Taking Cuttings: (Clones)

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by jberry, Jan 18, 2010.

  1.  
    jberry

    jberry Well-Known Member

    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
    its development.

    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 scissors…...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 ‘bend test’. 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 don’t 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. Don’t 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.

    Rooting Medium:
    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 you’ve finished. This ensures a seal develops on the stem and settles the
    cutting into place.

    Growing Conditions:
    Now what’s the next step? Let’s see, we fed the
    stock plant, took the cuttings, transferred the cuttings
    into suitable medium… 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.

    :leaf:
  2. took 5 strawberry cough clones off hte mother this morning. Hope they make me proud.
  3.  
    jberry

    jberry Well-Known Member

    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, ‘pot-tight’, and likely to grow on with less
    branching. Don’t 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 won’t 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.

    Transplanting Cuttings:
    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
    easier.

    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 plant’s 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 don’t 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! :leaf:

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