Clones can be an easy and efficient way to introduce new genetics into your garden. Whether you’re looking for a proven strain to deliver consistent flavor and yield or are hunting for a cut of some rare “clone-only” phenotype, bringing home a clone can solve a number of problems. But clones can also create problems as well. Often described as silent killers, tainted clones can bring your whole grow to a screeching halt if left unattended.

What makes a clone so potentially dangerous, and what can a grower do to help prevent introducing bad clones into their space? Here are three helpful tips to safely bring home clones into your garden.

1. Find a Reputable Source

(Flickr/Harborside Health Clinic Overview)

The most crucial step in finding clean clones is to choose a reputable source. However, determining the actual source of your clone may be difficult. Depending on where you live, you’ll be able to find clones at either your local dispensary or a nursery. Many times, clones from these facilities are taken from in-house cultivars, but there will also be cases where cuttings have been acquired from a third party source. When purchasing clones for your home garden, always ask your purveyor where the strains came from. If you can’t get a legitimate answer, try finding another source.

It’s important to know the origin of your clones because this will be where your problems, if any, originate. Diseases, pests, incorrectly labeled genetics, and unknown systemic pesticide residues are among the handful of issues a mystery clone may carry. Knowing reputable vendors is the easiest way to help prevent one of these issues from potentially reaching your grow. Never hesitate to research the dispensaries and grow facilities you plan to acquire genetics from, and always ask questions about the clones themselves when purchasing.

2. Inspect Your Clones

Not all diseases, pests, pesticide residues, or genetic markers will be easy to spot with your naked eye, but giving your clones a good once-over before introducing them to your garden can help identify many problems beforehand if you know what to look for.
Here are a few identifiers to reference when inspecting your new potential clones:

Stem Width – Looking at the width of the…