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Tuesday August 21, 2018

By Abby Hutmacher


If you’re interested in starting a cannabis grow, the first decision to make is whether to grow from seed or clone. Though seeds are an excellent option for indoor grows, those with ample space and a mandatory grow period may fare better with clones for a few reasons. First, clones omit the whole germination period which gives your plants an additional four to six weeks to bulk up, and second, you’ll know that only females are planted in your grow space.

When purchasing from a dispensary, it’s important to note clones are not mature plants, and often look rather scraggly in the shop. This doesn’t mean they will grow small, of course, just that they are young and in need of some loving if they are to thrive. So, how do you know if the clones you’re looking at will grow into healthy plants when you get them home? Check for the following characteristics.

Strong, White Roots

Look for strong, white roots that protrude from the grow medium.

Roots are a cannabis plant’s primary means of nutrient absorption and are vital to a plant’s stability and longevity. When choosing a clone, be sure that the roots are strong, white and eagerly protruding from the grow medium. If roots are brown and shriveled, or otherwise appear inactive, put it back and look for a better one.

Fresh Growth

After a cutting has established roots, it can begin putting more energy toward leaf production again. A strong, well-established clone should show visible signs of growth such as sturdy leaves and new growth at the nodes. The new leaves will be a bright green color but may get darker as the leaves mature.

Solid Coloration

Nitrogen deficiency is alright in small amounts, but don't select a clone where it's too out of hand.

Though a slight yellowing of the leaves of an otherwise healthy plant is fine (and, in fact, a good indicator that the plant is ready for more nitrogen), too much discoloration can be a sign of stress or disease. When choosing a cannabis clone from a dispensary, make sure the cutting boasts the colors you want to see in your grow room.

Pest- and Stress-Free

Always inspect dispensary clones for mites and other potential pests.

Pests and other environmental stressors can make it difficult for a cannabis plant to thrive (not to mention the contamination it could bring into your garden which can be a nightmare to fend off). Prior to your purchase, carefully inspect each clone for signs of stress or infestation. There should be no bites taken from the leaves, no mites buzzing around the medium and no spotting on the leaves or stems at all.

Tips for Introducing Clones into Your Garden

Once you’ve found the perfect clones, it’s time to prepare them for your garden. If they are to be planted indoors, you should first clean them by dipping them in a solution of water and pesticide then transplant them into a larger container. Remember to keep your plants quarantined and away from other indoor plants for 2-6 days to reduce the chance of cross contamination.

If you’ll be growing marijuana outdoors, you’ll need to harden them off before putting them in the ground. The sun’s UV rays are more powerful than even the brightest indoor grow lights so it’s important to get your plants used to it. You can do this by leaving your plants outdoors for an hour or two in a sheltered location on one day, then again for a bit longer the next day. Gradually introduce your girls to the sunlight, adding more time to each day until they’re strong enough to withstand the heat.

Once your plants are hardened and the danger of frost has passed, move them to your garden, planting directly in the ground for optimum growth. Give your plants about four to five feet of space between each other and avoid planting plants that are susceptible to mildew (like squash) to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination. You may also consider companion planting to improve growth and reduce pests naturally.

Clones are a great way to start a cannabis grow. Of course, not all clones are created equal. If you want to grow quality bud, carefully inspect any clone prior to purchase to have the greatest chance for success.

Have you purchased clones from a dispensary? Tell us about your experience.


Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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