Fusing Weed Plants: Grafting Cannabis At Home to Expand Your Garden
Grafting is an ancient practice within horticulture communities that is, essentially, the process of fusing two plants to create a single plant with traits of both. But how can grafting be beneficial to cannabis growers? It turns out that grafting cannabis is one of the best ways to experiment with cannabis and optimize your gardening experience. In this article, we will explain how exactly you can implement grafting in your growing practice to grow several plants in one. That’s some kind of magic!
Defining The Practice Of Grafting
Grafting is the practice of allowing multiple plants to grow from one singular mother plant. This is done by taking the upper part of one plant and fusing it with another plant. Anything above where the two plants come together (the grafting line) is known as the scion, and everything below the grafting line is referred to as the rootstock. Grafting is a common horticultural practice whose techniques can be used to heavily benefit cannabis cultivators.
Why Should I Consider Grafting Cannabis?
There are many reasons why you should consider grafting cannabis. It helps to strengthen plants by breeding the best traits, and it also saves space by allowing multiple strains to grow from the same mother, among numerous other benefits.
One Rootstock, Multiple Strains
One of the best reasons to start grafting marijuana plants is to grow multiple strains on one plant. If you’re from a place where there are restrictions on how many plants you can grow or how much space is allowed to grow cannabis, grafting is the answer. You can take a scion of any plant of your choice and graft it to a healthy, reliable rootstock. This will guarantee your scion will flourish, and you will be able to grow multiple strains out of one singular rootstock.
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Save Space & Optimize Pollination
Because cannabis is not self-pollinating, female plants require male plants to pollinate them in order to produce seeds. Not all cannabis growers can afford the space to keep multiple male and female plants in close range of each other, but grafting marijuana is a great solution for this. Through grafting two different plants together, one male and one female, you can have a male and female plant growing together out of the same rootstock, saving space while simultaneously guaranteeing pollination.
Select The Best Traits From Rootstocks
If you’ve ever had a plant that just grows really well and seems impervious to all harm, you may have wondered how to give some of those traits to your weaker plants. Again, grafting is your solution! If you have a plant that’s resistant to mold, disease or pests, grafting scions onto this rootstock is a surefire way to protect weaker plants and gift those beneficial traits to new plants of those scions.
Grafting Cannabis Is An Alternative To Cloning
Grafting cannabis can in many ways be seen as a different method of cloning plants. Cloning can be a strenuous process for your plants, and some of them cannot handle the cloning process at all. Sometimes, all you really need is a stronger base to help hard-to-clone plants thrive. Taking weak scions and fusing them with a strong rootstock will allow these cuttings to grow without the need to propagate them.
Use Scions To Repair Roots
Grafting marijuana is an excellent method to know if you ever need to repair plants that have taken damage. Harsh conditions, especially for outdoor cultivators, can cause cannabis plants to develop root damage, which normally leads to the plant dying soon after. However, with grafting, you can take a scion of the plant and fuse it with a healthy rootstock, prolonging the life of the plant despite its root damage.
Use Grafting To Try New Strains
Grafting cannabis allows cultivators to experiment with growing new strains they might not be familiar with. This is because grafting enables cannabis growers to grow multiple strains from a singular rootstock, which is excellent for those who may want to try several new strains at once but don’t want to commit to nurturing an entirely new plant they’re unfamiliar with, or just don’t have enough space for several adult plants. Growers can take a clone or seedling and use it as a scion to graft onto a larger rootstock, just to try out a new strain.
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The Key To Successfully Grafting Cannabis Plants
Grafting marijuana plants is quite tricky, so it’s important to have an idea of what your plants will need from you in terms of environment, as well as how much time they’ll need. Nurturing and patience are both key factors here.
Have The Correct Environment
Because grafting two different plants together is a strenuous task for your cannabis, you will need to keep your plants on a 24-hour on/0-hour off lighting schedule. Scions require a lot of light to flourish and will wither and die when kept in the dark. This is why it’s important to practice grafting indoors before moving plants outside. In regard to temperature and humidity, your normal levels should do just fine.
