Cannabis Cloning Made Easy… Roots in 7-10 Days!
Hey everybody, it’s Mr Green here from www.GrowBCBud.com with some free advice about making cannabis cloning as easy and quick as possible. Today you’ll learn how to clone your marijuana plants successfully every time!
I’ve been growing marijuana on a large scale since 1990 and have made thousands of clones over the years. The following is my best advice to get your clones rooted fast, in just 7-10 days.
- Cloning Tray (with ridges at the bottom, no holes) & 7” Vented Dome
- Razor Blade or Exacto Knife & Scissors
- Cloning Gel and Cloning Powder
Note: Any brand rooting powder and gel will work for cloning
- 2 small plastic buckets (or large mixing bowls – to be filled with water)
- Spray Bottle/Mister
- “Jiffy 7” Compressed Peat Pellets(Recommended)
Note: Rockwool Cubes and Rapid Rooters can be substituted
- Grow Lights: Fluorescent Lights or Metal Halide lights (250w, 400w or 600w) seem to work best for cloning, however any quality grow light can be used.
To begin we will fill one of the small buckets with warm water. Put the other bucket aside for now, as we will use it in a moment.
Next, we soak the Jiffy 7 compressed peat pellets in the warm water, which makes the pellets expand in size, as pictured below.
Once the compressed Jiffy 7 peat pellets have expanded in warm water, we remove them one at a time.
Gently squeeze excess water from each pellet before placing in cloning tray.
Once the cloning tray is filled with expanded warm wet Jiffy pellets, we are ready to begin cutting our cannabis clones.
Let’s fill the other bucket with cold water now. We will use this to hold our new clones.
Where to cut?
When cutting clones from a mother plant it is better to cut a large section of a branch with multiple branches and bud sites.
Bigger branches will support bigger buds. A small clone may take a week or two before multiple branches appear.
This photo shows the difference between a small cannabis clone vs a big clone. You will get faster growing and more vibrant plants by choosing big clones!
Using a new razor blade, cut the branch of the mother plant at a 45-degree angle. This “branch” will be your new clone!
Place the new cutting in the small bucket of cold water you just prepared.
The stem of the cut branch will absorb some water while soaking. This prevents air bubbles from getting trapped in the stem.
If your cutting has large fan leaves you should cut the blades of the leaves shorter to fit in the cloning tray.
This way the fan leaves will still remain and speed up the growth of the new cannabis clone.
Once you have all the branches cut and soaked we are ready to dip the tip of each of the cuttings (soon to be clones) into the rooting gel.
Dipping the clone in gel first will protect the stem from getting clogged.
After the clone is dipped in rooting gel we will dip the tip into the rooting powder.
This method is what I call “Double Dipping the Clones”. I do this because some strains root better in gel, while others root better with rooting powder. This way each clone will always root no matter what. Any brand rooting powder and gel will work for cloning.
After the clone has been double-dipped, you will insert the cutting into the Jiffy 7 peat pellet.
Gently press the peat in the Jiffy 7 around the base of the stem to ensure a snug fit and to ensure contact of the peat with the stem. We don’t want the stem loose or falling out of the peat.
Note if you’re using Rockwool: Rockwool cubes usually have a small hole for the clone to be inserted. Just be sure you have a snug fit between the stem and the cloning cube.
Once all the clones are inserted in the pellets I add a teaspoon of water to the base of each stem to activate the rooting gel and powder.
The next step is to spray the clones with water before moving the clones under the light.
When spraying the clones with water make sure you spray the inside of the dome and the base of the cloning tray. Fresh cuttings need high humidity to encourage root growth.
Now place the dome on the cloning tray with the new clones inside.
Leave the light on 18 hrs per day for cloning. Try to give the clones as much light as possible. More light makes clones root faster.
About the lights:
- If using fluorescent lights or CFLs you can keep the light 1 or 2 inches over the top of the dome.
- If using a horizontal 400w or 600w Metal Halide light keep the light about 24 inches away from the top of the dome.
Make sure the vents of the dome are closed for the first 2 days.
Keep the room temperature slightly warm, above 20 Degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
That’s it for now! You’ve made it through the first day, which means you’ve made it through the toughest part of cloning!
