how to grow a weed mother plant

This section covers my cloning system in detail, along with a brief outline about our mother plants. Every grower can get the same results by imitating this easy organic system.

Degeneration can certainly occur if a mother plant gets infected with a reversion virus, but the buds produced today from our mother plants is just as potent and good-smelling as when it was first grown out from seed many years ago. In fact, it is better now. We have better lighting and superior growing techniques, allowing the clones to express their potential more fully.

It’s a double deck with two 4ft x 2 ft lights each with 4 x 40w cool white fluorescent lights.

Bonsai mother plants will need root pruning once or twice a year to stay healthy. The frequency depends on how intensively they are fed and how good your water quality is.

After you’ve taken the first set of cuttings, it’s time to move up to the next pot size. A 3 inch sq pot is ideal.

Part 2: Root Pruning (Renovation and Maintenance)

You should now have 12 to 16 leading shoots, as well as others coming up from lower nodes. In total there may be 30 potential clones, or more. Any really thin ones or any growing into the center, either cut back to one node or remove altogether instead of taking cuttings.

My Clone, Mother and Father box.

This means that two-thirds of the soil is being replaced. A good full strength organic compost is used when repotting and it only takes a day or two for the roots to really start growing into the new compost. It is very important to make sure there are no voids or air gaps left when packing the sides, use a pencil or small dibber, fill slowly and firm lightly.

6.) You’ve got a bonsai mother!

5.) Move mother plant to bigger pot.

3.) Manipulate the plant into an “open cup” shape (open up the middle as the plant grows)

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create and maintain many small mother plants in a tiny grow space. Each mother plant can produce hundreds of new clones over time, so you basically gain the power to produce unlimited new plants for free!

The last picture is 12 days under an HPS light after the root and top pruning. It tells its own story! Already there are enough nice leaders to make 10 good cuttings.

One of the big advantages using bonsai mother plants, is that each only needs a maximum of 8 x 8 inches. So a 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft high box with a 4 tube fluorescent shop light can hold 9 mothers. We call the plants we keep Mums and Dads; not to be confused with chrysanthemums 🙂

Here we are dealing with a 7 year-old mother plant that hasn’t been root trimmed for nearly a year and was deliberately neglected for the last 10 weeks so you could see the recovery. First, trim back nearly all the top growth back to the main framework of branches. Leave one or two tiny shoots at the tip of each branch to draw sap and keep the branch alive.

Part 1: How to Create a Bonsai Mother Plant.

Unlike a commercial grower, most home growers don’t have a lot of grow space to dedicate purely to housing mother plants. Keeping each mother small, like a bonsai tree, lets you maintain a huge selection of genetics in a small grow space without very much electricity.

Note how all have an open center; this allows light to both the center and the outside. It will fill in between taking cuttings but if pruned back to this form, makes better and more even growth giving more good cuttings each time.

That’s not intensive production, but it allows the connoisseur to keep a good selection of strain varieties in a relatively small space.

Cuttings in plug trays a few days later ready to move on to their first pots.

Lets look at what we need from a rooted cutting… We want one that is suited to growing in a confined space i.e. a pot. They are as closely matched as possible. To get good yields from a grow, uniformity is the rule. It is no good having one plant that produces 50 grams when its 2 neighbors only produce 15 grams each. They are identical stock but this is what is often seen in grow after grow. It is much better to try and get all the plants averaging 35 grams well within the capacity of the stock line of a plant that can make 50 grams.

The second mother of our selected “ES” line lasted for just over 15 years using this method. I have also kept prized males for breeding (bonsai father plants) in this pot size and some are over 5 years old.

Instead of having to pay for each seed from a seed bank, a mother plant can be used to create almost unlimited new clones of itself. In addition to not costing anything, new clones are more predictable than seeds from random crosses. Seeds carry a mix of traits from both parent plants, while each clone consistently grows just like the mother.

Part 3: How to Take Clones from Bonsai Mother Plants.

These 8-month-old bonsai mother plants are based on this tutorial. In addition to the sunny window, a lightbulb shines nearby for 14+ hours a day to keep them in the vegetative stage. An easy and fun way to hold onto genetics!

Note: I find square pots are much easier to deal with when it comes to root pruning, as you will see later.

1.) Put Chosen Mother in a Square Pot.

Don’t remove all the shoots and buds because this often causes “die back”. Once that starts the whole plant usually dies within a month or two. But you’re good as long as you leave a few small shoots, even if they’re yellow from lacking N. They will soon start to grow and green up as the new roots start forming!

