Cloning for the Future

By: Kevin, September 8, 2012

“As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.” – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

“As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.” – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

Remove the guesswork with a digital thermometer/ hygrometer

Cloning is taking a cutting (branch) from a plant and then inducing it to root. Cloning creates another plant genetically identical to the one it was taken from. Climate and humidity play a large factor in your success. The closer your clone area can be to room temperature 75º F (24º C) the more chance roots will have to develop. Temperature from a bottom shelf to a top shelf in a grow room can be a few degrees different, potentially altering your outcome. Purchasing a digital thermometer/ hygrometer to make sure your conditions are ideal is a wise investment.

This micro-climate will often fluctuate seasonally, even in an indoor environment. A cloning setup placed straight on a slab may be fine during the summer months, but in winter you may need some insulation or even a heating pad. We all know growers who can clone in a fish tank without hormones, but the most effective way to propagate is by immediately dipping the cutting into a dry or wet rooting hormone and then placing it into a growing medium. Dry hormones are typically used with a soil blend or straight vermiculite and perlite. Wet hormones come in gel or liquid form and are good to use with growth media such as rockwool or clay pellets, as well as bubble- or aeroponic systems.

Clone under a dome

Most environments are far too dry to support a cutting without roots. They must be placed under a clone dome to prevent the plants from drying out before the roots have sufficiently developed. This humidity dome allows the plants to drink water from the air; they will not need much light until the roots develop. The roots themselves will need oxygen to grow. After the first few days you should get in the daily habit of briefly lifting the hood to allow for air exchange. Roots can develop rapidly in as little as three days – or as long as two weeks – depending upon the environmental conditions, the health of the clipping, or even the particular strain it is from.

There are a great many practical reasons why an herb farmer would consider cloning as a general practice. Growing from seed requires at minimum a month of grow time before most seedlings can even show sex. At that point, unless you are growing hemp (or breeding, and need pollen) the males will need to be removed from your garden. This does not necessarily mean that these plants will go to waste. Some people receive great benefits from juicing raw leaves or making tinctures with these unwanted boys. Now, the remaining girls you have are untested, which – depending on the stability of their phenotype – will give you a range of yields. A clone in this same time period with a proven track record, and grown properly will be considerably larger then any seedling, with less gamble on the final outcome.

Preserving a lineage is another great reason for cloning. This has been done for decades without the dreaded genetic drift, which is the idea that successive clones lose their vigor and quality. We have all heard stories of clones gone bad. This is mostly due to the change in the environmental conditions, nutrient supply and overall vitality of an individual plant. Though there is a potential for a limited life span I am very familiar with multiple strains being cloned for over a decade, and have also heard of people cloning strains for several decades without long term mothers, and without a change in quality or output. The pool of genes from which a Cannabis plant must choose for survival is truly mind-boggling. I have seen Hindu Kush elongate to Silver Haze-like proportions in sweltering 120º F (49º C) heat. And White Widow continuously flowers from nutrient lockouts under twenty-four hours of light. If you are fortunate enough to obtain a strain with superb characteristics or abilities, and you have the space to hang on to it for forever, why not?

Purple Kush mother with clones
A mass of cells becomes a new plant (Photo: gmocannabiswatch.blogspot.com)

In the last ten years the scientists among us have taken cloning to another level with tissue cultures. A small bit of genetic material can be kept indefinitely, or thousands of progeny can be created from it. These techniques in tissue culture are called protocols, and they vary depending upon the type of plant, and whether the genetic material is taken from the roots, stem or leaf. While many of these procedures were created in laboratories with autoclaves and other expensive equipment, they can often be duplicated with items purchased at your local grocery store. These protocols and early procedures are in many ways similar to growing mushrooms. While not practical for the average grower, for a large commercial producer tissue cloning is definitely the future.

These wonderful Cannabis flowers, with their infinitude of flavors and effects, are ultimately what we strive for. People grow for many reasons, and cloning ultimately facilitates many of them. For some, having the right medicine that works for their condition is a life or death issue. Keeping strains that have the greatest impact can make a large difference in someone’s quality of life. More fortunate individuals can relish in the pleasures of flavor and taste, with little thought to the aches and pains that life can bring. Take some of the uncertainty out of your harvests. Preserve your favorite medicine, and speed up your harvest time by learning how to clone.

