What Is The Difference Between Seeds And Clones?
Growing your own cannabis medicine at home has many advantages, and it is probably one of the most fulfilling things you can do. It will take time and patience to learn how to grow cannabis plants the right way, but with dedication you can eventually turn it into a real passion.
But it all boils down to the question of: How do I start?
Where do you grow from? Seed or clone? This is a choice that all cannabis cultivators, aspiring or professional, have to make. Each of them have their own unique benefits and properties. Most indoor cannabis growers prefer to grow using clones, which are basically rooted cuttings that share the same genetics as the cannabis plant where it came from. On the other hand, outdoor cannabis growers prefer to use the actual seed.
In order to clone a plant, you’ll need access to the mother plant, which should be nurtured under sunlight anywhere between 16 to 24 hours a day. This method is used to prevent flowering. There’s also the option of purchasing clones from a cannabis dispensary. Using a mother plant for cloning means that you will be able to produce the best top-shelf bud possible. However, clones are female plants that also need to be rooted indoors. The advantage here is that growers don’t need to worry about the sex of the plant or having to remove male parts. Using clones also gets to mean that you can skip the germination process.
You will also need to replant them if you plan to grow them outdoors. The main disadvantage of using clones is that since they require less maintenance compared to growing from the actual cannabis seed, the plant you’ll get tends to be smaller and will often yield less. During the latter part of winter or the early spring, there’s the opportunity to grow a larger cannabis plant if you grow the clones indoors. This way, you have a good headstart into the growing season. Cloned cannabis plants also don’t grow a taproot, which is the thicker part of the root that penetrates into the ground with the intention of giving the plant more stability. This makes cannabis plants from clone more susceptible to high winds and drought.
- Guaranteed gender
- Clones are usually mature when you start growing them, which gives you a headstart. They also have a shorter grow period and will be ready for harvesting a little quicker compared to seed
- Clones can be grown into a mother plant and then recloned so that you have a constant source of new cannabis plants. Any plant can be cloned to create an unlimited number of plants
- Clones are identical to the mother plant so you know pretty much exactly what effects you’re going to get. There may be a little variance with clones but they still grow much more similarly than 2 random plants
- Rooted clones can be manipulated to flower immediately if you have to face time and space issues
- Clones may be a challenge to find compared to seeds. Almost anyone can get a seed because of its availability in dispensaries and seed banks
- If the mother plant had issues such as pests and viruses then it’s likely that you, as the new grower, may face the same problems using the clone
- If you grow a clone that hasn’t been well-established, it can die on you unexpectedly or stay in a state of shock for a prolonged period. Cloning, when done incorrectly, may require weeks to correct the plant so that it recovers well
- Newly developed clones are more high-maintenance when it comes to nutrients and lights, compared to plants grown from seed
Provided that you buy your cannabis seeds from a legitimate dispensary or seed bank, you can be assured of better genetics and origins. You’ll also have access to more variety of strains and will know exactly what you are getting. Using seeds is ideal for first-time growers, as long as you know that you’re working with healthy seeds.
Growing plants from seeds will result in a taproot, which will help secure the plant and give it stability. The advantage of a taproot is that it can dig deep into the soil and reach for water if it isn’t readily available. Taproots grow lateral branches, giving the plant an entire network of roots that will occupy a larger area, which is why it’s preferred for outdoor grows. However, the taproot doesn’t have to be an issue if you want to use seeds for indoor or container gardening.
- Buying your seeds from an established seed bank will give you more accurate information on the plant’s effects, yield, potency, flowering time, and look
- There is the option of buying feminized seeds so you get 100% females and don’t have to worry about removing the male parts of cannabis plants
- Growing from seed lets you grow your own next set of seeds when you mate two plants, also giving you an unlimited supply of seeds
- Starting your grow from seeds means that there are less chances of your plant inheriting any pests or disease from a mother plant
- There is no guarantee that all your seeds will germinate
- Around half of non-feminized seeds might end up being male, which won’t produce bud
- If the seeds are old, in bad condition or has been stored improperly, they will grow slowly
- Seeds take more time to harvest compared to clones, because clones are already usually mature and established
- Growing seeds may be costlier especially if you are growing famous strains
- While creating your own seeds will save you money, you will still need to invest time and effort to mate two plants in order to produce more seeds
Both cannabis seeds and clones have their own pros and cons. Some think that the best way to grow your own plants is by using a combination of seeds and clones. What are your thoughts about growing plants from seeds versus clones?