Tips on Caring for Mother Marijuana Plants
Marijuana Mommy Maintenance
“There is a beauty beyond the pain of birth that only a mother can hold.
There is a rest after the exhaustion of giving life only a mother can appreciate.
There is a piece of your life that only your mother will ever know.”
Happy Mother’s Day
Spring brings us many new beginnings every year, a chance to begin again not only with our gardens but with many aspects of our lives. One of those yearly renewals is Mother’s Day and a nationwide day of paying homage to Moms everywhere.
Today we are going to discuss a few ways to maintain mommy a little better. Not the mommy that gave you life….the ones in your grow rooms that you clone your favorite strains from. Believe it or not, taking care of an OG Kush or Jack Herer mother is not much different than taking care of your own Mom.
We will also provide some guidelines on when a plant is old enough to become a mommy. It is tough to set guidelines for when to clone marijuana plants by size and age. A two-foot-tall plant in a small pot may not be ready to clone after months whereas a sixteen-inch tall plant in a larger pot may be ready after a few weeks. We use what we call the “The Rule of 5 & 7”. This is a simple way to let the number of a plant’s individual branches dictate when to clone.
We will review some cloning tips as well but before we get too involved in clones let’s remember it’s Mother’s Day and talk about maintaining Mommy.
Nice Digs – Know your mother’s needs. Just like you would not want your mother in a large home she cannot manage or maybe too small of a home she feels confined in…you don’t want to put your momma plants in a pot that is too small or big. Your momma plant will use every inch of room you give her. So if you are working with a small space keep your momma plants in smaller (2-10 gallon) pots. If you are only pulling a couple clones off her a season a ½ gallon pot will get you by. If yours is a large or busy grow room with lots of space your mother plants will be very productive in 15-25 gallon pots. Make sure Mom has space of her own where she is happy….that’s all there is to it.
Mommy’s Happy Meal (Nutrition) – Just like you don’t want to see your own Mom eating so terrible that obesity or malnutrition has set in, you don’t want your mother plants eating poorly or irregularly. Whatever nutrients you use for your crop’s budding plants it has a multi-week diet to follow. Every line or brand of nutrients has a 6-10 week diet schedule or feeding schedule for their nutrients. Even if you have designed your own nutrient schedule plants in week 1 of flowering most likely have a very different diet than those plants in week 5 through 8. Whichever nutrient plan you are using your clones and mother plants should be fed the “week 1” diet all the time.
For example: If I am using House and Garden products I can follow an eight-week diet for those nutrients. I will feed my clones and Momma plants the nutrients prescribed in week 1 of that nutrient plan. I will feed them that week 1 diet week after week. Clones and Mommas don’t need much….Base food, amino, some mycorrhiza and trace elements. That’s all there is to it.
Never Keep Mother in the Dark (lighting) – Your Mom knows you better than you think. You might think you can hide things from Mom but you can never keep mother in the dark. This is true for your marijuana mothers as well, they cannot be kept in the dark. Mother and clone plants need light 24 hours a day. Whether yours is an indoor or outdoor grow your clones and Moms have to live inside under 24-hour daylight. That’s the difference between vegetating and flowering plants….light cycles. If the plant experiences 24 hours a daylight it will just keep growing stalks, stems and leaves. Once nighttime is introduced the plant will start to flower which also completes its life cycle. A momma plant must be kept under 24 hour a daylight or it will flower and die. Clones also need 24 hours daylight or they will try to flower before they have the strength to do so.
The lighting for mommas and their clones does not need to be expensive, power consuming lights like hps or halide grow lights. They do not need to be LED, LEC or even fluorescent. Cheap grow bulbs from a big box store in clamp lights will work. Cheap fluorescent grow bulbs in shop light fixtures will work. Most grow rooms use T5 lights no matter how big or small the operation is but cheaper lighting will work. Your mommas can be maintained with simple soft grow lights but they have to be on 24 hours a day. You can’t keep Mom in the dark…That’s all there is to it.
