hole at the top of the rockwool cube so that it is anchored at least 1″ (25mm) and at least one exposed node is fully inside the cube.
5 days after cutting, include flowering (bloom) fertilizer at 25% concentration with watering.
The clones will root in approximately 2 weeks. Roots sticking out the bottom of the rockwool cubes let you know they are done and they can be moved to the grow room thereafter to start vegetative growth phase.
Vermiculite is a great choice of growing medium because it doesn’t require pH adjustment, transplanting to a different medium from vermiculite is possible without damaging the plants roots, and vermiculite can be sterilized and re-used.
Put clones in small cups with Vermiculite and water so that the stems are covered least 1″ (25mm) and at least one exposed node is buried.
The clones will root in approximately 2 weeks.
Put clones under T-5 fluorescent light for 24 hours per day. The light can be positioned directly over the humidity dome. Once the dome has been removed, position the light 6 inches (15 cm) from the canopy.
The ideal type of bulbs are the ones labelled “cool” – referring to the colour temperature of the light. This type of bulb stimulates root growth.
After 2 weeks, once your clones have developed a root system, they are ready to be transplanted to your grow room.