Mother plants, also known as donor plants, are an excellent option to source cuttings to be used in cloning your favorite marijuana strains. Using mothers, planters reap a plethora of benefits, including repeatable and known characteristics, standardized nutrient and growth profiles, and guaranteed females. More importantly, donor plants can live for many years when well-kept, ensuring sustained productivity.
Just like any other plant species, you can clone many different strains of marijuana from respective mother plants. One popular method to raise cannabis clones at home is to try out the Bonsai mother plant. The word Bonsai loosely translates to “planted in a pot". If you don’t have a large area for growing, the Bonsai mother is the way to go! So, let’s look at the steps to creating and maintaining this type of cannabis mother plant.
Benefits of Bonsai donor plant
Before looking at the simple steps of creating and maintaining this type of cannabis donor plant, let us briefly note some of its benefits. First, the technique for raising this plant is possible using almost any small container. When first starting out, most people usually use a 2-inch container. By using such a small container, you can keep up to thirty-six mothers in one square foot. Secondly, a single two-inch Bonsai has the ability to produce between five and ten cuttings every cycle. Lastly, it is the most efficient and flexible way of raising cannabis clones.
Steps on how to create and maintain Bonsai donor plants
• Step 1: Choosing the right clone
A Bonsai mother is first raised using the cloning technique. First, you need to get your cutting from a mature mother plant of your choice and transplant it into a container. A 16 oz solo cup is a good size to start with. Your clone will typically take several days to root and become established.
• Step 2: Transplant into a larger container
After your clone has been in the solo cup for 4 days, it is time to transplant it into a larger container on the 5th day. A good size would be about 1.5 quarts. Be sure the soil is dry when you transplant your mother into a new container. It is best to add a couple of inches of fresh potting soil in the bottom of the pot before adding your plant. Once your plant is in the new container, go ahead and fill in the pot with fresh potting soil.
• Step 3: Let your plant grow then start pruning
It is best to let your plant grow, undisturbed, for 2 days before you begin topping or pruning. On the 7th day, after you initially planted your clone in the solo cup, it is time to top your plant. Topping is where you cut the plant back so it doesn’t grow too tall. It is best to cut your plant back, leaving 3 or 4 nodes. The nodes are where additional branches will form. Continue topping your plant about once a week or so until it reaches the desired bushiness. Always top the tallest growth off of your Bonsai mother to keep her from growing too tall.
• Step 4: Fertilizer
Just like any other vegetation, your mother plant will need the proper nutrients. As it is growing, it is advisable to use diluted nutrients in order to increase the nitrogen to carbon ratio while slowing down vegetative growth. Always flush the pot regularly with clean, pure water (or using a flushing solution) to avoid nutrient lockout.
• Step 5: harvesting
After at least two months, your Bonsai mother plant is ready for first harvesting. Cannabis mothers should always be kept in a vegetative growth phase just before cutting. This means that it should receive 18 to 24 hours of light each day. If this condition is maintained, then you can harvest cuttings you’re your mature Bonsai donor plant. After this cutting, once again, the mother is trimmed as low as possible.
If you follow the steps explained herein to the letter, then you should be successful in creating your mother Bonsai plant for cloning. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of your cultivation while raising as many new cannabis plants as possible each cutting session. If you are located in Oregon make sure your clones are OLCC approved if THC mothers. If you have hemp mothers, make sure your clones and mothers are ODA approved.