This question arises just about everytime I mention the wonderful advantages of the Flowering clone. So, to answer a few questions that get asked frequently. I see a need for this post. A long while back a man named feral introduced us to a new way of taking clones that has taken away the need to top plants or try the fimming technique. Not only do they root well. They also will blow you away with how fast they develop branches.
What is a flowering clone?
Simply put, it is a clone taken at or around 21 days flowering or later. Day 21 seems to be the best time but clones can be taken at any point thereafter and you will get the same effect. Keep in mind. This isnt written in stone. I dont have facts for you but I do have experience with these litte giants. I just want to share something that may increase a yeild for someone out there. Keeping the numbers of plants down is a good idea for alot of growers out there. Medical growers often will have limits. If your out there and you have a medical card. It cant be stressed enough that you follow the guidelines. You guys are the bright future for mj reform in many countries. I can only envy you at the moment but one of these days I hope to be able to grow without so much fear. Okay, that said...lol. I knew I shouldnt have eaten those cookies before starting to write today...lol. I have taken clones just prior to harvest and had no problem rooting them. There are many myths out there concerning a flowering clones ability to root. As in many myths the clones get a bad rap. The truth is, a flowering clone is a fully mature plant. It is ready and willing to root quickly to continue its flowering process. The cambium layer is mature at this point making the formation of roots easier. The cambium layer is a celluar layer just below the bark from where the roots come from. So, truth is. They will and do root well.
Why use a flowering clone?
This is a simple question to answer. Just take a look at the attatched pictures. The branching power of the flowering clone is unbelievable compaired to any other clone I've dealt with. In fact, one usually has to prune some of these branches before flowering starts to direct energy into the larger cola's. I guess the proper question here is why one wouldnt use a flowering clone? I have seen products out there that boast that they stimulate branching. Lol.... why spend money on that when massive branching is simply a few clips away? Let me give you an example. I am currently growing a scrog with a single plant on each side. The screens are 3'x3'. I have 112 holes to be filled in each screen. Out of the 224 holes only 24 do not have a budsite in them. I counted the budsites on one half of one screen and came up with 62 so far and Im only 23 days into flowering so far. I've done seed grows in this fashion and never come up with the amount of sites I get with flowering clones. Another great application for the flowering clone is growing outdoors. I gave thirty of these little jewels to an outdoor cultivator a few years back. All the plants stayed low and got super bushy. To avoid detection a small profile plant is ideal for outdoor cultivators. Try this method once and I imagine you will never take a vegging clone again.
What is the best method to grow these clones?
I prefer a Scrog (screen of green) but alot of people out there use them for the natural way of growing. These clones are just plain old effective no mater which way you grow. They can even be used in the SOG (sea of green) method. Flowering clones in this application will grow straight up and form a nice large cola about 14-18 inches long if started into flowering at less than 6inches. Hydro bubblers, ebb n flo, turbotank, coco or soil these babies rock.
How do I take a Flowering Clone?
Just as you would any other clone. No special handling is needed here. Treat the clones as you would any other. Cut, scrap, dip and then into the medium. Is this your first time taking cloning? Have no fear. Just jump in there and clip away at them. Take a few more clones than you expect to use. This way if a few fail, you will have enough to get started. There are numerous guides and how to threads at this site to help you with the details (use the search tool to find what you need). I often times see new gardeners that are apprehensive about taking clones but these fears are quickly taken away with a little hands on experience. You have to find a system that works for you and stick with it. Remember the old saying, if it aint broke dont fix it. Well, that applies in cloning. Once you find what works for you stay with it.
How long do they take to root?
These clones usually are a little slower to regenerate but not to bad. I average about 14days till I start to see roots coming out the bottom of the rockwool cubes. That time will vary a little it seems with different strains. Some of them take forever and some root quickly. The clones should stay perky and upright. A small flo right above the humidity dome is all they need for light. Remove the humidity dome at least once a day to allow some fresh air inside. Do not walk off and forget about it. They will die quickly if left in the open air to long without a root system to support them. If the plants begin to wilt while the hood is off. This tells you that they have not formed roots yet. They still rely on the humidity to support their needs. Also, keep an eye out for new growth forming. Once it starts to emerge you have roots forming and the plant is responding well to its environment. Once I see roots starting to poke out the bottom I remove the paper and sink them into whatever medium I'm using. I normally will not wait for many roots to show. Once they show a few roots they can be transfered.The mature clone will start to throw out unserated leaves at first and it kinda looks a little odd. Not to worry though. Right behind the unserated leaves will emerge the normal leaf sets. Once they start to come around you will see the branching ability of these clones. Sometimes its best to at least tie down some main branches to promote a wider plant. Multiple cola's will form from these tie downs. A week prior to flowering a pruning session happens and once more at the two week period of flowering. You have to remember to leave yourself a few nice clones to be taken in the third week.
What mixture of nutrients do I use for these clones?
This may be a debateable item but this is what I do. I use a one gallon milk jug and keep it just for clones. I let the chlorine burn off first. Then add a capful of bloom, capful of B1 complex, capful of h2o2 and one half teaspoon of Dark Energy. I then soak the rockwool cubes in the solution overnite and then select my clones when the lamps come on in the morning. Since I've started using this mixture I have had minimal yellowing in the clones and the sucesss rate has been better.
Warmth is Key!
Important to remember that a little warmth for the new cuttings helps them along. I place my small container on top of a towel that rests upon a normal household heating pad on the low setting. This extra warmth not only keeps the new cuttings warm and cozy. It also makes the dome sweat keeping it damp constantly. I always add a small amount of mixture mentioned above to the rocks below. Then its time to sit back and wait. Dont ya hate that part? lol.
Will these clones improve my yeild?
Lol.... compaired to topping and fimming yes this will improve your harvest and make it happen faster. I truely do not think Im going out on a limb here (lol). When I say they will improve your grows I can say from experience that if done correctly it will without a doubt. When you top a plant everything stops. With a flowering clone that never happens. Never a slowdown. Its full tilt boogie from the time they start to regenerate till harvest time.
The pictures below speak volumes for the clones. I've been using them for a long time now and well, I just cant see another way of getting this much out of a plant. Give it a try and see for yourself. Have fun and stay safe, greenmonster714
Team NaturesHigh Rocks