Chapter 19

Clone Planting Instructions

Planting clones is easy to do. All you need to plant cannabis clones are healthy clones, soil, solo-cups, and water. The plastic solo-cup is the most popular option to plant / transplant your clone into. It only takes about 7 – 14 days for a healthy clone to root well enough to transplant again.

The next pot size you’ll use after the solo-cup should be a 1 or 2 gallon pot. A 3 gallon pot would also work in a pinch, but ideally use a 1 or 2 gallon pot. You shouldn’t plant clones at this stage or earlier directly into a large pot, like a 4, 5, or 7 gallon pot because clones will get stunted. The same goes for planting clones directly into the ground outside. Don’t do that. 

Use fresh soil and you won’t need to add any additional fertilizer for 30 – 40 days. Fresh bags of quality potting soil come with plenty of nutrients as is, so don’t fertilize the soil until 30 – 40 days after planting. 


How To Transplant Cannabis Clones:


STEP 1: Get the solo-cup and fill it with soil.

Fill up your solo-cup up to the top with new soil from a fresh bag of quality potting soil. 


STEP 2: Mix water in and drain thoroughly. 

Add water (ph’d to 6 – 6.8 ideally) and stir the water with your finger or any small utensil. Make sure to vigorously mix and stir the soil and do not allow for any dry pockets of soil to remain. Keep stirring until the soil is completely saturated and soupy and then let it drain for a couple minutes. You may need to add more soil in at this point. However, don’t put too much soil in because you still need to plant the clone. 


STEP 3: Make a hole to place the clone in. 

Now use your pointer finger and middle finger knuckles to make a square hole in the middle of the topsoil. Make the hole as deep as the cube of the clone. 


STEP 4: Place clone into hole and sprinkle dry soil on top. 

Gently place the clone in the hole you’ve just made. Sprinkle some more fresh new soil on top. Do not pat the soil down hard and compact. Rather, have it loose instead.


STEP 5: Mist the topsoil with water. 

Now use a spray mist bottle and lightly mist the dry soil you just sprinkled on top. 


STEP 6: Put clone under light. 

Now put the clone under 24 hours of light or 18 hours of light with 6 hours of darkness (on a consistent schedule using a light timer.) Be sure the light is the appropriate distance from the clone. All LED lights come with recommended distances, so follow your model’s recommendation. Usually it is 24 – 48″ inches.


STEP 7: Label your clone.

You can also add a plant identifier like a popsicle stick or plastic plant label to the soil. Write the date down along with the name of the strain you’re growing. Keeping track of a plant’s age and genetics isn’t required, but it’s helpful and I highly recommend it.



Over the first couple weeks, don’t expect to see drastic growth from leaves and branches. First the root system needs to get established and this takes time. Root growth comes first, so be patient. 

After you plant your clone, you might not water it for a few days or a week. Use a soil moisture reader to accurately determine when to water next. It depends on how hot the environment is, and how quickly the soil dries out.

As a rule, always water the soil when it is “almost dry.” A soil moisture reader has three readings: “wet,” “moist” and “dry.” Don’t wait until the soil is completely “dry.” On the dry, moist, and wet spectrum, “almost dry” is just before “dry.” 

Pay attention to the cube in the soil too, not just the soil. Cubes dry out faster than soil does. We do not want them getting dried out. You can gently stick a soil moisture meter reader into the cube for a reading, and then do the soil for another reading. If only the cube is dry, just water the cube directly. In this case, you can slowly pour water into the cube or use a spray mist bottle.

If you do not have a moisture meter reader, then you can use other hands-on techniques to determine when to water. For starters, remember to feel how heavy the solo-cup felt when you watered the soil completely at transplant time. It was wet and heavy.

Over time, the weight of the cup will lessen considerably as it dries out. If it feels more than 1/2 lighter than it did when wet, it is about ready for a second light watering. You would use about a cup or two of water at this point. If all the water drains quickly out at the bottom of the cup, then you will need to water it again until it retains. When water drains out rapidly, it is an indication that the soil is very dry. Very dry isn’t good. You want the water to retain very well in the soil and not come flowing out the bottom when you water. Thankfully, watering when it’s “almost dry” will help ensure the soil will retain the water you give it.

Another thing you can do is cut into the the top of the cup with scissors to peel the cup back and inspect the exposed soil visually and with your fingers. If the soil is very light colored, brittle to the touch, and crumbling easily, then you should water. 

Lastly, do not just stick your finger in the first inch or two of topsoil to determine when to water. This is a common myth to avoid. 


When to do the next transplant? 

It takes 7 – 14 days typically before you’ll be ready to transplant your well rooted clone. When you cut the cup and peel the sides back, you can easily looking for white roots popping out all over the sides of the soil. When you see roots everywhere, its time to transplant to the next pot size, typically a 3 or 4 gallon pot.


What if the roots aren’t developing?

If you do not get good root growth by 14 days (two weeks), then I recommend you start over with new clones. Stunted clones don’t do well overall and I’ve never really seen them come back with vigorous growth. So I do not recommend being patient with them. Just start over if you can. 

It is possible the clones were not healthy, or it could be that you overwatered and underwatered. Environmental conditions can be a reason for stunted growth as well. For example, if your grow tent was consistently 85+ degrees Fahrenheit with no air flow, or if the humidity was always extremely low, like 20 – 30%, then a clone’s growth could get stunted. Also, if your lights are too strong and hot, that can also cause too much stress on young plants and cause a clone’s growth to stunt.

Overwatering and heat and humidity stress can cause symptoms such as “leaf tacoing” where leaves fold like a taco. They also cause leaves to wilt and the serrated edges of the leaves to turn up. Heat and light stress from commercial grade lights can also cause leaves and leaf edges to get scorched, burned, brittle, and turn various shades of white, yellow, and brown. 


TIP: Get the premium brand solo-cups, not the cheap ones. They are firmer and easier to poke into and cut holes in. Knock-off cheap solo cups are junky, don’t get them. 

TIP: Remember to check the moisture of the cube and the soil, not just the soil.



Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners
Published by Green Carpet Growing, Inc.
San Diego, CA 92103
© 2021 Green Carpet Growing, Inc
All Rights Reserved

No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law.

For permissions contact: marc(@)