What Does Clone Mean?
In horticulture, a clone is a plant that is an exact reproduction of the original parent (mother) plant. Commonly used in cannabis propagation, cloning is also applicable to different types of ornamentals, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
The process of making clones (cloning plants) is very common in cannabis propagation because it is considered faster than growing plants from seed. Plus, it results in plants with the same genetics and predictable growth habits as the healthy, desirable plant in which the clones have come from.
Another major advantage of cloning is that it is a budget-friendly method of propagation, which is ideal for nurseries that are just starting out. Propagation by cloning is also relatively easy and does not require extensive gardening experience.
Maximum Yield Explains Clone
The most popular type of plant clone is created via a plant cutting. Tissue culture is also a viable method used by some commercial researchers.
To clone a plant via a cutting, one should take a stem cutting of around five inches from the parent plant. To ensure successful propagation, it is important to cut around half an inch above the leaf node. Another important tip for successful cloning is that the cut should be made using sharp, sterile shears, a razor blade, or even a knife. It is best to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle.
Once the cuttings are taken, they should be given small amounts of fertilizer (if any at all), but a lot of humidity. Many growers also use a rooting hormone gel or powder to set themselves up for success. Cuttings are often housed together in something called a cloner or humidity dome. Once they begin to grow roots they can be transplanted into their new homes. Once they are rooted, the cuttings become clones, with the same genetics as the plant in which it originated from.
There are several other cloning techniques. Ground layering, for example, refers to a method of cloning where the branch is buried with its tip poking up. This ensures that the main plant benefits from optimal nutrition. In fact, unlike a cutting, a ground-layered clone will derive all its vitamins and nutrients directly from the parent plant. In such cases, it is highly advisable to apply a rooting hormone to the ground in order to maximize cloning success.
Another popular cloning method in gardening is air layering. This technique does require a bit more skill and expertise but it is suited to plants that are harder to clone. Air layering basically entails unpeeling the top layer of the plant’s branch before wrapping it in a bag containing a growth medium. A small slit is then made to the bark right underneath a node. This ensures the proper flow of nutrients towards the cloned plant. In this case, it is important to properly moisten the bag of growth medium.