clone question

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by thegrowguy, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" width="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">this is my first time indoors and i was wondering how and when do i clone from the mother plant? thanks
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  2. When she's ready to give 'em, and how, just chop them off and plant them!

    The important thing to remember is that a clone has the same genetic age as its parent. So, if the mother plant is four weeks old, and you make a clone; two weeks later, the clone is six weeks old, genetically speaking. In other words, plant maturity is what matters.

    When a cannabis plant is ready to flower, its branching growth will change from symmetrical, to alternate (a young plant looks regimented, but as it matures, looks like it's going for a spiral). Waiting gives you higher yields, but from the point the branching changes, the cannabis plant has expressed it's desire to flower (like a teenager, you might say; too young for serious sexual activity, but it would work.)

    You can take clones from a mother plant at any stage of her life (so long as she hasn't gone into flowering - too late!) and they will root successfully. So long as a mother stays in veg, she's never too old to give up clones. Whether they will give you bumper yields or not depends on whether the clone is itself mature enough to do that, i.e. finish its life cycle.

    You didn't give any deatails about the plant, its strain, age, your particular growing style, or anything, so I can't give you an exact figure.

    For the actual physical techniques of cloning, search around the boards/web, there's loads of ways to do it successfully. Most people do "what works for them". If you understand the process, you can figure out a method that suits you best. With a little effort, you'll get to a 100% success rate in no time.

    Like I said, don't even know if you're a soil grower, so I can't give any more specific details.

  3. Great info there, but just one question;

    Why cant you clone during flowering?
  4. Well, you cartainly can, and many do. There are important issues to be aware of, is all.

    In the short term, a clone taken from veg will have more vigour, and will root more quickly. This is Nature's way of telling you when the best time is. I got the original info from a dream, but trusting my dreams, I've done a fair bit of research on the subject since...

    There are two separate mechanisms governing plant longevity. Firstly, "replicative senescence", aka. "cellular senescence"

    Every cell in a plant has a cellular hour glass (called "telomeres") which enables it to split and split again a number of times. Each mitosis causes the telomeres to shrink. When the are gone, no more cell division is possible, and death ensues. There's lots of research about telomeres in human cells, but research into plant telomeres isn't so comprehensive, and almost non-existant in relation to cannabis.

    Simply put, vegging is more about cell elongation, and flowering is much more cell division, so flowering uses up a lot more of the telomeres than vegging does, bringing us closer to that programmed genetic limit. And the closer the plant gets to this limit, the more likely it is to mutate, get diseases, lose vigour, etc. Basically, old age. Also, because this is genetic, different strains will have different limits.

    The second mechanism is "monocarpic senescence". Cannabis is an annual plant, and in nature, would die at the end of the flowering phase. Revegging is like taking an old person, on the brink of death, and bringing them not just back to life, but back into manual daily labour and child-bearing!

    Paradoxically, clones of flowering plants can initially seem to be more vigorous flowerers, and better yielders, but this is usually because the original plant, being grown in an indoor regime, hasn't yet reached its full maturity. Most growers only veg for weeks, not months, as in nature, so a second or third generation can often be much better. As clones have the age of their parents, the clone can carry on where the mother left off, maturity-wise.

    But this still wouldn't be as good as keeping a mother plant in veg and taking two or more generations of clones from her. Each generation would improve until the plant is old enough to fully express its genetic potential, and with no potential genetic drift or telomere shrinking. This factor is often overlooked in discussions about genetic drift through clones.

    It's well known that if you continue this clone-from-flower process through a couple of dozen generations, you will get lower yields, reduced potency and plant death. For an annual plant, cannabis has a remarkable ability to live for extended periods of time, and you could, in practice, probably get off with it for a year or two, with little noticable difference. But the difference is certainly there, no matter how subtle. Basically, if you want perfect genetics, you shouldn't run the life-cycle backwards at any point.

