When growing cannabis, you have two paths to choose from: seeds or clones. One one hand, seeds are reliable, easy, and accessible. Clones, on the other, are fast, efficient, and carry the exact traits of the mother plant. However, both methods have their downsides. Let’s compare seeds and clones so you can decide how to proceed with your grow.
Most home growers around the world start their projects using seeds. That’s largely because they’re more accessible and legal in most countries, but that’s not all they have going for them. Let’s discuss some of the best reasons to start your grow from seeds.
ADVANTAGES OF GROWING CANNABIS FROM SEEDS
Although regular seeds emerge as both sexes, high-quality feminized seeds offer a 99% guarantee of being female.
After reading the above, starting with seeds might seem like perfection. However, everything in life has a downside. With that in mind, let’s shift the discussion to the not-so-advantageous aspects of using seeds.
Some growers prefer the speed of clones, whereas others prefer going all the way, start to finish, from seeds. Whether you’re a new grower or a seasoned vet, it’s key to learn about both techniques so you can experiment in the future and maximise results.
Where you are going to grow should also be a consideration. When you look at seeds vs clones, outdoor growing tends to be a bit challenging for clones. With lowered defenses such as the lack of a taproot, and other built-in seedling benefits, outdoor-grown clones need a lot of support to avoid shock and environmental attack.
Typically, No. Any plant grown from seed will have the genetic makeup of both the male and female parents. If your female clone develops seeds, it has been pollinated by a male. Clone seeds, therefore, will have both the male and female plant’s characteristics. However, the process of selfing can induce a female clone to produce a male flower. The pollen from that flower is used to self-fertilize the female flower on the same plant. The fertilized female flower then produces feminized clone seeds . These seeds will produce identical plants because the clone pollinated itself.
Disadvantages of using clones
First of all, let’s start with a clarification. You can’t technically clone seeds ; you can clone the plants grown from feminized seeds, and there are very few reasons not to do so. Of course, when you look at clones vs seeds yield , you will find that the yields of a cloned plant will be smaller but, the cloned plant does not lose its potency. It also inherits all the best qualities of its mother plant.
Yes, you can make feminized seeds from clones. This is because it does not matter if the plant is from clones or seeds. The important thing is getting the clone to produce seeds, and then following the same process to feminize those seeds. As long as the clone is female, you can fertilize it using any other male plant.
The most challenging aspect of growing from seed – determining the sex of your plants- is remedied by using feminized seeds. These types of seeds are guaranteed to be female and therefore produce sinsemilla weed.
Apart from developing their roots differently, clones and seeds also develop differently above ground. On one of our latest strain hunting expeditions, we discovered that clones develop one sided nodes. Each time the stem of a clone splits into branches, it only develops one single branch per node. Cannabis plants from seeds on the other hand, develop two-sided nodes. Considering they develop double the amount of branches per plant and have a bigger and more stable root systems, weed from seeds potentially yields much more than clones.
On top of these drawbacks, finding good quality clones can be exceedingly difficult. Even if you do find a breeder willing to sell you some, they will be expensive. And that’s even before you start to try and keep the clones alive in your own grow setup! All in all, finding top quality genetics is much easier, cheaper, and safer when you order cannabis seeds online. Seeds are designed by nature to carry all the precious genes safely to the spot where the seed can germinate and grow into a new cannabis plant. That makes the case for choosing good seeds over clones pretty clear, but there is more to consider.
Clones will not grow as sturdy as cannabis plants from seeds, though. After germination, cannabis seeds develop a fat taproot, which travels as far down into the soil as it can. The taproot serves like an anchor, increasing the stability of the plant. This vertical root will go on to develop lateral roots horizontally, ensuring a deep-rooted cannabis plant. And as we stated before, root volume equals yield volume. So a healthy and substantial seed-grown root system is all set to produce a healthy and substantial yield.
More Branches = More Buds
Clones are literally an identical copy of their mother. Because they are made by carefully cutting off a branch of a plant that has proven itself (through amazing flavor, mold resistance or potency for example), and letting that branch develop its own root system. If it works out, you end up with a cloned cannabis plant: a new organism with the exact same genetic code as its mother plant. In biology, the totality of an individual’s genetic makeup, encoded in its genes, is called ‘genotype‘.
As noted, clones are simply rootless branches cut off a mother plant. Obviously, the first thing they need to develop after you plant them is a root system. And that takes energy; a whole lot of it, in fact. Meanwhile, the existing leaves of the clones demand energy to grow and continue THEIR work: photosynthesis.
Some growers with an experimental mindset like to develop new strains of their own. If they succeed, they can proceed in two ways: clone the new plant, or pollinate it to grow new seeds naturally? They’ll need to cross two existing strains first, though, and to do that they need cannabis seeds, not clones. Crossbreeding two clones with the same genotype is pointless. Moreover, clones are usually female plants, and attempting to two females is obviously problematic… Anyone interested in creating new variants using natural reproduction (between plants, that is!) is going to need male and female specimens. Our regular seeds are the best choice for doing so. These seeds, such as Critical Mass Regular for instance, become male plants in 50% of all cases; in contrast to feminized seeds that yield nearly 100% female plants.
Before we compare clones and seeds, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. We can’t overstate the importance of using good genetics. As we say so often, any good grow starts with great genetics. In our AG online seeds catalogue, you’ll find some of the best seeds in the world carrying all those great genes inside. Nonetheless, growing cannabis can also be done using clones.