Exercise and Grooming – Our Mom’s only want us to be healthy and happy, and that is all we want for our moms. Just like your own mother does not need the rigorous training of an athlete the mommas in your grow room do not need the strenuous training regimen of plants you are preparing to flower. However, they both need some exercise, their hair done and a mani/pedi once in a while.
Clean the light green undergrowth from their lower stalk and stems. Bend the branches once in a while, pick a leaf or two and touch her every time you are in her presence. Just like when in the presence of your own mother you want to do something to make her feel better, do something nice to make your momma plants feel better every time you are in their presence…..that’s all there is to it.
Big Momma — Some Moms can be quite needy and marijuana mother plants are no different. The whole purpose of a mother plant is to produce stems for clones. These clones must be taken on a regular basis whether they are used or not. In short, there will be a lot of clipping, pruning and picking to maintain your plant’s size. These “cuttings” can be used as clones but the cutting must be done to maintain the plant’s size….that’s all there is to it.
You Carry Her With You (cloning the problem) – You cannot avoid those characteristics and traits your mother gave you. Hair and eye color, the way we laugh and even the way we walk are a few of the countless traits we inherit from our parents. Bad things are passed on as well. Just as the child of an addict will be born with that mother’s addiction the clone of problem plant will share that plant’s problems.
It’s actually a bit worse for marijuana plants as not only will a clone carry the momma’s problems but the symptoms as well, and those symptoms cannot be treated. For example: If a plant with a magnesium deficiency is cloned the clone will not only inherit the deficiency but it will never replace the yellowed leaves caused by that deficiency. Sometimes we carry Mom’s problems and habits with us but she’s worth it…..that’s all there is to it.
Teen Moms, Babies and the Rule of 5 & 7 – Some incredible mothers were teen moms when they had their kids and some abusive, horrible mothers waited until they were married and well into adulthood before having kids. So age does not define a good mom. Some incredible moms are enormous while other amazing moms barely weigh 100 pounds. So size does not define a good mom….what does?
Good roots to hold her up, stability, arms to hold the offspring and lots of love are the qualities we look for in cannabis plants and I suppose we search for those qualities in each other as well. Love is the most important in my opinion. Discipline and structure will never compete with love when it comes to raising a child. Science and technology will never compete with love when it comes to raising marijuana. With that being said let’s look at a formula that will prevent overgrowth and “babies having babies” in your grow room…the rule of 5 -7.
The rule of 5 to 7 is a simple formula. Do not clone a plant until it has 7 branches coming out of the main stalk. Once you clone the main stalk or “top” the plant the terminal root will stop growing downward and other roots will thrive giving the plant more girth. Those 7 branches left on the stalk can also be cloned, topped or Lolli popped but make sure a branch has 5 branches before cloning that branch. This simple formula will allow you to maintain your momma’s size while increasing her girth and vitality. To prevent babies having babies and teen moms in your grow room count 7 stems before taking the top and count 5 stems before topping a branch. The rule of 5 & 7…that’s all there is to it.
K.I.S.S. Your Mom, K.I.S.S Your Kids – Obviously I hope neither your moms nor your kids are lacking kisses. In this case, I am referring to the time-honored acronym that is now cliché. The KISS method…Keep It Simple Stupid. When it comes to both your momma plants and the clones taken from them do not “out think” yourself and your grow room.
Have you ever bought your Mom a new electronic device but then see her so frustrated by it that she does not use it…or use it properly. Sometimes we forget how simple our Moms can be and of course, no Mom ever understands the simplicity and carefree nature of a child. We too often think pushing our kids to strive or ushering our moms into state of the art is helping them when we are actually frustrating or stressing them for our own ambitions. It’s even easier to do this with your plants.
Your Mom does not want to hold candy, flowers, jewelry or a new iPhone…she wants to hold you.
Your Momma plants don’t want exotic lights, automatic watering and designer nutrients…she wants you.
Your Mom wants to see your smile, hear your voice and breathe in your energy….it gives her life.
Your Momma plant wants to hear your voice, she wants to feel you move the air around her and take the CO2 from your breath…it gives her life.
Both your Mom and Your plants want your time and your love….that’s all there is to it.
Hug and love your mothers
Hug and love your plants
Happy Mother’s Day
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