Weed Clone Care: How to Grow Clones Indoors in Soil

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Written By Rocky Horton

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Learning how to grow clones is a great alternative to growing marijuana from seed. Clones are an exact genetic copy of their parent and allow the home grower to skip the sometimes tedious germination stage.

This article will walk you through the ideal soil and nutrient parameters for growing a cannabis clone in soil, and offer useful tips on how to purchase, transport, plant, water, and otherwise care for your new clone at home.

Growing Weed from Seed vs Clone

Growing clones is faster than growing from seeds since they allow you to skip the germination and seedling stages of development. However, clones do still require some special care before they grow a full root system.

Since clones are exact genetic copies of their parent plant, they are considered an extremely reliable way to grow a large number of genetically consistent plants. Cloning allows you to create an exact copy of a strain, giving the grower more certainty about the growth habits and other characteristics of their plants.

Because seeds are created through the sexual combination of two parent plants, their genetics will always contain some variation from seed to seed. This can lead to scenarios where seed grown plants of the same strain are growing to different sizes, maturing at different rates, or producing varying qualities of flower. While excessive variation is more common in seeds bought from amateur growers, the variable nature of seeds’ genetics means that even seeds purchased from high quality growers will exhibit some variation in quality.

Where to Buy Weed Clones Near Me?

Weed clones can be purchased at dispensaries in some legal states. Unlike seeds, clones cannot be legally shipped.

Even though most legal states allow the sale of clones, finding a dispensary that stocks them can often prove difficult. Clones are often less profitable than other products, and require active care to keep healthy. Additionally, clones count towards a businesses total allowed number of cannabis plants in some states, which means that stocking clones would reduce the amount of cannabis that business can grow. 

It’s best to call or check the websites of dispensaries in your area to determine if they stock clones before visiting in person, as you may have to check multiple locations before you find a dispensary with clones in stock. Once you find a dispensary with clones, be sure to inspect the plants for signs of disease such as wilting, discoloration, powdery or wet leaves, etc, before purchase.

Skip the dispensary all together and save money by taking cuttings from a mother plant and creating your own clones.

Caring for Clones

Learning how to grow clones starts with either a trip to a local dispensary or taking your own clone cuttings. If purchasing from a dispensary, try to bring the clones directly home. Excessive exposure to hot or cold temperatures during transport may damage the clones. 

At home, clones should be placed about 8 inches under a low heat bulb such as an LED or CFL. Clones need about 18 hours of light per day, and do best in temperatures between 72-78 Fahrenheit. 

Most clones from dispensaries will come with roots and can be transplanted directly into a pot of soil when you bring them home. Be sure to keep store bought clones in a different room from any other cannabis plants you may own for the first week or two. This will give you time to watch them for any emerging signs of pests or disease.

Clones taken from your or a friend’s plant will come unrooted. These clones must first be placed in a rooting cube, then kept in a high humidity environment such as a seed starting dome until their roots develop. They may then be placed in a soil medium and treated the same as store bought clones.

Best Pots for Weed Clones

Fabric pots are considered the best option for cannabis clones. These pots are breathable, and allow oxygen to penetrate the soil. They also reduce the risk of overwatering and encourage greater branching in the plant’s roots through a process called air pruning. 

After purchase, the clones should be transplanted from their tray or bag from the dispensary to a one gallon fabric pot. This size will give the plant adequate space for root ball formation and water retention. If your clone comes rooted in an organic plug such as coco coir, you can leave the plug on the roots and plant it in soil just like you would a bare rooted cutting.

Once the clone’s roots fill the one gallon pot, the plant can be transplanted into its final 5 gallon fabric pot. Do not attempt to put a new cutting directly into a 5 gallon pot, as the excessive soil to root ratio may suffocate the root system or lead to overwatering.

How Often Do You Water Weed Clones?

Young clones which are still developing roots must be kept in a high humidity environment. They enjoy being misted daily, since their leaves are absorbing most of the moisture for the plant before the root system develops.

Once the clone is transplanted into its first pot, it can be watered about every 3-5 days. To determine if the clone is ready for its next watering, stick one finger an inch or two into the soil. If the soil feels dry and does not stick to your finger, the plant is ready to be watered.

If the soil feels moist at all, it is better to wait for it to dry out further before watering, even if 3-5 days have already passed. Watering before the soil has a chance to dry can cause roots to suffocate or develop fungal infections.

Best Soil for Growing Weed Clones

Cannabis will grow best in a loamy soil mixture with additives such as perlite, sand, silt, and clay to achieve the ideal texture and level of water retention. An ideal soil mix for vegetative clones will have a pH around 6.0 and a high nitrogen concentration to promote leaf development.

Good pre-mixed soil options for beginners include FoxFarm Happy Frog or FoxFarm Ocean Forest. Happy frog is airier and less nutrient dense, making it an ideal choice for earlier in clone development. Ocean Forest is a great choice for established plants and has an impressive nutrient profile, although you may need to adjust down the pH of this blend until it is slightly acidic.

