Cloning Cannabis Plants: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cloning cannabis plants is a popular technique among growers. It allows them to replicate the desirable traits of a particular marijuana plant by taking cuttings from it and growing new plants with the same genetic makeup. In this article, we will explore the process of cloning cannabis plants and discuss its advantages.

The Basics of Cannabis Cloning

A cannabis clone is essentially a branch that is cut off from a healthy mother plant. When properly cared for, this cutting has the potential to grow into a full-fledged plant with the same characteristics as its source. To initiate root growth, the clone is typically placed in a rooting medium, such as a root cube, and treated with a hormone to encourage root development. Once the roots have formed, the clone is transplanted into a pot or directly into the ground, where it can grow like any other cannabis plant.

Why Choose Cloning?

Cloning offers several advantages over growing cannabis from seeds. For one, it saves time. While seeds need to be germinated, clones already have developed roots, which eliminates the initial growth phase. This can shorten the overall growing process by around a month.

In addition, cloning saves space in your garden. When growing from seeds, it is necessary to cultivate multiple plants and remove the male plants. With clones, you can ensure that all the plants are female, eliminating the need for time-consuming sexing. Furthermore, clones guarantee genetic consistency, allowing you to replicate the exact qualities of the mother plant.

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The Role of the Mother Plant

The mother plant is the source of the cuttings used for cloning. It is essential to choose a healthy and robust mother plant, as its genetic traits will be passed on to the clones. Care should be taken to select a plant with sturdy growth, excellent aromas and flavors, high yields, dense trichomes, and resistance to pests and mold. By doing so, you can ensure that the clones will possess the same desirable characteristics as the mother plant.

How to Clone Cannabis Plants

To successfully clone a cannabis plant, you will need a few key items:

  • Scissors for taking the cuttings.
  • A razor for trimming the cuttings.
  • A rooting setup, such as a tray, tray-cell insert, dome, and root cubes, or an auto-cloner.
  • Rooting hormone to promote root growth.

It’s important to choose a suitable rooting medium, such as rockwool or root cubes, and set up the necessary equipment. Rockwool provides excellent airflow and moisture retention, which are crucial for successful cloning. Alternatively, an auto-cloner can automate the process by spraying the cuttings with nutrient water at regular intervals.

Once you have prepared the rooting setup, follow these steps to take a cutting:

  1. Select a healthy branch from the mother plant that has at least two nodes.
  2. Cut the clone above the node on the mother plant using scissors.
  3. Using a razor, make a 45° angle cut below the bottom node on the fresh cutting. This increases the rooting surface area.
  4. Immediately place the cutting in a rooting hormone and insert it into a root cube or the chosen rooting medium.
  5. If using an auto-cloner, place a collar around the cutting and put it inside the cloner. Apply rooting hormone to the cloner after taking all the cuttings.
  6. Remove unnecessary leaves from the bottom of the cutting and clip off the tips of the remaining fan leaves to support photosynthesis.
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Transplanting Clones

After taking the cuttings, it is essential to provide proper care to ensure their successful growth. Check the clones daily and ensure they have enough water. To increase humidity, you can spray water on the leaves. Remove any dead clones to prevent mold and create more space for the remaining clones.

Most clones will be ready for transplantation within 3-14 days. Look for white roots that are about an inch or two in length as an indication of readiness. To transplant, prepare pots with soil, water the soil before transplantation to prevent soil movement, create a small hole, bury the roots of the clone, and gently cover with soil.

Buying Marijuana Clones

If you prefer to purchase clones instead of cloning them yourself, it’s essential to choose a reputable source. Look for dispensaries or local weed shops that specialize in producing clones. Ask about the origin of the clones to ensure their quality and avoid potential issues such as diseases, pests, mislabeled genetics, or pesticide residues.

Inspect the clones thoroughly before introducing them to your garden. Check the stem width, as thin and narrow stems indicate a weaker clone. Look for pests and signs of diseases such as powdery mildew. While it may be challenging to detect harmful pesticides or fungicides, it is crucial to inquire about the grower’s integrated pest management practices to ensure safe and healthy clones.


Cloning cannabis plants offers an efficient and reliable method for replicating desirable traits and ensuring genetic consistency. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully clone your cannabis plants and enjoy the benefits of a consistent and high-quality harvest.

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For more information on cannabis cloning and related equipment, visit the Ames Farm Center, a trusted resource for all your cannabis cultivation needs.