Selecting a feminised cannabis mother plant
This post will be interesting for both indoor and outdoor growers, although if we want to search for phenotypes and keep mother plants – clone mothers – we’ll need an indoor growing space.
We’ll see how to keep a copy of the different phenotypes, how to select them and how to grow them again anytime we want, getting the same exact product than in previous crops, exactly the same as the mother plant.
The selection process can be performed with either feminised or regular seeds; as long as they are photoperiod strains, we’ll have no problems in keeping them growing under the correct light schedule. Thus, we can not clone autoflowering plants.
You’ll also see, step by step, how to make cannabis cuttings. As happens with any selection, it ended in a splendid cannabis tasting session.
With the results of the tasting at hand, it is much easier choosing the best phenotype, so we’ll finally have our mother plant. All the pictures from this post were taken during a selection of SuperJuani seeds.
Why should I select a mother plant?
Any grower with a bit of experience on his/her back asks this question sometime. And the answer is very simple: selecting a mother plant allows you to have uniform crops of the genetics that really meets your demands.
Normally, growers follow this criteria to select their mother plants:
- Early flowering
- Smell and taste
- Ease of growth
Too often, a grower realizes that a plant which is already flowering (or even harvested) is something special and unique. To solve this problem, every time we grow seeds we should take at least one cutting of each plant, so we duplicate the phenotypes and keep them until we’ve tasted all the plants and decided if any of them is worth keeping. In this way, all cuttings taken from a plant will be exact copies of the that plant, with the same properties and features.
Logically, all this implies using indoor growing spaces, since we need a constant 18/6 photoperiod to root cuttings and keep plants in the growth stage indefinitely.
It should be noted that the first mother plant can be an outdoor plant (as long as it is growing, rooting cuttings of plants that are flowering is much harder).
Can I make a selection of feminised cannabis seeds?
Of course you can. Years ago, many people wrongly claimed that selections should be made of only regular strains. A whole another story is using these type of seeds for breeding, which is much more complicated.
As we say, we can use either regular or feminised seeds for making our own selections and keeping mother plants for as much time as we want.
What is absolutely impossible nowadays is keeping a mother plant from automatic cannabis strains. These plants do not depend on the photoperiod to bloom, so keeping plants in the growth stage is impossible even when under a 18/6 photoperiod.
How to select a cannabis mother plant?
First of all, we should get quality marijuana seeds and grow them. We can do it indoors or outdoors. Once the plants have grown enough, take 1-2 cuttings of each plant (phenotype). Carefully label each clone mother and the cuttings you took from each of them with the same name, so you always know who is who. Once the cuttings are rooted we can start flowering our mother plants (if necessary, you could also keep the mother plants and flower the clones in smaller pots).
For this post we used two 1,2 x 1,2m grow tents with 25 SuperJuani seeds. We grew the plants until they had developed nice side branches from which we could take the cuttings.
If the side branches of your plants are not long enough when the bloom begins, you can take cuttings during the first days of this period, when plants often stretch notably.
Using lots of plants will make the selection process more problematic, since we’ll have a large number of plants to monitor and lots of clones to care for. As plants flower, we should write down the most desirable traits of each phenotype and observe the development of the plants.
Finally, once the plants have been harvested and dried, we can taste each phenotype and decide which will be our mother plant for following crops, breeding projects, etc.
Every grower has his/her own tips regarding cannabis cloning. We can use different substrates such as rockwool, coco coir, soil, peat moss, even hydro/aeroponic systems.
What really matters here is labeling, especially when making selections. There is nothing worst than having a superb plant and not knowing which clones were taken from that plant. If that happens, we can repeat the process with all clones and identify our champion, but it will take another crop to figure out.
Proper cleaning and tidying are imperative when rooting clones.
Once the cuttings are ready, spray them with water.
Place your cuttings inside an indoor growing space.
Wheter in grow tents or small plastic propagators, fluorescent tubes are enough to root cuttings.
When the cuttings have rooted, it’s time to transplant them into small pots, so we can keep them relatively small before we harvest the mother plants and decide which one will be the “chosen one”.
In this selection of SuperJuani, the Philosopher Seeds team was looking for a spicy plant, which actually was the most representative phenotype of the crop.
We did it! Here’s our baby…
We hope you enjoyed the post, if you have any comments or doubts please leave them here.
- 4 November 2015
- Marijuana Grower's Handbook