Cannabis Seeds or Clones? What to Consider When Starting Growing Cannabis


Deciding whether to grow marijuana from cannabis seeds or clones is a decision that takes some research. Seeds are reliable and easy to start, while clones are efficient and carry all the benefits of the mother plant. Both ways of growing come with their own pros and cons. Learning about the two can help a grower decide on what is best for them once they have the proper facts.

Growing cannabis starts with quality cannabis seeds or from cuttings that are taken from a mother plant. Both offer the possibility of good, hearty plants with lots of quality buds. Every grower has their personal preference. Some enjoy the speed of clones, while others trust the step by step method of seeds, and both can offer great results.

Growing Cannabis from Seeds

PROS

Many growers love to cultivate their plants right from cannabis seeds. It is a purist way to grow. Seeds are easy to get and legal in most countries, so growers are not afraid to purchase them and begin their growing process. Ordering seeds online is simple and they are shipped discreetly so there are no issues with others knowing what is in the package. Whether growing is for personal or business purposes, seeds are easy to obtain.

One of the benefits of growing from seed is that there are no negative influences that have affected them. Their genetics are fresh and unaltered. They have not been exposed to a growing environment that is problematic or prone to disease. They are clean and ready to grow.

Seeds also let a grower create strains. Once an understanding of growing is in place, then breeding a female plant with a good male plant gives a grower the ability to create a strain of their own. Seeds will be produced that can be used in the next growing season.

Along with an ability to grow various strains with quality seeds is the fact that good seeds mean you are getting a high percentage guarantee that the plants will be female. Why is this an issue? Because female plants are what is needed when a grower wants buds that are rich in cannabinoids.

Males have pollen sacs that are needed for breeding but will not help the female plant yield quality cannabis. Feminized seeds mean you will not have to spend time, energy and money trying to weed out male plants and growers will be assured of quality bud with feminized plants.

CONS

One significant problem with seeds is that they do not always germinate. No matter where a grower buys their seeds from, there is rarely 100% germination. This can end up being an expensive issue if there are multiple dud seeds. Growers have to germinate extra seeds to make up for any that may fail.

A second issue is that seeds vary from generation to generation. Each seed, even from the same plant, will have a slightly altered genotype. This means they have a unique genetic code. It will vary from parental plants and siblings. Seeds will not offer an exact clone of a parent plant. There will be some variation in their color, height and how much bud they produce.

CONS

They will also have traits that are derived from the environment they are growing in. Temperature, lights, humidity level and water will have influence phenotypic tendencies. Uniformity of a crop grown from seeds is harder to achieve than with clones.

Seeds also take longer than clones to become mature. It can add 1-2 weeks of extra growing from seed. This can be problematic if growing is going to be affected by weather or delivery deadlines. It makes growing a little more unpredictable.

Growing Cannabis from Clones

Clones are cuttings that come from mother plants. The cutting is rooted before putting it into a growing medium. A clone is going to give a crop all of the same genetics as the mother plant.

PROS

Cuttings from a mother plant mean that a female plant is going to give female cuttings. This allows growers to avoid the risk of a male plant which can threaten a female crop.

Using clones saves time compared to seeds. There is no need to wait for seeds to germinate and then risk the root in moving them to a growing medium. Once a clone is cut, then it is ready to go.

Clones ensure there are no surprises. The grower knows what the new plants are going to be as they will have the traits of the mother plant exactly. Where seeds will alter in genetics even within the same strain, clones will remain constant.

CONS

One of the biggest issues with clones is that they are hard to find. Seed banks are a breeze as online sales are everywhere, but clones are problematic as they need to come from an actively growing plant. Shipping is a problem as it is often illegal, and they are also at risk of dying in transit.

A secondary issue with clones is that they are delicate. Once a seed has a root, then it can be put in soil, but a clone has to be helped to grow its roots before this can happen. They need optimal humidity levels and temperatures to make sure a root can be established for growing. Without these things, they will die before the root is ready to go.

While clones mean you get plants that are all identical, that includes bad traits as well. If a mother plant has an unknown issue such as a genetic fault, then a grower can be replicating that through cloning.

Final Thoughts

Since growing cannabis plants from clones and seeds both have their pros and cons, what should a grower decide to do? The answer to this is completely subjective. It depends on personal preferences and how much skill the grower has. Beginners are going to have an easier time if they choose to go with seeds, as clones can be tricky when it comes to re-establishing the cutting.

If a grower has the patience, time and money, then there is nothing wrong with trying both. Once each way of growing has been attempted, then it is easier to decide what growing method works best in a particular growing circumstance.

Olivia Solero

Olivia Solero is the Co-founder of Cannabis Stack. Olivia has an unusual blend of creative thinking and the ability to put that thinking into effect. She likes to write; loves to edit; she knows how to lead, follow or get out of the way; she is good with a buck and wicked smart when it comes to data.


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