The Best Light for Cloning Cannabis: Start Your Plants off Right
Did you find a killer strain of cannabis and want the same genetics of the plant it came from for future harvests?
You may have heard about cloning but don't know where to start.
Today, we'll give you a brief lesson on cloning, how to take care of clones and, of course, the best light for cloning cannabis.
Quick Top 3 Best Lights for Cloning:
What is Cloning?
A clone is an exact copy of the female plant that a cutting is taken from.
The sex, the strain and the way they grow, smell and taste are all exactly identical.
A cutting is is taken from an established plant's stem.
Cloning is a method of growing cannabis without growing the plant from seed.
How Do You Grow Clones?
The first step is to find a young plant that hasn't flowered yet.
Choose a stem that has 3-6 nodes which are branches of the leaves from the stem you want to take a cutting from.
You should use a scalpel, razor, or sharp scissors that have been sterilized with rubbing alcohol.
It's important to sterilize your tools because bacteria could invade the cutting and kill it.
You want to cut the stem at a 45° angle because it provides better water uptake and keeps the cutting from drooping.
Good water flow is essential for root growth which is called rooting.
There are two ways to root from your cutting depending on your budget.
Rooting helpers are the recommended way because it helps the roots grow faster.
After using the gel or powder root helper, place the cutting in a starter cube that is moistened with water.
The low-cost method is to place the cutting in a cup of water and cover with a plastic baggie until roots appear and then place in the moist starter cube.
You want strong, healthy roots and it's recommended you wait until the roots are at least 3" long but no more than 6".
What is the Best Way to Care for Clones?
Your clones require special attention as they establish their root system in the soil.
It can take several weeks for the roots to grow enough to safely transplant.
There are three important steps to follow that will produce a healthy clone.
Moisture and Humidity for Clones
The first step is to create a moist and humid climate.
You can do this by placing a dome or clear plastic bag over the clone.
Make sure your plant container has suitable drainage to prevent over saturation.
To maintain a humid climate the clone needs to be kept at a temperature range of 72-77 degrees F.
You do not want to use any nutrients for the first week.
You will need to provide ventilation to prevent molding.
Ventilation helps your clone's root system grow too.
You can make sure you are getting good ventilation by placing holes in the top of the dome lid.
Alternatively, remove the bag or lid and fan the plants.
Make sure the humidity level does not fall below 80% with either method.
When to Add Nutrients to Clones
There are two schools of thought with adding nutrients to clones.
Clones are baby plants, and like all babies, they are more sensitive to the use of chemicals and nutrients than a mature adult plant.
One school of cultivators believe that no nutrients are needed during the early stages of the clones life.
If you start growing in a good, healthy, vibrant soil mix, the little plant should get a good root system developed without any additions.
Once the clone has evolved into the next stages, then the grower can begin to introduce appropriate nutrients.
The second school of thought is to use minimal nutrients during the early stages.
This theory believes that the clone needs to get used to the nutrients, in small doses, before you enter into the full-regiment in the vegetative stage of growth.
Whatever school of thought you decide to experiment with, remember less is always more with growing nutrients.
Too many nutrients can do more damage than too few.
What Nutrients Should You Add to Clones?
If you go down the nutrient route for clones, what common nutrients should you add?
All plants, no matter their growth stage need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Commonly, fertilizer and nutrient mixtures will list N, P, K on their labels.
Followed by the individual ratios, like 10-10-10 or 5-10-20.
Depending on how old they are, they may require these nutrients in different levels.
Also, different growing mediums may need slight adjustments to type and combination of nutrients.
A quality nutrient mix will also have a well thought out combination of trace nutrients and minerals, alongside the big three.
The best bet for choosing the appropriate nutrients for clones is to look for products designed only for use with cuttings.
Any of the big cannabis nutrient companies, Clonex and Manix Cyclone, are only two examples.
Instead of trying to figure out the ratios yourself, why not purchase a pre-made formulation designed by the experts?
How to Pick the Perfect Mother for Your Clones
One of the biggest mistakes new growers make when cloning their first babies is choosing an ill mother.
Clones come from female marijuana plants in the vegetative stage of development.
But if you take clones during this stage, clearly it’s hard to know what traits the buds will have.
Therefore master growers grow many mothers from the same strain.