That’s it. You should have all the info you need to make and root cuttings in compost the make and maintain bonsai mother plants. It’s easy, give it a go!

This reduces the 4.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inch rootball to 3 x 3 x 3.5 inches high after the loose soil is scraped from the top.

Remember we are talking about growing in soil based or soilless compost mixes. The root type that the cutting produces is very important, lots of fine feeder roots are the ideal, anchor and tap roots are totally unwanted when growing in a pot. Remember the amount feeder root mass directly effects the potential crop weight.

Why would you want a bonsai mother?

If you’re growing your plants in a pot, you should have them in an 18-20L pot at least because they may become root-bound and if this happens, you’ll need to use a sterile knife or scissors to remove the tip of the roots and it can have bad consequences if done incorrectly.

What’s the best light for mother plants?

You should cut 2-4 clones off each plant to ensure some of them will survive and once your clones have rooted and are ready to grow, place them under an 18/6 cycle so they begin growing and begin flowering the mother plants, you should place a label or something so you’re able to identify them.

Well, lucky for you, this is quite easy, you just have to take a look at the plant itself.

You don’t necessarily need to top your plants but topping your plants will grow more branches and make it easier for you to get clones whenever you need to, also, remember that you should top your plants every couple of weeks to prevent them from growing too much.

6. How To Keep Your Mother Plants Happy.

Mother plant nutrients.

Keeping your mothers healthy is essential because the clones are an exact copy so if your parent plant is unhealthy, your cutting will have a hard time surviving.

So, you wanna keep a mother plant but don’t know what makes for a good one, how do you know if your plant will produce good clones ?

Another great benefit is that you won’t have to spend money on seeds every time you start a new grow cycle, obviously, you will have to buy seeds if you get tired of smoking the same buds forever and want to look for another mother plant but as long as you have it ready to go, you won’t be spending money on seeds .

What’s the best mother plant pot size?

Now, choosing the best ones it’s actually up to you, you may decide on one plant over the other based on the yields , color of the buds, structure , how long it takes to flower, or any other trait so it’s really a matter of personal preference but if you still don’t know, here are a couple of things you should look for:

Now that you have decided if you’re growing 20, 10, 5, or whatever you can fit in your grow space, you have to grow them like you normally would and cut some clones once your plant has grown a bit, you don’t want to take the clones when they’re too small.

Remember that they can produce an unlimited number of clones so you can take as many cuttings as you need to, just make sure you don’t overdo it, also remember that it’s super important you let your parent plant rest at least 15 days in between cloning.

What are the best conditions for mother plants?

There are several benefits to selecting and having your own mother plant, the most important of all is that if you time it correctly, you’ll never run out of weed .

7. FAQs About Mother Plant Care.

If you’ve grown cannabis before you may know that growing cannabis isn’t super easy, there are a couple of things that you need to ger right to be able to have a successful harvest, now imagine having to keep a mother plant healthy for more than 6 months. it can get really hard.

As said above, mother plants are cannabis plants kept in the vegetative stage for a long time, to allow you to get clones whenever you want.

Remember that mother plants are basically cannabis plants that are kept in the vegetative stage for as long as you can so it’s extremely important that you keep them under an 18/6 cycle and don’t change the light cycle.

When kept in the right environment, a mother plant can live for years but as time passes, the clones can get weaker and weaker so once you feel your plant is ready to retire , you can grow one of the good clones to have as a parent.

You should dedicate an entire grow tent to your mother plant, have a good extractor, and keep the temperatures around 23-26°C and the relative humidity around 60% .

So first, when you are clipping off a cutting, make sure you work with sterile tools, also make sure you cut off the leaves’ tips so the clone’s energy goes where it needs it the most: the roots.

Since your mother plant will be in the vegetative stage for a long time, it can get quite tall and you may not have enough space so to keep your plant manageable, you should apply plant training techniques such as topping or pruning.

4. The Benefits Of Mother Plants.

As said above, the clones will be a copy of the parent plant so you want the mother to be the best as possible, this is why we recommend you grow a couple of seeds before deciding, as you may know, every plant is unique, even though they may be similar, their structure , smell , effect , and resin production may differ slightly so you want to have at least 5 plants (if possible) to choose the best one.

A mother plant serves one purpose: provide branches for you to get cuttings and continues growing that special cultivar .

Mother plants are usually used in a perpetual harvest, so you can plan ahead and when they are ready for harvest, your parent plant is ready to produce more clones, this will not only keep your grow tent full at all times but you’ll also be able to grow your favorite strain and have the same results every time, with no changes to the effect, flavor, and aroma.

