Cannabis growing guide- Air layering method

Published Feb 20, 2019 02:20 p.m. ET

With so many different methods for growing cannabis indoors available today, it is essential that anyone who is just learning how to grow marijuana researches some of the more tried and true techniques that have evolved far beyond some of the most basic methods many small-scale growers currently use. One of the very first steps to growing a healthy and robust marijuana plant for yourself, is, to begin with, a seed, seedling, or clone. Cloning is one of the easiest ways to preserve specific weed strain genetics that go on in future generations. Now, most people hear cloning and assume that you are referring to a marijuana plant cutting, but that isn’t always the case. Air Layering is a method of cloning cannabis plants that offers an astounding success rate when compared to their more traditionally cut counterparts.

What is the air layering method?

The air layering method is a method used to clone marijuana plants. What is unique about this process of cloning is that it allows the clones to establish a root system while still being attached to the mother plant for vital nutrients. This method is most often usedby growers who are limited in space and still want the ability to multiply their total number of plants while maintaining specific weed strains genetics. Clones are not removed from the mother plant for at least two or three weeks providing additional time to establish a better growing environment for them to be moved to.

How to perform the air layering method

Since this process requires the grower to keep the clone attached to the mother and eventually calls for a big move, there are a few essentials you will need to have on hand before you begin. You will also need a healthy and well-established female marijuana plant that has yet to enter the flowering stage.



  • 1 small opaque plastic sheet (per clone)
  • 1 container of cloning gel
  • 1 riot rooter
  • 1 sterilized razor blade (or knife)
  • 1 pre-flowering stage mother plant
  • 1 cotton swab
  • 1 twist tie


  1. Select the branch you want to make into a clone.
  2. Find the lowest most visible node on the stem and place your thumb over it.
  3. Use a sharp, sterilized knife or blade to gently scrape away a single layer from the stem above your thumb. Just enough to expose the moist, fresh green insides making the wound approximately ¾ inch long.
  4. Take a cotton swab and dip it in the cloning solution. Spread the gel all over the freshly scraped area to build a thick layer.
  5. Take the rapid rooted and make one slide down the side of it lengthwise, cutting only halfway through. When finished it should open like a sub bun and remain in one piece.
  6. Dip the sliced riot rooter in lukewarm water.
  7. Now wrap the area that is covered in cloning gel with the rapid rooter.
  8. Take one piece of plastic that is opaque or black that will keep the light out and wrap it around it riot rooter.
  9. Use one or two twist ties to hold the plastic layer in place.
  10. Leave clone to develop roots for two or three weeks before proceeding to the next step.
  11. Gently untie the twist ties and unwrap the layer of plastic.
  12. Use a sharp, sterilized knife or a razor blade to cut the stem which will disconnect the clone from the mother plant.
  13. Prepare a pot of soil and plant the clone inside of it.
  14. Water the brand-new baby marijuana plant generously over the next few days to help the transition.

Benefits of using the air layering method

There are several benefits to this method of cloning marijuana plants including:

  • Less grow space required.
  • Maintains weed strains genetics.
  • Nutrients continue to be fed to the clone through the mother plant giving it a substantial boost in growth.
  • Less seedling pots required.
  • A success rate of 98%


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