General Marijuana Growing
Taking Cuttings: (Clones) in the
The Grow Room forums; Nothing could be simpler - take a pair of scissors, cut some tips off a plant, place the cut tips ...
Taking Cuttings: (Clones)
Nothing could be simpler - take a pair of scissors, cut some tips off a plant, place the cut tips into the potting
mix and away they go, right? Wrong. OK, then take a pair of scissors, cut some tips off a plant, place
the tips in a propagator and away they go, right? Sorry, wrong again. While the steps are correct, there
is much more to consider to ensure success with cuttings. Expensive equipment is not the answer, doing
your homework is.
The Stock Plant (Mom)
Plant cuttings are a part of the original stock plant and
they share the same balance of light, air, water,
and nutrients as the stock plant. If the stock plant
was deficient in Phosphorous, for example, then
the cutting will also be deficient in Phosphorous.
This problem is compounded by the fact that the
cutting no longer has legs (roots) and therefore
cannot get access to food or drink. The plant
which grows from a cutting will show any problem the mom had
(i.e. nutritional deficiency) rapidly and throughout
Prepare the stock plant
The stock plant needs to be growing actively but
not forced to grow too fast as we want to force
the cutting to form roots and minimise the risk of it
having a vegetative growth surge. Ensure the stock
plant is being fed on a regular basis but do not give
it too many nutrients (especially Nitrogen), as this
will cause an imbalance in carbohydrate storage,
resulting in soft cuttings that have little energy for
rooting. Overfeeding will reduce the number, size
and quality of the root initials.
If you are working only with terminal cuttings , they
should be as tight as possible to avoid too
much internode stretch. Cut back on the amount
of Nitrogen being fed to the stock plant if internode
stretch becomes obvious.
You also want to avoid any other nutrient deficiencies
- the plant should appear healthy with glossy
green leaves and thick cuticles. Keep the light level
up during growth periods, but reduce the amount
of light the stock plants are exposed to by one third
in the week before you take your cuttings. If you
reduce the light level too much, you will induce
internode stretch. Once you have taken the cuttings
they may go into shock due to the
loss of roots... transfer it into a reduced light environment.
Make sure you water your stock plant the
day before you take cuttings and it is best to take
your cuttings during the first hours of light . It is also
wise to make sure that the stock plant has been in
a stable growth routine and has not dried out in the
preceding two weeks. A stable, vigorous, healthy
stock plant will yield cuttings of similar quality.
Prepare To Take Cuttings:
Now that we have ensured that the stock plant is
as healthy as it can be, it must be time to get out
the scissorsÖ...No! Taking a cutting requires care!
Choosing the correct tip to keep is important, but
equally it is important to know where to cut, how
to cut, what to use to cut, and how to care for
the cutting afterwards. Why? Because you want
to make good use of every possible cutting, and
so minimize the number of stock plants and the
amount of space required for keeping up production.
It also will result in even rooting between cuttings.
Where To Cut:
The right location to take a cutting is a zone somewhere
in the middle of the stem which is not too
hard and not too soft. There is a zone on every
plant stem that goes from low carbohydrates and
high Nitrogen to high carbohydrates and low Nitrogen;
you want the middle of this zone. How do
you tell where this is? Most growers know this from
experience, but new or less experienced growers
might want to do the Ďbend testí. You bend a tip still on the plant at a point where you want to take
the cutting back on itself... There are three things
that could happen: it bends (high Nitrogen and
low carbohydrate), it snaps in half or nearly in half
(low Nitrogen and high carbohydrates), or it partially
breaks in one spot (just right). This spot is the
cut zone. This is the section of the stem where roots
will most readily form. Next we need to know where
on the stem to cut.
How To Cut:
Cut on an angle to encourage the stem to absorb
as much water as possible and the wound to stay
open to transfer the water. But when taking cuttings,
take care to avoid crushing the tissue at the
cut. Use a very sharp knife, razor, or bypass pruners.
It is difficult to avoid crushing the tissue at the cut,
but the impact can be reduced by selecting the
correct cutting tool. The cut must be clean and
crisp and it is best to cut with a specialist knife, called a
propagation or budding/grafting knife. The next
best option is bypass pruners. Scissors, anvil pruners,
and fingers should be avoided as they crush the
stem and donít produce a clean cut.
Be Kind To Your Cuttings:
All cuttings need to go directly to an environment
with high humidity after being cut. If the cuttings
dry out, they will not do well. Keep them dark, cool
and moist. If you are working in large areas, use
wet cheesecloth or burlap to wrap the cuttings as
you go along. Donít give them time
to dry out. Process them soon as possible to keep
the auxins flowing down the stem since they need
to work at the bottom.
The media for rooting should be similar to the medium
that will be used for growing the cuttings in
later: use an inorganic medium for inorganic systems,
and an organic medium for organic systems.
You should match the properties. Plants develop new
roots with characteristics suited to the particular
medium and the subsequent job they must do. If
you are growing in potting mixes or in a soilless mix,
it makes little sense to induce roots on a cutting by
using a water-based rooting system. Otherwise, the
plant will have to devote time and energy to converting
those roots to roots that will work in the new
environment, where water is scarcer than minerals.
