Propagating cuttings can be one of the more finicky and mystifying processes marijuana cultivators deal with when starting a new crop. Cutting allows cultivators to create fresh soldiers that exactly resemble the last crew in a quick and easy manner.
In the end, all clones were at one time started from seed -- so working from proven seeds is a good place to start.
No matter which route growers take for their next crop to plant, keeping a sterile propagation microenvironment with stable temperature are primary targets.
It's easy to get caught up in lighting for cuttings, but don't bother. While light is very important, you don't need much in the way of intensity for rooting your clones or even starting seeds. Intensity requirements ramp up later, after the young plants are established and ready for the next growth phase.
For a single 10” X 20” propagation tray with lid, one 18” to 24” florescent tube is usually plenty. After that, the extra heat can become a problem, and the intense light coupled with that heat will hurt stressed and un-rooted plants, as they are very sensitive.
Think of taking clones like surgery:
DO Prep the patient. Feed mother plants B vitamins and clean water for a day prior.
DO Make sure all equipment is sterile, use alcohol or bleach and water to sterilize ANY and ALL things that will come into contact with the clones during the process (razor, cutting board, tray, domes, hands)
DO Rinse all equipment thoroughly with clean fresh water.
DO Prepare your rooting medium; make sure it's at least room temperature before you insert the cut material. Don't add anything heavily organic; plain tap water is usually fine.
DO Work quickly: the less time the cut material spends in the open air the better.
DON'T work where there is lots of circulating air; the cuttings can easily dry out.
Practice diligence in the pre-propagation process, but once the cuttings are prepared properly and covered with a dome, all you need to do is wait.
Fresh marijuana cuttings are like cuts made in a surgical process: it's important to keep it clean in the operating area, and to sterilize the table you're working on and all tools. After the cuttings are made, you should follow up with hygienic post-surgery practices and necessary vitamins/medications. Once this is done, healing is simply a matter of monitoring and waiting; no additional actions are required.
Be aware that the fresh-cut plant material is very sensitive when compared to established plants. Think about it, you have just literally amputated a limb; eventually it will grow into a whole new independent life form, but care is needed for the first couple of weeks.
Some growers will work fast and prepare the mothers well enough so they don't have to mist their cuttings before putting the lid on. This way, cut plants don't sit with pooled water on the foliage, which can stagnate and become a gateway for problems like diseases.
Use a quality, snug fitting propagation dome.
Maintain steady temperatures and humidity: Shifts cause stress. Aside from that, leave the little guys alone, it's better not to touch cuttings at all.
With a snug fitting dome, healthy mothers and these steps you should see roots in 10 to 14 days.