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Mother Plant Care

  • Escrito por : Ciara
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Growing and maintaining a mother plant is a whole world in itself. Many growers stay far away from this process, as it can require an awful lot of time and even more space if you want to be as thorough as possible. Mother plants are essentially cannabis plants that are constantly kept in the vegetative stage in order to obtain clones, which are plants that grow identically to their main mother plant.

Of course, this process requires growing indoors and having a room and lighting system dedicated specifically for your mother plant. This is already enough to turn many growers off the idea, as not everybody has access to two different rooms for maintaining mother plants and then growing out the clones.

The Benefits of Mother Plants

There are many benefits, however, to having your own mother plant, one of which being that you will never run out of cannabis; you can plan it so that when your clones are ready to harvest, your mother plant is ready to produce more clones. Plus, you’ll be able to get incredibly balanced results, with your favorite strain and absolutely no changes to its effect or aroma.

You won’t need to spend any extra cash on seeds anymore, as you won’t need a single seed. You can pick your favorite plant, with the best possible terpene content, aromas and the exact effect you’re looking for. Of course, this process is going to take quite a long time if you want to choose the absolute perfect plant to clone. So, where should you start?

Step 1: Find a Strain for your Mother Plant, Grow the Seeds

The first thing you’ll need to do is think of your favorite strain, one that you’ve tried and is close or identical to what you’ve been looking for. Many people prefer to look for a strain with a high yield whereas others look for a particular flavor, others prefer the shape, others might want strains that can out up with the cold or fungi… There’s an entire world of strains, effects, tastes and properties, so be wise about the choice that you make.

Now, the important thing is to find the best particular version of the plant you’ve chosen. I think that around 20 plants should be enough to find an exceptional one, maybe even with 10; 5 can be tricky and you’d need to be lucky to find the perfect phenotype. Remember, this is a whole process in itself, and it will take at least from 5 to 6 months just to find that perfect mother plant.

Step 2: Cloning the Plants and Flowering the Seeds

Grow them just like you’d grow any other plant. After 18 hours of light for about a month and a half, you can start taking your cuttings. You’ll need to wait for them to get kind of big; if you clone when the plants are too small, you might lose the entire plant afterwards due to rot. Get about four cuttings from each plant if you can.

Once you have your clones ready to go, rooted and guaranteed to survive, you can then move them to a growth area where they can also be put under 18h of light, and then begin flowering your original seeds. Keep your clones alive while your plants flower, and you’ll begin seeing which one is the most similar to the one you want.

Step 3: Test your Clones

This is the best part of the process; trying all of the plants that have bloomed and been harvested. Call a couple of friends over and ask for their opinion while you’re at it! Then, you get to pick the one that’s the closest to what you’re looking for. Usually, you’ll end up with 3 or 4 that you really like.

Once this process is done, we like to give them a little test for fungi and whatnot. I take one clone from each plant that I’ve picked and then take them outside and introduce them to fungi like oidium. I leave them there for twenty days to see if the plants get infected or not. If you end up with a plant that hasn’t gotten any fungi on it, then that’s a winner; if it didn’t get infected by force then it won’t happen accidentally. This is a great way to tell if plants are fragile or not. I’ve already discovered a few practically immune strains by using this method.

Step 4: Grow Your Mother Plant

Now that you’ve found the perfect strain and phenotype, it’s time to grow your mother plant. Remember, having a plant that is resistant to rot and fungi is honestly very useful, due to the fact that one day they could end up catching it, and all of that hard work might have been for nothing. Also, if you decide to give away the rest of the clones make sure that you don’t end up giving another grower a plant that has fungi on it, as it could be disastrous for his or her crop.

Grab your chosen clone or clones and top them, which is essentially pruning the top of the plant. Once they grow out their branches you’ll need to cut the tips off the branches just once, leaving two other sprouts underneath wherever you prune to make sure that two more branches can grow from where you’ve cut. It’s better to give the plant the shape you want before getting the clones. Once your plants are ready to be pruned again, you need to prune the upper leaves rather than the lower ones so that the plant grows out wider at the top. Keep growing the plant that way and you’ll end up with around 40 calyxes pointing upwards, making for nice and straight clones which makes everything more comfortable.

It obviously takes some effort but when done it is extremely rewarding and you can get an incredible amount of yield from never-ending clones. Keep in mind that mother plants must be kept in their own room with a constant veg lighting schedule.

Step 5: Maintaining your New Mother Plant

Now that you have your precious mother plant ready to go, you need to maintain it and keep it alive. Growth fertilizers are definitely not enough; there are certain nutrients that mother plants need that those kinds of fertilizers just don’t have, so you’ll need to add some more things to your plant’s diet. It can hard to get the hang of. I’ve recently discovered Power Feeding for Mother Plants. This fertilizer comes in a powder format and contains macro and micronutrients that keep your plant extremely healthy; specifically designed for Mother Plants.

