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CARE AND FEEDING
- Once you have your cutting(s) in the growing medium mist them with the spray bottle filled with water and place them in the tray. Mist the inside of the clear humidity dome and place dome over the tray. (NOTE: The cuttings need some ventilation and a couple of small holes in the dome will usually do the trick).
- Remove the dome and mist the cuttings 2 or 3 times a day. This keeps the cuttings from drying out and also changes the air under the dome. This step is critical, the cuttings have no way to replenish lost moisture because they have no roots. Mist the inside of the dome and replace on tray. The humidity under the dome needs to be about 90 % until roots appear on the cuttings. (NOTE: Be careful that the air under the dome doesn't get too warm, if it is, you may have to increase the amount of venting, and increase the number or mistings per day). Cuttings need to be kept between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. To hot or cold will inhibit root growth. If you live in a cold climate you may need a heated propagation mat.
- The cuttings are going to need light, you need bright light, but not too intense. Dappled sunlight if you are leaving your cuttings outside. Indoors you can use a double tube fluorescent fixture with both a cool white bulb and a warm white bulb in the fixture (or two "grow" tubes). This will give a good, balanced light spectrum. Fluorescent light doesn't penetrate so you must keep the lights very close to the cannabis plants (1-2 inches above the cannabis plants).
If you are using a Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium fixture you must keep the cuttings much further away (2 - 3 feet away for 175 - 400 watt bulbs and 4 - 6 feet for a 1000 watt bulb).
The lights should be turned on for 18 to 24 hours a day.
- To water the cuttings you can use either plain distilled water (or other Good Quality Water), or you can add a very mild fertilizer such as Olivia's Cloning Solution or Wilder's Clone Root Concentrate, you can also use a 1/4 strength general purpose hydroponic fertilizer solution. Don't forget to adjust the pH of the water / nutrient solution (5.5 for rockwool, 6.5 for most everything else).
- Water the cuttings every 2 days unless you live in a very dry climate then you should water every day. Never let the growing medium dry out. Do not let it set in water either, or the stem will rot. (NOTE: A great way to water the cuttings is to use two trays, one with holes and the other without. Fill the tray without holes about half way with water and then slowly lower the tray with the holes (and cuttings) into it. Let sit for a few moments and them slowly raise the tray back out and let it drain). Small Hydroponic systems are available to automate the watering cycles of the cuttings, greatly reducing the amount of manual labor.
- After about a week you can test to see if your cannabis plants have started to root. Remove the humidity dome and leave it off for an hour or two. If the cannabis plants have not wilted at all then they probably have enough root development to support themselves. If no wilt is noticed leave the dome off, if they are wilted, spray the cuttings and dome and replace the dome on the tray. Once you have determined that the cannabis plants can support themselves, stop misting the cuttings and leave the humidity dome off. (NOTE: Once the cannabis plants have roots, constant misting can actually be harmful to the cannabis plants).
- If the lower leaves start to turn yellow and die, don't worry, it is perfectly normal. It is the cannabis plant feeding off of itself to sustain life, moving valuable nutrient and water from the older growth. Do not remove any dead growth until the cannabis plant is well rooted. If you remove the dying growth the cannabis plant can starve and die completely.
- When the cuttings are completely rooted you can move them into your hydroponic system or the soil.
"Cloning" is easy once you get the hang of it. You must always remember that every step must be done properly, if anything goes wrong you will get less than satisfactory results. We suggest that the first time you take cuttings take twice as many as you need (if possible). With a little practice this method of propagation should produce a 95 to 100 percent success ratio.
The use of distilled water can drastically increase your success ratio, especially if you don't have good quality water where you live.
This is one "Tried and True" method of propagation that works well on most types of cannabis plants. There are several other ways to "clone" your cannabis plants, including, air layering, dividing, and tissue culture. There is even a hydroponic system that does a good job of rooting cuttings that uses no growing medium at all, once the cuttings form roots you simply transplant them to whatever growing medium you will be using.