Hey Nico, Got a quick question: Can you re-veg a plant? If not, can I create clones of clones to keep my plants going? Thanks and keep up the good work! – T. Dunn via email.
Hey there, amigo… What an excellent question! You are obviously thinking ahead and planning your grows, way to go! And there is a lot of debate surrounding this very question so let’s discuss it a bit…
In short, yes you can re-vegetate a plant that has already flowered (or begun to flower), however it is easier said than done. And, even if you succeed, chances are the plant will lose most of its vigor and not produce well thereafter. This sort of cultivation technique is generally reserved for dire situations, usually involving breeding projects or prized genetics that are about to become lost or extinct. So it’s not really recommended for simply trying to get a second round of buds off your favorite plant.
A better move in this regard is exactly what you mentioned next – cloning your clones. Though this also comes with its own set of challenges. This is best achieved by first creating a clone mother. A mother can be grown from seed or from a clone of another plant. But this mother plant should never go into flower and should be kept in a vegetative state throughout her motherhood. Clones should only be taken from mature, well-developed mothers whenever possible. It’s not a great idea to take clones from younger plants, although it can be done.
In terms of the duration for keeping a mother plant, that really depends on the health and size of the mother. A couple of months is usually the most growers allow them to go, before creating another clone mother and flowering off the current mother. People often ask for how many generations can this go on before the line begins to lose its vigor? And there is much debate on this topic.
I have known many growers that have been growing out clone mothers for dozens of generations, over several years. Some people believe that genetics need to be re-bred to regain what we call “hybrid vigor,” which is when two plants combine to create new seeds. These seeds usually display much more growth vigor (development, yield, potency) than their clone predecessors. However, this sometimes proves impossible if no male exists for that strain, in which case a cross must be made between the mother strain and a new strain resulting in an entirely new plant line (or lines). Still, those who have repeatedly grown generation after generation of clone moms swear that they have never had much drop-off in yield or quality.
In my personal experience, both sides of this debate are correct as it really depends on the strain and the strength of the source genetics. But at the end of the day, creating clone mothers from clones is the better option over trying to re-veg a plant that has flowered. That’s just nasty business – and no likes doing it.
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!