Remove the clear plastic dome from the cloning tray and spray the clones and inside of the dome with water.
Place the dome back on the tray when done. It is best if you spray the clones in this way at least 2 times per day.
Spraying a clone with water dilutes the nutrients in the leaves. The clone will be forced to search for nutrients once the leaves have low nutrient levels. Misting also helps maintain water levels in the plant since it can’t drink through the roots.
Spray clones once in morning and once at night.
Open the vents in the dome of the cloning tray today.
We want the moisture to escape now which will dry out the Jiffy 7 pellets. The drying of the pellets will force the small bits of root to grow quickly in search of moisture.
Keep vents on dome open and spray clones once in morning and once at night. Hopefully by this point each clone is standing up on its own.
Keep vents on dome open and check to see if pellets are dry.
If the Rockwool or Peat Pellets are dry to the touch we will add half a liter (
2 cups) of water to the cloning tray itself which will fill the grooves in the bottom of the cloning tray.
Important: If you add water, add it to the cloning tray itself to fill in the grooves at the bottom of the tray. Do not add water to the tops of the pellets at this point, or roots will take longer to form!
The pellets will absorb the water from the bottom of the cloning tray. We want the roots to search for the moisture, and forcing them to move downwards to find water will force the plant to root more quickly.
Adding water over the top of stems now will make it take longer for clones to root. Do not add water to the tops of your pellets!
Close the dome vents on Day 6.
Keep spraying clones once in morning and once at night. You should now see some roots breaking through the Jiffy 7 peat pellets for several of the clones.
We have closed the dome vents again on Day 6 because we want extreme humidity now that clone roots are starting to show. Trapping the water in the tray with vents closed creates the best environment for roots to grow rapidly.
Continue spraying clones twice a day.
By day 7, roots should be showing on at least 50% of the clones. Keep the vents closed on dome. We need to maintain high humidity until day 10.
DAY 8 & 9
By day 8 or 9 you should see roots on 90% or more of the clones. At this time you should add half liter of water (
2 cups) that has been infused with a light concentration of grow nutrients to the grooves in cloning tray.
Keep vents closed on dome which will add nutrient to the humidity in the cloning tray. Over the next day roots may triple in size.
Continue spraying with water for day 8 and 9.
Remove the dome on the cloning tray today to allow clones a chance to adjust to normal humidity. Clones may be transplanted to dirt or Rockwool anytime when you see roots.
If you want bigger plants, take bigger clones!
About the Bathtub Floodtable
I’ve recently been growing marijuana at home in my new condominium apartment. As a result, I needed a place to keep Mother Plants, Clones and a place to Veg the Clones.
I discovered that my spare bathroom is the perfect place for the job. The bathtub floodtable is a piece of plywood 2ft x 4ft in size. I’ve covered the plywood with 2 layers of B&W Plastic.
The plywood is raised 2 inches at the front edge of the bathtub which makes the water run downhill towards the tile wall at the back of the bathtub. The nutrient drips off the floodtable into the bathtub to be recirculated again.
View a video featuring Mr. Green’s Bathtub Floodtable
The bathtub acts as the reservoir holding the hydroponic nutrients. A submersible water pump forces the nutrients up onto the floodtable through 1/2 inch tubing that leads to spaghetti hose for each plant. Nutrients drain out of the pots while plants are being fed. This method is what I call “Flush & Feed”.
Excess nutrients are being Flushed out of the Rockwool while the Plants are being Fed nutrients.
Plants cannot be overfed with this method of hydroponic growing.
Plants are fed several times per day as programmed by a digital timer. I also have an air pump with air stone in all my reservoirs keeping oxygen in nutrients at maximum levels.
More information and instructions how to build custom floodtables are included in my book “Marijuana Mass Production Made Easy”.
ABOUT MR GREEN
I was born in British Columbia and started growing marijuana on a commercial scale in 1990. I designed and built grow rooms in nearly 20 different locations over the years, and worked as a consultant for major size grow-ops. The cover of the book has images of my basement which held 24 x 1000w HPS lights.
My education with hydroponic grow systems began in 1991 under the supervision of University Botanists who were developing a special nutrient formula for the cannabis strain Northern Lights. Since then I’ve learned advanced techniques to improve the quality and yield per light.
