Plant Cultivation

Cloning Weed: What Is It & How to Clone A Weed Plant

cloning weed

How to Clone Cannabis Successfully [Ultimate Guide]

Cloning is not something new, but what about cloning weed? Although some of you may have heard of it, chances are you are not quite sure about what cloning weed is and how to clone marijuana properly. Luckily, that’s what we are going to talk about in this passage, an all-in-one comprehensive guide on weed cloning, including what it is, and more importantly, how to clone cannabis with a high success rate. 

Table of Contents

What Is Cloning Weed 

Cloning weed involves taking a cutting, typically a 6-inch branch, from a living marijuana plant, known as the mother plant. This cutting, or clone, possesses the same genetic makeup as the mother plant and has the potential to grow into a fully-fledged plant itself once placed in a cultivation medium. In this case, growers who want to preserve the desirable traits of a specific cannabis strain can reproduce them consistently.

Why Clone Weed & Why Not

The biggest advantage of cloning weed plants lies in the easy and fast process of genetic replication. Imagine you have a preference for certain cannabis strains, whether for their appearance, smell, or effects, and you can keep rooting them up by simply cloning without waiting for the seed germination, how awesome that would be. Additionally, growers clone their weed for the following valuables: 

  • Time and Effort Savings: Cloning saves you a great time in the growing process. While clones require time to root out, they eliminate the need to germinate seeds, which can shave off approximately a month from the stages of plant growth.
  • Space Efficiency: When growing weed from scratch, you need to plant multiple seeds and identify and remove the male or even hermie plants. What’s worse, some seeds may not germinate at all. With clones, you can focus solely on growing female plants, maximizing your garden's productivity.
  • Cost Savings: Although you’ll need to invest in cloning supplies, it eliminates the need to purchase new seeds. Kinda sounds like the recycling thing, right?

With all pros being said, what’s stopping growers to clone weed? 

  • Subject to Environmental Stress: Cloning weed plants are generally more susceptible to environmental stressors than plants grown from seeds. They are more vulnerable and require meticulous attention to factors like grow room temperature and humidity, light intensity, etc. 
  • Weaker Root Systems: One potential downside of cloning weed plants is that clones may not develop as robust root systems as plants grown from seeds, which can affect the overall health and vigor of the plant.
  • Possible Degradation of Genetic Makeup: While clones have an identical genetic makeup to the mother plant, they can still exhibit slight variations in characteristics due to differences in growing conditions. You’d better lower your expectations maybe. 

Reading so far, you’ve probably weighed the pros and cons of cloning weed and made up your mind. If you’d like to explore the world of cloning weed plants, sleeve up and let’s start.

Ultimate Guide on How to Clone Cannabis Successfully 

Cloning weed may sound complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to pull off. First things first, prepare all necessary tools. 

Tools Required for Weed Cloning

Pruning Shears or Scissors: These are used to make clean cuts when taking clones from the mother plant. 

Rooting Hormone: A rooting hormone, often available in the form of gel or powder, helps stimulate root growth in the clones.

Rooting Setup: Some basic rooting setup includes heat mat for plants, a humidity dome, a tray-cell insert, and seed starting trays

Rooting Medium: Choose a nutrient-rich rooting medium, such as root cubes, peat pellets, or rockwool cubes, to provide stability and support for the clones during the rooting process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cloning Weed

Step 1. Select a Healthy Mother Plant

When selecting the plant you want to clone, choose a healthy, vigorous female cannabis plant that has been growing for at least a few months. It's important to ensure the plant has reached a mature stage with the necessary root structure for successful cloning. Commonly, plants during the vegetative stage are highly recommended. Avoid selecting seedlings, as they may not have developed the required root system.

Thai Marijuana leaf in the cannabis plantation

Step 2. Sanitize Tools and Prepare the Cloning Environment

Clean and sanitize your pruning razors or scissors and set up your cloning area with all tools and equipment listed above to get ready for cloning weed. 

Step 3. Take the Cutting

Select a straight branch from the mother plant with at least 3 nodes. Then make a clean 45-degree angled clean cut just below the third node. Aim for 6-inch clones, and remove any excess leaves, leaving a few at the top for photosynthesis. Even if it’s not for cloning weed, you can consider pruning to increase yield in your daily cannabis care. 

cut the cloning weed

Step 4. Apply Rooting Hormone to the Cut 

Dip the cut end of each clone into a rooting hormone quickly and ensure complete coverage of the cut area. By doing so, the cloning weed with cloning gel starts to produce root cells instead of regular green plant cells to stimulate root growth. 

rooting hormone

Note: If you have to spend a great amount of time collecting the cuts, it’s suggested to place the cuts into the water to keep them hydrated and prevent fungus before dipping hormones. 

Step 5. Plant the Clones in the Rooting Medium

Place each clone into the prepared rooting medium, gently inserting the cut end into the cube or pellet. Maintain stability and avoid damaging the delicate roots. Then you should mist the clones and their surrounding environment with water sprays to maintain humidity. You can further place a humidity dome or plastic wrap over the clones to create a humid environment for the first 48 hours. 

mist cloning weed

Step 6. Regularly Monitor Root Development

Theoretically, after a few weeks or about 10-14 days, you can check for root development by gently tugging the clones. If you feel resistance, roots have formed. If not, give them a bit more time. Once you sense the new growth in the form of roots, it’s time to transplant the cloning weed. 

Step 7. Transplanting Cloning eed plants

Once the clones have developed sufficient roots, transplant them into pots or your desired growing medium. Treat them like mature plants, providing appropriate light with the help of LED grow lights, nutrients, and care.

Tips for Cloning Weed with a High Success Rate

  • Pick the Mother Plant at the Right Timing: Make sure to pick a cannabis strain that’s boosting during the vegetative stage. Either too mature or too underdeveloped is not a good idea. 
  • Maintain Proper Conditions: Ensure the clones receive adequate light, maintain a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C), and maintain humidity levels around 80%. Mist the clones and monitor the moisture levels in the rooting medium regularly.
  • Monitor and Adjust pH levels: Test the pH level of the water or nutrient solution you use to water the clones. Aim for a pH range of 5.5-6.5 for optimal nutrient uptake.

Verdict on Cloning Weed

Cloning weed involves taking cuttings from a healthy, mature female cannabis plant and cultivating them into new plants. This technique allows growers to replicate preferred traits and characteristics of the mother plant. By selecting the right mother plant and providing proper care, such as using rooting hormone and providing a suitable rooting medium, successful cloning is easier than you expect. Simply follow the tutorials above and manage your own cloning weed plants. 

FAQs about Cloning Weed

  • Can I Clone Any Cannabis Strain?

Yes, you can clone almost any cannabis strain, whether it's an indica, sativa, or hybrid variety. However, keep in mind that some strains may be more challenging to clone due to their genetic makeup or specific growth characteristics.

  • How Long Does It Take for Clones to Root?

On average, clones take around 10 to 14 days to develop roots. However, this timeframe can vary depending on various factors, including the strain, environmental conditions, and

  • Can I Clone a Clone?

Yes, it is possible to clone a clone. Unfortunately, with each successive cloning, the genetic material may degrade slightly, potentially leading to a decrease in vigor and overall plant development.


About Ciki

With over three years of writing experience, Ciki aims to provide informative articles to help readers solve various planting issues.

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