Marijuana plants that are regenerated, cloned and even grown from seed will need to be pruned at some point to encourage the marijuana plant to produce as much as possible and remain healthy. Pruning the lower limbs creates more air-flow under the plants in an indoor situation and creates cuttings for cloning. It also forces the plant's effort to the top limbs that get the most light, maximizing yields. Marijuana plants that are regenerated need to have minor growth clipped so that the main regenerated growth will get all the plant's energy. This means that once the plant has started to regenerate lots of growth, the lower limbs that will be shaded or are not robust should go. The growth must be thinned on top branches such that only the most robust growth is allowed to remain. Once nice aspect of regenerating plants is that some small buds left on the marijuana plant in anticipation of regeneration will not sprout new growth and may be collected for smoke. The marijuana plant may provide much smokeable material if it is caught before all the old flowers dry up and die with the new vegetative growth occurring.Try to trim a regenerated marijuana plant twice. Once as it is starting to regenerate, collect any bud that is not sprouting with new growth and smoke it. Then later, prune again to take lower clippings to clone and thin the upper growth so that larger buds will be produced. If a regenerated marijuana plant is not pruned at all, the resulting marijuana plant is very stemmy, does not create large buds and the total yield will be significantly reduced.
Harvesting and Drying
Harvesting is the reaping of the bounty, and is the most enjoyable time you will spend with your garden. Marijuana plants are harvested when the flowers are ripe. Generally, ripeness is defined as when the white pistils start to turn brown, orange, etc. and start to withdraw back into the false seed pod. The seed pods swell with resins usually reserved for seed production, and we have ripe sinse buds with red and golden hairs. It is interesting that the time of harvest controls the "high" of the buds. If harvested "early" with only a few of the pistils turned color, the buds will have a more pure THC content and will have less THC that has turned to CBD and CBN's. The lessor psychoactive substances will create the bouquet of the pot, and control the amount of stoneyness and stupidness associated with the high. A pure THC content is very cerebral, while high THC, high CBD, CBN content will make the marijuana plants more of a stupid, or hazy buzz. Marijuana buds taken later, when fully ripened will normally have these higher CBN, CBD levels and may not be what you prefer once you try different samples picked at different times.
Don't listen to the experts, decide yourself based on what you come to like yourself. Keep in mind, a bud weighs more when fully ripe. It is what most growers like to sell, but take some buds early for yourself, every week until you harvest, and decide how you like it for yourself. Grow the rest to full maturity if you plan to sell it. Most new growers want to pick early, because they are impatient. That's OK! Just take buds from the middle of the cannabis plant or the top. Allow the rest to keep maturing. Often, the tops of the plants will be ripe first. Harvest them and let the rest of the marijuana plant continue to ripen. You will notice the lower buds getting bigger and fuzzier as they come into full maturity. With more light available to the bottom portion of the marijuana plant now, the marijuana plant yields more this way over time, than taking a single harvest. Use a magnifier and try to see the capitated stalked trichomes [little THC crystals on the buds]. If they are mostly clear, not brown, the peak of floral bouquet is near. Once they are mostly all turning brownish in color, the THC levels are dropping and the flower is past optimum potency, declining with light and wind exposure rapidly.
Don't harvest too late! It's easy to be too careful and harvest late enough potency has declined. Watch the marijuana plants and learn to spot peak floral potency. Do not cure pot in the sun, it reduces potency. Slow cure hanging buds upside down in a ventilated space. That is all that is needed to have great sensi. Drying in a paper bag works too, and may be much more convenient. Bud tastes great when slow dried over the course of a week or two. If your in a hurry, it's OK to dry a small amount in-between paper sheets or a paper bag in a microwave oven. Go slow and check it, don't burn it. Use the defrost power setting for a slower, better drying. It will be harsh smoking this way though. A food dehydrator or food preserver will dry your pot in a few hours, but it will not taste the same as slow-dried. Very close though. And this will speed your harvest time [which can be nerve-wracking, with all this pot hanging around drying]. Dry buds until the stems are brittle enough to snap, then cure them in a sealed tupperware container , burping air and turning the buds daily for two weeks. Once experienced grower told me to dry in an un insulated area of the house [like the garage] so that the temperature will rise and fall each night, as the marijuana plant is drying. If you treat the marijuana plant as if it were still alive, it will use some of it's chlorophyll while it is drying, and the smoke will be less harsh.
