If you’re growing cannabis you’ll eventually want to start cloning your own plants. This is especially true if you manage to get a fantastic strain and wish to either – breed or increase the yield. While cloning isn’t especially a difficult thing to do – it can be a daunting experience.
Often times I see growers ask, “Am I doing this right?” or post pictures of dead clones that simply didn’t root. Today – we’re going to be taking a closer look at cloning your cannabis plants and how you can use Aloe Vera as your rooting agent.
The Fundamentals of Cloning
For those interested in cloning, it’s actually pretty simple – in theory. However, in practice there are so many things that can go wrong. Nonetheless, we’ll go through the basic process of cloning to get everyone up to speed
Step 1: Making a Cutting
The first step in cloning requires that you make a cut on the branch that you want to clone. This will be done at the base of the stem and will require a 45º cut. The reason you don’t want to cut horizontally is because you want to promote root development.
At 45º, you essentially give the plant the best fighting chance to heal without creating a dieback situation.
Step 2: Dip it in Root Hormone
For many – this is the part that is harder especially if they can’t get their hands on root hormone. The thing is – you can’t clone without dipping it in Root Hormone. Thus – in this step, if you don’t have access to root hormone – simply use Aloe. We’ll talk more about that later.
Step 3: Place the Stem in a Starter Cap
The next step in the process is to have pre-soaked starter caps and to plant the cutting in there. This can also work if you’re doing soil transplants. Simply place the cutting into the starter cap, and mist the plants with a healthy amount of water.
Step 4: Cover the cuttings
Next – you’ll want to cover the cuttings. This will allow it to keep in moisture which should allow the roots to develop.
Step 5: Place the light close to the cuttings
We want it to grow as fast as we can – so, place the covered cuttings close to a light. It’s okay to have between 3-5 inches of space between the cuttings and the light.
Step 6: Pray to the Ganja Gods that it roots!
After you’ve done the previous five steps, it’s all about making sure that the cuttings grow. You’ll want to frequently check in on them and mist them whenever necessary. Don’t disturb them too much since you need them to be comfortable and grow.
Why Aloe Vera is an Amazing Rooting Agent!
Aloe is a perfect all-natural way for you to get your clone on. Aloe is packed with enzymes, amino acids and secondary metabolites.
“Remember! Aloe has Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is involved in local and systemic plant defense responses against pathogens. It plays a role during stresses such as drought, chilling, heavy metal toxicity, heat, and osmotic stress. SA can volatilize and warn neighboring plants of attack.” – Source
Additionally – Aloe Vera has a rich history of assiting growers with cloning as is demonstrated by this quote from the same source above.
Aloe Vera: contains Salicylic acid is a plant compound, which has been used as a rooting agent for over 120 years in the nursery industry. This is the compound that’s found in Willow trees, which you might have run across in posts on rooting a cutting. This plant material is also very high in Saponins (30,000 ppm) and this adds another level of benefits.”
In order to clone with Aloe you’ll essentially follow the same steps EXCEPT for a few more steps:
Prepare an Aloe-Water solution. You can use a half-inch chunk of leaf and mix it with some distilled water. Don’t worry about the PH.
Soak the cuttings in the solution for about 12 hours prior to transplanting
Some growers even take the cutting and stick it directly into the aloe leaf. Make sure that it’s covered with the “goop” and then go ahead and plant it.
Try this at home…
If you’re a novice cannabis grower and have never tried to clone your plants before – I recommend trying this at home. In fact, you could even monster-crop by making clones in the Flowering Phase. I wrote about that a few months back if you’re interested in doing this.
Cloning is something that will give you more options within your grow. You can pre-flower to ensure that you don’t have males in your mix and eliminate them before moving your whole crop to the flowering stage.
Try cloning at home – let us know whether Aloe worked for you!
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