You can alternatively create your own mix by blending potting soil with 30% perlite then adding powdered soil amendments like ProMix HP. Additives such as bat guano, worm casings, or mycorrhizae can improve the nutrient profile of your soil and make pre existing nutrients more bioavailable to your plants.

 Regardless of the soil you choose, you will eventually need to add additional liquid or powdered nutrients as the plants develop. This will be discussed in greeted detail in a separate section below.

Can You Use Miracle Grow for Weed Clones?

Miracle grow will work for growing clones, although you will need to add additional cannabis specific nutrients to the mix such as Flora Series from General Hydroponics. However, miracle grow is not created specifically for growing cannabis and is likely to lead to lower yields than using a soil that is optimized for cannabis growth. Soil blends such as those offered by FoxFarm or Promix are safer bets if you want to optimize the size and quality of your harvest.

Best Fertilizer for Weed Clones

Throughout their life cycle, weed clones need three major macronutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K), as well as a variety of micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, sulfur, and more. Fertilizers will often use NPK format to show the ratio of these three macronutrients in their formula. 

Vegetative weed clones will need more nitrogen in order to produce strong vegetative growth. Fertilizers with comparatively high nitrogen, such as a 3-1-1 NPK ratio, are preferable for this growth stage.

In contrast, Flowering plants will need relatively little nitrogen. Instead, potassium and phosphorus levels should be elevated to encourage vigorous flower growth. Look for a fertilizer with a 1-3-2 or 0-3-3 NPK ratio. 

General Hydroponics FloraSeries

The General Hydroponics Flora Series is one of the best nutrient blends on the market for growing cannabis plants. It includes 3 different fertilizer blends for different life stages. Flora Grow has a 2-1-6 NPK ratio, Flora Micro has a 5-1-0 ratio, and Flora Bloom has a 0-5-4 ratio. Detailed charts on mixing and applying the three blends at various life stages can be found on the General Hydroponics website.

FoxFarm Trio

Another solid choice for fertilizing your cannabis clones is the Foxfarm Soil Liquid Trio pack. This Trio includes Grow Big (6-4-4 NPK ratio), Big Bloom (0-.5-0.7) and Tiger Bloom (2-8-4). Grow Big is best for vegetative plants, while Tiger bloom is best for flowering. Big Bloom contains natural additives such as worm castings and bat guano which can further support flowering plants.

When to Transplant Weed Clones

Clones should be transplanted into a 1 gallon fabric pot once roots are visible at the bottom of their rooting cube. This is usually 2-3 weeks after cutting. Clones purchased at dispensaries are usually around 2 weeks old so they should be showing roots soon if not already.

The clones should be transplanted a second time from the 1 gallon pot to their final 5 gallon pot 3-4 weeks later or before switching to flower, whichever comes first.

Topping Cannabis Clones

After transplanting your clone into a one gallon pot, allow it 1-2 weeks to acclimate. As long as the plant is healthy and has at least 4 nodes, you can move forward with topping the plant.

Nodes are knobby protrusions on the stem that new leaves grow from. Make a cut just above the 6th node on your plant, or the highest node if it only has 4-5. The plant will then produce two branches from the uppermost node. Once these two branches each have two nodes, they can also be topped to encourage further horizontal growth.

Topping should occur at least two weeks before switching to flower to give your plant ample time to recover from the process.

When to Initiate Flowering in Weed Clones

The timing of initiating flowering indoors will primarily depend on how much space you have available. You should switch to flowering conditions when about half of your growing space is full, as your plants will double in size during flowering. In a 4×4 tent, plants can generally be allowed to veg for up to 8 weeks.

The age of clones can vary from one dispensary to another, but they are generally sold when they are already close to vegetative age. For simplicity’s sake, you can consider the vegetative phase to officially begin once you transplant the clone into its one gallon pot.

When to Harvest Weed Clones

The exact flowering time will vary depending on strain and growing conditions, but flowering usually lasts approximately 8-10 weeks. 

Using a magnifying glass to inspect your plant’s trichomes is the most reliable way to determine if the plant is ready for harvest. Trichomes should be about 50/50 milky white and amber colored. Colorless trichomes indicate that the flowers are not yet mature.


Learning how to grow clones is an easy and reliable way to grow your favorite strains at home. They can be purchased from a dispensary or cut straight from a mature plant. 

Early in life, clones will need a high humidity environment while their roots develop. Once the roots colonize the rooting plug, your clone can be transplanted into a 1 gallon fabric pot and treated like any other vegetative cannabis plant.

Clones should be planted in a high quality cannabis specific soil mixture and fertilized using nitrogen heavy fertilizers to encourage vegetative growth. Aim for a soil pH of around 6.0 and water the clone once the top two inches of soil are completely dry to the touch, usually every 3 to 5 days.

After about a month, the plant can be transplanted into a final 5 gallon pot to prepare for flowering. Flowering plants should be fed with fertilizers that are high in potassium and phosphorus but relatively low in nitrogen to encourage robust flowering.

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Rocky Horton


Rocky Horton is an experienced cannabis grower and the founder of IndoGrow. The IndoGrow editorial team has over four decades of combined growing experience. Learn more.