Cloning is asexual reproduction. Cuttings are taken from a mother marijuana plant in vegetative growth, and rooted in hydroponic medium to be grown as a separate marijuana plant. The offspring will be plants that are identical to the parent marijuana plant. Cloning preserves the character of your favorite marijuana plant. Cloning can make an ocean of green out of a single marijuana plant, so it is a powerful tool for growing large crops, and will fill a closet quickly with your favorite genetics. When you find the marijuana plant you want to be your "buddy" for the rest of your life, you can keep that plant's genetic character alive for decades and pass it on to your children's children. Propagate and share it with others, to keep a copy, should your own line die out. A clone can be taken from a clone at least twenty times, and probably more, so don't worry about myths of reduced vigor. Many reports indicate it's not a problem. Cloning will open you to the risk of a fungus or pests wiping out the whole crop, so it's important to pick plants that exhibit great resistance to fungus and pests. Pick the marijuana plant you feel will be the most reliable to reproduce in large scale, based on health, growth rate, resistance to pests, and potency. The quality of the high, and the type of buzz you get will be a very important determining factor. Take cuttings for clones before you move marijuana plants from vegetative grow area to the flowering area. Low branches are cut to increase air circulation under the green canopy.
Rooted marijuana clones are moved to the vegetative growth area, and new clones are started in the cloning area using the low branch cuttings. Each cycle of growth will take from 4 to 8 weeks, so you can constantly be growing in three stages, and harvesting every 6 to 8 weeks. Some types of marijuana plants are more difficult to clone than others. Big Bud marijuana is reported to not clone very well. One of our favorite marijuana plants, New York Diesel, is the most amazing pot you'll ever smoke, but it is hard as hell to clone. What a challenge! We noticed other varieties that were rooting much quicker, but it was the stone we were after! Once you find the psychoactive, almost hallucinogenic properties of some indica/sativa hybrids, you never want to smoke a pure cannabis Indica again. Indica is however, great medicinally, so we like to grow a few pure marijuana seed strains too. If a marijuana plant is harvested, you can sample it, and decide if you want to clone it.Pick your favorite two or three distinctly different types of marijuana plants to clone, based on trying the harvested marijuana plants. The plants you want to clone can be regenerated by putting them in constant light. In a few weeks, you will have many vegetative cuttings available for cloning and preserving your favorite marijuana plants. Always keep a mother marijuana plant in vegetative mode for any strain you want to keep alive. If you flower all your clones, you may end up killing off a strain if you don't have any marijuana plant devoted to being a mother. After two months, any marijuana plant can be cloned. Flowering plants can be cloned, but the procedure may take considerably longer. Its best to wait, and regenerate vegetatively plants that have been harvested. A single regenerated | harvested marijuana plant can generate hundreds of cuttings. Before taking cuttings, starve the marijuana plant for nitrogen for a week at least, so that the marijuana plant is not extremely green, as this will make rooting take longer. Take cuttings from the bottom 1/3 of the marijuana plant, when doing ordinary pruning. Cut young growth tips from a vegetative stage, mature marijuana plant 3 to 5 inches | 7.5 to 12.5 cm long with a stem diameter 0.25 to 0.5 inch | 0.5 to 0.75 cm.
Cut with a sterile razor blade or X-acto knife [flamed] and immerse the cut end of the clone into a tub of distilled water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon Peters 5 | 50 | 17 per gallon | 3.5 liter. Next, cut the bottom .2 inch | 5 cm off the end while it is submerged, using a diagonal cut. Remove the clone from the tub and dip into a liquid cloning solution following instructions on the label. Dust and place in cloning tray or medium. Flowering marijuana plants can be cloned too, but may take longer, and may not have as high a success rate. Cloning goes quickest with the liquid rooting solutions, in a warmed, aerated tray, with subdued lighting and high humidity. Placing cuttings into 1 inch | 2,5 cm rockwool cubes in a covered tray works great too. In a closet, you can make space above the grow area so that the heat of the lamp warms the tray [passive collecting] and spare the expense and hassle of the aquarium heater or agricultural heating pad w/ thermostat [pricey]. A double 4 inch | 10 cm fluorescent lamp will be perfect.
