Cloning weed with an aero cloner is a way to quickly create a bunch of cannabis plants from a single, larger mother plant. The idea behind cloning is to cut off a piece of a specific plant then force that branch or “cutting” to grow roots. After your cutting has rooted, you have a new cannabis plant that’s essentially an identical copy of the mother plant. Which means that clones will have similar growth patterns, bud structure, yield potential, THC levels, etc. as the plant they were cut from. If you’ve got a great plant or outstanding genetics, take clones to continue growing that excellent plant for your next grow.
A “clone” is when a piece of a plant grows its own roots. The new plant is a small but otherwise identical copy of the parent plant.
Once you have roots, plant in a container and start growing. Clones usually grow faster than plants grown from seed.
The simplest way to clone weed is to cut off the end of a branch and stick the cutting in a glass of water until it grows roots. The downside to this method is that clones take up to 6 weeks before they grow roots (each cutting is different).
So what’s the fastest way to make a bunch of clones that are all ready at the same time? In many cases, the answer may be an aeroponic cloner.
Cannabis cuttings in a hydroponic system known as an aeroponic cloner (“aero cloner”) typically create roots within 14 days. The technique that we prefer and have excellent success with is called Griffin’s Tech Cloning Technique (#griffinstech). When done properly, you will have amazing clones ready to transplant with 100% success rate in less than 14 days!
Ready to get started? This tutorial will show you how to get roots quickly in an aero cloner!
Supplies needed for cloning in an aero cloner
- Mother plant with stems at least 7 inches long
- Aero Cloner (either pre-made or DIY)
- Cup(s) (to hold cuttings before being put in the cloner)
- T5 Fluorescent Grow Light or HLG LED Grow Light – 65W
- UC Roots
- PermaClone Cloning Collars (optional)
- Floralicious Plus (optional)
- Rechargeable Fine Mist Spray Bottle (optional)
Some high-quality aero cloning machines
Fastest Aero Cloning Technique / Step-by-Step Process
Sometimes referred to as Griffin’s Tech Cloning Technique (#griffinstech). This is our modified version which has been bringing us cloning success for several years now.
If you’re had issues with your cloning process in the past (i.e. excessive rooting times, root rot, Pythium, etc.), use a pair of latex gloves to disassemble your cloner and pump entirely. Use a clean brush to scrub all surfaces and crevices with hot water, a little soap, and 5 ml/gal bleach water. Rinse and reassemble your cloner. This should only need to be done once.
Step 1) Fill cloner reservoir with clean water from a sterile source. Add 2-3 ml/gal of Hormex (Vitamin B1 and Hormone concentrate) , pH to 6.0, install collars with gloves, add 10 ml/gal UC Roots (Root Zone Optimizer), let cloner run 15 minutes.
Step 2) Take larger cuttings (roughly 6-9 inches). Make the cut 1/2 inch below a node and clean up 2-3 inches of the lower portion of the stem. Allow your cuttings to soak in a cup of RO water, with 20 ml/gal UC Roots for at least 1 hour after taking them to prevent air pockets/embolisms.
Step 3) Now, to add your cuttings to the cloner. Make a fresh secondary cut, immediately before adding each cutting to the cloner, at the base of the closest node up which should be roughly 1/2 inch above your first cut. Found at each node, is a plug of carbohydrates that aid in the rooting process. Making a fresh cut also helps prevent embolisms.
Step 5) Add 2 ml/gal UC Roots every other day.
Step 7) Patiently wait for roots!
*Tip – Spray your cuts with a foliar Floralicious Plus solution everyday to keep the cuttings green and happy. This also helps with humidity and stress issues.
How long before roots? All cuttings usually have roots within 14 days. However, each cutting is a little different so it’s difficult to give an exact timeline. Some cuttings may take a few more days before they’re ready to plant. If you’re cloning multiple strains at the same time, you may notice that some strains make roots quicker than others. Genetics plays a surprisingly big role in how well a particular plant reacts to cloning.
The next section shows you how to do that in soil or coco, then I’ll show you how to add your clones to a hydroponic tub.
Note: As long as your cutting has at least a few roots, you’re good to plant it. You don’t necessarily need to wait until you have long roots like the one above. Using some kind of mycorrhizae at transplant to give your plants a boost and help them transition to full feeding and light.
Standard aero cloner cleaning
Rinse clone collars in hot water, scrub off and remove any debris or algae, place back in cloner. Fill cloner reservoir with hot water and 5 ml/gal bleach and run for at least 8 hours. Drain and refill with plain tap water, then run for 15 minutes. Drain and sterilize collars using standard Permaclone methods (view here).
When do I add nutrients to aeroponics clones?
Clones in an aeroponic cloner should be fed nutrients right away at a minimum of 1/4 strength.
How long for clones to root in aero cloner?
Clones will root in 10 days or less in an aero cloner.
What is an Aero Cloner?
An aero cloner is a container that maintains ideal water and oxygen to a plant stem by constantly spraying the stem with water.