The art of growing cannabis is great to master, especially if you are an enthusiast of the herb. If this is something that you are eager to explore, there are two main things that you should focus on. First, replicating known genetics, and second: the skill of creating new genetics. It also comes with two different approaches to you need to know about for starting new weed plants: first is growing from clones, and the next one is growing from seeds. Here are other important things you need to know about asexual cannabis reproduction.
What Does Asexual Cannabis Reproduction Mean?
In botany, asexual reproduction refers to the propagation of a plant without pollination. This means that the plants do not need to disperse their seeds or be in the presence of pollinating agents for them to produce a flower. Because male and female gametes do not merge during asexual reproduction, the offspring is genetically identical to the parent plants. These plants are known to be able to hold up well under stable environmental conditions as they receive the great and healthy genes that were taken from their parents.
Important Things to Know About Asexual cannabis Reproduction
For plants, there are two main types of asexual cannabis reproduction, one is apomixes, and the other is vegetative reproduction. For the vegetative, asexual reproduction, the plant does not produce seeds or spores. Other plants that behave like this are daffodils, garlic, ginger, and parsnips. On the other hand, for apomixis, the plants will give rise to fresh seeds without any form of fertilizer, as the part of the plant’s ovary produces new seeds.
Additionally, plants can be exposed to either natural asexual cannabis reproduction or an artificial one. For artificial reproduction, what is done is that a part of the stem will be cut, then it will be placed in water or humid soil. This plant part will produce a new root system.
Another famous method used for artificial asexual reproduction is grafting. In this technique, plants are attached to a different root system of other plants so that a new one will be formed. Some planters also choose to explore layering. It is a method where a portion of a plant’s stem is curved, then buried in the soil. This method can also give birth to a brand new root system to develop a new plant.
How to Clone Asexual Cannabis Reproduction
Because plants are mostly composed of undifferentiated cells called meristem cells, cannabis plants can grow anew from a single cutting. These new plants, once they have grown, will be identical to their mother plant, which is also why they earned the namesake “clones”.
- Before you begin the cloning process, these are the things that you need to prepare:
- A sharp razor blade knife or cutter
- A small grass or plastic container with your preferred growing medium
- Rubbing alcohol
- A spray bottle with water for moisture
- Rooting gel or powder
- A bowl of lukewarm water
Though you can take your pick on which part of the plant you can use in cutting, some parts will take too long to develop when compared to others. Arm tips or the main head have the highest concentration of auxins, or cannabis growth hormones, so they are the parts that are most probable to develop into roots. Moreover, cuttings should be made from softwood stems and not the hardwood stems. This is because softwood stems are younger, softer, and more green compared to hardwood. Plus, they are the easiest to root. Once these stems age and mature, they will be known then as hardwood.
In choosing the stem for the cut, go for those that are healthy-looking and have three sets of nodes at the minimum. Smaller cuttings will also root, but this process can be even more complicated and longer. The ideal length of a cut must measure about 5 to 8 centimeters. These cuttings can be removed at any point in the vegetative stage of growth and in the first 3 to 4 weeks of budding. After this stage, it might be much more difficult to get a cutting that will develop roots. Generally, it is ideal for taking more cuttings than is required, so you can select the best ones, or you can replace ones that do not develop enough to begin rooting.
How To Begin Cutting
Use a tool with a sharp blade like a scalpel or a razor blade to make the cut in the cannabis stem. Make sure, before you do anything, that the blade is sterilized so that the plant will not be contaminated by bacteria. You can use a bleach solution, alcohol, or a flame for the sterilization process. Also, clean the blades to remove any grease or dirt.
Then, make a 45 degrees diagonal cut below the nodes while sendoff a good section of stem underneath. It would be better to cut a thick stem, as thinner ones have more tendencies to break and not grow.
If you plan on taking several cuttings at once, take a larger and longer cutting than necessary, especially if there will be a time delay. When done, the cuttings must be placed sitting upright in the water so that the air will not get to the roots.
Removing The Lower Leaves
After you have established the cutting, remove the larger and lower leaves. This would mean that the cutting does not have to expend energy in maintaining the leaves. If possible, it is preferred that the leaves must be removed even before making the cut so that embolisms may be avoided. Embolisms are bubbles of air that can be stuck in the stems, which will prevent the cutting from drawing up water and other nutrients. This allows the cutting to be planted as soon as possible after it has been taken to the mother plant.
Applying Rooting Gel
A rooting gel will be great to use because it allows the cutting to be dipped as soon as possible. It will keep the cutting fresh so that you can easily put it straight into the rooting medium, avoiding the air to get into the opening and end up as embolisms. Though rooting gels are not really that necessary, they can help with protecting the cutting against fungus, feeding the young roots, protecting against initial root issues, promoting root cell initiation, and sealing the cut tissue.
Compared to rooting powders, gels are a better alternative as they will stay in contact with the stem for much longer, and they are generally successful in promoting root development. Once the cut has made a basal swelling form, the “wound” will get healed. Roots will then develop from this callous.
Planting The Cutting
As soon as you possibly can, place the cutting into a rooting medium, depending on your preferences. Plant until the nodes of the lower leaves are submerged. These nodes have a high concentration of potential root cells, and this will form two more sites from which roots might develop. When placing the cutting medium, be extra careful so that you won’t bring harm to the cutting. Make sure that the hole is large enough and also check if the cutting stays vertical so that the rooting hormones can make their way down to the cut stem.
A Quick Timeline of A Planted Cutting
Day 1: Cuttings might wilt, but they should remain green in color.
Day 2: Cuttings are slowly picking up and leaning towards the light.
Day 3: Cuttings are standing upright.
Day 4: Cuttings are looking healthy.
Make sure that your plant survives that first four days as they are the most crucial. Also, modify the growing conditions to have a humidity level of at least 80 percent, with a temperature of around 24 degrees Celsius.
Tips In Cloning A Cannabis Plant
Always keep the mother plant. Caring for a mother plant will not take too much space or lead to additional work and resources. A mother plant will be your source for getting new plants with ideal genetic information.
Though it may seem like something obvious, choose a healthy plant that has all the traits that you are looking for and would like to replicate for your future crops.
Ensure that you can water the cannabis plant for about 2 or 3 days before you begin cutting. This will wash out the nitrogen, and this will also make it easier for the new plants to take root.
Use distilled water as your growing medium. Coconut fiber, Oasis cubes, and Rockwool are all competitive options that can be beneficial for your plant.
Do not underestimate the value of sterilization. Sterilize your hands, razor blades, and cutting block with alcohol.
Choose a growing tip of your plant very carefully.
Now that you know how to grow cannabis using cloning, it is time to put your knowledge to the test. As parting tips, remember not to touch the cuttings and practice the art of patience and observation. If you manage to stay cool and collected, your clones will reward you with beautiful plants that will eventually grow into high-yield, producing strains.