Grow Q&A: How Many Times Can I Take Clones From My Marijuana Motherplant?

Dear Dan, How long can I keep a motherplant around for clones until it should be flowered out to finish its life cycle? How many times can I make a clone of a clone of a clone before it starts to lose its zip and may turn hermaphrodite? Is using regular seeds better for this than feminized? Thanks for all you do to change these laws in this country. I’ve always loved Ben Franklin’s quote “Nothing is more American than breaking an unjust law”. I’m a disabled 47-year old Veteran with 16 pieces of titanium and cadaver bones used to rebuild my spine, but because I can’t afford or physically able to move from GA across U.S. to a state who cares for it’s neighbors because I am not a criminal! – David in GA

Dear David,
Thank you so much for your service! It’s truly a shame that our country still denies marijuana to Veterans. Surely, cannabis is safer than war? So many Vets I’ve met tell me that medical marijuana has allowed them to remove prescription drugs and alcohol from their lives. Many who were once suicidal have told me that cannabis is responsible for them being alive today. We owe them, and you, more than platitudes.

As for the question of how long motherplants can stay vibrant and give off strong clones, it’s really up to you. As long as the plants are kept healthy, there’s no real foreseeable limit to how long they can live and produce cuttings. Even when a clone is taken of a clone continuously, each subsequent clone should have the exact same genetic potential as the first.

Some may tell you that plants are affected by “genetic drift” and will deteriorate over time, but I believe those plants are actually suffering from “environmental drift”. Think about it: the DNA of the plant can never change, but the environment and health are entirely up to the grower. It’s the old “nature vs. nurture” argument. Healthy plants will give off healthy cuttings, while stressed or diseased plants will give off weak and distressed ones.

Have a grow question? Ask away at

(Photo by @DannyDankoHT)

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