They take multiple clones from each mother, during the vegetative stage.
While keeping the mother in veg state, they allow the babies (the clones) to mature fully into flowering adults.
From these adults, the grower harvests and analyzes the traits of the bud.
What are the flavors, aromas, and cannabinoid content of each clone?
Choose wisely, and then head back to the mother to keep harvesting clones.
Obviously clear labeling and a basic understanding of plant genetics is required for this process to work.
Another hot tip is to always source clones from healthy, vibrant and infestation free mothers.
How Much Light for Clones
Lighting is what will help your clone grow into a vibrant and healthy mother plant.
Your clone will not need any light for the first two days.
The light cycle for clones is simple.
Clones need 18 hours of light to grow a strong stem and healthy leaves.
They'll also need 6 hours of darkness to help the roots grow.
There are two spectrums of light that plants need, but the best light spectrum for clones is red and blue.
Blue light helps the root system, and red light helps with plant growth and flowering.
You want to use more blue light initially to help with root growth.
Plants need red light too because it helps with photosynthesis which is required for growth.
You also need to watch out for heat and to make sure the light has enough distance from the leaves.
Yellowing and dried leaves happen if the light is too close or generates excessive heat.
You can use CFL lighting but pay careful attention to heat and distance.
Most growers choose an LED grow light for consistent growth, and they keep the area around your clones cool.
The Best Light for Cloning Cannabis
The lighttimetunnel get our nod as the best light for clones.
The light emits very little heat while delivering the right amount of light.
You want a light that is cool to the touch to save energy and for long-term use.
The panel has a total of 169 LED's to provide the best balance of red and blue light. It creates the perfect environment to grow healthy clones and higher yields when mature.
This is a great grow light that's used by hobbyists and commercial growers.
- A bit smaller than other lights
- Comes with 4 metal hanging cords and fastener
- Very little heat with adequate amount of light
- Short power cord
Great light for indoor use and easy to install because it fits into 36w sockets.
Low energy output and high-efficiency lighting means it light will last a long time.
Your clones will thrive because the LED lighting realistically mimics sunlight.
It offers the perfect spectrum of light that plants need during their lifecycle.
Heat from the light is spread out over an aluminum ribcage design.
- Easy to install
- Fits well into 36 watt sockets
- Low energy output with high-efficiency means a longer lasting light
- Not ideal for blooming
This grow light utilizes the right level of wavelengths to maximize efficiency and plant growth.
Excellent design and made to fit in small spaces.
It has three blue and nine red LEDs to provide consistent light coverage for all phases of plant growth.
The wavelengths and light spectrum produce strong and healthy plants.
Easy to use because it fits any 36w socket.
Well constructed design using quality materials.
This light has been known to help your clone grow faster.
- Three blue and nine red LED lights to provide adequate coverage through all growth phases
- Helps clones grow faster
- Hard to diffuse the light
The Best T5 Lights for Clones
This compact product comes with absolutely everything you need to get your clones started off right.
A clear plastic, ventilated dome gives you immediate visuals on the growth of your babies.
Its roughly 7” high, give your plants ample room to take root and flourish, if you need other heights, these are also available.
The vented dome avoids the need for a secondary humidity system, as it catches the right level of moisture for a perfect growing environment.
The dome comes pre-fit with a T5 fluorescent grow light.
It also comes with a few other options, like a heated tray, which can boost the plant development even more so.
The tray with the Super Sprouter Deluxe Propagation Kit is 10” by 20 “ and holds your preferred growing medium.
Unlike more common garden trays, this one doesn’t have any holes.
With the Art of Propagation booklet on hand, you will have your next round of clones rooting in no time at all.
If you’ve got a bigger project on the go, a small all-in-one kit just won’t cut it.
You’ll need to build your own clone growing set-up, and invest in this T5 HO Grow Light combination.
It comes with various lengths of lights, two foot or four foot, as well as with reflector and without.
Unless you’ve already got everything on lockdown, you’ll likely want to start with the reflector system.
The reflector helps catch and recycle both the light and heat, back into the grow instead of getting wasted into thin air.
This 2-Pack comes with two lights, 2500 lumens, and a 24W Input.
Importantly, depending on where you are growing, it comes in discrete brown paper packaging.
Nobody needs to know what you’ve set up in your basement!
