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If you can legally grow weed at home, you can start from either cannabis seeds or clones. Clones are ready-to-plant seedlings grown from seeds. Here, we'll cover the pros and cons of starting with seeds or clones to help you choose the right one for your cannabis garden.
What Are Cannabis Seeds?
Cannabis seeds are tiny, teardrop-shaped seeds produced by female cannabis plants pollinated by male plants. One pollinated female plant can make hundreds of cannabis seeds containing genetics from a male and female cannabis plant.
Further Reading: Ultimate Guide to Marijuana Seeds
Advantages of Growing Cannabis from Seeds
Growing cannabis from seed is a good choice for beginners and seasoned growers. This method has numerous advantages, including a greater variety of genetics, more robust plants, and bigger yields.
More Strain Choices
Compared to cannabis clones, you can find a greater variety of strains available in seed form, whether regular or feminized. Growing from seed can give you more options to find the right potency, flavor, and aroma.
Cannabis plants grown from seed tend to have a stronger taproot than ones grown from clones. This may be because clones don't typically grow a strong taproot, the primary, anchoring root. It grows straight down and sprouts lateral roots, providing greater stability and optimal nutrient and water intake.
Growing from cannabis seeds may also produce larger yields, which can be attributed to the stronger taproot and ability to absorb more nutrients and water properly. In addition, seeds may produce dense buds with a higher trichome density.
Disadvantages of Growing Cannabis from Seeds
Growing cannabis from seeds has many advantages and disadvantages, including germinating seeds, higher costs due to buying seeds, and the risk of growing a male plant.
Germinating seeds requires an optimal environment and process described in our Germinating Seeds with a Paper Towel guide. Germinating fresh seeds can take a few days and a couple of weeks for the seedlings to establish correctly.
Not all seeds will germinate during the germination stage, although over 90% usually will if you buy from a reputable dispensary or seed bank.
Growing from cannabis seeds can increase your cultivation costs. Some seeds are affordable, but rare and exotic strain prices can add up over time.
Cannabis seeds can produce a wide range of phenotypes, exhibiting different characteristics depending on their growing environment. If you want identical cannabis plants throughout your entire garden, go with clones.
What Are Cannabis Clones
Cannabis clones are branch cuttings from a marijuana mother plant. They are replanted to grow roots, vegetate, and flower into mature plants. Clones have the same genetic information as their parent plant.
Further Reading: Learn How to Clone Marijuana in 5 Steps
Advantages of Growing Cannabis from Clones
Growing with clones is easy, fun, and has many benefits over growing with seeds.
Grow Your Favorite Strain
If you want to keep growing your favorite strain for years to come, choose clones with the same genetics as the mother plant. Although this process requires growing experience, you can keep growing your favorite strain throughout the year with clones.
Using clones means you skip the germination and seedling phase, which can take a few weeks. This allows you to get quicker harvests and more harvests throughout the year.
You can continue growing a strain by taking cuttings from the same plant (mother plant). It can be cheaper than buying cannabis seeds or new clones.
Disadvantages of Growing Cannabis from Clones
Growing cannabis with clones has many advantages over seeds but also disadvantages that require consideration.
Lack of Genetic Variety
Cannabis clones have the same genetics as the mother plant, meaning there won’t be much variety in characteristics when you grow them. In addition, there are fewer varieties of clones available for purchase at dispensaries and seed banks compared to seed options.
Taking Cuttings can be Difficult
Buying clones is easy, but if you want to take cuttings from your mother plant, it requires a careful process. Although you won’t need to know how to germinate seeds, you must know when and how much to cut, as well as how to plant a cutting for the best results.
If growing from clones, there is a greater risk of producing plants that are not as resistant to pests, diseases, and other elements of the environment, which can be difficult for outdoor growers. New clones are the most vulnerable to stress because they have not developed a robust enough root system.
In some cases, clone cannabis can produce lower yields than seeds. Since some clones may not produce as strong a taproot as a plant grown from seeds, they may produce a lower yield and wispier buds than dense buds produced by seeds.
Cannabis Seeds vs Clones: Which One is Right for Your Garden?
For beginners, we recommend starting with feminized seeds that ensure you grow female plants. Regular seeds have a 50/50 chance of growing a male plant.
Growing clones could be a good option for growers who want to keep a genetic lineage alive of certain strains and can even reduce the overall cost of a cultivation operation.
In most cases, you won't have to choose between either. There are many reasons to go with both seeds and clones.
You can grow from a cannabis seed and then use that as your mother plant to produce clones and keep growing your favorite strain with separate vegetative and flowering rooms.
Learn How to Grow Weed with Cannabis Training University
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