In this article I’m going to go over the things that you’ll need and the best method for cloning your cannabis plants utilizing an EZ-Cloner. There are several ways to clone your plants using rockwool and other media, but this article talks specifically about using an EZ-Cloner. So first off, you need an EZ-Cloner. You can buy EZ-Cloners in many sizes and they all work the same way. I always recommend this because, you don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring your new cuttings and you can use it over and over again. The EZ-Cloner does most of the work for you too. These cloners are all based on the principle that by providing the right conditions of light, darkness, water, nutrients, and air, cuttings of a plant can be prompted to grow roots in roughly 2 weeks. So let’s get started!
What you need to clone your cannabis plants:
- Clonex Solution
- PH up or PH down (depending on your tap water)
- PH strips or PH meter
- Sterile Scalpel
- Small Scissors
- Gloves (optional but recommended)
- Cutting Board
- 2 Tall Glasses of water (Tap is fine as long as you’re in the right ph zone of 5.5-6.5)
- Growing Light (T5 recommended)
Preparing Your EZ-Cloner
There are instructions for this when you buy one of these, but in case you’re wondering, you’ll need to prepare your EZ-Clone 24-48 hours in advance. Your cuttings cannot be placed in an EZ-Cloner as soon as you fill it up and turn it on. So make sure to get it ready before you need it!
Fill up the EZ-Cloner with water just below the fountain/misters. Make sure to measure how much water you’ve just put in. Add all of the pucks to the top of the cloner and place the top over the water reservoir. Plug your cloner in and let it run for 24 hours. This lets your tap water recirculate to stabilize and allows your pucks soak up water. After 24 hours, it’s time to check the PH of your water. Usually, water that is recirculating will rise in PH over a few hours. Be prepared to add some PH down to bring your water reservoir within the desired range of 5.5-6.6. Once you’ve stabilized your PH at roughly 6.0, add your Clonex Solution in the recommended dose. Mix your solution around really nicely, place the top on, and plug it back in. At this point, you’ll want the nutrient solution to mix completely, so let the cloner run another 12-24 hours before using it. During this last wait time, make sure to check the PH every few hours to watch for PH drift as well. I recommend turning the cloner off before opening the top though. Holy misters…
Once the cloner is prepared and ready, add your light above the cloner for your new cuttings! Light distance all depends on what light you’re using. However, my rule of thumb is the hand test. Stick your hand under the light where your plant tops are and if your hand is slightly uncomfortable, the plants probably will be too. More light is not necessarily better when cloning. I’ve used a 420 watt T5 on half power for the first week of cloning. Didn’t seem to hurt a thing! Anyways, now you’re ready to start taking cuts and cloning your cannabis plants-Get your tools ready!
Growers take their cuttings from various parts of the plant. Some growers take the healthiest tops up to 8” long! Other growers cut the lowest branches because they believe they have the highest amount of rooting hormone and/or to help with defoliating the plant of lower/larfy foliage. Because the plants I take my cuttings from typically move into a flower cycle after I take cuts from them, I go for the lower branches that probably won’t make it into the desired light zone. This way, I don’t reduce my yield! Using your small scissors cut the desired branch where it meets the stalk or main stem. If you’re taking your cuts from the top of the plant, I would recommend taking 4”-6” cuttings; taking your cut just before the next node and fan leaf. Place that brand new cutting in your tall glass of water immediately and bring her on in to the cutting board. Let’s clean her up!
Preparing Your Cutting
This process involves stripping unnecessary foliage from the cutting, cutting leaves, and cutting the stem at a 45 degree angle. Cleaning up the cutting before placing it into your cloner increases the chances of rooting and directs energy from the plant exactly where you want it to go. First decide how tall you want your cutting to be. I would recommend 4”-6” clones. Too small and you will not have enough stem to fit through the cloning pucks. Once you decide on length of your clone, place your cutting on the cutting board and, with your small scissors, cut the clone just above a node and fan leaf to leave a long length of stem to work with. If your clone is already the length you want it, no need to cut it again. Now, with your sterile scalpel, make a 45 degree cut just above the base of the stem. This increases surface area on the lower stem, increasing the chances of rooting. Gently scrape ½” up and down the stem with the back side of the sterile scalpel. This rubbing or scraping softens the stem tissue and stimulates root growth. Next you’re going to want to cut off any unnecessary foliage from the bottom up, leaving only the top 3 or 4 nodes as your final clone. Do this quickly and place your cutting into the 2nd glass of water. Doesn’t she look beautiful? Well now for the last part of preparing your cutting. Take your small scissors and cut off the tips of the 2 lowest fan leaves. Leave enough leaf for the plan to live on and it will be fine. This promotes growth, and the cutting needs to create roots in order to grow.
