You may already know that plants can be propagated in different ways. Seed multiplication and cuttings are the most common forms.
At the beginning of the 90’s, the reproduction by cuttings of marijuana plants began to boom. Feminized seeds were not available at that time. Therefore, people who grew marijuana had to select the female plants among many regular seeds. Due to this effort the growers used the cuttings to ensure a cultivation of female plants.
What is a cutting?
Cuttings are living parts of plants extracted from them with the intention of reproducing the plant.
To be concise, you only need to cut a piece of the stem of a plant and put it in soil, or put it in a container with water, to develop roots and obtain cuttings.
The plants generated through this process will be genetically identical to their progenitors. In other words, they will be a clone of the mother plant.
Types of cuttings
There are different ways to obtain cuttings from plants according to the phase of the growth period they are cut.
- From leaf: Consists of cutting a leaf with a petiole and burying it in the ground from this cutting point. It is a method that seems easy, however, it can take a long time to see the new bud emerge.
- From leaf and stem: It is a process similar to the previous one, with the difference that in this case the cut is made from a piece of the stem with the axillary bud of a leaf. It is a process that can last from a few weeks to months.
- From tender branches: Obtained from the youngest plants, which have not yet started the process of lignification.
- Semi-lignified branches They should be cut at the end of summer. At this point the growth will be decreased, and the stems are stronger and coarser.
- From lignified branches: Obtained from shrubs and trees when the branch is woody, also known as ‘stakes’.
What is reproduction by cuttings?
Already knowing what a cutting is, we can now determine that the reproduction through cuttings is asexual, being a form of reproduction in which only one living being intervenes, thus inheriting the same genetic characteristics from his progenitor.
Benefits of using cuttings
Among the benefits of using cuttings that we have already mentioned there are also these:
- Easiness: Obtaining a cutting is quite simple, no great knowledge about plants is required.
- Accuracy: If you use a cutting of a strain you will know with total accuracy that the result will be an exact replica.
- You won’t have to select: If you can’t get feminized seeds and you already have a female cannabis plant you won’t have to invest so much time in growing plants and being attentive to possible male plants in order to discard them from cultivation.
- Multiple multiplication: You can work with several cuttings at the same time, and if these take root you would have several copies.
Downsides of cuttings
Cultivation with seeds has turn into the most popular way of growing because of the disadvantages of working with cuttings, such as:
- Transport: It is delicate to move them because they cannot live without care for a prolonged period. It should be planted as soon as possible.
- Time of extraction: It is a point that must be considered, since the cuttings are usually obtained in specific time of the mother plant’s development (only for outdoor grows).
- Space and resources: Working with cuttings requires more space as well as resources such as water, nutrients and everything necessary for their maintenance.
- Time: The attention required by a cutting is greater and constant, as they require rooting, sanitation, growth and pest control.
- Diseases: It is very important to select vigorous plants and, most of all, healthy plants.
What do I need to obtain cuttings of cannabis plants?
Cannabis plants are one of the species that offer the possibility of carrying out the multiplication by cuttings.
You will need:
- The selected mother plant.
- Specific scissors for cuttings or razor blades.
- A greenhouse.
- Substrate (mineral wool, jiffy, soil, aeroponics)
- Rooting hormones.
- White/blue light bulb
- Heater (if necessary). It is very important for the cuttings to develop their roots correctly. It will be necessary to give them a temperature of between 20ºC and 25ºC and humidity of between 85-90%.
Steps to make my own cuttings
Once we have all the necessary material we can start to extract our cuttings.
1- Mother plant
It will be essential to give the necessary care to the mother plant before starting the cutting process. Therefore, you should water the plant at least one day before. With this you will obtain the correct watering so that the cuttings can overcome the shock.
2- Selection of cuttings from our mother plant
The first step is to select the future cuttings of our mother plant. They will have to have at least two nodes, a pair of leaves and a main sprout for their correct development.
3- Collect the cuttings
First you should know that the ideal time to collect the cuttings is during the darkest hours.
Once we have identified the cuttings that fulfill the basic conditions, we will make a clean cut of an angle of 45º to facilitate the absorption of nutrients with the scissors or previously disinfected blades (you can do it with alcohol or oxygenated water). It is necessary to avoid breaking the branch throughout the cutting process as it could block the water flow causing death by dehydration.
Time to cut!
The best place to cut is the middle of the branch, because of its structure (neither too soft nor too hard). Remember that you must have at least two nodes, a pair of leaves and a main sprout for its proper development.
An easy way to detect the proper area for cutting is to bend the branch. If you see it open a little while bending, that’s the perfect part to cut. It does not have to bend easily, break or crack.
It is very important to make a cut with a proper size. The best size would be a branch from 5 to 10 cm. Remember that the more branch there is, the more water the cuttings will have.
Cutting the tips of the leaves is a good trick to avoid dehydration of the cuttings.
To maintain our cuttings alive, it is essential that roots emerge from the cutting area. To do this, we must have rooting hormones and apply them to the cutting area with a brush or by inserting the branch into the hormones.
5- Planting of cuttings
We recommend using mineral wool, jiffys or wet germinators as the best options for growing cuttings.
If you prefer using pots, you will have to fill them with the substrate and water it until the soil is humid. Make a hole with the size of the trunk and put the cuttings covering it well with soil leaving it well fastened.
It is very important to keep the clones into a permanent high humidity closed environment but, at the same time, there should be air renovation for one hour every day to avoid rotting.
6- Transplanting the cuttings
When we see that the cuttings have taken root, (between 10 to 20 days) we will be able to transplant them to their final pots, supplying rooting fertilizer during the first weeks.
To obtain an exceptional growth of the roots, you can use trichodermas once transplanted to the pot. The development of the cannabis plant will be better and faster.
You have seen that obtaining marijuana cuttings is an easy task. It only requires few tools to have our own clones already rooted in a few weeks and ready to start their period of growth and development as plants. They will be identical to the mother plant.
Remember to choose a mother plant that captivates you with its taste, smell, effect, flowering time and production.