If you intend to grow your cuttings in clay pebbles,
then root them in water, rockwool, or floral blocks.
This will insure root compatibility from the start. Finally, make sure
you water the cuttings when youíve finished. This ensures a seal develops on the stem and settles the
cutting into place.
Now whatís the next step? Letís see, we fed the
stock plant, took the cuttings, transferred the cuttings
into suitable mediumÖ now we need get
them under high humidity. This can be achieved
with a dome or a mist system. Some plants are
not particular and can withstand drier conditions while
others will benefit fromthis approach.
Humidity reduces the water use and
supplies water to the growing plant. Humidity is essential
to keep the leaf turgid, the systems functioning,
and the processes processing. Keeping
the lights at a lower intensity will enhance rooting
while decreasing leaf function to survival levels. It
will slow transpiration while the necessary components
are used at the root sites to build a new root
structure. Keep the atmosphere around the cutting
warm (not hot), keep the humidity relatively high
(>90%), and keep the root zone temperature warm
(at about 25 C). Maintain this humidity until you
can see callus tissue or root initials , then you can
allow the cuttings to grow at below 90% humidity
but above 80% humidity in order to encourage root
growth. When you can see roots in the surrounding
medium, it is time to reduce to 80% humidity and
stop spraying water on the leaves in order to limit
risk of disease. When the roots reach the outside of
the root cube or pot, transplant them.
took 5 strawberry cough clones off hte mother this morning. Hope they make me proud.
Dibs on FDD's first blown usable glass....
When to transplant cuttings...
When to transplant cuttings
The timing here is important. If you wait until the
roots have grown into a root ball, the roots will
be old, Ďpot-tightí, and likely to grow on with less
branching. Donít wait until the roots have grown
too much. Do not apply stimulants (hormones) until
the cuttings are transplanted. If you are rooting
your cuttings into a medium, then use stimulants
as soon as you notice the roots (some stimulants
can be supplied through the leaf earlier). A word
of caution: never transplant freshly rooted cuttings
into a container that is too large, use an intermediate
size. For instance, do not transplant a 1 inch
cube with a rooted cutting into a 20 litre container,
use an intermediate size such as a 4 inch for root
formation. The plant wonít suffer and there is less
risk of it being over-watered.
A critical point to make at this juncture: roots require
100% humidity to avoid damage. The longer
the root tips are exposed to air, the greater
the damage that is done. Minimize their exposure
time to the air. Do not harvest hundreds of plugs in the morning then wait until the afternoon to plant
them. Only harvest, or remove from the starter trays
exposing the roots, enough material that you can
deal with in 15 minutes. Once planted in the medium,
ALWAYS water your transplants in, with or without
feed, depending on the medium and ALWAYS
adjusted to the bare minimum needed.
A cutting that is being transplanted the first time
should not be forced to swim in a huge pot that
contains an ocean of media. It is not wise to place
a 4-inch cutting directly into a 20 litre container, as it
is not efficient use of space and it is difficult to keep
the climate under control in such a large container.
Transplant it into a smaller container first and allow
it to gain root volume, then transfer it into a larger
container. The same rules apply for roots, once the
roots are loose and growing as far as the outside of
the root ball in good numbers, move the plant up
to a larger container. This will make it easier to keep
water levels constant, avoid over-watering, ensure
adequate nutrient availability, and make harvesting
The timing and amount of fertilizer to apply will depend
on the medium you are using. If you add fertilizer
to a medium such as potting mixes or peat,
then a large proportion of it will adhere to the particles
either directly or through bind sites. If there is
not enough plant material to use these nutrients, they will remain in the medium and can ultimately
lead to high salt levels later on. So, feed new cuttings
and plants lightly and increase the amount of
fertilizer you give to your young plants in proportion
to the rate of root growth.
Foliar feeds can be applied to leaf surfaces but
in light amounts. Beware that Nitrogen and some
other elements have a tendency to leach out of
leaves under a mist system. Usually, a light amount
of foliar feeding* is recommended where roots
form in less then five days. The root system is considered
to be the best way to feed the plant and this
holds true throughout the plantís life. If a plant requires
foliar applications there is usually a problem
elsewhere in the plant that should be addressed.
Taking cuttings is straightforward when done correctly
and when the grower is familiar with the
plant species. Some plants donít propagate well at
all. Some take weeks to grow new roots, some start
growing new roots while still on the stock plant. You
need to know what is possible with the plant you
have chosen so you to know what to expect. Remember,
cutting any living plant has consequences,
for both the cutting and for the stock plant.
Follow these steps carefully, take care of the stock
plant and cuttings and you will succeed!
By ganjaluvr in forum Toke N Talk
Last Post: 07-22-2013, 07:37 PM
By rollitup in forum General Marijuana Growing
Last Post: 09-04-2010, 10:38 PM
By forest 9 in forum Advanced Marijuana Cultivation
Last Post: 12-30-2009, 01:00 PM
By Apollonia in forum Grow Journals
Last Post: 12-03-2009, 06:13 PM
By scott706 in forum General Marijuana Growing
Last Post: 11-18-2007, 03:40 PM
Tags for this Thread