    True, most growers won't ever hit the genetic limits of the plant (because people are so eager to try something new, mostly), but why impair its potential even slightly? A mother plant that has never seen 12/12 will produce clones with all their telomeres potential available for your harvest.

    It is my hunch that Cannabis has a programmed limit on the telomeres usage for each stage of its life (we'll have to wait for research on this), and will always keep a reserve for flowering. The best plan, then, is to never trigger this reserve until you want the plant to complete its life cycle, that is, flower and die, be harvested.

    A mother plant (or daddy) never allowed to see 12/12, will keep for years and years. Some have been known to produce excellent clones even after ten or more years of service. I wouldn't expect a clone-of-a-flowering-clone-of-a-flowering-clone to achieve that. And, unless you bred her, her death would mean the end of those favoured genetics, bummer.


    ps. I'm flowering a batch of clones I made from a clone that was taken (by someone else) from a plant in flower, so it's definitely doable, just not ideal. These babies were gagging to flower, and after a 36hr darkness, showed sex immediately (though I already knew they were female, of course). The clippings are quite mind-bending already (five weeks in), but that's a lot to do with my growing style; if I had access to the original genetics, I'm fairly sure they would be even better.

    Anyways, I've been stressing out one plant trying to get a few seeds out of her, start again, so to speak.
  5. That was extremely informative! Thanks and +rep!
    Couple questions though...

    You said each plant has a 'reserve' of telomeres for flowering. If you pre-flower at some point within the veg stage, its undergoing flowering and therefore using up the 'reserve' telemores. Does this mean that when you actually flower your plant, the yield wouldn't be as high?

    Also, i'm guessing it is still possible to flower a mother plant that has been cloned a couple of times right? I'm nowhere near this stage in my grow i'm just curious.

  6. Pre-flowering is just a few small flowers, and nothng like the magic of "something from nothing" that happens when dank buds are being made. It won't make any measurable difference.

    A couple of times, sure. Any changes would be barely detectable at worst. It's really when you start to get into perpetual cycles with a strain that you need to be concerned. Like I said, a mother that's never seen 12/12 can produce genetically perfect clones for a decade or more, but someone relying clones-from-flowered-clones is going to hit a wall in a couple of years, and there's no going back.

    I have an obsessive desire to keep the integrity of things in tact, not only in my thinking about genetics (and don't get me started on breeders using hydro and HPS light!), but in lots of areas of my life, and though I'm fairly sure that a generation or two isn't going to make much difference with this amazing plant, it makes some, and that irks me.

    There will be a yield curve, beginning with a plant germinated directly into 12/12, and rising to the point of maximum maturity for yield, and then declining back to zero for a very old plant. But no matter what the shape of this curve is, and it would be good to have more data here, the never-flowered plant will remain fruitful for much longer.

    The "keeping a reserve" is a hunch, my theory about how clone mothers can survive for such long periods (there are records of clone mothers over twenty years old! not bad for an annual plant), and yet still produce clones capable of maximum yields. "Science" may yet bear me out here, but as with many things in the world of canna-science, we'll have to wait a long time for legitimate research to get done.

    But remember where you heard it first! ;)

  7. It's been a long time since I've read into telomeres, but I think I remember hearing something about a kind of telomerase which occurs naturally in the sex organs of people. This acts to maintain a 'full telomere reservoir' in the gametes. that way offspring have a full tank of gas to work with. you think its possible that maybe when plants are growing they're activating some kinda telomerase to fill up the telomere reservoir?

    you sound like you would already know,-mu, but for those who don't this analogy really helped explain telomeres and telomerase to me:

    DNA is like a shoelace.
    telomeres are like that plastic tubing on the end of a shoelace; They help keep the shoelace from getting worn out.
    as the shoelace ages that plastic piece comes off, and the shoelaces get worn out pretty easily.
    telomerase is like when you put tape on the end of your shoelace to replace that plastic bit.

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