08 Jan Buying Clones
-by Robert Degen.
So you’ve decided to try your hand at developing your green thumb for some wallet-friendly (or green friendly) growing of your very own. Versus going the route of; seed acquisition, germination, and starting the plant, a lot of people choose instead to obtain a cutting from an existing plant. This cutting is also called a ‘clone’. (1) “Cloning is a way of propagating plants through asexual reproduction of the plant by cutting and rooting a healthy shoot. This creates clones. It is also known as ‘taking a cutting’.“
There are a number of things to consider when approaching the buying of clones. As with most things, you have to ‘consider the source’. As a clone will be an identical plant to the ‘mother’ (the plant from which the cutting was taken, predominately female), a strong plant will make for strong clones. (2) “It’s not often easy to find but if possible you should buy a clone that was taken from a plant that was grown from seed. The growth, vigor and overall vitality of a clone that was taken from a plant grown from seed is much better than a clone that was taken from another clone.”
The reasons for buying a clone and getting your own setup going are also numerous. Besides having consistent access to a favored strain, reliable genetics (given the proper nutrients are used), and gender control are a few of the key characteristics which lend an appeal to the usage of clones. (3) “No lost time, soil, nutrients, or energy (saves $$$). This practice also allows for a repetitious harvest throughout any time of the year. As you will find, cloning your favorite marijuana plants can be easy and save you big money. You can clone a marijuana plant many, many times from it’s off-shoots.”
As for the quandary of where you would find marijuana clones available for purchase, this is obviously an easier endeavor for those with a medical card living in a state with a medicinal marijuana program. (4) “Many medical marijuana dispensaries offer clones for sale as a service to their patients. The advantages would seem obvious, you know what strain it is, what you can expect for yield and strength. And for an indoor grower it shortens the entire cycle by a month or more.” And in the states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized, many of the shops are starting to join those that offer clones to their customers.
Several resources can be found online with point-by-point instruction on selecting clones and determining the likelihood for a successful rooting of your new plant. It can be tricky, but most of us have that one super-informed friend or know someone in the industry (being on good terms with a knowledgeable budtender can be worth its weight in gold). (5) “You can’t be certain the clone / plant you are buying is the strain the person says it is, but you can at least keep yourself from buying a clone with bugs or a disease. If you buy a clone with a disease or bugs you might introduce something to your garden that will take a lot of trouble and time to get rid of, such as spider mites or powdery mildew (often refered to as PM)”
Do some of your own research and look up some general checklists of things to consider when buying any clone plant and be prepared for the little bit of trial and error while getting the process down. You’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor in no time!