5 Tips on Sourcing Clones

Departments - Smart Start: Quick Tips

Make sure you know what you’re getting and how it will arrive.

December 22, 2021

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With the new year just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about where you will get your clones for next season’s crop if you have not decided already. Below are five things for growers to consider when making their decision.

1. Visit the facility.

You can tell a great deal about a business or facility within five minutes of being there. Before checking out the clone stock, find out how many varieties the business has that meet your production plans and desired traits, like high cannabigerol (CBG), high CBD or frost resilience. Check the cleanliness around the area of the clones and try to find out sanitation protocols. A little dirt is OK, but dirt and algae should not be covering the clones and everything around them.

Then, check the clone stock if possible. (It may be a red flag if they are supposed to be cut already and you are not allowed to see them.) The best thing would be to see the clones you are purchasing. Do they look healthy? Are insects under the leaves or on the roots, or do the leaves have insect damage? Are the roots healthy and white, or do they appear to be brown and dying? Are they overgrown? If you have the privilege to make multiple visits, taking an early visit to check out the mothers before the clones are cut off may also help you narrow down your choices on both clones and which provider to go with overall. Observe whether the mothers are healthy and if they have insects or insect damage.

2. Find out the shipping procedure.

Before buying any clones, find out how providers will send them to you and how long it will take. Try to make sure they are hardened off, and if not, the delivery driver should know to spray them. Also, having some sort of guarantee to receive replacements in case of any issues, even at a reduced cost, can come in handy.

3. Try to buy local.

When sourcing your clones, you may want to consider those that are already acclimated to your climate and growing conditions. Being from a local greenhouse does not guarantee they will do well in your area, but chances are the provider has trialed the varieties outside and can give you some data on how each one performs, including their water and nutrient intake. The provider can also likely offer other useful tips. In addition, the closer the clone producer is to you, the less time the clones must spend in a truck, where conditions are not ideal.

4. Find out if clones are ready for the field.

Always find out as much as you can about the processes your various clone providers use. If you can, find out which pesticides and nutrients they’ve exposed the clones to. Have the clones been in a high-humidity greenhouse or a hoop house that almost mimics outside? The more you can find out, the easier their transition to the field will be.

5. Always have a plan B.

At the end of the day, this is farming, and natural disasters and other worst-case scenarios do happen. Having a backup plan when something bad happens can save your crop for the year. Whether your source can guarantee they will provide you extra clones should something go awry or you get a backup source altogether, making sure you have at least an idea of where to get replacement clones is always a good idea.

Gevin Gros is a cultivation consultant in the cannabis industry.