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                                                                                UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF CLONING


It is during the growth cycle, when the cannabis plant reached at least twelve inches tall, that a branch could also be cut from a plant to start a new plant without
cannabis seed. These cuttings are called clones, a genetic clone of a cut mother plant. 

Cloning cannabis is not difficult and can save a grower from having to rise the next grow from seed. Some growers keep the mother plant from which they reap clones for a long time by never allowing the mother plant to enter the flowering cycle. It does not work well to cut clones during the flowering period. Also, it is easier to clone with varieties that are predominantly Sativa instead of Indica. 

Cloning is also a way to discover the sex of a certain strain of cannabis plant in advance of flowering. If the clone grows up to a size that can be forced to flower and determine its sex, then you know the mother plant is the same sex. 

Selecting the Mother Plant
The initial process is to pick a mother plant in its
vegetative period that is healthy and fertile. Choose a female plant that is free from infection or bugs. The mother plant should have 5-6 nodes, and preferably short and bushy. Your clones will be the exact genetic reproductions, so you need to clone only the best plants. The mother plant you choose to use should be the best model of what you want to grow for flavor, color, aroma, etc...

Select a single woody branch with several leaf nodes from the lower part of the plant. Use rubbing ethyl alcohol to sterilize your hands, a razor blade, and a cutting block. With a forty-five-degree cut, remove the branch from the mother plant and quickly dip the cut tip into cold water to prevent the capillary action of the branch from drawing air, which could cause problems. 

The Bross Branch Cutting
Cross the branch by making a succession of cuts through the nodes at angles in-line with each leaf node. You will end up with a collection of short stems with a forty-five degrees cut at the top and the bottom, and a leaf and growing tip near the upper edge of each top cut. Holding the cutting by the leaf stem
(petiole), scrape away some of the outer layers of the stem tissue to expose some phloem, the white tissue underneath, on end to root. 

Dip the scraped stem into cloning gel or rooting hormone, also dab on the top cut. Avoid taking any on the growing tip. Make a tiny hole in a wet cube of mineral wool and implant the stem into the hole so that the leaf is standing up. Lightly close the mineral wool throughout the stem, so that they are in good contact. Keep the clones wet by covering them with a transparent plastic or glass dome. The plant and inside of the dome must be continuously made wet by regularly spraying them with water mist. Direct sunlight or grow light is too powerful for new clones; the healthiest light is on a window sill without direct light from the sun or below a
fluorescent table lamp. 


The Roots 
The clones should develop new roots in about a week. If you can remove the humidity dome for a couple of hours without flagging them, they have sufficient root to support themselves. If they start to wilt, continue drizzling the clones and using the dome. Once the clones are rooted, stop misting them, or it could damage them. Start working with the new clones just like you did the new seedlings. If you do not have any cloning gel or rooting hormone, you can instead select small branches with at least two leaf links on them to cut and place in a cup of water. 

The leaves should be short so that it will not require much energy. The same with sterilization, scraping and humidity dome methods. The container should be opaque so that direct light will not push through the root area. This method is slower than the conventional
bodhi seeds growing, so it will take a couple of weeks or more.

If you are cloning plants with multiple different strains, make sure to label all your cuttings correctly. Labeling may go without saying, but all clones are look alike, and it is straightforward to lose a record of which clone is which strain without proper labeling. Either label each clone separately or store other different strains in the same growing tray and label each plate.

Provide enough water, light, and oxygen. Once the roots begin to grow, you should transplant your clone to a plant box or container that will accommodate more room for the expanding the growing roots.  Avoid letting them shroud around each other as this can slow or stop the plant growth.

Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots.

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