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If you're fairly new to growing, you've probably heard a lot of people talking about 'cloning' their plants. The whole process of cloning can seem pretty daunting if you have never done it before. The good news is, if you follow instructions precisely it can be a valuable skill learned that will definitely benefit you in the long run. We have set up some simple guide lines to help you out if you're trying it for the first time.


What Exactly Is Cloning?

Cloning is the act of taking a cutting of one of your existing plants (or mother plant) and allowing it to root on its own as a separate plant. It is a time saving alternative to pollinating a male and female plant and producing seedlings and growing them from the very beginning.
Cloning is also a great way for your to replicate your favorite and best performing plants. In order to clone, you will need to make sure the plant you will by taking the cutting from is strong and healthy, and usually it is advised that the plant is in around the second week of veg before cloning. There are not a huge number of steps to follow, but the majority of your time will be taken up preparing everything to make sure you are ready to clone. 

Prepare Before You Start 

To start off you make sure you have a sharp blade, some purified water, rooting agent and a rooting hormone. If you are not exactly sure what rooting agent or rooting hormone you should be using, have a look at the selection we carry here 
You will also need to make sure you have prepared a new home for your cuttings, whether it be in a peat moss cubes or a Rockwool cubes like the ones we have shown here.  If you are using rockwool cubes, its best to soak them in specialist solution. This is to help optimize the PH and ensure the cube will create a maximum uptake to the clones.

These cubes will need to be sat inside a in a propagation tray that is in a propagator, and will eventually need to be covered with a humidity dome. Some growers also like to use a heat mat which sits underneath the propagation tray. The purpose of a heat mat is to raise the temperature of the clones which can stimulate root growth. Heat pads are totally optional so cloning without one will also work.  

Your clones will be constantly sitting under a source of light, so make sure that you have one ready for them. A regular T5 light will suit your clones just fine. 

Step By Step

Firstly, you will need to cut off a cone from the lower part of your plant. We take from the lower part of the plant to reduce the amount of stress caused to your mother plant. 

You should use the blade and cut at roughly a 45 degree angle right below one of the nodes. You will identify the node as a slightly swollen part of the stem that the leaves emerge from. It's really important that your blade is sharp and clean, as you don't want to run the risk of doing any damage to the stems by using a blunt blade, and a clean blade is vital to make sure none of your clones are contaminated.

From here, you should take your clone and first dip the stem into the rooting hormone before placing them into the rockwool or peat moss cube. Putting the rooting hormone directly onto the stem will maximize absorption and accelerate the root growth right from the get go. 

Both the rockwool and the peat cubes will need to be moist before placing the clones into them, make sure you use the purified water to do so. 

Once this is done, you can place the cubes with the fresh clones into the the propagation tray and cover with the humidity dome. 


What Else Should I Know?

Clones tend to thrive in a humid environment hence the humidity dome, so be sure to keep them covered as much as possible. At this stage your light should be on 18-24 hours a day, and in terms of how far the lights should be from the plants, you can actually sit the light on top of the dome for a good amount of coverage. 

It's also a good idea to label your plants if you have taken cuttings from more than one plant. This will avoid any potential mix ups in the future.

Whilst your clones are still in the stage of rooting, you will not need to feed them anything at this stage. The water you added to the cubes before you placed the clone in them will see them through until you can see some roots coming through. Once you see the roots and you are growing in peat cubes, you can give them a little PH'd water. If growing in rockwool, leave them until they are ready to be moved into the 4'' cubes. 


Still Not Sure? 

If you are having any issues with cloning that you need some help with, feel free to come in and see us here at your local hydroponics store here in Culver City. Our team is always happy to help and give you any advice you need on cloning, growing or hydroponics in general. You can also check out our website if you are looking to get hydroponic supplied delivered right to your door > www.pchydro.com