Ask Cheri

Cannabis Mother Plants: How to grow and care for a mother plant 

By Cheri Sicard
November 15, 2023

Dear Cheri (and Mitch),

I have been immensely enjoying your grow posts lately.  I had a question.  Can you talk about cannabis mother plants?  How to create a mother plant and how to care for a mother plant?  Thank you.

Thanks for the kind words and the excellent question, we'd be happy to.

What is a cannabis mother plant?

A mother plant is a cannabis plant that is not allowed to flower.  In other words, it is kept in a perpetual vegetative state but keeping it under artificial light for a minimum of 18 hours a day.

The purpose of a cannabis mother plant is to allow the grower to take cuttings or clones off of it in order to grow new cannabis plants.  By taking the cutting from a female mother plant, you will be guaranteed to grow another female plant of the exact strain.

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Why grow a cannabis mother plant?

Having a mother plant is handy in a couple of different circumstances, the first being consistency.  If you know you always want to grow the same strain, using a mother will provide a steady stream of identical clones.

Mitch says that growing a mother plant is also useful when you want to take a break from growing for a while, but be ready to stat up again later. For instance when you want to go on vacation, or clean out your grow room or grow tents between crops. 

The mother plant is essentially a houseplant.  Yes, you will need to keep it watered like any other houseplant, and if it grows too big trim it down.  Otherwise you just need to keep the lights going.

An alternative to cannabis mother plants

cannabis clones an alternative to mother plants

Watch the video above for Mitch’s explanation of how to keep a continuous grow going without growing a cannabis mother plant.  

It's kinda of "cloning as you go" and it involves taking cuttings from new plants just before you transfer them to the flowering stage, so you are ready for next time.  With this method you will always have new plants, plants in veg state, and plants in flower.  

Rinse and repeat!

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

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