I’ve read dozens of books and always wanted to find one that tells the reader exactly how to get professional results without having to perform experiments, and without having to sort through pages of re-hashed common info about how plants grow. The book I wrote, “Marijuana Mass Production Made Easy” has the condensed instructions of how to average 2+ lbs per 1000w light.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2012 and am now Licensed by Health Canada to Grow my own plants. All the photos and videos on my website, www.GrowBCBud.com are from rooms I built and plants I grew.
Share my pics and videos with all your friends. My book “Marijuana Mass Production Made Easy” shows you how to grow 2 lbs or more per 1000w light and includes instructions on how to grow 12 lbs every 3 weeks in 1000 sq ft room.
The book includes the hydroponic food formula I use that will make your plants grow Bigger and Faster than ever before. I make growing easy for anyone to understand with basic instructions of what to do so you achieve awesome results every time.
Marijuana Mass Production Made Easy is available for $24.95
Get Your Supplies To Follow This Cloning Tutorial!
Cloning Tray (with ridges at the bottom, no holes) & 7” Vented Dome
Note: Because these are bulky but lightweight, these items are usually much cheaper to buy in person without having to pay for shipping (can be found at most plant nurseries and gardening stores). Although not necessary, the reason the following tray is white on top is this style helps reflect light back up at the plants (though it costs a little more than a regular propagation tray).
Cloning Gel and Cloning Powder
Note: Any brand rooting gel and powder will work for cloning
2 small plastic buckets (or large mixing bowls – to be filled with water)
Grow Lights: Fluorescent Lights (including CFLs) or a Metal Halide light (400w or 600w works great). However, you can use almost any grow light successfully as long as you keep it at the correct distance away.
Mr Green has been growing marijuana on a commercial scale since 1990 and has made thousands of clones. Learn the exact technique he uses to get clones consistently rooted fast, in 7-10 days!
How to Get Clones from Your Cannabis Plants
Taking cuttings from a strong mother plant allows you to preserve the exact genetic traits of that strain. While it might seem complex, cloning cannabis can be simple, given you use the right techniques and equipment. Here’s everything you need to know!
A comprehensive guide to cloning cannabis plants.
Cloning a cannabis plant sounds pretty futuristic, but it’s actually quite simple; it just involves taking a cutting from one of your plants and giving it time to develop roots. Cannabis growers tend to take clones either from mother plants (which are kept constantly in veg) or young vegetative plants that they’ll later switch to flower.
There are many benefits to cloning your cannabis plants, but the main advantage is it allows you to preserve the specific genetics of a plant almost indefinitely. Best of all, cloning is free!
What Are Cannabis Clones?
Cannabis clones are cuttings taken from a vegetating cannabis plant. Once they grow roots, these cuttings turn into plants with the exact same genetics as the plant they were cut from.
When you buy cannabis seeds from a respected seed bank, each seed will contain the genetics of both its mother and father. Once you germinate your seeds, however, you may find that your individual plants (or phenotypes) look quite different. That’s because they may express the genetics passed down from their parents in different ways, just like you might look very different from your siblings.
Hence, if you find a plant with particular characteristics (smell, taste, yield, size, etc.) that you love, cloning it allows you to preserve those genetics, grow after grow. If you have any lingering doubts about the process, take a look at the benefits of growing cannabis clones versus seeds.
Choosing the Right Mother Plant to Clone From
Cloning is really about capturing the best attributes of a particular strain. As such, you want to be pretty selective about which plants you take your clones from.
Ideally, you’ll want to clone a plant that you absolutely love. If you germinate a bag of seeds, keep an eye out for that one plant that just seems to top its siblings; the one that grows the fastest, looks the strongest, smells the best, or yields the most. That’s the strain you’ll want to clone.
Some traits growers tend to look for in mother plants include:
- Exotic or pungent aromas
- Sweet, smooth, and bold flavours
- High potency and resin production
- Manageable heights (when growing indoors) and robust growth
- Fast flowering time
- Resistance to pests, moulds, and other pathogens
- Large yields
When growing from seeds, some growers opt to take clones from all their plants while they veg. Then, once these first plants are harvested and dried, they only keep the healthiest clones from the one plant they liked the most.
