Mother's Day is on its way!
With Mother’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be fun to look at cloning and the use of “mother” plants in a cannabis grow operation.
What is cloning, anyway?
Cloning is one way to grow cannabis, where instead of planting seeds to get new plants, the grower takes a cutting off of a “mother” (a plant selected because the grower loves its qualities and wants to replicate them), then plants the cutting, which grows into genetic match to the mother.
When done right, this process can be repeated over and over, for as long as the grower wants, and needless to say, it's a very popular method with commercial grows because it ensures consistency.
How is it done?
When a grower has a particular strain or plant they love, they’ll keep one female plant (the mother) aside, and rather than harvest the buds, they’ll allow the plant to grow indefinitely, using it only to take cuttings from. These mothers can end up getting much larger and taller than plants used for harvest.
This is Robert, from North Coast Growers, reaching up to a plant in their mothering room. It’s taller than he is.
And for comparison, here is a grow room at West Coast Herbs, full of plants intended for harvest. They're much stalkier, and bushier.
After the grower takes a cutting he or she will plant it in a growing medium such as rock wool or coco coir, and often give it some nutrients and/or plant hormones.
The baby clones are kept in humidity domes to protect them and ensure the proper humidity, which is a crucial factor in this fragile stage of the plants’ development.
Another method I’ve seen is aerocloning, where the baby clones are suspended, with the roots dangling down in a constant mist. Here are some clones in an an EZ Cloner unit at Sugarleaf—a grower in Skagit Valley. Interestingly, aerocloning does not require the use of a humidity dome.
When the clones’ roots are ready, the young plants are transplanted into pots and allowed to ‘veg out.’ These are some young plants in the veg room at Sugarleaf.
And that’s pretty much it. If you’re a cannabis lover, there’s a good chance your favorite weed comes from clones, which got their start from a grower’s favorite mother.
This Mother’s day, why not treat the moms in your life to some fine flowers, chocolates, or topicals from 2020 Solutions?