Do You Prefer Growing Cannabis Using Clones or Seeds?
Growing your own cannabis can be a very rewarding thing, not only because you get cannabis to consume in the end, but also because it's a very fun plant to grow.
There are many reasons why people decide to grow cannabis. The most common one I hear is that people want to save money by growing their own cannabis. Others say they do it because they want to know exactly what is put into the cannabis they are consuming.
Whatever the reasoning, more and more people are turning towards growing their own cannabis. I have decided to take that leap myself by starting 'No Consideration Farms' in my garage. It's an indoor garden, and honestly, I expect to yield more learning experiences than dried flower, and I'm perfectly fine with this.
One of the first things that a person needs to decide when starting to grow cannabis is whether to start the cannabis plants from seed, or to obtain clones.
Cannabis seeds are self explanatory, but for those that are newbies to cannabis cultivation (we were all there once!), a cannabis clone is a small cutting from a cannabis 'mother plant' that has developed its own root system after being cut from the mother plant. I have heard people also refer to them as 'starts.'
It's an important decision to make, because it is going to determine what timeline your garden is going to operate on, and largely influence the strategy you incorporate into your garden, especially if you plan on making clones to continue your cycle.
Both options present their own benefits and drawbacks.
Recently, I had to make this decision myself, as I am establishing my own indoor garden in my garage 'No Consideration Farms.'
The benefits to starting with a clone instead of a seed
One of the biggest benefits of starting with a clone, is that you know what you are getting, assuming the source you acquired the clone from is trustworthy and reputable.
If the breeder has samples or documentation as to what previous harvests have looked like, you get a rough, yet fairly decent idea, of what to expect from the clone.
Another big benefit is that it speeds up the cultivation process. Seeds take time to sprout and grow into a plant. A clone already is a plant, and is several weeks ahead of the process compared to a seed that has yet to be sprouted.
Clones are less delicate than seeds, at least in the beginning. A rooted clone is much easier to keep alive and nourish than a newly sprouted, delicate seedling.
Based off of my experience, which admittedly is no where near the level of some growers such as my friend Jorge Cervantes, growing from a clone is easier than growing from seed. Clones are 'plug and play' so to speak, which is important for newbie cannabis growers.
A huge factor that many who prefer clones over seeds point out, is that you know the clones are females. They can still hermaphrodite if they are stressed, but out the gate, you at least know that there are no males. Male cannabis plants do not provide the euphoric and wellness benefits that female cannabis plants do.
The drawbacks of clones
Some cannabis clones carry diseases and/or pests. Powdery mildew is a particularly problematic because a clone could have a disease not yet visible to the naked eye yet. Whatever the mother plant had, so too shall the clone inherit whatever nastiness 'it' may be.
With clones, growers are limited to what is in their area. Dispensaries and stores are helping increase the variety in areas where they are allowed, but the variety still pales in comparison to most seed banks.
Also with clones you either use them or lose them. Clones have a limited shelf life, so you either have to see them through to the end, or watch them wither and die.
Cannabis clones do not have a taproot. As such, there are many out there that believe clones are weaker than seeds, less pest resistant, grow slower, and the buds are not as large. These claims are based off personal experiences, but it's worth noting that there are a lot of reputable veteran growers who feel strongly about this.
For those that don't know what a taproot is, a taproot is a straight root growing vertically downward from the plant base, with forms the center from which other rootlets spring.'
Basically, it's one really big root that other roots spring off of, as opposed to a bunch of tiny roots, as seen in the picture above. Many reputable growers believe that a taproot makes the plant stronger.
There are also many people out there who feel very strongly that taking clones from clones results in 'worn out' DNA in the plant. I haven't seen any science behind this, but again, there are a lot of very reputable growers who feel this way.
Why starting from seed is a good option
When you start from seed, you are not inheriting the potentially nasty pests and diseases from a mother plant. A seed is 'clean' so to speak.
With seeds, there is much more variety out there. It can be risky to acquire seeds, but these days, there are many more stores and dispensaries carrying a much larger variety of quality seeds as compared to most clone inventory selections.
Seeds last a long time when stored, which is a huge advantage to going the seed route. As I stated previously, with clones you either use them or lose them. A seed, any kind of seed, can be stored safely for a long time and still germinate.
Cannabis plants started from seed have a Taproot. As I mentioned, many growers feel that starting from seed results in stronger, more pest resistant plants that grow faster and have bigger buds.
The downside to starting with a seed
There is a risk a grower takes when choosing to start with a seed. A grower invests quite a bit of time before they know if the seed is male or female, even if the source they purchased the seeds from is reliable, it's still a risk.
Seeds are very delicate after they pop. It doesn't take much to kill them. This can be a very big problem for newbie growers who are still just trying to figure things out. I haven't grow for awhile, so for me, this was a big factor in making my decision to start with clones or seeds for my 'No Consideration Farms.'
Seeds take time to pop. Even if the plant ends up being a female, which is awesome, it still takes several weeks for a seed to reach the same size as a clone.
Germinating seeds is a skill that not everyone posseses. It takes experience. As such, the only way to get 'good' at germinating seeds is to do it as many times as it takes to get the process down.
If someone is notoriously awful with plants, starting from seed is likely not a good idea. I'd recommend that if you are a newbie grower, to start with clones and work on perfecting your seed skills in the meantime until you are ready to make the transition.
If you want more guidance on how to grow your own high-quality cannabis using even the smallest of spaces like a closet or spare room, check out this online course.
The debate as to which is better, clone or seed, is a debate which will likely never come to an end. You will always have growers on both sides of the argument swearing their opinion is the only opinion to have.
The fact of the matter is, both sides are right, as there are clearly benefits to both options. It depends on your situation. I personally am choosing to go with the clone route because it speeds up the process.
I will work my way up to using seeds, but even then, I will be taking clones from those plants that were started from seed in order to keep the strain around.
I don't have any problems with people who prefer to only grow starting from seed. That's perfectly fine by me. What do Green Flower readers think? Do you prefer to start from seed, from clone, or do you like both? And why?
Do you prefer to grow cannabis starting from seed, or from a clone?