Give Your Plants Enough Time
Grafting cannabis is not an easy task, and it will take your plants some time to fully take on a new scion. Grafting larger, older cannabis plants will take longer, as the full plant has had more time to mature; using young, smaller plants will be much faster if you’re looking for quicker results. In total, the time it takes for the grafting process to be complete is about 2 weeks.
Risks Of Grafting Cannabis
As you can probably see by now, grafting is not the simplest method of propagation and can be very stressful on your plants. This is why it’s important that you abide by the correct environmental requirements for your plants. It’s also important to only graft together strains that have similar flowering cycles. A scion and a rootstock with drastically different schedules can cause nutrient deficiencies, as they will be at different stages of life at different times, which can also result in a smaller yield.
Learn How To Graft Cannabis Plants
Now that you know everything there is to know about why you should graft cannabis plants, it’s time to learn exactly how to graft cannabis plants together. If you take this process step by step, you should have no problems at all!
The method we’ll be describing is the simplest method of grafting, called the Whip Grafting Method. You will need:
- A pair of gardening shears
- A sharp razor blade
- A cutting board
- A glass of water
- Vegetative nutrient solution in a spray bottle (pH 6)
- Grafting tape or plumber’s tape
- Gardening wire
- A plastic bag with a seal
Step One: First, select a healthy scion from the cannabis plant you wish to graft and a healthy rootstock plant. Make sure the width of the rootstock and the scion are similar; this will encourage successful grafting.
Step Two: Second, you will need to trim the foliage on your scion and your rootstock. On your scion, remove the majority of the foliage from the stem, leaving just a few leaves at the tip. On the rootstock, remove the foliage below where you intend to graft.
Step Three: This is where you will cut your scion. Once you’ve selected and trimmed your scion, use your gardening shears to cut the branch off of the plant. Transfer your scion to your cutting board and make a diagonal incision at the scion’s base. Once this is done, transfer the scion to a glass of water.
Step Four: Now we move on to the rootstock. Take your garden shears and cut just above your intended grafting line. Use your razor blade to make a diagonal cut in the rootstock, similar to the one you made for the scion.
Step Five: Moving rather quickly, as you don’t want the insides of your plants exposed to air, give your scion and rootstock a quick spritz of nutrient solution and attach the scion to the rootstock. Make sure your scion and rootstock are lined up as perfectly as possible, giving them each enough surface area to connect.
Step Six: Once your scion and rootstock are lined up, use your tape to bind them together. Start with a small piece of tape to hold things together and then wrap the small piece with a larger piece to block out any airflow or sunlight.
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Step Seven: Reinforce the tape with some gardening wire in a crisscross formation. Start crossing the wire above the graft site and end a little below the graft site. This will give your plant stability.
Step Eight: Once your grafting site has been secured, take a plastic bag and spray the nutrient solution inside it. Wrap the bag around the grafted branch and seal it almost completely, leaving a little bit of space for airflow – just make sure the bag doesn’t come into contact with the foliage at the tip of your scion.
Step Nine: As a final note, the tape should be removed after a couple of days, or once the grafting fusion has been successful. Keep an eye on your plant to make sure it is thriving.
Start Grafting Cannabis Today
Grafting cannabis may seem like a complicated practice reserved for experienced horticulturalists, but with enough practice, even an amateur gardener can successfully graft plants together. Grafting is an excellent practice for those who want to preserve the best traits of their favorite plants, or who want to grow either something familiar or something new while also preserving space in the garden. There are few downsides to grafting cannabis plants, and mastering this technique will bring nothing but benefits.
Grafting cannabis may seem complicated, but with enough practice, even an amateur gardener can successfully graft plants together. In this article, we will explain how exactly you can implement grafting
How To Graft Cannabis And Grow Multiple Strains On 1 Plant
Grafting is a powerful gardening technique that allows you to grow multiple cannabis strains from a single mother plant. In this article, we’ll show you how it’s done.
Grafting is an ancient horticultural practice that allows for multiple plant varieties to grow from one single mother plant. And while it is common among experienced gardeners, grafting isn’t so widespread among cannabis growers. In this article, we show you how you can graft cannabis plants, and essentially, grow multiple strains from a single set of roots.
WHAT IS GRAFTING?
Grafting involves taking the upper part of one plant (known as the scion) and attaching it to another plant (known as the rootstock).