Leave lamps on for 24 hours a day. Cuttings should root in 2 to 3 weeks. I found only one liquid rooting hormone solution. A clear tray cover or greenhouse encloser is needed to bring up humidity to 90% [greenhouse levels]. Liquid rooting hormone seems to be much more effective than powders. Mix a weak cloning solution of high [P] plant food, trace elements, and epsom salts and then dip plants in rooting solution per instructions on label. All of the above nutrients should be added in extremely small amounts, 25% of what would normally be used on growing marijuana plants. Or use a pre made solution. Corn syrup has been reported to supplement the sugars needed by the marijuana plant during cloning, since it consists of plant sugars. Use a powder fungicide too, to be sure you don't spoil the clones with fungus. This is important, since clones and fungus like the conditions you will be creating for good rooting:
- mild light
- 72 to 80 °F | 22 to 27 °C
- high humidity
In rockwool, there is no need for airating the solution, just keep the cubes in 1/4 inch | 1/2 cm of solution so they wick and stay moist at all times. Try to keep clones evenly spaced, and spray them with water once a day to keep them moist and fresh. Pull out clones if they are diseased and dying, to keep them away from healthy starts. Another method is to float cuttings in a tray full of solution on polystyrene disposable plates, or styrene sheets [shipping/packing material] with holes punched, so the tops and leaves are out of the water. Take off all large leaves, leaving only smaller top leaves to reduce demand on the new rooting stalk. Aerate the tray solution with an air pump and bubble stone. Keep solution at 72 to 80 °F | 22 to 27 °C for best results. Change the solution daily if not using an air stone and pump, so that oxygen is always available to the cuttings. A week later, clip yellowing leaves from cuttings to reduce water demands as the cuttings start to root. Buy a tray with a clear cover made for rooting at an indoor gardening supply house. You must keep humidity very high for the clones.
Put cuttings in an ice chest with cellophane over the top and a light shining down if you don't want to pay for the grow tray and cover. It's also possible to directly place a dipped cutting in a moist block of floral foam with holes punched, or vermiculite in a cup; be sure to root cuttings in a constantly moist medium. Jiffy peat cubes are not recommended, as published reports indicate results were not good for rooting clones. Place starter cubes in tray of solution. Check twice a day to be sure cubes are moist, not drenched, and not dry. After about 2 to 3 weeks, rootlets will appear at the bottom of the pods. Transplant at this point to growing area, taking care not to disturb any exposed roots. One grower writes us: I have had virtually all attempted clones root with the following scheme:
- Prep cutting by removing large leaves on tip to be cut, allow to heal.
- While holding underwater, take final diagonal cut on stem to be rooted.
- Dip in Rootone, then spear stem about 2 inch | 5 cm deep in 16 ounce | 450 grams cups of ½ vermiculite, ½ perlite, which are kept in a styrofoam cooler.
- Spray cuttings with a [VERY] mild complete fertilizer solution
- Cover top of cooler with Saran Wrap, then punch holes for ventilation.
- Keep cooler in relatively mild temperature, low light, and spray cuttings daily.
- Cuttings should root in about three weeks.
Cloning is not as easy as starting from seed. With marijuana seeds, you can have 18 inch | 45 cm tall marijuana plants in six weeks or less. With clones, it may take six weeks for the marijuana plant to sprout roots and new growth. Marijuana seeds are easily twice as fast if you have empty indoor space being wasted that needs to be put to use quickly. Always breed a few buds for seeds, even if you expect to be cloning most of the time, you could get wiped out, and have nothing but your seeds left to start over. Cloning in rockwool seems to work great, and no airpump is needed.. A plastic tray is available that holds 77 cubes in pockets allowing the cubes to be held in a tray of nutrient solution. They are easily removed and placed in a larger rockwool growing cube when rooted.
