Autoflowering cannabis plants provide growers with amazing, growing qualities. Aside from not being dependent on a special growing schedule like regular or photoperiod plants, autos are also quick-flowering and retain their small sizes great for stealth growing. But can all these impressive qualities be passed on to its clones? Is cloning autoflowers possible?
Cloning Autoflowers is Possible
We have been told that it’s impossible to clone autoflowering strains, but according to many growers, it is possible, BUT there are some risks. Most that have ventured to clone automatic strains were unsuccessful as they were able to grow clones that did not possess the autoflowering traits. These cloned plants merely proceeded with growing in the vegetative stage and even took longer to flower.
Still, some growers say they were successful and had plants that automatically flowered, but these plants produced very little yield and thus had no value whatsoever. In short, you can clone automatic strains, but the risks outweigh all the advantages. It’s useless to do so.
Why is it Difficult to Clone Autoflowering Cannabis?
It’s very hard to clone autoflowering cannabis because you cannot copy all are traits perfectly to a clone. Usually, a clone would possess all the parent’s traits from its physical appearance, growth patterns, amount of yields, smell, taste, flavor, and bud appearance. But with automatic plants, the clones will only be underdeveloped copies of the parent, often with very poor yields and growth. So, it’s better to stay with growing automatic cannabis using seeds rather than clones anyway, they grow fast and are ready to harvest faster.
Autoflowering vs Photoperiods
Therefore, if you want to grow clones, it would be best to grow photoperiod strains. Photoperiods are also called regular strains, and these are strains that will flower just like a regular wild cannabis plant: when the days are shorter and the nights are longer. Therefore, indoor photoperiod cannabis plants should be exposed to a special growing light schedule where a 12-hour light and 12-hour dark period is maintained.
Photoperiods are either male or female plants. You will only know the gender of your plants come flowering time. When photoperiods are cloned, ALL the great and not-so-great growing characteristics of the parent plant are passed on. And if you were to taste weed from parent and the cloned plant, both will taste the same, would have the same flavor and the same effects.
Meanwhile, autoflowering strains are different as these flowers quicker in just 7 to 9 weeks only. Photoperiods can take up to 10 or 12 weeks, even longer, especially with sativa strains. Autos will flower as soon as it is mature enough, usually earlier. This means you won’t have to follow a strict lighting routine for your plants to bloom. It’s also important to point out again that auto plants may be cloned, but the result won’t be what you expected.
Autoflowering plants are best for people who want to grow weed fast, while photoperiods are for people who would like to breed new strains and to grow seeds.
Why Do Growers Prefer to Use Clones Anyway?
Cloning grows cannabis quickly as you will never have to deal with germinating your seeds. You will skip the tedious germination phase and seedling phase and immediately proceed with the vegetative phase. Almost all cloning projects are a success as long as you use the right strains (photoperiods or feminized strains), and you follow cloning steps.
Also, autoflowering seeds are the most expensive types of seeds available in seed banks. Usually, these cost twice regular seeds strains and thus can easily drain your resources. With clones, you don’t need to buy seeds anymore as you are skipping this stage. You’ll save money, the money you can use to buy other growing stuff like fertilizer, supplements, better lighting, and air set up.
Finally, many prefer clones because these are easier to grow. All you need to do is to take cuttings from a female plant and just let it thrive. When properly cared for, cloned plants can develop good roots as early as a few days. It will be ready to be transplanted to its growing pot or in a hydroponic basket in just a few weeks.
Tips for Successful Cloning
Look up cannabis cloning tips, and all these would consider using only photoperiod strains. This is because there’s no luck with cloning autoflowering strains. And to help you improve your cloning activities, here are some tried and tested tips and techniques.
1. Always Pick a Healthy Mother Plant
The quality results of your cloning rely on the health of the mother plant. Pick a plant that does not have problems with nutrient deficiencies, under or overwatering and pests. In short, it must be a healthy plant growing new leaves and stems every day. You can easily check if a plant is healthy or not through its overall appearance.
2. Don’t Stress the Mother Plant Before Harvesting Clones
Give your mother plant time to rest and recuperate before you start cutting away your specimens. Let it bask in warm lighting and drink its full.
3. Use Good Quality Cloning Gel or Powder
Always use cloning gel or powder. These products can help boost the root development of clones and will help your plants grow faster. We recommend a double-dip. Dip the cut tips in gel and then in powder before you wrap the cloned stem in moist peat pellets.
4. Use Sterile Cutting Shears
Always use sterile cutting tools to harvest your clones. This will prevent the transfer of any plant diseases to your newly-cloned plants.
5. A Diagonal Cut Works Best During Clone Harvesting
A diagonal cut will increase the surface area where new roots will form. Make a quick, flawless diagonal cut.
6. Invest in a Good Cloning Dome
If you want to use cloning as your primary growing technique, we recommend you use a cloning dome. This will house your newly cloned plants until these are ready to be transplanted to their respective growing pots. These domes are available in reputable garden shops. Cloning autoflowers is possible, but some risks outweigh the advantages of growing healthy plants. We recommend that you use photoperiod strains for cloning or grow autos from seeds instead.