KEYS TO ROOTING FRESH CUTS
BY GARRETT S. BARKER
THERE ARE MANY different ways to clone a cannabis plant. Here is a handy guide to cloning properly and making sure you iyuare getting the best return percentage on your cuts. To begin with, we need to understand what type of cuts we are looking for. For starters, you should have specific plants for cloning “moms” as we call them. You need to be able to keep these plants in veg for an extended period of time. You want to take the healthiest plants you have and make them your moms. Healthy moms allow for healthy grows.
Once your moms are selected, we can begin to look at what kind of cuts we want. You want to find clones about 4 to 6 inches long with at least 2 nodes below the top of the cutting. Once we’ve selected our moms and cuts, we need to prepare our cup of water and soak our rock wool. You will need will need a cup of 5.5 pH water to store your cuttings while waiting to plug your cuts. You may want multiple cups if you’re doing multiple strains. Colored cups work best if you want to reuse them. Otherwise, a sharpie and some tape does just fine to label as well.
Now, mix your cloning solution and completely soak your rock wool. While soaking your rock wool, place your dome over the top to start bringing up the moisture. Make sure to have a tray at this point filled with rock wool cubes, pre-soak them about an hour before plugging to make sure the cubes are fully soaked with your rooting solution that you want balanced at 5.8-6.0. “Or as instructed.”
Making sure all our blades are sterilized, now it’s time to grab your scissors and razor blade and start cutting. The types of clones we are looking for are going to be the healthiest looking part of the plant. We want the new growth and skinnier stalks. These have a higher potential for success than some of the other older growth parts of the plant. The main goal here is to keep your stalk space small. This will allow for the cutting to soak up more of the rooting hormone quicker than a fatter longer stalk. Once we find our cut we take our scissors as close to the node as possible. Quickly after you snip with your scissors take your razor blade and cut your new stem at a 45 degree angle at the next closest node, then place it in your cutting cup. Use haste because you want the plant getting as little oxygen as possible. If its sits out too long, the plant will take up too much oxygen causing the cutting to suffocate and not want to uptake water and growth hormones.
Another technique that helps with spacing, and to keep the foliage light in your dome, is to snip the tips of your water leaves to allow the cutting to focus on its new transition and to thrive.
Now you’re off and running grabbing as many clones as needed, or as possible, depending on what your needs be. After you have your gathering of cuttings, take them over to where you are going to plug them into rock wool, or else buy a cloning box. In my experience, if you are going to be planting into soil or coco or anything like that, I would stick with the rock wool cubes. They work just fine and make it easy to transplant. If you are doing any type of hydroponic, or aeroponic growing, the cloning machines work great for that. Easily transferable, you can pack more than one clone into each disc. One thing that is recommended is to poke your rock wool cubes with a bamboo stake so your clone will slide in snug.
Now you have your cuttings and your rooting gel. Take the cutting, dip it into the rooting gel, and transfer it into the rock wool. Same goes for the cloning systems. You need
to dip your clones into your rooting gel then transfer it into the clone discs. Repeat the dipping and plugging process until all cuts are plugged. Once we have our clones plugged, place the dome back over the tray and label that tray so you know which clones are from what mother. Place the tray under your soft light and leave it alone for the next few days. I recommend running T5 lights 18 inches over any clones.
After four days, open up the vents on your domes and check for any wilted, dead leaves to remove. Check your rock wool to make sure there is enough water for them to get through the next six days. If roots are not showing after six days, tug on your clones to make sure they were plugged properly and check back in a day or two. If you have a cloning machine, you should be able to leave your clones alone completely for 8-10 days. Once your clone is showing roots you are ready to transplant and away it grows.
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