The art of growing cannabis can be divided into two main skill sets: The skill of replicating known genetics and the skill of creating new genetics.
There are two different approaches to you need to know about for starting new weed plants: growing from clones, and growing from seeds.
Clones: When cutting a part of your existing plant you create a clone. We call this process vegetative propagation. When exposed to the right conditions the cuttings will develop new roots and grow into a new plant.
Seeds: The pollen of the male plant pollinates the female organs, and the result is seeds. Seeds are basically a tiny plant, an embryo so to speak. When a seed finds the right conditions (soil, temperature, humidity) it will prosper into a full-blown plant. When carefully choosing your male and female plants you can use this biological process to create new variations of your plants. Seeds work like human DNA. They always turn out a bit different from their "parents". Clones however allow you to recreate the exact same plant -- so keep that in mind when deciding how you plan to start your plants.
How to Plant Weed: Clones
Since the plant mostly consists of undifferentiated cells (called meristem cells which can turn into roots, flowers or other parts of the plant alike) it has the ability to grow anew from a cutting.
The new plants will be identical to the mother plant, hence the name "clones". This is useful if you want to make sure that your new plants share the same traits like gender, flowers or effects. It is therefore the most popular way to propagate a cannabis plant.
While cloning sounds like complicated science fiction when we talk about animals or humans, it's actually pretty easy for plants. You will need:
a sharp razor blade
a small glass or plastic container with growing medium (e.g. coconut fiber)
spray bottle with water for moisture and/or plastic dome
- Always keep one mother plant. It won’t take up much space or lead to much extra work. But you can always use it to grow new plants with known genetics.
- You might think this is obvious but: Choose a healthy plant with the traits you like and would like to replicate when growing cannabis from cuttings.
- Make sure to water the mother plant well for 2 or 3 days before the cutting since this will wash out the nitrogen which will make it then easier for the new plants to root.
- Use distilled water to water your growing medium. Coconut fiber is great or you can use pre-defined materials like Rockwool or Oasis cubes.
- Sterilize your hands, razor blades and cutting block with alcohol before you start. Cuttings are delicate.
- Choose a growing tip of your plant. One with at least one or better two leaf internodes. Size: 3’’ to 6’’. Cut a few branches to make sure that some will grow out well.
A Grow Room That Your Plants Will Love
Prepare a hole in your growing medium. You want to carefully insert the cuttings into the growing medium. The idea is to work quickly. If you are fast you don't have to spray the cuttings with water. Be gentle with the cuttings, especially when putting them into the medium.
When working with cuttings make sure that they will stay moist until they have developed a new root system. As always: You are going to want to keep your cuttings moist not wet. Being too wet might cause fungus or molds. Use the spray bottle for water. Distilled water preferred. Water them every 2 days but never let the medium run dry.
You might want to use a dome to support your plants. Plastic domes will raise humidity.
After about a week your cuttings should start to show new roots. Now it is time to remove the dome and see if the plants can support themselves. Don’t remove any yellow leaves until the plant is well rooted. Once they are well rooted you can move them into your hydroponic system or into soil. A new cannabis plant is born.
Growing a New Cannabis Plant from Seeds
If you want to start growing new plants that you haven't worked with before or if you want to experiment with variations of your own plants, seeds are the way to go.
You can buy them from a seed bank to get started.
For growing seeds use a sterile medium to prevent them from being affected by fungus. Use a deep medium with enough room for roots to grow. Soak the seeds in water for 2-3 hours, then place them in your medium. Make sure the seeds stay warm and moist. No fertilizer is needed at this point. Gentle airflow and "daylight" from your lamps should be good. Watering is the key. Keep the medium moist not wet. You may use a plastic dome here, too. Most seeds will pop after five days. After two weeks all of them should show.
After the seeds start growing you might want to use a plant fertilizer supplement tonic.
Choose one of the top cannabis strains to get started!
Growing Cannabis like a Pro
Today we showed you the two ways to create new plants.
Grow them from cuttings and get an exact clone of your plants.
Grow them from seeds for new strains or variations.
The ideal environment for seeds and cuttings is very similar. You are going to be able to use the same containers, growing medium, lights and dome or water bottle. Keep them warm, moist and with great lighting. Gentle or no breeze.
Don’t touch the cuttings.
Don’t check on the seeds while they are in the medium.
You are going to need a few days of patience and observation. If you manage to stay cool your seeds or cuttings will reward you with beautiful new plants that are just waiting to grow into great yields. Good hygiene and patience are the key for successfully growing cannabis. Patience you must have, young Padawan.