Place your new clone in an EZ-Cloner puck so that the stem sticks out roughly 1”-2”. It’s helpful not to have growth sites and fan leaves inside the puck as you push your clone through. If this happens, quickly cut this foliage off with your sterile scalpel to leave a clean stem. Excess foliage within the puck can be a festering spot for mold and bacteria, which can hurt your clone. Once you’ve placed your new clone in the EZ-Cloner, flick on your grow light, mark your calendar and expect roots in 2-3 weeks!
Note: Clones should be under 24 hours of light during the cloning process.
Continue to monitor the PH of the cloner during this time.
Monitor your room’s temperature and humidity. I recommend keeping the room at a constant 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 70-80% humidity if possible. Cuttings will still root even if your humidity is 40%, so it’s not a big deal. It’s important to keep the air in the room moving with a fan. Stagnant air will increase heat and stress on your cuttings.
Monitor the mister underneath the cloner. Turn the cloner off and do a quick peek under the hood. Check to make sure your mister is still standing correctly. They have a tendency to fall to one side submerging a few misters under water, which is not good. I’ve seen cases where only half of the cloner roots because of this!
Remove any decaying or rotting clones-If they are getting mushy, they will not survive.
Monitor your cuttings progress by simply pulling up their puck and observing the stem. Small white bumps will start to appear after week 1, which is your first sign of root development. Once the roots pop, they start growing very quickly. Adding a little more Clonex Solution at this point will feed those growing roots.
After 15 days, it’s safe to say you’ve probably got quite a few cuttings that have long, thick roots! Perfect time for transplant. I always recommend transplanting your cloner in waves to allow the under developed clones to grow more roots. Transplant your longest, thickest, healthiest, rooted clones first. Wait two days and transplant another wave. Trust me, after two extra days, those measly roots will have doubled in size.
Depending on your final medium, you may be transplanting in soil, hydro, or another soil-less medium. I’m going to go over transplanting your newly rooted clones into a coco coir soil-less medium. In any case, make sure to transplant your cuttings into an appropriately sized container. Placing your clone into a 12+ gallon pot is probably not a good idea. Your clone won’t be able to soak up the moisture fast enough in the pot and it could die.
Here’s what you need to transplant:
½ gallon grow bags
Small spade or cylinder shape (Hammer, BBQ utensil handle, flashlight, …get creative)
Grow medium (soil, coco, etc…) Typically 1 big bag of coco will fill 20 ½ gallon grow bags.
Water source for watering
I start with ½ gallon bags, which is just enough space to get your clones started at a minimal expense, while giving you time to “weed out” the under-performers. Fill your ½ gallon bag 1” from the top with the coco mix, packing it down as you fill each bag. Do to this, I‘ve cut out the bottom of a plastic container to use as a handy tool. Simply slip the ½ gallon bag over the home-made plastic tube and you can scoop your medium into the bag quickly! After your bags are filled, create a hole about 4” deep in each bag roughly the size of a hammer’s handle. Personally, I use a hammer’s handle and just press it into the coco to make my hole. Once your holes are ready, add your beneficial bacteria! Rhizo bacteria from the rhizosphere form a symbiotic relationship with your plants’ roots, making more nutrients available. I’m adding a small sprinkle of Azos and a small cup of Rhizoboost to each hole. When doing this, I try and get the rhizo bacteria spread around evenly in each hole, up the sides, near the top, etc… rather than just dumping it all into the hole.
Go grab one of your finest rooted clones from the cloner, roots and all and place her gently, roots first, into the hole. You may need to use your finger to push the long root tips down to the bottom of the hole. Gently, move coco into the hole so that all of the roots and 2-3” of stem are buried in the coco. This can also be achieved by grabbing the ½ gallon bag with both hands and shifting the coco around to fill in the hole around your rooted clone. Now firmly, but gently still, press the coco down to fill any air pockets you may still have. Make sure to stick a name tag in her and water her immediately with PH’d water in the zone of (5.5-6.5). I usually water each clone after transplant a fair amount so that the coco is soaked thoroughly and water is running off.
Feeding with nutrients Day 1 may be too much for your plants and I would not recommend it. After watering, lift the bag up and you’ll notice it is pretty heavy now. Let the clones start to dry out over the next 5-8 days while under the same type of grow light and it will tell you when it needs water. Wait for the bag to be light when you pick it up, and not heavy with water. This is very important, as you want the clone’s roots to fill the bag and utilize all of the moisture. Over-watering can reduce growth and even kill your plant-don’t do this! While you’re waiting for the bags to dry out, clean your clones up a little bit. Pull the bottom fan leaves that you snipped a couple weeks ago and any other fan leaves that are sitting in coco or soil. These leaves are like baby teeth. Pull them and you’ll get some real growth more quickly. Once the new clone has used up the moisture in its medium, get it started on your feeding schedule to let loose! I always start with half the recommended feeding and gradually work it up from there as the plant grows bigger.
Good luck, and Let us know how you did!
Other than that we just get pretty high.
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