So here are a couple of things you need to know to keep your parent plants healthy .

Make sure you take your time and choose correctly because this is what you’ll be growing for a long time so if you’re not satisfied with the plants you need to choose from, start other seeds until you choose the cultivar that makes for a perfect mother plant.

Also, due to the long time, you’ll be growing your mother plants, it’s a good idea to come up with a pest protection plan, so use a good natural pesticide and spray it every couple of days to prevent bugs or mold from killing your plant.

Once it has flowered and you know which one you want to keep as a parent, your clones should be quite big and you’re ready for the next step.

To simplify the process, you just need to cut a branch and place it in the substrate, if you’re able to keep the clone under the right conditions and provide the right amount of light and nutrients, this clone will eventually grow roots and continue to grow, becoming a copy of its parent.

Experiment to see which setup works best for you. Whichever method you choose, make sure your new clones get plenty of light—preferably 18 hours—and humidity.

It’s important to know the origin of your clones because that’s where problems originate—diseases, pests, incorrectly labeled genetics, and unknown pesticide residues can come with a mystery clone.

Another method growers employ is to take cuttings off a set of mother plants before they flower, then flip the mothers into the flowering stage. The next generation of clones is grown, and when those get big enough, cuttings will be taken from those before getting flipped into flower. Because clones are genetically identical, each generation will be an exact copy of the first-generation mother and all subsequent mothers.

Choose a rooting medium and setup.

Mother plants always stay in the vegetative stage as clones are clipped off. It’s important to not take cuttings off a flowering weed plant—this can cause the clone to turn into a hermaphrodite and may also damage the flowering plant.

Most of the time, these clones come from growers who focus solely on producing clones, but sometimes cuttings will come from a third-party source. When purchasing clones for your home garden, always ask your shop where they came from. If you can’t get a legitimate answer, find another source.

When getting ready to transplant, be sure to keep the environment sterile. Transplant shock can occur, so be sure to use gloves when handling clones.

Never hesitate to research a dispensary or grow facility before buying clones.

Be sure to inspect all areas of your clone for the presence of pests. Large pests such as fungus gnats and spider mites can be spotted relatively easily.

Clones will also save space in your garden—with seeds, you have to grow many and sex them out to identify and get rid of the males. Also, usually some seeds don’t germinate. You’ll need extra space for all those seeds, and they might not even turn into full plants.

Some growers have dedicated mother plants only for taking cuttings, but this setup takes up a lot of space and materials—you’ll need to keep the mother plant alive, but you won’t get any buds off it because it’ll always stay in the vegetative stage. Some growers find it hard to justify devoting time, energy, and space to plants that won’t produce buds. If your grow space is tight, this might not be the best setup.

Inspect the cannabis clones.

It’s almost impossible to detect harmful pesticides or fungicides on a clone. Often, these applications leave zero residue and can stay on a plant for the rest of the plant’s life. If you see any suspicious residue on a clone, ask the grower about their in-house integrated pest management (IPM) and always err on the side of caution.

After roots develop, it is then transplanted into a pot or the ground, and it will grow like any weed plant.

Clones also guarantee that all of your weed plants are females, so you don’t have to spend time growing from seed, sexing plants, and discarding males.

Cloning cannabis is relatively easy and requires just a few key items:

There is some speculation that clones can degrade over time based on environment stressors and other factors, but that is open to debate.

What to look for in a mother plant.

First, transplant your new weed clones into a more permanent container and medium. Often the grow medium used to house fresh cuttings at the shop will be different than what you use. Also, pests may be present in its medium when you bought it—transplanting your clone to a cleaner space will help mitigate any potential root damage.

Growers usually look for these qualities in a mother plant:

Most clones will be ready to transplant into soil in 10-14 days, but some root out quicker, and some longer. You’ll know they’re ready when the white roots are an inch or two in length.

If you don’t want to mess with seeds, clones can be a great option for starting a marijuana plant. Growing weed from a clone will save you time—even though they need time to root out, you don’t have to germinate seeds, which will shave off a month or so of the growing process.

If you take a clone from a plant you already have, they’re free! You just need to invest in some supplies. Although, you can buy clones from a dispensary if you want.

A clone is a cutting, such as a branch, that is cut off of a living marijuana plant, which will then grow into a plant itself. A clone has the same genetic makeup as the plant it was taken from, which is called the mother plant.