Cloning is an interesting practice that’s used almost everywhere. In fact, it’s one of the oldest farming techniques still used today – it’s quite literally biblical. Cloning also happens to be an important part of the process of growing cannabis, especially for professionals and enthusiasts who need to preserve genetics as they continue growing new plants.
That said, cloning cannabis seeds is not a cut and clear process as it is for many other plants. Things are especially complicated when working autoflowering and feminized seeds.
The big question remains, is cloning auto-feminized seeds even worth the time and effort?
What is Cloning and How Does it Work for Cannabis Seeds?
Plant cloning or plant propagation is a form of reproduction for certain plants where cutting and planting a part of one plant grows into a full-grown plant. Since this form of reproduction is asexual (only requiring one plant), the cloned plant uses only one pair of DNA, becoming a true copy of the original.
This simple yet elegant method has been paramount in modern agriculture, making it possible for humans to create specialized plant strains and then make them commercially available.
When it comes to hemp and the cannabis plant, things aren’t too different. For instance, normal photoperiod strains are cloned all the time. Using cuttings from existing plants instead of new seeds is a fast and economical method of creating new cannabis plants. There are different methods of cloning traditional cannabis plants, from growing in rockwool to simply placing a cutting in water and letting it grow.
Can You Clone Autoflower Seeds?
Photoperiod strains are relatively easy to clone but the same cannot be said for their autoflowering counterparts. Unlike photoperiod strains that begin flowering with the light cycle, autoflowering seeds are carefully bred to make light cycles irrelevant and ensure blooming as long as the seeds receive the right amount of light per day.
Related: Autoflowering Seeds Feminized THCa
Needless to say, this introduces complications for cloning. Some debate that it’s straight-up impossible to clone auto flower seeds but that is incorrect. You can clone autoflower seeds but you will not get consistent results and it’s possible that the entire attempt may be unsuccessful.
What Happens When You Clone Autoflower Seeds?
So what exactly happens when you clone auto-flower seeds and how is the process any different from cloning photoperiod strains? Well, there are two things to remember. Firstly, plants know when to flower thanks to their genetic information. This information can and is influenced by the plant’s circadian clock and the light it receives.
Secondly, a cloned plant also copies the genetic information from its parent plant, genetic information up to the point of cutting.
Together this means that we have a small plant that needs to grow but is genetically the same age as a fully-grown plant.
But photoperiod strains can still use their internal clock and light to determine when to bloom. Autoflowering strains, on the other hand, were developed to forgo these genetic tools. Therefore, cloned autoflower plants often yield no flowers and remain underdeveloped plants.
That said, cloning autoflowering strains is not a lost cause. Some people have managed to clone autoflower strains by following very specific procedures such as timing when to cut but even then the results are only subpar.
Can you Clone Feminized Seeds?
Another type of cannabis seed is called feminized seeds. These seeds are bred to only produce female plants that will guarantee you flowers and eliminate the need to look for and remove male plants. Autoflowering strains of feminized seeds do exist but you can find regular photoperiod feminized seeds as well.
And the good news is that feminized seeds react to cloning the same way photoperiod seeds do – positively.
So if you’re interested in experimenting with cloning, grab some high-quality feminized seeds and pick your method of cloning. We recommend cloning in water if you’re new. Also, get more seeds that you think you’ll need so you can experiment more freely.
Should You Clone Auto Seeds and What’s the Alternative?
In our experience as enthusiasts and manufacturers, it’s not worth the effort to clone autoflowering seeds because it almost never works. Cloning is meant to make growing cannabis easier for beginners but the complications of cloning autoflowering seeds defeat the purpose. In fact, it’ll just be cheaper to buy some more autoflowering seeds.
If you still want to clone a specific strain that you like, go with feminized photoperiod seeds. Smoky Mountain’s high THCa genetics feminized seeds come in 22 unique strains and flavors so you’re bound to find something you like.