Whether you clone your plants on a smaller or a bigger scale, cloning your plants can become a fun hobby or can even be the start of a self-sustainable lifestyle! There are many basics when it comes to cloning your plants, and you may be wondering when the best time during the day would be to do so.
It has been researched that the best time of day to clone your plants would be during the night. By doing this, your clones will not be shocked immediately by too much sunlight, and the wind is generally calmer. Colder and more moist conditions are better for new root development, which is absolutely crucial for healthy, growing clones.
This does not mean this is the only way to go, especially if you nurture your clones indoors with a suitable source of regulated light. There is much more to learn, and with the correct basics, you will be able to fulfill your dream of cloning your own plants to their full potential!
Benefits Of Cloning Your Plants At Night
There are loads of benefits of cloning your plants, and chances are, your clones will probably be better than your mother plant.
When you clone your plant, you improve your chances of producing identical amounts each harvest. Because clones are predictable, you will already know how your clone will grow because you know its mother plant.
It is a genetic match to its mother plant. Therefore it will grow a lot similar if it is in the same environment. Cloned plants reproduce much faster than other plants.
If you use clones instead of seeds, it will speed up your harvest time. Cloned plants already have a leaf and a root system when they are still only cuttings. Therefore they are already weeks ahead of a seed started at the same time.
With cloning, you don’t have to worry about having dud seeds because you will see immediately if a cutting is failing! You can also reproduce resistance to pests. If your mother plant shows resistance to disease and pests, these traits will be passed on to its clones.
Will Planting A Seed Be Similar To Cloning?
You may be wondering if planting a seed from the same tree will have the same effect as cloning the tree.
Take an apple tree for an example: if you plant a seed from your original apple tree, the tree will not produce apples that necessarily taste the same or look the same as your original tree. A clone, on the other hand, will produce the same fruit as the original.
Taking your cuttings
New cuttings are extremely sensitive to bacteria and harmful microorganisms. So before taking your cuttings, make sure that you have washed your hands thoroughly and are wearing disposable gloves before you start the cloning process. Also, make sure that you sterilize all tools before use.
Ensure that you have a container filled up with water to keep your new cuttings wet. These cutting made should be at least four inches long but short enough to fit in your humidity dome.
Once you have your cutting, place the tip into your container filled with water immediately. It would be wise to take 50% more cuttings than you need to make up for unsuccessful root development, and so you would be able to choose the healthiest clones.
Tips For Successful Cloning
- Take your cuttings from a healthy mother plant. Avoid taking cuttings from a sick mother plant. Cloning gives you genetic duplicates of your mother plant, so it is best to take clones from a mother plant that is strong and healthy to give your clones the best start possible.
- Make sure your clones have a consistent climate. Clones prefer temperatures that are slightly higher than your general grow room temperature. (74-77 degrees Farenheight)
If your temperature drops drastically, it can stall your clones’ root development, or the roots will never develop at all. On the other hand, if your temperature rises to more than 79 degrees Farenheight, you increase the chances of root rot, which will ruin your cuttings.
- Clones like high humidity. For the best results, your clones need an environment with a 75% – 95% humidity range until they have developed roots. For this process, a humidity dome will work best.
Remember, it is better to have too much humidity than not enough. High humidity is crucial for your cuttings, and dry air will kill them.
- Use hydroponics lighting. High-output fluorescent, LED, or plasma lighting is excellent to use for your clones. HID hydroponics lighting is too intense for your clones and will probably damage them.
It is advised to keep your lights on for 24 hours a day. Just ensure your clones aren’t too close to your lights, clones can quickly burn.
- Use sterile equipment. You already know that your equipment must be clean, but it does not stop there! You also want to make sure that your cloning domes and trays are sterile too.
Remember that you can not reuse cloning powders, cloning gels, or cloning cubes. Start fresh every time for the best results.
When Should I Clone From My Mother Plant?
The best time to clone your plants would be when they are in a vegetative state before they are ready to start flowering. Obtain cuttings from a plant that is busy vegging, as doing so will ensure fast and healthy rooting.
Cloning your plants during their early stages of flowering is possible, but it will take several weeks to convert them back into a vegetative state. Now you not only have to focus on your cuttings developing roots, but you also have to concentrate on stopping them from flowering.
As mentioned, it is not advised to take cuttings if your plant is flowering, but if you do, doing it within the first week of flowering and not later would be best.
Remember to always clone from the top of your mother plant, as this is where the most nutrients in the plants lie. Refrain from taking cuttings from the bottom, side, or underbrush of your mother plant.
When Can I Transplant My Clones?
You can start to plant your clones when their roots are 3 inches (7.6cm) long. Some growers prefer to transplant their clones when the roots reach 1 inch (2.5cm), although it is better to wait to minimalize your clones’ chance of getting root shock.
When To Expect Roots?
Green and softwood cuttings will root within four weeks, where semi-hardwood or hardwood cuttings may take up to 6 months to root, depending on the species of your plant.
However, if your plants do not root within their expected time, you may have done something wrong with the basics, and it would be best to repeat the whole cloning process.
After 6-8 weeks, your clones can be considered as adult plants. If your roots grow to the bottom of the pot, you can transplant them into larger pots.
From here on, you can start to provide your full-grown clones with the same amount of light, fertilizer, air circulation, and water as you would for other full-grown plants so they can mature and flower!
Cloning has always been a debated subject ever since the first success in 1990. Plant cloning has been around for thousands of years and has had many breakouts throughout the science community, and nowadays, everyone can clone their plants using simple techniques!
When it comes to cloning, do not be afraid and do not be intimidated! It definitely sounds harder than it is. If you have your basics, you will be able to successfully clone your plants and maybe even inspire your friends or family to join in on the fun!
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