Sunday November 22, 2020
By Erin Hiatt
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where it’s legal to grow your own cannabis plants, you may have considered picking up some clones of your favorite strain and tending your own little home grow. However, planting a cannabis clone in your garden is a little more labor-intensive than picking up some plants from the nursery and putting them in the ground just like you do with other plants.
There are some tips and tricks to bringing your clone to maturation, so let’s dig in on how to grow your baby clone into a robust, mature plant.
Supplies Needed for Raising Clones
After you’ve selected your clone, you’ll need to add some other items to the list, including clean pots with drainage holes (pros suggest one-gallon pots), new soil, and distilled water. Try to go straight home after purchasing the clone, since prolonged exposure to both hot and cold temperatures can be destructive to your plant.
Once you’ve arrived home, be sure to inspect the clone for fungus and pests. Look out for small specks or bite marks, white spots or fuzzy patches, yellow spots, and blistered or wet looking leaves. If any of those marks are present, you will need to quarantine your plant for up to five days to make sure it doesn’t spread to other plants. In fact, make sure you purchase from a reputable seller who will walk you through this process so you can skip it at home.
Your pots should have drainage holes to make sure that the roots of your clone don’t get waterlogged. Using new pots is best, but if you are reusing containers from other plants, spray or dip them in bleach or hydrogen peroxide to remove any soil or other residue. If you do have to clean old pots, make sure that they’re completely dry before beginning the transplanting process.
Soil is, of course, of paramount importance in growing healthy cannabis plants, so be sure your soil is new, has high nitrogen levels, and is pH 6 for best results. Fill the pot with soil, leaving about one inch of space to the top of the container. Use another pot to lightly compact the soil, but not so tightly that the roots can’t spread.
Planting the Clone
With your hands, make a hole in the soil and then gently place the clone inside the hole, then use your fingers to cover the roots and fill the hole. If your clone came in Rockwool, simply make the hole big enough to accommodate the Rockwool, then cover with soil. After you’ve transplanted them, water and mist them immediately with distilled water until water runs through the drainage holes, then lightly mist the leaves and stems.
Now that your clone is a new home, providing it with the right temperature and amount of light are the next steps. Cannabis plants like grow rooms to be on the warmer side, so find a room that can maintain a consistent temperature between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Pro tip: if the room is too warm, don’t try to cool it with a fan since strongly circulating air can dry out your clone. To light your plant, use a weaker bulb, like a compact fluorescent light, and situate the plant about eight inches below the bulb. Use a timer function (or remind yourself) that your clone needs 18 hours of light and six hours of darkness in a 24-hour period.
Make sure you check the moisture level of the soil every day. It should be moist, but not saturated. It’s better to water your plant with smaller amounts of water and then adding more if needed, rather than overwatering and hoping for the best.
After six to eight weeks, clones are considered adults and can be transplanted to a larger pot following the same guidelines. Once they’ve adapted to their larger environment, you may want to consider planting them outdoors - but make sure to check your local laws on growing cannabis outdoors first.
From Clone to Garden
Moving cannabis plants from indoors to outdoors should always be done gradually since they are very sensitive to light, moisture, and humidity. Be sure to choose a day that isn’t too hot, stormy, or windy, then leave your plants in an outdoor area that won’t be disturbed by pets - or make sure your pets don’t disturb the clone due to potential unwanted “nutrients.”
Find a spot that is shaded or has partial sunlight, leave the clone there until dark, then bring it back inside. Repeat this process for a week or more so the plant can adapt to its new environs. At this point, the plant should be healthy enough to move into full sunlight and into your outdoor garden. Happy growing!
Have you had success raising your clones? Share what worked (and what didn’t) in the comments section!