Q&A with Jorge
Clones of Clones
I have always grown mother plants from seed only. All my friends tell me that it’s okay to make a mother from a clone, but I can’t see how that could be the case: It would be like cloning a clone, and then cloning from that clone, etc. That just doesn’t seem like a good practice.
F1 plants grown from seed have the added advantage of “hybrid vigor,” which means that this cross will grow about 25% bigger and stronger than cuttings. Hybrid vigor also makes plants less susceptible to pest and disease problems.
Clones taken from F1 mother plants take on part of this hybrid vigor. But after you keep a female plant grown from seed in the vegetative stage for more than a couple of months, it tends to lose some of that vigor. On the other hand, if you continue to grow mothers from seed, you must be very sure that subsequent plantings are from seeds with the exact same genetic qualities, so that the crop remains consistent.
Taking clones from clones isn’t a bad thing: I’ve interviewed growers who have made clones of clones more than 20 times! That is, the first batch of clones (C-1) was taken from the original female grown from seed. These clones were grown in the vegetative stage, and new clones (C-2) were taken from the C-1 batch. Blooming was induced in the C-1 clones two weeks later, as well as the C-2 clones grown in the vegetative stage. Then new clones (C-3) were taken from the C-2 clones.
This same growing technique is still going strong through many subsequent stages, with clones of clones being taken well past C-20, and there has been no apparent breakdown in their potency or vigor. However, if the mothers suffer stress, they will produce weak clones. Mothers that are forced to flower and revert back to vegetative growth not only yield less, but are stressed and confused. Clones that grow poorly are generally the result of poor, unsanitary cloning practices.