On the other hand, it’s also possible to only take clones from those vegging plants that stand out in any of the areas mentioned above. Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine the aroma, flavours, and potency of a strain so early on, which is why we recommend taking clones from all your plants, then culling those you don’t want post-harvest.
What Do You Need to Clone Cannabis?
- A healthy vegging “mother” plant
- A clean scalpel, razor, or sharp scissors
- Starter cubes (Rockwool, etc.)
- Cloning gel or powder
- “Mild” lighting for your clones: a low-wattage CFL or a special light for clones/seedlings is ideal
- High-proof alcohol to disinfect your tools
- Propagator (optional), which comes complete with everything you need to create the perfect microclimate for your clones
How to Take a Cannabis Clone
When it comes down to actually taking your cuttings, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.
Choose the Right Rooting Medium
To help your clones develop healthy roots, we recommend planting them in a well-aerated medium that retains plenty of moisture. For best results, we recommend using Rockwool cubes (made from molten rock that’s been spun into a fine thread), as they allow for plenty of airflow and provide great moisture retention. Make sure to also invest in a plastic tray (which will hold the cubes and help them retain some water) and a dome or propagator to retain humidity around your clones.
Prepare Your Tools
Cleanliness is the key to taking and growing healthy clones. Hence, make sure to wash your hands and use gloves before handling your plants, and sterilise your razor, scalpel, or scissors as well as your work area with high-proof alcohol.
When you take cuttings from a plant, both the mother and cuttings are at a higher risk of developing infections from the bacteria in their environment. Washing your hands and sterilising your equipment will minimise the risk of these bacteria causing your cuttings (or worse, your mother) any problems.
Prepare Your Medium and Rooting Gel
Once you’ve taken a cutting from your mother plant, you’ll need to act quickly. You don’t want to leave the inside of its panch exposed to the elements any longer than is absolutely necessary. To help speed up the cloning process, we recommend setting up your work area before you make the cut, with your rooting gel and medium ready to go.
Also, we recommend lightly moistening your medium before you start cloning. Just remember not to overdo it; clones like high humidity and a slightly moist medium, but they’ll rot in a medium that’s drenched.
Select a Cutting
You can technically take cuttings from both vegging and flowering cannabis plants. However, cuttings taken from a flowering plant may take longer to root and tend to exhibit slower growth. They’ll also need to be reverted back to veg for about 2–3 weeks before you can flip them into flower again.
Cannabis clones are best taken from the tip of a healthy panch. Remember, the healthier the cutting, the faster it will root and grow. We generally recommend taking cuttings from the bottom panches of a plant, seeing as they typically receive less light and will produce smaller buds. Make sure your cuttings have at least two nodes.
Make the Cut
To take a clone from a cannabis plant, make a clean cut at a 45° angle below the last node of your cutting. This will increase the area of the rooting surface, helping the panch develop more roots and grow more quickly.
Once you’ve taken your cutting, dip it into your rooting or cloning gel and stick it straight into your medium. Once secure in the medium, remove your clone’s bottom leaves (leaving only the top fan leaves and growing tip intact). Finally, trim the tips of the fingers on the clone’s remaining leaves to promote photosynthesis and water uptake. This reduces the surface area of the remaining leaves and also slows evaporation, helping your young clones hold on to more water as their roots are developing.
If you’re a beginner grower, we recommend taking one clone at a time. If you’re more experienced, however, you can take multiple cuttings from a mother and keep them hydrated in a glass of non-chlorinated water until you’re ready to dip into your rooting agent and move them into their medium.
Place Your Clone in Its Dome
Once your clone has been planted and trimmed, it’s time to move it into a dome. This will allow you to keep humidity levels high (clones need high humidity as they absorb water via their leaves as they develop their roots). Once you’ve situated them in a dome, keep your clones on an 18/6 light cycle (18 hours on, 6 hours off) under a low-power fluorescent or metal halide lamp.
If you’re looking for a complete kit to help you grow both healthy seedlings and clones, we highly recommend investing in a **propagator. While they’re typically used for seedlings, this simple accessory also offers the perfect environment for your fragile clones.
Check In on Your Clones Daily
From here on out, you’ll want to check on your clones daily to monitor their health and ensure they have enough water to fuel their growth. If the humidity in your dome or propagator drops, spray the leaves of your clones lightly with unchlorinated water. Also, if some of your clones die (which is common), remove them immediately so they don’t rot and cause mould to spread to your other clones.