Maybe 2500 lumens isn’t enough.
Maybe you need 5000 lumens to really get your little plants growing nicely, and taking root as quickly as possible.
Plus, with this bad boy, you can transition into different stages of growth.
With the German made reflector, you recapture 50 percent more light and heat than with other systems.
Despite the powerful output, this lighting system maintains a low-profile.
The low profile makes it easy to incorporate into your indoor grow operation without much reconfiguring.
The low profile comes with other benefits as well, including 30 percent less weight than other systems.
The lights are UL certified, and fully-integrate with other lighting systems.
This is another discreet shipment, with no identifying labels and brown paper packaging.
Maybe, you’ve followed all the cloning advice you can find, but still, your clones are struggling to take root.
No matter what tutorials you’ve followed, sometimes you’ll have an unpredictable failure.
If you’ve never cloned before, mistakes can be expected.
Let’s take your problems, and examine the root cause (no pun intended).
If they aren’t responding to the light, love, and nutrients you’ve dumped into them - here are a few common issues to consider for your next round.
Sometimes, you can’t save the clones, and it's better to start over again with a few adjustments to your cloning process.
Why Are My Clones Not Rooting?
There are a few common mistakes newbie growers experience when taking the cutting.
First, make sure your cuttings aren’t too small.
Small cuttings won’t have the same ability as larger cuttings to develop a healthy vibrant root system.
A second issue is one with the growing medium, something which most growers dip their cuttings into before placing it in a plug.
The growing medium must have the proper pH, which means using water with the appropriate pH balance.
Too much cloning solution can also overwhelm the little plants.
Less is more.
Finally, if you scrap the cutting too much in preparation for the cloning solution, you could remove the layer of the stalk that contains the growth hormone.
Plant growth hormone lives in the second layer of the ‘skin.’
If you scape too deep, you’ll remove the plant’s ability to regrow a root system naturally.
In your next round of cloning, keep these three common mistakes in mind and make some small adjustments.
Roots should develop within seven to ten days, and if not, it may be time to restart.
Other Common Cloning Issues to Note
There are still other common mistakes to keep an eye out for when getting started.
One is overwatering.
Technically you don’t need to water your clones beyond the initial planting.
Water the plugs, plant the seedling, and then let it be.
When spraying the young seedlings to boost humidity, do so outside of the container.
If you spray inside the growing tray, you can add too much moisture and cause mold and fungus to take root.
Spraying can be a great time to open the grow tray lid and allow fresh air inside.
Maintaining the right balance between fresh air and humidity is essential.
Why Are My Clones Already Sick and Infested?
Did you check the health of the mother plant?
If the mother plant was sick or infested, this will quickly fester in a clone.
Clones, which are baby plants, are sensitive to any infestation.
This can come with spores in the air, contaminated water, and especially contaminated soil.
It’s one of the reasons why soil might not make the best growing medium because it is so easily contaminated.
Commercial growers often clone in totally sterile environments to help reduce the risk of sick and infested clones.
They also fully disinfect any pots, trays, and containers which were used for previous grows.
If there was a previous issue with the grow, it’ll get wiped clean with a thorough cleaning and diluted disinfectant solution.
Also, avoid using tap water for clones.
Tap water may contain contaminants, or inappropriate pH levels, for successful cloning.
Use distilled water.
Why Isn’t the Light Working?
How much light are you exposing the clones to?
This could be a major issue for the little cuttings.
If you see your clones start to droop, or turn sickly, check the light schedule.
Sometimes less is more, just like with nutrients.
Minimal, soft lighting over a tray of clones covered by a plastic lid, will provide enough to get them started.
Too intense lighting can evaporate moisture from your little cuttings.
If you have purchased one of the more intense light fixtures mentioned above, they need to be hung higher than you normally would to help dilute the intensity before it affects the humidity level of the grow room.
If you're going to grow cannabis, learning how to clone is what it will take to take your harvests to the next level.
They allow you to have more harvests throughout the year and help you save money since you don't have to keep buying seeds.
Plus, once you find a strain that works perfect for you, it's awesome to be able to constantly replicate it.
If you are a serious grower, you'll want to grab one of the best lights for clones.
What do you think the best light for cloning cannabis is?
Let us know in the comments below!
Last update on 2019-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API