Everything you need to know about a cannabis mother plant
What is a cannabis mother plant? If you have decided to open this article, you would like to know more.
This plant makes it possible to obtain better yields and, consequently, quality end products, which is an important reason.
You wonder which one, right?
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In this article, we will try to understand what is meant by a cannabis mother plant and what its properties are.
What is a mother plant?
When growing cannabis, there are two ways to approach plant production: growing from seeds or clones.
Growing from seeds is almost like roulette: licensed growers roll the dice by buying seeds, not knowing whether the harvest that will be obtained will be as profitable as expected. This is because the plants that will grow from the seeds may have differences: some may produce inflorescences with an extremely purple colouration, and others may tend towards green, with the understanding that both will also have different levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. These variations within the same variety are known as phenotypes, indicated by numbers in the variety names.
Mother plants, on the other hand, are used to create plants that are identical to themselves.
These clones are obtained by taking a cut, or a small piece of branch, from the plant and have the same characteristics as the plant from which they were taken. The mother plants are kept in a vegetative state, i.e. they never flower. This is an important aspect, as taking cuttings from a flowering plant can ‘stress’ the plant itself or even cause the clone to become hermaphroditic in an attempt to pollinate itself.
How are the mother plants chosen?
Identifying the ideal mother plant for cloning takes a lot of time and care.
Choosing a mother plant can be an arduous process: collecting seeds of the desired variety in several phenotypes is first necessary. Remember that having several phenotypes is crucial as each one will exhibit slightly different properties, and cultivating the variants will help identify the one that best meets the growers’ needs.
It is not uncommon for ‘stress tests to be conducted, i.e. the manipulation of cultivation factors such as humidity, light, and irrigation to see how the plant reacts.
This is because the growers aim to obtain a plant that can withstand these environmental factors and produce the desired results.
These phenotypes are brought into the flower to analyse their characteristics, particularly their terpene and cannabinoid content. Finally, the phenotype that meets the growers’ requirements will become the mother plant.
Advantages of growing from a mother plant
Besides the obvious advantage of not having to buy seeds all the time, there are many other good reasons to start from a mother plant.
There will be no differentiation between clones taken from the same mother; even in a batch of seeds from the same plant, you may encounter small genetic differences.
When working with clones, all plants will have the same genetic profile, leading to constant plants that produce consistent yields. Another significant advantage of growing from clones is that the plants will remain uniformtheir development, making cloning the natural choice for growers hoping for a uniform and consistent harvest.
But that is not all.
Another good reason to grow from a mother plant is that a single mother plant can produce enough clones to guarantee a year-round harvest. Then, when cutting, the new clones will already be ready to be placed in the grow room.
The icing on the cake? No more ‘male hunting’!
You will always have female daughters when you take clones from a mother. This eliminates the need to identify and remove male plants before they can cause damage to the rest of the plants in the room.
There are also some important factors for the mother to have a long life (what grower wouldn’t want that?), and the first is the genetics of the plant.
When choosing which plant should be designated as the mother plant, the key is to select the strongest crop. This means looking at the speed of germination, the strength of the roots, the dense foliage and the strong stems.
Once the strongest mother plant has been selected, it should be placed in an area that allows it to develop laterally. Mother plants need 18-24 hours of sunlight daily to remain in the vegetative growth phase.
In addition, most growers tend to top the mother plants several times to direct energy to the lower shoots, which have the highest concentration of growth hormones and, therefore, root better, producing more robust, more viable clones.
In this article, we have seen what is meant by a cannabis mother plant and what its main advantages are for authorized growers.
Given the possibility of obtaining plants with the same qualities, the cultivation of clones is one of the most frequently chosen practices to obtain excellent finished products.