Clones can take between 10–14 days to develop roots, but some may take longer. Once a clone has developed 3–5cm roots, they are ready to be transplanted.
Transplant Your Clone
To transplant a clone into soil, remember to work in a sterile environment and prepare your pots with moist soil beforehand. Then, use gloves to gently remove your clones from their medium and plant them (remember to completely cover your clone’s roots).
How to Clone Cannabis in Rockwool
- Soak your Rockwool cubes in slightly acidic water (we recommend a pH of 5.5) for 2–3 hours.
- Make small holes in the middle of your cubes using a pair of sterilised scissors.
- Take your cutting following the instructions listed above.
- Dip your clone into your rooting agent and secure it in the hole of a soaked Rockwool cube.
- Place your clone in your propagator or dome and lightly douse it with some water to keep humidity high.
How to Clone Cannabis in Soil
- Prep your soil and pots. We recommend using a light potting mix with perlite (at least 25–50% by volume) and plastic party cups as your pots. Don’t use fertilised soils as they will burn your cuttings.
- Soak your soil lightly and let it drain.
- Take your cutting, dip it into a cloning agent, and stick it straight into the soil.
- Lightly pat down the soil around your clone’s stem to hold it in place.
- Move your cutting into a propagator or dome and spray it with water to boost humidity.
Note: When cloning in soil, you can keep your plants in their pots until they’ve outgrown them (this can take 3–4 weeks or more, depending on the size of your starter pots and your cutting’s rate of growth). If you’re using plastic cups as pots, transplant your clones once their roots start to reach the sides of the cup.
How to Clone Cannabis in Water
If you don’t have access to soil or Rockwool, you can clone cannabis directly in water.
- Fill a container (a tall, narrow glass or plastic bottle will work fine) with unchlorinated water (with a pH of around 5.8–6).
- Take your cutting, dip it in rooting gel, and place inside your container of water.
- Change the water every 2–3 days to prevent bacteria and/or algae from forming around your clones.
Can You Clone Cannabis Without Rooting Gel?
This is a very common question that we get from both amateur and more experienced growers. And the answer is yes, it is possible to clone cannabis cuttings without using rooting gel or any other kind of rooting hormone. In fact, some advanced growers prefer to clone without the use of these hormones, instead letting their plants develop roots naturally on their own.
If you want to try your hand at cloning cannabis without rooting gel or hormones, try the following:
- Prepare an opaque container with unchlorinated water.
- Take your cutting and immediately put it inside the water. Trim its lower leaves so they are not sitting in the water.
- Place the cutting on a windowsill, away from direct sunlight.
For the best possible results, keep your room temperature at 23–25°C. Roots will form in about 8–10 days, and some clones will be ready to transplant after 2.5–3 weeks, but this can vary considerably. You’ll know your clones are ready to be planted once they’ve developed roots that are at least 3–5cm long. You can also add ground-up aspirin or vitamin b1 to the water to help your plants root faster.
Caring for Cannabis Clones
Cannabis clones are fragile and need the right care to survive. Most importantly, your clones need the right temperature and humidity to produce good results.
Creating the Perfect Environment for Cannabis Clones
Clones thrive at temperatures between 23–25°C (74–78°F) and a relative humidity between 75–85%, regardless of the medium you’re cloning them in. There are a number of ways you can keep things warm and humid to help your clones develop healthy roots as fast as possible:
- Use a heat mat underneath your cloning tray or propagator to keep temperatures optimal in cooler conditions.
- Add perlite at the bottom of your tray to retain moisture.
- Spray your clone’s leaves and the inside of your tray/propagator with water right after cloning to boost humidity.
- Use a thermometer/hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity level in your clone tray.
- Check in on your clones every 24 hours to make sure their environment is perfect.
- Remove any dead clones from your tray or propagator immediately. Decaying plant matter attracts bugs into your grow area and creates a peeding ground for fungi and other nasty pathogens that can quickly kill off your remaining clones.
How to Water Young Cannabis Clones
Remember, young clones don’t have roots, so watering their medium isn’t going to do much good. Instead, water your young clones by lightly spraying their leaves a couple of times per day. Only water your medium if it’s becoming dry; never soak it or water it as you would a regular plant.
