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Mother plants

Feminized cannabis plant

A mother plant is the plant that is being used for cloning.

Fluorescent lighting

Fluorescent light

How quickly your mother plants grow is dependent on the sort of light that you use, which is in turn dependent on the amount you want to spend. Fluorescent lights are the cheapest source of light. You can even use second hand armatures. The longer the tube, the higher the efficiency. Always buy new tubes: a tube  that is a year old only gives out half the normal quantity of light. Don’t buy expensive Grow-Lux tubes, but use the regular and cheap en standard white colour tubes (colour 33). Fluorescent tubes only deliver useful light for growing up to a distance of 25 centimetres maximum.

A look at the best grow lights for cannabis

The best thing to do is attach the armatures to an open frame made from beams. By using such an open frame it will not get too hot under the lamps and the air can circulate well. In order to get the tubes as close as possible to the plants the frame should be attached to pulleys. As the plants grow the lamps can slowly be raised. Use around 6 to 10 tubes of 120 centimetres length, at a width of one  metre.

More about the optimal distance between lights and plants

Money saving light bulbEnergy saving bulbs are more expensive but much more efficient in energy use and also much easier to mount. Simple wires with fittings are sufficient. They give off more light, generate less heat and last much longer. But note that they contain highly toxic mercury and are hazardous if broken. If one breaks in your grow room, are you going to call the special clean up squad from the local council in to decontaminate the whole space?

High Pressure Sodium (HPS)

The HPS lamp is by far the most used for indoor cannabis growing. Philips has the following lamps available:

High pressure sodium lampMASTER SON-T PIA Agro (Special spectrum with raised blue emission results in more compact plant growth, especially at lower light levels.

In my opinion, a single 400 watt lamp per square metre is just right. Of course, not every plant is the same and nor are circumstances always the same. If you have more CO2 in your grow room you can use more and also if your air moisture content is high then more light can not do any harm. Do keep I mind that more light also means more heat and that too much heat can also lead to huge problems in its own right. Caution is certainly the order of the day.

The ideal way to raise mother plants

Grow roomFor all weed plants under artificial light the rule of thumb is that they flourish best at a temperature of 20-22 degrees and an air moisture content of 70-80%. Furthermore we need to ensure a regular supply of fresh air and of course, water. The light can shine for 18 to 20 hours per day. If you have the ability to use a night time tariff, make use of it, because it will work out much cheaper. Fit reflecting back and side walls, so that as little light as possible is lost. White painted surfaces reflect optimally, better than aluminium foil. White painted hardboard is cheap and easy to work with.

Raise the mother plants in pots of 10-20 cms diameter. If you’ve read earlier about growing weed in pots then you will already know how you do this and you have probably got some nutrients left over from your outdoor grow. Take your first cutting from a mother plant 10 to 15 centimetres from her growing top. There, where you take the cutting from, will form two growth shoots, whilst the lower growth shoots will have a much better chance of developing. After a few months of growing and taking cuttings you’ll have a mother plant from Two growth shootswhich you can take not one but at least four to eight cuttings! If you don’t keep taking cuttings, then you’ll get tall thin plants, which each time cuttings again each time depends on the speed with which the mother plants re-grow and that is again dependent on the quantity of light. Give the plants some fish emulsion regularly on the roots and spray them once a week with a plant sprayer with a teaspoon of fish emulsion per litre of water. After half an hour spray the plants again with clean water. Leaf nutrition is easy works quickly, but you must make sure that the nutrient is not accumulating on the leaves.

 

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Back to Advanced Techniques

Go to Cloning

 

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