Cannabis Science

How to Clone Weed

how to clone weed

Have you ever heard the term two is better than one? Well, that can apply to your favorite marijuana strain. It’s entirely possible for you to clone your favorite strain so you can have two instead of one. As a matter of fact, you can get as many plants as you want. When we think of cloning, you may picture scientists in a lab but anyone can clone a marijuana plant.

Feature photo source: Wikipedia Commons

But what is cloning exactly? Brittanica defines cloning as the process of generating a genetically identical copy of a cell or an organism. 

Why Do People Clone Marijuana Plants?

According to Cannabis Tech, marijuana cloning is a great way of producing the same type of cannabis plant without compromising on potency and getting whatever desired attributes you want. Cloning marijuana also has several benefits, which are that: 

  • Cloned plants grow faster than seed planted plants
  • Cloned plants are good quality
  • Cloning plants is inexpensive

The main problem with cloning cannabis is that is if one clone is susceptible to a viral infection, all of them will be. In addition to that, Cannabis Tech says the marijuana plant clones are susceptible to viral infections. The website said, “generational clones may be prone to viral infections from time to time. This is due that the cloned seeds need to adapt to a new environment, despite being capable of fighting infections.”

What Tools Do You Need For Cloning Cannabis?

Even though cloning a marijuana plant is relatively easy, it’s best to get the correct tools so you don’t end up wasting your time. 

Humidity DomeCreates controlled humid environment for propagation
Spray BottleTo spray water on the cloned plant
Pruning ShearsTo cut parts of the mother plant 
Razor BladeTo trim cuttings
Rooting GelSupply hormones needed for root development 
Rooting Set UpA medium for the clones to grow out of
Cup of Tap Waterwhere you rest the cuttings if you’re using the soil method.
Source: Mel Magazine and Leafly

You may not need all of these tools or may need something else beyond this, it really just depends on the method you’re going to be using. If you aren’t sure of what the methods are, keep reading!

What are the Different Marijuana Plant Cloning Methods?

There are three main ways to clone a marijuana plant according to Cannabis Tech. The tree ways highlighted are the water method, soil method, and Rockwell method. 

Water Method

According to Cannabis Tech, this is the easiest method of all. A very basic summary of this method is to cut the stalks of the mother plant and leave them in some water with plant food. These cannabis plants should be kept away from direct sunlight and look out for algae. 

Soil Method

According to Cannabis Tech, “the soil method involves putting the stalks of the plants into the soil — while ensuring the soil is not overwhelmed with nutrients.” They also noted that you’ll be ready to transplant after about 2 weeks. 

Rockwool Method

According to Cannabis Tech, this method doesn’t use soil, just Rockwool cubes or steel wool cubes. These cubes are effective because they retain high levels of air and water. 

Other Methods

In addition to these methods, there are many videos on YouTube that use coco pods to grow the weed and that’s the method we’ll explain later. 

Whichever method you chose, you should make sure you’re working in a sterile environment with sterile tools. 

How to Pick a Mother Plant To Clone From 

Picking the right mother plant is very important. After all, if the mother plant has undesirable characteristics or issues, its clones certainly will also. According to Leafly, pick a mother plant that is  “healthy, sturdy, and at least two months into the vegetative cycle”. 

In addition to that, make sure you fertilize the mother plant a few days prior to cutting from it. The reason for doing this, is that the nitrogen will have enough time to make its way out of the leaf. Excessive nitrogen, according to Leafly, “will trick your clones into attempting to grow vegetation instead of diverting energy to rooting”.

How To Prepare Cuttings

Take great care when preparing your cuttings or else your clone may die before it has really been born.  A YouTube video titled How To Clone Cannabis Plants (Quick & Easy) goes into a bit more detail about the preparing cuttings. 

Step 1: Select a branch between 2-8 inches long, with at least 3 sets of leaves on them. In addition to that, make sure there is a little space left on them so the stem can be trimmed.

Step 2: Place the cuttings into the water while you work so that you can prevent bubbles from getting into the stem and killing them. 

Step 3: Remove the leaves at the bottom. Leave about three sets. Also, cut off the tips of the leaves. This is done to shut down photosynthesis and encourage the development of leaves. 

Step 4: Cut the stem at an angle using a razor blade to expose as much of the stem cells to the medium for root development, and dip into a rooting hormone gel. 

How to Plant Your Cuttings

There are several mediums you can use to plant the cuttings such as: water, soil and the Rockwell method.

Water Method

According to I Love Growing Marijuana, the water method is simply putting your cuttings into a container of water that has a pH of 5.8. The website suggests using a 16 oz plastic bottle due to the fact that you’ll able to hold up the plant better. In addition to that, add plant food, submerge the plant and mix it around every couple of days to inhibit the growth of algae. Using a dark container will also prevent algae. According to the website, “algae can easily clog your roots and cause the clones not to grow properly.”. If you do see algae, change the water. Make sure it gets indirect sunlight until the new leaves start to grow. 

Soil Method  

According to I Love Growing Marijuana, all you have to do is stick the cuttings, which would have been dipped in rooting gel or powder, into saturated potting soil under CFL lights. Of course, you’ll have to water the soil, spray the plants, and use a propagator over the top for the humidity and warm temperatures. 

Rockwool Method

According to Safer Brand, Rockwool is made by heating basalt rock and chalk to extremely high temperatures and then spinning them in chambers that turn them into fibers.

According to I Love Growing Marijuana, the Rockwool method involves soaking the Rockwool in water that has a pH of 5.5 for a few hours. Afterward, dip the cutting in rooting gel or powder and then place it in a Rockwool cube under a CFL light. Afterwards, put them in a propagator and keep it at the ideal temperature. According to the website, “the ideal temperature is around 72-75*F (22-24*C) and humidity over 90%. 

The roots should start appearing in 8-12 day, then you can transplant. 

Coco Pods

According to the YouTube video How To Clone Cannabis Plants (Quick & Easy), this is how you plant your cuttings using coco pods:

Step 1: Soak coco pods in water and “squish” them so it’s only damp but not soaking wet.

Step 2: Place the cuttings into the coco pod about an inch downwards. 

Step 3: Cover over the pods using a humidity dome. The humidity dome should keep the cuttings humid since that’s necessary. The video suggests keeping humidity at 70% and the temperature should be about 24 degrees Celsius or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They suggested that the cuttings should be sprayed with RO water that was pH balanced to 6.1 twice a day for the week. Open the vents and spray once a day afterwards. 

After about 10 days, pull up and check for roots. If the roots are white and about 1-2 inches long then it’s time to transplant. 

You can watch videos for the water method, soil method, Rockwell method and coco pods method by clicking the hyperlinks. 

How to Transplant Your Clones 

You’ll know when your clones are ready to be transplanted into the soil when they have grown roots. According to Leafly, when transplanting clones make sure the soil you’re putting them in has been watered to prevent the plant from moving around too much. Afterwards, using your fingers you can dig a hole that is 1-2 inches deep once the water has drained from the soil. Finally, put the clone in and gently cover it with soil. 


Cloning marijuana plants is a great way of getting more and more of your favorite strain of weed. While there are many methods to consider and conditions to maintain, cloning a cannabis plant is not as hard as it sounds. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].