The other day, I was busy with changing things over in my veg room and flowering tent. I was also cutting and preparing some clones of Gorilla Glue #4 for a hopeful and healthy outdoor grow this season when a friend of mine stopped by. He never saw the cloning process before and had all kinds of questions for me. As I was cutting some potential candidates, he asked me why I wasn’t cloning that one? The one he was asking about is an auto-flower strain of Sweet Cheese.
After I was done explaining it to him to the best of my knowledge, I realized what a great topic this would be; therefore, I’m going to do my best and try to remember my conversation from a few days ago? I’m sure my friend isn’t the only one who doesn’t know why it’s not a good idea to clone an auto-flowering cannabis plant?
What’s an Auto-Flower Strain?
An auto-flower strain is different than photoperiod (traditional) strains that have a typical 16 to 18-week life cycle. What happens for an auto-flower strain is they go from a vegetative state to the flowering cycle without making any changes to the environment. They also start to bud without adjustments to the lighting schedule.
Traditional strains require 12-hours of darkness to initiate the flowering cycle. This imitates its natural environment outside that works in unison with the sun and is the reason why planting cannabis outdoors in the spring allows the plant to be finished with its life cycle before winter arrives.
Auto-Flowering Clones Follow the Mother’s Genetic Timeline
The life cycle for an auto-flowering strain is about 10-weeks to harvest; therefore, when you cut a clone from an auto-flowering strain it follows the same growth cycle as the mother plant. For example, if your mother plant was 3-weeks old at the time of cloning? It will take at least 2-weeks before there are any signs of roots popping out of the starter plugs.
At this point, there’s only about 5-weeks left for the auto-flowering plant to finish its life cycle. Clones from an auto-flower strain are generally very small and don’t produce more than a few popcorn buds.
Advantages to Auto-Flowering Strains
The advantage that I find with auto-flowering strains is having a harvest in between my other harvests. I only have room to flower two photoperiod indoor plants at a time, but I have more space in my veg room than I do my tent; therefore, I can get away with letting an auto-flower strain do its thing in the corner.
I also like the fact that the quality of the cannabis is just as good as a traditional strain, but I’ve also discovered the bounty isn’t as much? On the other hand, the biggest advantage of growing auto-flowering strains is saving money when you run out of weed in between traditional harvests.
#Cloning Auto-Flowering Strains