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Cloning for the Future

By: Kevin, June 18, 2012

“As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.” – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

“As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.” – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

Remove the guesswork with a digital thermometer/ hygrometer

Cloning is taking a cutting (branch) from a plant and then inducing it to root. Cloning creates another plant genetically identical to the one it was taken from. Climate and humidity play a large factor in your success. The closer your clone area can be to room temperature 75º F (24º C) the more chance roots will have to develop. Temperature from a bottom shelf to a top shelf in a grow room can be a few degrees different, potentially altering your outcome. Purchasing a digital thermometer/ hygrometer to make sure your conditions are ideal is a wise investment. 

This micro-climate will often fluctuate seasonally, even in an indoor environment. A cloning setup placed straight on a slab may be fine during the summer months, but in winter you may need some insulation or even a heating pad. We all know growers who can clone in a fish tank without hormones, but the most effective way to propagate is by immediately dipping the cutting into a dry or wet rooting hormone and then placing it into a growing medium. Dry hormones are typically used with a soil blend or straight vermiculite and perlite. Wet hormones come in gel or liquid form and are good to use with growth media such as rockwool or clay pellets, as well as bubble- or aeroponic systems.  

Clone under a dome

Most environments are far too dry to support a cutting without roots. They must be placed under a clone dome to prevent the plants from drying out before the roots have sufficiently developed. This humidity dome allows the plants to drink water from the air; they will not need much light until the roots develop. The roots themselves will need oxygen to grow. After the first few days you should get in the daily habit of briefly lifting the hood to allow for air exchange. Roots can develop rapidly in as little as three days – or as long as two weeks – depending upon the environmental conditions, the health of the clipping, or even the particular strain it is from. 

There are a great many practical reasons why an herb farmer would consider cloning as a general practice. Growing from seed requires at minimum a month of grow time before most seedlings can even show sex. At that point, unless you are growing hemp (or breeding, and need pollen) the males will need to be removed from your garden. This does not necessarily mean that these plants will go to waste. Some people receive great benefits from juicing raw leaves or making tinctures with these unwanted boys. Now, the remaining girls you have are untested, which – depending on the stability of their phenotype – will give you a range of yields. A clone in this same time period with a proven track record, and grown properly will be considerably larger then any seedling, with less gamble on the final outcome. 

Purple Kush mother with clones

Preserving a lineage is another great reason for cloning. This has been done for decades without the dreaded genetic drift, which is the idea that successive clones lose their vigor and quality. We have all heard stories of clones gone bad. This is mostly due to the change in the environmental conditions, nutrient supply and overall vitality of an individual plant. Though there is a potential for a limited life span I am very familiar with multiple strains being cloned for over a decade, and have also heard of people cloning strains for several decades without long term mothers, and without a change in quality or output. The pool of genes from which a Cannabis plant must choose for survival is truly mind-boggling. I have seen Hindu Kush elongate to Silver Haze-like proportions in sweltering 120º F (49º C) heat. And White Widow continuously flowers from nutrient lockouts under twenty-four hours of light. If you are fortunate enough to obtain a strain with superb characteristics or abilities, and you have the space to hang on to it for forever, why not? 

A mass of cells becomes a new plant (Photo: gmocannabiswatch.blogspot.com)

In the last ten years the scientists among us have taken cloning to another level with tissue cultures. A small bit of genetic material can be kept indefinitely, or thousands of progeny can be created from it. These techniques in tissue culture are called protocols, and they vary depending upon the type of plant, and whether the genetic material is taken from the roots, stem or leaf. While many of these procedures were created in laboratories with autoclaves and other expensive equipment, they can often be duplicated with items purchased at your local grocery store. These protocols and early procedures are in many ways similar to growing mushrooms. While not practical for the average grower, for a large commercial producer tissue cloning is definitely the future. 

These wonderful Cannabis flowers, with their infinitude of flavors and effects, are ultimately what we strive for. People grow for many reasons, and cloning ultimately facilitates many of them. For some, having the right medicine that works for their condition is a life or death issue. Keeping strains that have the greatest impact can make a large difference in someone’s quality of life. More fortunate individuals can relish in the pleasures of flavor and taste, with little thought to the aches and pains that life can bring. Take some of the uncertainty out of your harvests. Preserve your favorite medicine, and speed up your harvest time by learning how to clone. 

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