Cloning made easy

A step-by-step guide to taking and rooting healthy clones.
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Cloning step-by-step

1. Choose the plant you wish to clone. It should be the one you find overall the best. It should be a great smoke and high, as well as maturing in a reasonable time and producing an above-average yield.

An Afghani hybrid is chosen. Low light levels caused a bit of stem elongation.An Afghani hybrid is chosen. Low light levels caused a bit of stem elongation.2. Prepare the fertilizer mix. Use a TDS meter to adjust the solution's strength to a reading of about 400 ppm. (A TDS meter measures dissolved solids.) Add hormones and SuperThrive as recommended. Adjust the pH to 6.2-6.4.

After rinsing, the tray is wiped down with Zero Tolerance in water solution.After rinsing, the tray is wiped down with Zero Tolerance in water solution.3. Prepare the medium and tray. If you are using Oasis, place the sheet of blocks in the tray and then either dip it in the fertilizer solution, or use the watering can to irrigate it until it is saturated and dripping.

If you are using Rockwool, it should have been soaking in an acid solution for a day before this. You should then let it drain for a few minutes, and then rinse it with the fertilizer solution.

If you are using commercial mixes in small containers or a 2' x 2' tray, they should be irrigated until dripping and then allowed to drain.

You can re-use equipment, but it must be sterilized using a sterilizing agent.

The sheet of cubes is placed in the tray and dipped in nutrient/water solution.The sheet of cubes is placed in the tray and dipped in nutrient/water solution.Cloning rooms are favourite places for pathogens to hang out because there are a lot of vulnerable plants around sporting open wounds. Used equipment such as trays, containers, covers and tubing are infected with pathogens. They must be cleaned thoroughly with soap and hot water. This will eliminate most infectious agents, but not all of them. This is where a sterilizing agent comes in. Sterilizing agents don't clean, they kill pathogens. It doesn't matter to the plant if there's a little dirt around as long as it's sterile.

When using a sterilizing agent the cleaning doesn't have to be as thorough because the wash is not being used to sterilize.

Smaller branches are cut off the main branch.Smaller branches are cut off the main branch.4. Using sterile scissors, cut a large enough piece from the plant to create the number of cuttings that you need. People have many styles of doing this. This clone operation cuts the main stem of the plant fairly severely. Then they trim the rest of the plant. They trim smaller and side branches back, but make sure to leave active growth sites so the branches can continue to grow.

Most of the greenery is cut off, leaving only the lower branches which have been in the shade.Most of the greenery is cut off, leaving only the lower branches which have been in the shade.5. The branches are cut up into individual 3-4" cuttings. Several cuttings can be made from a single branch. There is no minimum or maximum diameter for cuttings. They can be made from both thin shoots and main branches. Each should be topped by a healthy growing tip.

Each is cut up so that each piece is a single cutting. All growth below the top crown is removed.Each is cut up so that each piece is a single cutting. All growth below the top crown is removed.6. Each branch is trimmed. Using scissors all leaf material except the top growing tip is removed from the cutting. Make sure to trim off small growing tips below the top. Hold one where the growing tip meets the stem and then clip it off.

Any large leaves left are trimmed to a circumference of about 1in to 1.5in.Any large leaves left are trimmed to a circumference of about 1in to 1.5in.7. The prepared branches are lined up for the final stem trim. Rather than the stem end, all the crowns should be lined up evenly. It is usually convenient to do between 10 and 20 pieces at a time. Once they are lined up cut them with a sterile razor.

8. Soak the clones in the rooting dip for the recommended time.

Cuttings are lined up evenly at the crown, then cut 4 inches from the top using a sterilized razor.Cuttings are lined up evenly at the crown, then cut 4 inches from the top using a sterilized razor.9. Push the clones into the hole in the rockwool or Oasis. Then pinch the hole shut using thumb and index finger. In commercial mixes if the stem is thin you may have to push a 1" deep hole using skewer or coffee stirrer.

The cuttings are dipped in rooting solution as suggested on the label.The cuttings are dipped in rooting solution as suggested on the label.10. Repeat this process until the tray is complete.

A tray is placed over the clones to hold in moisture.A tray is placed over the clones to hold in moisture.11. Place the 10" x 20" tray in the larger tray. It should be sitting on the grill about 3" above the bottom of the tray.

Stem is pressed into Oasis cube hole and then the hole is pinched closed using thumb and forefinger.Stem is pressed into Oasis cube hole and then the hole is pinched closed using thumb and forefinger.12. Irrigate using the watering can with the fertilizer solution and Rootshield or other inoculant. Water will drip into the larger tray. Leave it and add more water so that there is a one inch level of water in the large tray, creating a humid environment around the sheet.

Tray has two hoses. The bottom hose has a valve on it and is used to drain the tray before moving orTray has two hoses. The bottom hose has a valve on it and is used to drain the tray before moving or13. Place cover on tray.

The bottom hose has a valve on it and is used to drain the tray. Second hose is the overflow valve.The bottom hose has a valve on it and is used to drain the tray. Second hose is the overflow valve.14. Turn light on. The light remains on continuously.

15. Turn heat mat on.

Tray is placed in larger holding tray. Metal grill keeps it above the 1.5 inch water level.Tray is placed in larger holding tray. Metal grill keeps it above the 1.5 inch water level.16. The following day water with PHC BioPak in solution.

Nine days after starting, the roots are quickly growing through the Oasis cubes.Nine days after starting, the roots are quickly growing through the Oasis cubes.17. Irrigate after three days using the fertilizer solution. Gently pour the water over the cubes. Water over the clones to supply water and nutrients directly to the leaves and stem. Use a watering can with a gentle spray making sure to saturate every cube. Replace cover. Repeat this every three days so the plants are irrigated three or four times during rooting. The plants are therefore watered days 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, and 14.

18. When the roots have grown through the bottom of the cubes remove the cover. New growth will be apparent on the crown, too. The clones are ready to plant but can be kept in the tray for up to three weeks. To keep the plants healthy but slow growing, keep the fertilizer at a TDS of 400 ppm and the light intensity low. To encourage fast growth the TDS is raised to 800 ppm and the light is increased to an input of 20 watts per square foot.

Good luck and happy cloning!

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