Marijuana Clones and How to Care for Them
Caring for your marijuana clones is easy once you’ve had a bit of practice, and some strains are so easy to clone that you can practically set them and forget them. But as a general rule of thumb, here are some of the basic guidelines for taking care of your plants and ensuring the best survival rates for your new clones.
- Prevention is worth a pound of cure, so protect your clones from the potential of disease, mold or a bug infestation by sterilizing your cloning area and tools before use. You can use a water and bleach combination (10 parts water for one part bleach) to wipe down and sterilize the walls, tabletop or other area that you are growing in. Also use sterile tools for cutting your clones, so as to avoid the possibility of infection at the cut-site.
- Work fast so that your clones go from being on your mother plant to dipped in their rooting hormone and plugged into the rock wool cubes or other growing medium with as little down time in between as possible.
- Keep the temperature stable, generally between 75 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Fluctuations and extremes in temperature will stress your new clones and can kill them.
- Maintain humidity levels of approximately 75 – 95%, especially during the early days of rooting your new clones; if the growing medium dries out too much you risk damaging or killing the fragile new roots your clone is growing.
- Use a heating pad beneath your plug tray or the tray holding your rock wool cubes to ensure that the new roots are kept warm; new roots thrive in warmer environments, so if you have a heating pad under the tray but the rest of the room is only 70 degrees, you can still achieve good results rooting your new clones.
- Reduce the amount of foliage your new clones have to support; without a root system, it is hard for your cuttings to focus energy and nutrients on photosynthesis and you want them to be focused on developing new roots anyway, so remove or trim any large fan leaves on your cutting. Smaller leaves may remain, so don’t strip your cutting to a twig.
Follow these basic recommendations and keep your plants under cool fluorescents or low-wattage MH or HPS lights, and you should have healthy clones with roots in 1 – 2 weeks. Some strains are harder to clone, or slower, but if you don’t see any roots by ~ 3 weeks, you may have a problem. Cuttings that haven’t rooted after 3 weeks or more are unlikely to become viable clones, so you’ll have to take new cuttings and start over if that happens.