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How to Build a DIY Clone Box for Cannabis Cultivation

How to Build a DIY Clone Box for Cannabis Cultivation

Posted in: Small Spaces
January 12, 2022

There are several ways of growing marijuana; you can germinate seeds in pots, outside or inside a greenhouse. Another way is to cut parts of a mature plant and cultivate the seedlings in a DIY clone box. The benefit of growing cannabis this way is that crops reach harvest a lot faster

Another advantage is once you find a strain you enjoy, you can duplicate the same plant and know exactly what to expect from the bud every harvest. 

One way of getting started with cuttings is to build some cloning boxes yourself. It's not difficult to put together, and it provides a safe, clean area to create new clones and stagger your harvest. 

Even though the primary aim of a clone grow box is to create clones, it's also useful for germinating pips and storing the parent plants ready for cutting. You can make the boxes almost any size, and they’re a perfect option whether you only grow a few plants or hundreds. 

The best thing is these boxes are quick to set up, so if you want to know how to build a clone box, keep reading. 

Weed clones
Weed clones

What are clone boxes?

Cannabis cultivators sow seeds to grow their plants, but a different technique is taking cuttings from healthy crops and planting them in clone grow boxes. A marijuana clone is a cutting from parent plants with an identical genetic makeup. 

Cloning cannabis involves snipping a small branch of a healthy adult herb, commonly known as "the mother plant." The aim is to get the sapling to establish its own root system and bloom into a fully-fledged marijuana crop. You can enjoy your favorite strains over and over again through this cut and plant process, cutting from the adults as they mature.

A marijuana cloner box is an easy tool to cultivate healthy cannabis clones in a controlled environment, giving you harvests more often. You can make a simple box out of two plastic crates adapted to carry seedlings. These are only for saplings and won't be suitable for housing adult plants or germinating pips but are excellent for small batches.

For a more advanced clone grow box, use a cabinet setup. The box has a controllable environment that's split into three areas. To grow a nut or pip, you need a primary chamber for the development. Part of this stage includes the warming of the plants, oxygen accessibility, and illumination that all need to work. 

The second area is for saplings and duplication growth. The last chamber is where the adult plants are stored to grow, expand, and vegetate. The build you choose depends on the number of plants you plan on cultivating. 

Why build your own clone box?

A clone grow box helps keep your seedlings and clones in one place if you're cultivating a large number of plants. It's also easier to control the climate of this setup, ensuring the plants have enough light, heat, and moisture to develop.

Some other reasons why clone boxes are an excellent idea include the following:

  • Environment - The container can be set up with an ideal environment for clones and seedlings, allowing them to get what they need for optimum growth. The ideal environment helps the plants grow faster, leading to earlier harvest times. 
  • Control smell - Depending on how you construct the box, it's possible to suppress the smell of the plants through extractor fans. It's essential if you have your crops indoors or when you need to keep your grow patch discreet. 
  • Minimize risk of disease and pests - Keeping the seedlings separate from other growing plants minimizes the risk of attacks by pests or infection by diseases. Fewer dangers mean healthier plants.
  • Constant supply - With a DIY clone box, you can set it up to have a constant supply of seedlings available for planting. It assists with staggering harvests, providing you with a continuous supply of cannabis. The cloning boxes can keep you supplied all year long.
  • Security - A box also keeps the clones safe and lessens the possibility of damage to your plants. It also keeps the crops out of sight and away from fiddling hands.
Homemade clone box
Homemade clone box

DIY clone box: options & step-by-step instructions

Even though you can buy ready-made clone boxes in the shops, it's a great idea to build your own to suit your specific requirements. The size of your setup depends on the end-use. If you're planning to harvest a few plants at a time, then your box doesn't need to be very large. 

New growers should start small and experiment with the size and layout of their cloning boxes to find out what works best for them. For those planning to build larger crates, consider how much room each seedling takes up and the space you need for the mother plants. 

Measuring out the areas for each of the crops is a good start. Leave a bit of extra room in case the plants need more to expand. Below, we look at two different builds for the perfect plant cloner box.

Cabinet clone box

A clone grow box inside a cabinet is an excellent idea as it gives you more than enough space to house several plants at once. If you're only cultivating a few crops at a time, it works just as well, with the advantage that you can scale up at any time. 

The downside is that there's no easy way to move it once it's operational since it's such a big setup. Let’s take a look at how to put your cabinet clone box together.

Materials needed

The materials below are suitable for a cabinet space that measures 47.8" (L) x 17.7" (W) x 59" (H). Of course, you need to adapt the sizes according to what you have available in your house. 