If you notice that your plant suddenly stops growing it’s because it’s filled the flowerpot up with roots and it needs a transplant; you’ll need to constantly transplant it until a certain point, in which it stops growing at around 20L. At this stage you’ll need to prune the roots and transplant it back to a 11L pot, leaving enough roots to fill a 7L pot so that it can grow some more. The plant will look sad for a couple of days but it should be happy again on the third day. You’ll need to do this every 5 months or so.

It’s extremely important to adjust the pH in your irrigation water due to how long the plant is going to spend in the same flowerpot. If you keep an eye on it you shouldn’t have any issues with nutrition and whatnot.

This topic is quite extensive and honestly this is just touching on it, but you get the idea of how to pick the right strain, clone and how to then take care of the plant the best you can to keep getting clones. We’ll write a more extensive article on the subject in the future, but I think this is a good base of information for those that are just starting out.

Growing & maintaining a mother plant can be a challenging, lengthy, rewarding and satisfying task if done properly. Read on to find out how.

What is a Mother Plant?

Wednesday January 30, 2019

A lmost all commercial grow facilities (and many private grows) begin growing their cannabis plants by taking cuttings off mother plants. By turning plant cuttings into clones, growers can speed their grow time and predict results with amazing accuracy. But that’s not the only reason to love mothers. If you’re unfamiliar with what a mother plant is, keep reading as we take a closer look at these integral parts of a cannabis grow!

What is a Mother Plant?

A mother plant is a plant that is grown specifically for cloning purposes. They are kept in a constant vegetative state and never transitioned over into the flowering stage. Cannabis plants are especially appealing to use as mothers because they are easy to clone and are resilient to the minor stress that accompanies plant cuttings.

Reasons to Keep a Mother Plant

There are many reasons to keep a mother plant, the first of which being the amount of time clones shave off the cultivation process. Because clones can be placed directly into a flowering light cycle, there needn’t be any lag time between crops – when one crop gets pulled to trim, another can go straight into the flower cycle. It is important to note, however, that the plant’s output will directly correlate with its size so smaller clones should be allowed to veg on their own until an optimum size is reached.

Perhaps the best reason to keep a mother plant, is because clones taken from a mother are exact genetic copies of each other.

One plant may produce around 10 solid clones in a single cycle all of which will produce the exact same strain qualities. Not only that, but clones taken from a female plant will always be female, as well (unless stressed into going hermie) so you’ll never have to worry about males pollinating your females.

Another great reason to cultivate cannabis from mother plants is the confidence inherent with growing the same crop over and over. Because clones are exact copies of their mothers, their grow patterns and nutritional needs will match as well. This not only helps novice growers perfect their cultivation process but also helps more experienced growers experiment with different cultivation techniques and growth mediums. By comparing the growth cycle of genetically identical clones, growers can learn which techniques produce optimum yield and which are best left untouched.

Tips to Keep Your Mother Healthy and Strong

Once you’ve decided to use a mother plant, you’ll need to start growing one. We suggest starting mother plants from seeds because seeds develop stronger, deeper taproots which is important for both nutrient absorption and structural integrity of the plant. We also suggest purchasing cannabis seeds from a reputable breeder (instead of using bag seeds) as these tend to possess stronger genetic traits.

After germinating your seeds, grow them under a vegetative light cycle until they begin showing signs of their sex. Male plants will begin developing seed sacks by the nodes whereas female plants will develop bracts and eventually hair-like stigmas intended to collect male pollen. Alternatively, you can force-flower a cutting by placing it in an 18+ hour light cycle for a few weeks. Males should be removed immediately while females can be flowered or used as mothers. Also remember to keep your mother plants in the vegetative light cycle to reduce stress and the likelihood of your plants turning into hermaphrodites.

When it comes to preserving your mother, always use organic nutrients and pesticides. Over the generations, your plant could develop a resistance to synthetic nutrients/pesticides thus reducing her ability to resist stress and infestation later in her life cycle.

Lastly, know when it’s time to put your mother plant to rest. Even with the best of care, your mother plant will begin to show signs of age after about a year or two. Growth will be less vigorous, clones will produce less weight, and signs of stress may become apparent. Therefore, we suggest storing seeds from your favorite plants so that, when it is time to put your mother plant to rest, you’ll already be prepared to start over again.

Final Thoughts

Mothers are truly special; they give us life, nurture us throughout adolescence, and instill our most important characteristics through the years. Cannabis mother plants are no different. Using a mother plant to grow cannabis is both easy and extremely rewarding giving us all the more reason to love the mothers in our lives.

Do you have any tips for maintaining mother plants? Share them with our readers in the comment section below.

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

An essential part of any continuous cannabis grow is a mother plant. Mother plants allow growers to keep their genetics as close to original as possible while outputting consistent flower. Keep reading to learn more about mother plants and why they're so essential to en effective cannabis grow.