Waiting for your clones to root can be frustrating.
But if you knew how to make your clones root faster, you could eliminate that frustration.
Then you are left with only the benefits of cloning. And those are great.
Cloning eliminates all of the guesswork. No more wondering if your seed is male or female. Wondering what kind of bud it will produce and how much of it.
With clones, you know exactly what you will get, because you have already grown the same plant. If not you, then the person from whom you got the clones.
Either way, you know the mother plant and you know what that plant line has done in the past.
True, it could be your first time cloning this plant and if you did it right (i.e. took cutting during the vegetative stage), you won’t actually know what the plants are capable of.
But that only happens the first time. After that, you know what you’re dealing with.
Point is: once you’ve got a great plant, cloning it allows you to keep growing that great plant forever.
So let’s learn how to make those clones root faster, so that you no longer have to deal with the one frustrating aspect of cloning.
Getting Your Clones To Root Faster
The key to faster rooting is providing clones with exactly the right environment. Every step of the way, we want to provide the ideal environment to encourage rooting. In order to do that, we’re going to need some supplies.
Supplies Needed To Encourage Rooting
- Cloning tray with ridges (and no holes) and a vented dome (this is a good one)
- Peat pellets (like these)
- Razor blade or exacto knife (must be sharp
- Rooting gel and rooting powder (get both for best results)
- 2 small plastic buckets or large mixing bowls
- Spray bottle (this one is good, if you don’t already have one)
- Grow lights: LED tubes are best, fluorescent lights also work well
Now that we have everything we need, it’s time to start cloning. Follow these instructions exactly and your clones will have strong root growth in 7 to 10 days.
Get The Peat Pellets Ready
The peat pellets are packaged in a dried, compressed form. To use them, you need to first expand them. You do this with water.
Use one of the buckets or bowls and fill it with warm water. Put the pellets you plan on using in the water and let them soak until they have expanded.
Once they’ve expanded fully, remove them from the water and squeeze out the excess water. Then place them in the cloning tray.
Take Clones From The Mother Plant
Before you start cutting clones, you want to prepare some water to keep them in. Fill a bucket or large bowl with cold water.
Now you’re ready to cut.
To speed up rooting, you want to cut your clones from the lower part of the mother plant. The closer to the roots they are, the faster they will root themselves.
You’ve probably read advice that tells you to take a large section of plant with several branches and bud sites, because it speeds up the growth of the clone. A smaller clone will take longer to grow multiple branches.
But if you’re trying to speed up rooting, having more leaves is detrimental. With more leaves, the plant uses more energy to feed those leaves. You want as much of its energy as possible to be put toward root production. We’ll trim most of them off in a minute anyway.
First, let’s cut.
Once you’ve identified where you want to cut take the razor blade or exact knife and cut the branch at a 45 degree angle. This provides more area from which the roots can grow. You can use scissors for this, but they need to be very sharp. They should cut the stem, without crushing it.
After the clone is cut, place it in the bucket of cold water. This allows water to seep into the stem, which prevents air bubble from forming inside.
Prepare And Plant The Cuttings
To speed up rooting, you want to remove all the leaves, apart from the ones at the crown. You also want to cut the tips off any larger leaves that remain. They should be trimmed to an inch or inch and a half in length.
You also want to make sure the clones are all as close as possible to being the same length. That helps ensure they grow at the same speed.
Once all the clones have been trimmed, you are ready to plant them. Before planting a clone, dip the stem in rooting gel first and then into the rooting powder.
Some strains root better when dipped in powder and some root better when dipped in gel. By using both on every clone, you ensure they all get whichever of the two they prefer. You always want to dip them in gel first, because it protects the stem from being clogged.
After you have dipped the stem in both the gel and the powder, stick it in one of the peat pellets (or whatever other medium you are using, like Rockwell cubes, etc.). Press the pellet around the stem, making sure it fits tightly and won’t fall out.
Provide The Ideal Environment
Clones need warmth, moisture and light. Ideally they want 18 hours of light per day and a room temperature around 68° F (20° C). Let’s be sure to provide them exactly what they want.
Once all the clones are planted in their peat pellets and the pellets are all lined up in the cloning tray, add a tablespoon of water to the pellet at the base of the stem. This serves to activate the rooting gel and powder.
You also want to fill your spray bottle with room temperature water and spray the clones, as well as the base of the cloning tray and the inside of the lid. Use the misting setting for all of this.
After misting, place the dome on the cloning tray. All of the water you sprayed ensures a high humidity inside the dome, which is exactly the environment clones need.
Whatever type of grow light you are using should go directly above the dome. If you are using fluorescent light or a low voltage LED (like the T5 LEDs I recommend), keep the light an inch or two above the dome.
If you are using a more powerful LED or a metal halide bulb, leave 2 or more feet of distance between the light and the dome. A dimmable LED grow light is great for this situation, since you can dial down the intensity, which also saves on power costs.
Nurturing Your Clones
You should mist the clones and the inside of the dome twice a day, every day. Ideal times are in the morning and in the evening.
Doing this not only maintains the water level in the plants (since they don’t yet have roots with which to take in water), but also dilutes the amount of nutrients in the leaves, which forces the plant to look for more. The best way to get them is to grow roots, so we are encouraging that.
1st And 2nd Day
On the first two days, just continue misting twice daily (maybe even 3 or 4 times on the first day, if necessary). Keep the vents closed at all times.
3rd And 4th Day
On the third day (with the first day being the day you took the clones), open the vents and leave them open. This lets moisture escape, which may seem like a bad thing, but will actually help encourage rooting.
The lack of moisture dries out the peat pellets. On the 3rd day, there will already by the beginnings of roots sprouting inside them stem and the lack of readily available moisture encourages them to grow more quickly to find a source of moisture.
On the 5th day, check to pellets to see if they are dry. If they are, add about 2 cups of water (half a liter). Add the water to the cloning tray, letting it fill the grooves. Do not add the water directly to the peat pellets.
Adding water to the pellets makes it too easy for the plants to get water. We want them to have to reach down to the cloning tray to get water, because the way they do that is by growing roots downward. It is another way to speed up the formation of roots.
6th And 7th Day
On the 6th day, you want to close the vents again. By now you should be seeing some roots coming out of the peat pellets for some of the clones. Now that the roots have begun to show, they need extreme humidity to encourage further growth.
8th And 9th Day
On the 8th day, add another 2 cups of water to the cloning tray. This time, infuse the water with a minimal amount of grow nutrients.
Keep the vents closed and keep misting the clones and the inside of the dome twice a day.
Go ahead and remove the dome so that the clones can adjust to the normal environment. They should all have strong root growth, which means you can transplant them to their next home. In actuality, you could transplant any clones that show strong root growth prior to this day, if you wanted to.
Now you are ready to grow those clones into adult plants that give you a huge harvest. If you need help with that, this article has everything you need to grow the perfect cannabis plant indoors.