A recent study from the University of Connecticut showed that the new “retipping” method of propagation resulted in quality cannabis flowers while using less space.
A new study recently published in HortScience showed that a novel method of making new cannabis plants, called “retipping,” worked as well as using microcuttings and stem cuttings, but used less propagation space (1). The findings of the study from researchers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) suggested that plants from all three methods grew to a similar size, had the same chemical profile, and the cannabis flowers did not differ. However, retipping required the least propagation space and would potentially allow cultivators to grow more starter plants in their facilities (1).
“Retipping has the potential to produce nine-times as many plants in a similar amount of floor space as stem cuttings from traditional stock mother plants,” said Jessica Lubell-Brand, PhD, principal investigator on the project. “This method could help cultivation facilities grow more in less space while maintaining the quality of their final product.”
Common propagation methods use stem cuttings from large, conventionally grown mother plants, which take up significant cultivation space, accumulate diseases, and lose vigor over time (1). For this study, researchers took cuttings from mother plants that had been recently micropropagated in laboratory-controlled settings and grown in small containers. According to the study, retipping can enhance output from the micropropagation process by using the plants as mothers instead of, and in addition to, using them as production plants to grow flowers.
“Not every cultivation facility has the means to build a laboratory and grow micropropagated plants,” says Lubell-Brand. “However, there are plant nurseries with laboratories that can step in to provide them, especially as more cannabis cultivation becomes legal in more states. This supply chain strategy is commonly used in the ornamental nursery trade.”