Grafting is an asexual form of propagating plants, meaning the propagated plants will preserve all the characteristics of the plant they were taken from (just like a clone preserves the same characteristics of its mother). At the same time, they’ll usually also take on some of the characteristics of the rootstock.
Gardeners will opt to graft plants that struggle to root properly. By grafting to a plant with a strong root system in place, you’ll be able to preserve the life of the scion, which otherwise may not have survived.
Most woody plants can be grafted. However, the process of grafting is complex, labour-intensive, and usually requires a fair bit of horticultural knowledge. Hence, it’s often reserved for more experienced gardeners.
Grafting as a process can be traced back 4,000 years to ancient China and Mesopotamia. Although it isn’t so popular among cannabis growers, cannabis plants are perfectly suited for grafting.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GRAFTING CANNABIS?
There are many benefits to grafting cannabis plants. These include:
MORE VARIETY, LESS SPACE
As long as your scions are compatible with your rootstock, you can essentially grow multiple varieties of cannabis from the same plant. This is especially convenient for marijuana gardeners working with limited amounts of space. Instead of packing several plants into a tight grow room, you’re able to grow several strains in a smaller amount of space.
Cannabis plants aren’t self-pollinating (unless you happen to grow hermaphrodites). This means that female plants often require a male growing nearby to be pollinated and produce seeds. Unfortunately, not all growers looking to breed their own cannabis strains are able to grow male plants close enough to their females (this can be due to a variety of reasons, but space is usually the main issue). However, by grafting a male scion onto a female plant, these breeders can ensure their female is pollinated properly, even if they’re working with very small amounts of space.
Some plants were almost made to be used as rootstocks. As a cannabis grower, you’ll occasionally stumble upon a phenotype that quickly develops strong roots and seems ultra-resistant to disease/mould, drought, or even pest infestations. These kinds of plants make ideal rootstocks. If you happen to grow a pheno with these characteristics, consider using it as a base for growing other, more fragile strains. Remember, your scion will still preserve the characteristics of the original plant it came from, but it’ll also take on some of the characteristics of the rootstock, too.
Cloning cannabis has all kinds of benefits. Unfortunately, cloning puts your plants under all kinds of stress, and not all phenotypes will handle that stress equally well. While some of your plants might produce great clones, others might struggle to root and will never quite recover from the stress of cloning. Others still might simply be too fragile to endure the cloning process altogether. This is where grafting really shines. Try taking scions from these hard-to-clone varieties and propagating them off a particularly strong rootstock. You’ll likely find that, with a particularly strong rootstock, your clones will have what it takes to propagate and thrive.
REPAIR DAMAGED ROOTS
If you grow outdoors, chances are you’ve had to deal with tough growing conditions at some point or another. Storms, strong winds, harsh rains, or pest infestations can damage your plants, especially just above the soil line. Luckily, a great way to help plants recover from this kind of damage is to plant seedlings around the roots of the plant and then graft them onto the older plant, just above its injuries.
TEST NEW STRAINS
One of the big benefits of grafting cannabis is that it allows you to grow multiple strains from a single tree. This comes in handy when you’re looking to experiment with new strains that you’re not completely familiar with. Rather than committing to growing an entire plant of a new strain, you can simply take a clone or seedling and graft it onto a rootstock. From there, you can let the strain grow out until harvest time and test it before you decide whether to add it to your garden for good. Again, this is really beneficial for growers working with limited amounts of space.
HOW TO GRAFT CANNABIS
Grafting is usually left to experienced gardeners. However, there is no reason new growers can’t try grafting at home and see great results. In fact, if you’ve ever tried to clone cannabis (or any other plant for that matter), you should have no problem with grafting, as the processes are quite similar.