Lighting Requirements for Cannabis Clones
Clones will burn under strong grow lights or direct sunlight. For best results, keep your cannabis clones under CFL bulbs placed roughly 10cm from the tops of the young plants. Alternatively, keep them on a windowsill out of direct sunlight.
Also, remember that your plants will need at least some darkness for their roots to form. While some growers use different light cycles for their clones, we always recommend sticking to an 18-6 vegetative cycle.
Minimising the Risk of Mould and Other Pests
As mentioned above, cannabis clones enjoy warm, humid conditions. Unfortunately, high humidity and warmth can also attract pests, fungi, and nasty bacteria into your grow space. To prevent these pathogens from destroying your clones, always use sterile equipment and keep your temperature and humidity within the suggested range.
Additional Tips for Cloning Cannabis Plants
To close out this guide, let’s address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding cannabis clones. You can refer to these tips as needed throughout the cloning process so you can set yourself up for success!
Q: Why Are My Cannabis Clones Turning Yellow?
A: Cannabis clones will naturally yellow over time as they gradually use up nutrient stores in their leaves. Some yellowing usually isn’t a problem as long as your clones root properly. If a large number of your clones are turning yellow before they can develop roots, this could be caused by high humidity and/or temperature issues. If your temperature and humidity levels are spot on, check the size of your clones; they should only have 2–3 nodes, and you’ll want to trim off any of their bottom leaves.
Finally, if you still find that too many of your clones turn yellow, you may want to switch to another cloning method and see if your results change. Some growers find they’re more successful cloning with one method than another.
Q: Why Are My Cannabis Clones Wilting?
A: There are countless causes behind wilting cannabis clones. If you spot any signs of wilting on a young clone, you’ll want to act quickly; remember, these plants are very fragile and can’t handle a lot of stress. More often than not, clones will wilt if they’re not getting enough water.
Start by checking the temperature and humidity levels in your dome, adjusting them if they’re not optimal. As they work to develop their roots, clones take up water through their leaves via transpiration (just like seedlings). It’s vital your temperature and relative humidity levels are on point for plants to transpire properly. Trimming the tips of your clone’s leaves also helps it retain water.
Also, remember to check your lights and ensure they aren’t too far from your plants. Poor lighting can affect a clone’s ability to photosynthesise, causing it to wilt (see “Lighting Requirements for Clones” above).
Q: When Should You Transplant a Cannabis Clone?
A: We recommend transplanting your clones once they’ve developed strong roots that are at least 3–5cm long. Cuttings usually take between 10–14 days to develop roots, but this varies greatly from one strain to another.
Q: Why Are My Cannabis Clones Drooping?
A: New cuttings naturally droop after being taken from a mother plant. It’s just part of the plant’s response to the stress of being cloned. Once they’ve developed roots, your clones should naturally spring back up and reach for the light.
If your clones continue to droop, go back and check the temperature and relative humidity in your dome, as well as your lights. Also, make sure you haven’t left too many leaves on your clones. Remember, we recommend leaving clones with just their top two leaves. If you’ve checked all of these variables and they’re on point, try to prop up your cuttings to avoid them touching their medium and getting soggy.
Q: Can Cannabis Clones Turn Male?
A: No, female cannabis clones cannot turn male. They can, however, turn hermaphrodite. This can be the result of stress or genetics. For example, if your mother plant tends to show hermaphroditic qualities, those genes will be passed down to your clones as well.
Q: How Do You Make Cannabis Clones Root Faster?
A: It takes time for cannabis clones to develop roots, and there’s no real way to hurry the process along. However, by creating the perfect environment, being clean and fast, and using a quality rooting gel, you can maximise the health of your clones so they can develop a strong root system.
Start Cloning Your Cannabis Plants!
Cloning cannabis can seem like a daunting process, especially for inexperienced growers. But it doesn’t need to be; with a strong mother, a good cloning process, and clean equipment, you can replicate the same plants—and the same bud—time and time again. Remember to keep this article on hand whenever you’re cloning to simplify the process!
Got a particular cannabis strain you'd love to clone? Click here for a detailed overview of everything you need to know about cannabis cloning.