I’ve always found the ability to clone marijuana plants to be fascinating. I mean just think about it — you’re not just taking a piece of a plant and growing it into another plant. You’re growing it into the same plant! How it grows, what it responds well to, what it doesn’t, when it finishes; all of it. This gives you the chance to not only grow many plants from just one. No, you now have the option to learn every little detail and nuance of your given strain. This type of knowledge ladies and gentlemen is what creates some of the finest herb. In large quantities at that.
Despite being so interested in cloning marijuana I was scared to try it. Looking back I think it was just because of the information available to me. There were so many terrible “cloning guides” and just as many great, but overly complicated ones. These guides would either tell me nothing I could actually use or so much I felt overwhelmed. I don’t want you to feel that way. It sucks and cloning is way too awesome to not be doing (unless you just don’t want to). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there aren’t any good cloning guides out there. There are. Just not enough of them. This is my contribution to balancing that scale.
What follows is a straightforward, quick and simple guide to cloning.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Peat Pellets: You can find these in any garden or nursery section. Jiffy is a popular brand.
- Sharp/Razor Blade: I like using razor blades but use what you like as long as it’s not dull.
- Container and a Cup: Container to soak your pellets in and a cup to hold the cuttings.
- Humidity Dome: You’ll likely find these next to or with the peat pellets.
- Alcohol: To celebrate. Kidding. Rubbing alcohol to sterilize things. Don’t be dirty. ● Spray Bottle: Nothing fancy needed. Just something that sprays a fine mist.
That’s it, that’s all you need. If you’ve read other guides you may notice that I left out something common: rooting hormone. Why? Because I’ve never found it to be necessary honestly. If you do decide to use it, any brand will work. Don’t listen to anyone that tells you one is far superior than the rest. They all make use of the same chemical, Idol Butyric Acid (IBA), just in different carrier solutions. But like I said, I’ve never needed it so I don’t believe you will either.
Step 1: Hydrate Your Peat Pellets
Most of the brands I’ve used suggest hydrating your pellets slowly. Basically you drip a little water on top, wait for it to soak in, drip a little more and so on until it’s hydrated. If you have the time or inclination to do it this way then by all means go for it. I promised you quick and simple though. All you really need to do is fill a container with warm water and drop your pellets in.
The pellets take a moment to start soaking up water but once they do they’ll expand pretty quickly. Keep in mind that even though it’s fully expanded the center is likely still dry. I like to leave them soaking a minute or two longer after they’re done expanding. If you’re unsure, it’s ok to spread the peat open and take peak.
Once you’re sure they’re soaked all the way through you’ll want to give them a light squeeze. Just like a full grown marijuana plant doesn’t want to be over watered, a cutting doesn’t want to sit in a swamp. Don’t over do it here. A light squeeze with your finger tips should do the trick. I stop squeezing as soon as the water starts coming out in drops.
Step 2: Take Your Cutting
This is the part that so many people seem to overthink. It’s really not that complicated though. To put it simply, you’re cutting a branch off of the plant. You just have to make sure that the branch you choose has at least one to two nodes. For those of you that don’t know, nodes are where the fan leaves connect to the main stem of the branch. Of course if you have the need and space for a large clone with multiple branches, then by all means go for it. Once you’ve picked the branch you want to be your clone, cut it off.
“Wait… just uh, cut it? Is there a certain way I should do that?”
I get it. These plants are your babies and hacking limbs off of them can be nerve wracking. It was for me at first. But don’t overthink it! Remember, the marijuana plant is resilient and usually quite forgiving. Fortunately though, all you’re doing is using a straight cut to remove the branch from the main stem. Nothing too crazy. Oh, and as for that little nub, leave it alone. It will eventually dry up and fall off.
Now all you have to do is remove the lower fan leaves, cut the bottom of the stem at about a 45° angle, and drop the cutting into a glass of water. You guys know I don’t leave you hanging on the “why’s” so let me explain. You’re removing the leaves because you’ll be burying that part of the stem. The angular cut is to create a larger surface area which allows for easier water absorption. Lastly, placing your cutting in water prevents air from getting into the stem.
Step 3: Set Up Your Humidity Dome
Here’s where things get really complex and even a little dangerous. I’m kidding, this part is super easy. You’re going to start by taking your cutting and pushing the stem into your hydrated peat… pouch? I’ve actually never considered what it becomes when it’s no longer a pellet. I’ll have to look into that. Anyways, make sure that the cutting is in there snug; give the peat a light squeeze if you have to. Now all you have to do is put it into your humidity dome and move everything under your light.
If you have multiple cuttings be wary of packing your dome too full. If it seems a little crowded try trimming away the fan leaves by either clipping the blades in half or removing the entire leaf altogether. Personally, I just remove all but the top two fans on all of my cuttings. It frees up space in the dome and gives the cutting less to keep alive until it develops roots.
From this point on you only need to give your clones a light misting every day or two. When roots start to poke through the cloth it’s time to move them to their containers.
Alright guys, that’s it! That’s my 3 step guide to cloning. Ok, ok, so step 2 has a few steps of it’s own but cut me some slack. They’re all simple enough that they can be counted as one, right? Thanks for understanding, you guys are the greatest. If you have any questions about cloning, need help, or want to dive deeper into this topic, you know where to find me! Either way, leave a comment. It makes us smile here at The Marijuana Times.