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Cloning 101 with CloneX (DIY Guide)
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Cloning is a tried and true method for continued success in your garden. To keep your favorite strain in rotation you will need to take clones. A clone is a cutting (a small piece of plant that’s been cut off) that has re-established roots and is a genetic replication of the mother plant. This guide will take you through the steps to successfully root a cutting. Once you’ve mastered the art of cloning you’ll be well on your way to keeping your favorite genetics in rotation and having a self-sustaining garden. No more buying clones from questionable outlets or worrying about bringing in pests from someone else’s garden.

Mother Plants

A mother plant is a plant that has been specifically grown to provide cuttings for starting new plants i.e. clones. The cutting will be genetically identical to the mother, which is why you want to choose a mother that is a strong grower with good genetics. In other words, a healthy plant. Using a fertilizer formulated for the needs of mother plants, like MotherPlant brand fertilizer, is important for the successful rooting of clones. A good fertilizer for mother plants is one that limits excess nitrogen and provides the important building blocks for carbohydrate accumulation. The excess nitrogen contained in standard fertilizers results in low carbohydrate reserves and poor rooting of clones.

MotherPlant fertilizer is formulated to strengthen the cell walls of plants, improve water holding capacity and stress tolerance. This results in energized cuttings that are better prepared to generate healthy new roots. MotherPlant nutrients can be found online and in hydro stores across the United States. For the serious grower that wants to successfully clone their favorite strain, or just keep their garden going, this is an important step. Your mother plant should be watered a few hours before you plan to take cuttings. This ensures that the cuttings will be well nourished and hydrated, preparing them for successful cloning. It’s also recommended to spray Clonex Mist on the chosen donor sights a few days before taking clones. This will help to stimulate root development in your cuttings.


Taking a clone can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be. There are multiple techniques and products on the market for cloning. For this guide, we’re going with a simple but effective method. The following are items you’ll need to successfully clone.

• Mother Plant 

• Rooting Gel 

• Shot Glass 

• Scalpel or Razor 

• Scissors aren’t recommended as they can crush the cutting’s delicate tissue. 

• Be careful not to cut yourself when taking your cutting. 

• Starter Cubes 

• Propagation Tray 

• Humidity Dome 

• Clonex Mist

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Your mother plant is picked out and all your supplies are ready. Now it’s time to take some cuttings. 

Step 1. Sanitize Wash your hands. Then sterilize your equipment. Rubbing alcohol is an ideal choice for sterilizing. 

Step 2. Set up your work area. Have your items laid out and ready to go. A few things you’ll want to do now include: 

• Pour Clonex Rooting Gel into your shot glass. 

• Take packaging off your Starter Cubes 

• Root Riot Starter Cubes are available in both a ready-to-use propagation tray and bags of 50 or 100 count. 

Step 3. Choose your cuttings. You’ll want to choose a branch that looks healthy. Things you’re looking for in a cutting are: 

• Branches on the lower part of the plant 

• Strong growing tips 

• Multiple nodes (leaf nodes are where the leaf connects to the stem) 

Step 4. Take your cutting. Once you’ve chosen a branch, use your scalpel to remove the branch. You’ll want to cut just below the node (the area from which leaves grow) at a 45-degree angle. 

Step 5. Dip the cutting in Clonex Rooting Gel. Dip it directly into the rooting gel you’ve added to your shot glass. Make sure the entire cut area, and its surrounding stem, is covered in the rooting gel. This will stop air from affecting the cut surface area. Air exposure at this point can cause air bubbles that will prevent your cutting from taking up water and eventually rooting. At this point you should clip the fan leaves, reducing the leaf area by 50%.

Step 6. Place the cutting into your Root Riot Starter Cube. Once you’ve finished taking your cuttings and placed them in a propagation tray it’s time to add your humidity dome. You do not want to have leaves pressed up against the dome walls or stuck between the dome and the tray. Make sure you’ve spaced your cuttings to avoid either of these from happening. 

Step 7. Spray your cuttings. Place tray under suitable lighting. Spray your cuttings with Clonex Mist every other day to ensure they don’t dry out. Beyond that, leave the cuttings alone. Most plants will root in 7 – 10 days, but some could take up to 2 weeks or longer. When you see roots coming out of the cube then you’re ready to transplant.