Here’s how to graft cannabis at home. Make sure to read these instructions through a few times before getting started. Grafting is a delicate process and you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing before you get started.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Scalpel/razor blade
- Gardening shears
- Grafting or plumber’s tape
- Plastic bags with a seal (extra large ziplock bags work good)
- Gardening wire
- Glass of water
- A clean cutting board
- A spray bottle containing a (pH 6) vegetative nutrient solution
CANNABIS GRAFTING METHOD: WHIP GRAFTING
The Whip Grafting method is arguably the most popular method for grafting cannabis plants as it’s simpler and takes less time. Here’s how it works:
- Start by selecting a scion from a healthy cannabis plant, as well as a spot on a healthy rootstock where you plan to grow the new graft. Make sure the width of your scion and the rootstock are similar. This is the first part of ensuring a successful outcome. Make sure to only use vegetative plants for grafting.
- Once you’ve selected a scion and compatible part of your rootstock to attach it to, it’s time to prepare both parts of the new limb. Start by removing most of the foliage on your scion, leaving behind only a few leaves at the tip of the limb. Do the same on the rootstock, removing most of the foliage below the grafting site. Don’t cut either your donor or rootstock yet.
- Now, it’s time to cut the scion from you donor plant. Start by cutting the branch from the plant with a pair of garden shears. Quickly transfer it to a clean cutting board. Now, take your razor and make a diagonal cut along the base of the scion. The idea here is to create more surface area for the scion and rootstock to bind together properly. Once you’ve made the cut, place the scion into a glass of water while you prepare the rootstock. Make sure to act quickly; the less time your scion is exposed to air, the better.
- Now, prepare the rootstock. You should have already removed all the foliage from the graft site. So, take your garden shears and cut the branch slightly above the graft site. Then, take your razor blade or scalpel and make a diagonal cut to match the one on your scion. Remember, you want to make sure the cuts are as identical as possible to ensure your graft is successful. Quickly move on to step 5.
- Once you’ve made the cut on your rootstock, you’ll want to move quickly and attach your scion. Take the scion from the glass of water and spray both the cut on the scion and rootstock with some nutrient solution. Next, match up the cuts, paying extra attention to the tissue inside the branch. You want to match up the branches as best as possible to help the two plants bond quickly. If you notice the cuts don’t match, return your scion to the water quickly, adjust the cut on the rootstock, and try attaching them again.
- Once you’ve got the scion and rootstock to fit, press them together firmly and tape them together using your grafting/plumber’s tape. Start with a smaller piece of tape to simply hold the branches together. Then, follow up with a larger piece of tape wrapped tightly around the cut multiple times. This will help block out both light and air from the cut and allow the scion and rootstock to bond properly, but it should be removed a couple of days after you noticed the graft has been successful.
- Next, take some gardening wire and run it in a criss-cross pattern across the graft site to further strengthen the bond of the scion and rootstock. You’ll want to start running the gardening wire slightly below the cut, then run it a bit above the graft site.
- Once your scion and rootstock are tightly bound together, spray some solution inside your plastic bag, put it over the new branch, and close the seal almost completely (make sure to leave it slightly open so the branch can breathe). This is to provide an ideal environment for propagation. Make sure the bag doesn’t come into contact with the leaves you left on the tip of your scion.
CREATING THE PERFECT ENVIRONMENT FOR GRAFTING
As you can imagine, grafting puts your rootstock and scion under a lot of stress. After all, it’s not exactly a “natural” way of propagating plants. Hence, you’ll want to make sure your environment is suited to meet the requirements of your new, fragile plants.
First of all, make sure your lights are running 24/7 until you see new vegetative growth forming on your scion. From there, you can gently bring your lights down to your preferred settings. Also, if possible, try to use gentle sources (110 watt T5s are perfect, but other soft light sources will also work).
PICKING THE RIGHT STRAINS TO GRAFT TOGETHER
Grafting can be difficult as not all species of plants are compatible with each other. Luckily, this isn’t an issue here, as all cannabis varieties stem from the same plant family, and should be able to be grafted together.
The one thing you’ll want to keep in mind when grafting cannabis strains, however, is flowering times. Make sure you graft strains with similar bloom periods. If you don’t, you might struggle with nutrient deficiencies, as those strains that flower will need different nutrients than those that are still in their vegetative phase.
Apart from that, grafting is really no big challenge. All it takes is a solid process (which we’ve outlined above), patience, and a bit of practice. So, try the method and get grafting today!
Grafting is an ancient gardening practice. In this article, we show you how to graft cannabis plants and grow multiple strains on a single mother plant.