If you make the box bigger, don't forget to adjust the lamp wattage to give your plants enough light and heat for growth. 

For the size above, you need the following:

  • 6 x 60w CFL
  • 2 x 200w CFL with reflector
  • 1 x exhaust fan
  • 2m ventilation hose
  • 1 x carbon filter
  • 1 x reflecting foil
  • 14 x bolts and nuts

You’ll also need shelves, screws, and electrical wires to complete your build. Another crucial piece of equipment for a successful plant cloner box is a digital thermometer/hygrometer combo. 

How to build a clone box step by step

  1. Divide the inside area of the space into three levels. One level for germination, one for clones or seedlings, and the last for the parent plants. 
  1. You don’t need lights for germination, so there’s no need to install one in the top level. If you plan to grow some seedlings, you need to keep the space warm, so install heat-only lights that work well inside clone boxes. Leave a 10-inch gap between the ceiling and the first shelf. 
  1. Install one to three watts of light for each clone or seedling in the middle area. So in total, you can expect to put about four 60-watt CFL bulbs in this section, which allows you to house 80–200 young plants. There must also be a 15-inch gap between the shelves to give the plants enough room to grow.
  1. The bottom part of the marijuana cloner is for crops in their vegetative state or the mother plants. They need as much space as possible to flourish. Here you can install two reflectors with 100-watt CFL bulbs. Keep the gap between the shelves to 25-inches.
  1. Your crops need fresh air, and even in the largest clone box, the bulbs will heat the space in no time. Install a small exhaust fan in the back of the cabinet to draw out hot air, leaving the area cool.
  1. Install the carbon filter onto the air ventilation system. The filter cleans the air and removes odor particles that help keep the scent of the plants to a minimum. 
  1. Line the walls and shelves with reflective foil. It’ll reflect the bulbs' light and give your plants the illumination they need to grow and develop.
  1. Make openings in the racks to join the lights, and adjust them to most benefit the plants. Remember that the middle and bottom sections need the light the most and that in the first layer, it's better to keep the space dark.
  1. Position your thermometer/hygrometer in a place that's easy to spot without having to keep the doors open for too long. 
  1. If you want to keep your hobby hidden from visitors and nosy neighbors, decorate your plant cloner box or cabinet to camouflage the space. You can put some books or plants on the top to make it look like a standard-use cupboard. 
  1. Lastly, add a lock to the door to ensure no prying eyes or hands get inside the grow space.

Bin clone box

The bin-sized clone boxes for growing marijuana are a much smaller option to the cabinet build. It suits growers who won't be cultivating more than a few plants. An advantage of this build is that it's mobile. 

The bin boxes are light and transportable to move the plants out of sight when necessary. This setup doesn’t have the lights and heat elements as with the cabinet setup, so you need to keep it by standing lamps to provide the light and warmth the seedlings need.

Materials needed:

  • Two plastic bins with a lid—One dark color, smaller than the second clear color bin.
  • Hose and adapter
  • Drill bits
  • Neoprene Disks
  • Two air stones
  • Glue gun
  • The clones you want to cultivate

How to build a bin clone box step by step

Follow these steps to make your bin clone box.

  1. Cut six holes in the dark-colored bin, and place the disks into the openings. They should fit snugly into the cutouts. Remove the disks and position the clones into each one.
  1. Glue the stones to the bottom of the container. Make sure you position them correctly to stay in place.
  1. Attach the air pumps to the bin and add water.
  1. Place the clones you've chosen inside the bin.
  1. Put the smaller dark bin inside the larger one.
  1. Make a hole in the clear bin and put the lid in place. Place your cloner in the lid's center.
  1. Your box is now ready. Place it somewhere warm with plenty of light and good ventilation.
Cannabis Clones
Cannabis clones

Get constant supply with a DIY clone box

A DIY clone box is an invaluable tool for cannabis cultivators. It allows you to take cuttings from healthy, superior strains and duplicate them inside the marijuana cloner. You can transform any cabinet or cupboard with doors into a plant cloner box. 

Ensure that you have enough lights and a ventilation system installed inside to give your seedlings the heat, illumination, and fresh air they need. You can also use the box to store the mother plants that you're using for the cuttings and any other crops in a vegetative state. A clone box allows you to generate an ongoing supply of green goodness all year round

If you're planning to cultivate pips inside the clone box, get premium seeds from a reputable supplier such as Homegrown Cannabis Co. Better quality seeds give you a better harvest after all your efforts. To find out more on how to get the best yields from your cannabis crops, subscribe to our newsletter for tips and hints. 

About the author: Parker Curtis

Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.

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