Once you see roots coming out of your starter cubes it’s time to transplant. Most growers tend to use a cup (like the small, red Solo cups) to transplant their newly rooted clones into. The clones are still fragile at this point and should be treated the same as they were when they were cuttings. 

Step 1. Prep Fill your cup halfway with your chosen soil or soilless mix. Sprinkle Clonex Root Maximizer, a mycorrhizae, on to the exposed roots. Root Maximizer will help to extend the overall reach of your plant’s roots. This means your plant will be able to reach water and nutrients that might not be available otherwise. Basically, it helps the plant get more of what it needs to thrive. 

Step 2. Transplant Place your rooted clone in the center of the cup and fill in the remaining space with your soil, or soilless medium, and pack it just over the top of the starter cube. The soil should be packed gently so as not to disrupt the delicate roots or stress the clone, but also tightly so that the clone will not tip over. 

Step 3. Feed Water your clone with Clonex Clone Solution, a clone-specific nutrient. A regular Grow formula at this stage can burn your plant, most likely resulting in a stunted or dead clone.

Clonex Rooting Gel has been helping growers successfully clone for three decades. Billions of clones are proof of the effectiveness of using Clonex. 

Clonex Rooting Gel Clonex Rooting Gel contains a unique proprietary formula in a tenacious gel which will remain in contact around the stem, actually sealing the cut tissue and then supplying the hormones needed to promote root cell development. It is manufactured under strict pharmaceutical laboratory conditions and is, consequently, years ahead of old fashioned hormones and powders. 

Clonex Gel is recommended over powder rooting agents. Powder rooting agents: 

• Can and will be blown around 

• Will wash off the stem when watered 

• Contains talc - a carcinogen Clonex Rooting Gel is EPA registered in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. 

This means it’s approved for use on all crops, including food or ingestible crops. It’s also the only rooting gel approved by the Colorado and Washington Dept. of Agriculture for propagating medical plants. Clonex Rooting Gel is used at the beginning of propagation to help seal your cuttings delicate root tissue and provide the necessary environment for successful rooting. Clonex Clone Solution Clonex Clone Solution is specifically formulated for rooted clones and seedlings. It contains a special blend of minerals and vitamins that encourages rapid root development. Clonex Clone Solution contains specific micro nutrients, and the highest quality minerals including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Calcium, plus Vitamin B1 which reduces the risk of transplant shock. It is formulated to nourish new root cells in plants. Used with Clonex Rooting Gel, it encourages rapid root development while helping to minimize stress. 

Clonex Mist Clonex Mist is a foliar spray that is for both mother plants and clones to stimulate root development. It is formulated to boost the health and vigor of young plants while promoting robust root development and the elongation of root hairs. Independent trials showed that the use of Clonex Mist vs. water alone to mist cuttings resulted in: 

• Rooting up to 10 days sooner 

• 30% longer roots 

• Up to 156% more roots

Clonex Root Maximizer 

Clonex Root Maximizer is a mycorrhizae fungus product which increases the surface area of your clone’s roots. Mycorrhizae fungus extends the plants reach, allowing it to get more of what it needs. Mycorrhizae fungus is a network of filaments that grow in and around the plant root cells. This forms a mass that extends considerably beyond the plant’s root system, making the plant stronger and more resistant to stress. It even protects your plant against unwanted pathogens. Clonex Root Maximizer puts life into your soil by adding bountiful amounts of mycorrhizae fungi, beneficial bacteria and Trichoderma that combine to improve the overall health and vitality of plants.

Root Riot Plant Starter Cubes

Root Riots are ideal for rooting plant cuttings! They are pH balanced and pre-moistened, so they are ready to use right out of the bag or in the tray. Made from Canadian peat moss, Root Riot cubes have a great spongy texture which retains the perfect air/water ratio for healthy, rapid root growth. 

MotherPlant Nutrients 

MotherPlant nutrients are formulated for mother, or stock plants but can be used throughout the vegetative cycle of your plants with impressive results. It contains the perfect diet for mother plants without excess nitrates. Rich bio-organics are added to improve the uptake of nutrients and strengthen the plant’s natural immunity resulting in strong, vibrant clones. 

Rockwool Conditioning Solution 

Europonic Rockwool Conditioning Solution is an advanced formulation of ingredients that stabilizes and adjusts the pH of rockwool for maximum nutrient utilization by plants. It is ideal for pre-conditioning rockwool and stonewool cubes before starting clones or transplants.

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