It is possible to breed and select cuttings from marijuana plants that grow, flower, and mature faster. Some marijuana plants will naturally be better than others in this regard, and it is easy to select not only the most potent marijuana plants to clone or breed, but the fastest growing/flowering plants as well. Find your fastest growth marijuana plant, and breed it with your "best high" male for fast flowering, potent cannabis strains. Clone your fastest, best high marijuana plant for the quickest mono crop garden possible. Over time, it will save you a lot of waiting around for your marijuana plants to mature. When a male is starting to flower [2 to 4 weeks before the females] it should be removed from the female marijuana plants so it does not pollinate them. It is taken to a separate area. Any place that gets just a few hours of light per day will be adequate, including close to a window in a separate room in the house. Put newspaper or glass under it to catch the pollen as the flowers drop it. Keep a male marijuana plant alive indefinitely by bending it's top severely and putting it in mild shock that delays it's maturity. Or take the tops as they mature and put the branches in water, over a piece of plate glass. Shake the branches every morning to release pollen onto the glass and then scrap it with a razor blade to collect it.
A male marijuana plant pruned in this fashion stays alive indefinitely and will continue to produce flowers if it gets suitable dark periods. This is much better than putting pollen in the freezer! Fresh pollen is always best. Save pollen in an air tight bag in the freezer. It will be good for about a month. It may be several more weeks before the females are ready to pollinate. Put a paper towel in the bag with it to act as a descant. A marijuana plant is ready to pollinate two weeks after the clusters of female flowers first appear. If you pollinate too early, it may not work. Wait until the female marijuana flowers are well established, but still all while hairs are showing. Turn off all fans. Use a paper bag to pollinate a branch of a female marijuana plant. Use different pollen from two males on separate branches. Wrap the bag around the branch and seal it at the opening to the branch. Shake the branch vigorously. Wet the paper bag after a few minutes with a sprayer and then carefully remove it. Large plastic zip-lock bags also. Slip the bag over the male branch and shake the pollen loose. Carefully remove the bad and zip it up. It should be very dusty with pollen. To pollinate, place it over a single branch of the female, zipping it up sideways around the stem so no pollen leaks out.
Shake the bag and the stem at the same time. Allow to settle for an hour or two and shake it again. Remove it a few hours later. Your branch is now well pollinated and should show signs of visible seed production in two weeks, with ripe seeds splitting the calyxes by 3 to 6 weeks. One pollinated branch can create hundreds of seeds, so it should not be necessary to pollinate more than one or two branches in many cases. When crossing two different varieties, a third variety of marijuana plant will be created. If you know what characteristics your looking for in a new strain, you will need several marijuana plants to choose from in order to have the best chance of finding all the qualities desired. Sometimes, if the two marijuana plants bred had dominant genes for certain characteristics, it will be impossible to get the marijuana plant you want from one single cross. In this case, it is necessary to interbreed two marijuana plants from the same batch of resultant seeds from the initial cross. In this fashion, recessive genes will become available, and the marijuana plant character you desire may only be possible in this manner.
Usually, it is desirable only to cross two marijuana varieties that are very different. In this manner, one usually arrives at what is referred to as "hybrid vigor". In other words, often the best marijuana strains are created by taking two very different strains and mating them. Less robust marijuana plants may be the result of interbreeding, since it opens up recessive gene traits that may lead to reduced potency. Hybrid offspring will all be very different from each other. Each marijuana plant grown from the same batch of seeds collected from the same marijuana plant, will be different. It is then necessary to try each marijuana plant separately and decide it's individual merits for yourself. If you find one that seems to be head and shoulders above the rest in terms of early flowering, high yield and get buzz, that's the marijuana plant to clone and continue breeding. In depth genetics is beyond the scope of this work.
When the female marijuana plant is not allowed to pollinate, it grows full of resin that was intended to make marijuana seeds. False marijuana seed pods swell with THC laden resin and the pistils turn red and orange and withdraw into the pods. Then the marijuana plant is harvested. Seeds are not part of the bud when the flowers mature. This is called Sinsemilla and simply means "No seeds".
