If you have gone to all the work to clone your cannabis mothers, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety about whether the clones are rooting. Unfortunately, without digging to look at the roots, you really cannot tell if the clone is rooting or not. So how do you tell if clones are rooting? You can get a pretty good indication by using one of the following two methods:
How to Tell if Clones are Rooting — The Gentle Tug
The keyword here is gentle. There is almost no effort at all. Grasp the clone at the internode — the space between branches — and barely try to pull it out of the pot or propagation bag. A healthy clone with roots will put up resistance to being uprooted. A clone that does not have roots will come out of the pot easily. Note: What you are checking for here is the resistance. You don’t want to pull the clone out of the pot. Cannabis and hemp roots are very thin and fragile. Even a clone that moves when you give it the tug test may have small roots that are just starting. You don’t want to disturb those new roots at all.
How to Tell if Clones are Rooting — Inspecting the Clones Health
A safer way to check if your clone has roots is to evaluate the condition of the clone. Clones with a lot of roots will be pushing new leaf buds. As a result, their color will be vivid and alive. A struggling clone may also have roots, but it will likely not push leaf buds. As a result, the color is more dull-green, fading to yellow. Also, note the color of the stem where it enters the growing medium. A stem that is turning black is dying. A stem that remains green is healthy.
Whether you are cloning cannabis or hemp, the tug test or inspecting the clone’s health are two ways to get an idea of how far the clone is into the root development process.
Other Issues that Effect Clone Rooting
Cannabis and hemp clones need moisture, humidity, and light. In terms of moisture, the key is moist but not soggy. You want to keep the medium consistently damp but never wet. A saturated medium will cause issues such as fungal disease and rot. On the other hand, a moist medium will support healthy soil microbes, and the clone-cutting will send out roots searching for more water.
Make sure that you are collecting clone cuttings appropriately. There is a technique for cutting clones that gives them the best chance to root. Always use sterilized cutters for collecting clone cuttings.
Keep a journal. Different strains of cannabis and hybrids of hemp and cannabis behave differently. What works well on an OG Wedding Cake strain may not work on a hemp plant. If you are dialing in hybridizations, it can get complicated.
Keep the growing environment in a consistent state — warm but not overly hot, humid but not dripping, plenty of light, and consistent watering.