Mother plants are essential for maintaining a continual propagation system. A strong mother plant is the first step to taking perfect cuttings. Weak cuttings turn into slow and sometimes weak plants. A weak clone is very susceptible to pest and disease problems. The plant is already under going immense stress and an unnoticed infestation can kill it. Here are 7 tips to keep your plants healthy and inevitably take stronger cuttings.
1. Trim off yellowing, brown, dried, wilted, and dead leaves – Dying leaves are a great place for bugs to hang out. Your beloved plants may be wasting energy trying to save dying leaves. Cut your losses and focus the new growth.
2. Use small amounts of nutrients – Salt lock up and over-fertilization are the last thing you want to transfer to clones.
3. Try Mother Plant nutrient formula – I have personally not tried this bio-organic formula, but I have heard it works pretty well. There seems to be a lot of buzz about it in the indoor gardening magazines.
4. Use a big container if you plan to take many clones from a large mother plant – Roots are a vital part of healthy vigorous growth. A dense root zone will allow your mother to recover from cuttings quicker. Bigger roots means bigger plants.
5. Water frequently – Use a drip system or hydroponic method to ensure your mother plant gets as much water as it needs.
6. Do not cut more than 20% of the healthy foliage at a time. Taking too many cuttings at a time can stress your mother plant. The plant should recover, but it may actually slow down growth because of the amount of energy it takes to recover. The plant needs leaves to catch sunlight for photosynthesis.
7. Watch closely for bugs and pests – Use a magnifying glass to check your plants! You never know what you may find. Any small pest infestation on your plant will transfer to your clones and potentially your whole cloning system. If it makes it to the next stage before you notice you may be dealing with a major infestation later on. Preventative pest control is the best pest control.