It is possible to cross your favorite two female marijuana plants to create a new strain of marijuana seeds that will produce all female marijuana plants. Preferably, these two plants will be different types of marijuana plants, not from the same mother's seeds. This will create the best offspring, since it will not lead to inbreeding. It is easier to gauge the quality of female marijuana plants than male plants, since the smoke is more potent and easier to judge it's finer qualities. Marijuana plants from seeds created in this fashion will be all female marijuana plants since there will be no chance of male chromosomes from female parents. Use Gibberellic Acid on one branch of a female marijuana plant to induce male flowers. Spray the marijuana plant once every day for 10 days with 100 ppm | 100 ml. gibberellic acid. When the male cannabis flowers form, pollinate the flowers of your other target female marijuana plant you have selected. Just pollinate one branch unless you want lots of marijuana seeds! Once the branch has male flowers, cut the branch and root it in water, with glass under it to catch the male pollen when it drops. Use a rooting solution similar to the above cloning solution. Collect the pollen with a plastic bag over the branch and shake it. Use a razor blade to scrap up fallen pollen and add it to the bag too. It is also possible to pollinate the flowers of the marijuana plant you create the male flowers on, crossing it with itself. This is used to preserve a special marijuana plants characteristics. Cloning will also preserve the marijuana plants characteristics, but will not allow you to store marijuana seeds for use later. Crossing a marijuana plant with itself can lead to inbreeding problems, so it may not be the optimum solution in many cases.
Odors and negative ions
Negative ion generators have been used for years now to cut down on odors in a grow room, but reports are coming in that a negative ion generator will increase growth speed and yield. No true evidence to support this, however it does make sense, due to the fact that people and animals seem to be altered in a positive way by negative ions in the air, so plants may "feel" better too. Try putting one in the grow room. You may notice the buds don't have as much scent when picked, but that may be desirable in some cases. A negative ion generator does not have to be expensive depending on the type and power involved. Some have reversed cycles that collect the dust to a charged plate. It is also possible to use grounded aluminum foil on the wall and shelf where the ionizer sits, to collect these particles. Just wipe the foil clean once a month. It should be grounded to an electrical outlets ground wire. If you don't cover the wall and shelf with paper or foil, the wall will turn dark with dust taken from the air, and you will have to repaint that wall later.
O² to the marijuana roots is a big concern, since the marijuana plant requires this for nutrients to be available, and to rid itself of toxins, etc. One of the easiest things to do is use food grade hydrogen peroxide in the water to increase the availability of oxygen in the water. H² O² has an extra oxygen atom that will easily break away and can be used by the plant. Oxygen Plus is a plant food that contains 25% hydrogen peroxide and is perfect for this use. Using a planting medium that allows for plenty of aeration is also really important. Be sure you have good drainage by using Perlite, sand, or gravel in your mix and at the bottom of pots. Don't use a medium that holds too much water, or you may significantly reduce the oxygen available to the marijuana plant. More on that in the section on hydroponics. Aerating the water before watering is also a good idea. In the case of soil potted marijuana plants, use an air pump to aerate the water overnight before watering your marijuana plants, or put the water in a container with a cap and shake it up real good before giving to the marijuana plants.
Some growers report purified or distilled water helps their marijuana plants grow faster. Perhaps due to sodium and heavy metals found in hard water that are not present in purified water. Hard water tends to build up alkaline salt deposits in soil that lockup trace minerals, and cause iron, copper and zinc deficiencies. There are several types of purified water, but many are not free of minerals that could be causing salt buildup over an extended period of time. Tap water comes in two flavours. Hot and cold. The cold pipe has less calcium and sodium buildup in it and should be free of sediment once the water has been turned on and allowed to flow for 30 seconds. Hot water will have rust, lead deposits, and lots of sodium and calcium, so much so, you will see it easily. Use only the amount of hot water needed to make the water the correct temperature [ 70 to 80 °F | 21 to 27 °C ]. Tap water filtered through a carbon (charcoal) filter will be free of chlorine and most large particles, but will still contain dissolved solids such as sodium and heavy metals [ lead, arsenic, nickel, etc.].
Purified bottled water will be either Reverse Osmosis or some form of carbon/sediment filtered water. When purchasing water at a store, unless it says RO or Distilled, don't bother buying it. It could still have the same dissolved solids and heavy metals your tap water has.
A final comment
Good results can be had even in what appear to be rather marginal situations. [ 4 inch | 10 cm pot in a room with a skylight.] With the minimum of: well drained medium, good light with ventilation, regular application of a complete fertilizer, pest control, and avoidance of detection, anyone can take a viable marijuana seed to maturity.