Growing Weed From Seed Vs Clone

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When starting a cannabis garden, you have two options: start with seeds or start with clones. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so ultimately… When comparing cannabis seeds vs clones there are a handful of pros and cons to using one over the other. Should I start my cannabis plant with seeds or clones? Should you start growing your cannabis plant with seeds or clones? Each method has pros and cons, so check out the comparison below to find

Growing with Seeds vs. Clones

When starting a cannabis garden, you have two options: start with seeds or start with clones. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so ultimately, it comes down to a grower’s personal preference, experience, and confidence to know which is the right choice.

Let’s talk the pros and cons of growing cannabis from seeds versus clones.

The pros and cons of growing cannabis from seeds

Like everything in life, there’s some pros and cons of starting cannabis from seeds.

The pros of growing cannabis from seeds:

  • Availability
  • Seeds are always uncontaminated
  • Seeds grow taproots
  • Seeds allow you to phenohunt

The biggest advantage of using seeds is that you can obtain them from an infinite number of online sources. Additionally, fresh seeds haven’t been introduced to the environment, so they are completely free of pests and disease.

A tap root is the plant’s main root that grows straight down from a germinated seed. Essentially, they’re the backbone of the plant. Seeds grow sturdier taproots than clones that do not grow taproots at all. This allows for a greater yield in the long run.

Each seed produces a different representation of its genetics. These are called phenotypes. Growing from seeds allows the grower’s choice of which variation is the best. This is called “pheno hunting.”

The cons of growing cannabis from seeds:

  • Seeds cost money
  • Your seeds might not germinate
  • Seeds require a longer growth period

On the flip side, seeds cost money to keep buying versus clones that start free from a live plant. Additional limits of seeds is that they don’t always germinate or produce female plants. That means if you buy 10 seeds, probably half will be male, and you’ll have to grow and watch the plants carefully to get the males out of your garden ASAP. Lastly, growing has a longer growth period because you must go through both the germination and seedling stages.

The pros and cons of growing cannabis from clones

Growing cannabis from clones has its pros and cons too.

The pros of growing cannabis from clones:

  • The plants are always female
  • Faster growth process
  • You don’t have to pheno hunt
  • Clones are less expensive

The main advantage of growing cannabis from clones is that they are guaranteed to be females. You don’t have to watch for males sprouting, and additionally, you don’t have to go through the seedling stages, which makes for a much faster harvest timeline. Another advantage of clones is that you don’t have to pheno hunt. With a perfect mother, you can keep producing that exact expression of the strain without variation. Lastly, clones are less expensive because you just need a cutting of the mother plant versus needing to buy seeds from a dispensary or seed bank.

The cons of growing cannabis from clones:

  • Illegal to buy online
  • Vulnerable to environmental stressors
  • Lower yields

Conversely, there are some disadvantages to growing from clones. For one, it’s illegal to buy clones online so that limits you to whatever genetics the dispensary or a friend has. Additionally, the lack of a taproot makes clones weaker and more vulnerable to environmental pests and sickness. This is why clones are best left to experienced growers that know how to manage their volatility. If your cuttings are sick, so will be the flowers your plant’s grow (or don’t grow). Lastly, clones lacking a taproot also leads to a smaller plant with lower yields.

How to select healthy cannabis clones

If you go the clones route, it’s imperative that you select healthy clones to work with. This mostly comes down to an eye test. A few things to look for are strong, white roots in the bottom of them. Brown roots signify a weak plant that may be on its way to the afterlife. Additionally, take a close look at the plant’s coloring. If it’s yellow, the clone may be sick and frail; or if it has white spots that signify pests like spider mites, this is a clone you shouldn’t introduce to your garden.

Tips of germinating cannabis seeds

If you choose the seeds route, the paper towel method is your best best for getting those seeds to pop. Fold a paper towel in half, then put the seeds between it. Spray the top with water and then put them in a freezer bag, or between two plates. Then sit the bag/plates in a dark cabinet for a couple of days, and after a while, those seeds should pop out with a baby taproot.

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Tips for getting seedlings transplanted into soil

Seedlings are extremely fragile and prone to damage, so handle them with care when transplanting into soil. The most important part of transplanting seedlings into soil is to space them out so the plants’ roots can have enough room to stretch. This avoids them becoming tangled up, otherwise known as rootbound.

When transplanting seedlings into soil, make sure to wash your hands and wear gloves so your dirty mitts don’t stress the plant, otherwise known as transplant shock. Spraying the seedlings with a sprinkle of water during the process, or watering them one or two days before, will also minimize transplant shock. Once you move those seedlings into the ground or containers, lightly pack the soil, fully water the plant, and pat yourself on the back.

Cannabis Seeds vs Clones: Which is Better for Growing?

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.

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.

Stronger Taproot

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.

Big Yields

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 Phases

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

Higher Costs

Growing from cannabis seeds can increase your cultivation costs. Some seeds are affordable, but rare and exotic strain prices can add up over time.

Inconsistent Results

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.

Advantages of Growing Cannabis from Clones

Growing with clones is easy, fun, and has many benefits over growing with seeds.

Learn How To Grow Cannabis!

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.

Fast Growth

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.

Lower Costs

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.

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Sensitive Plants

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.

Lower Yields

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.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

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

Whether growing from seed or clone, Cannabis Training University’s Master of Cannabis certification program provides a comprehensive cannabis education in cannabis cultivation, extraction, cooking, law, medicine, careers, and business. Learn from the pros at CTU!

Should I start my cannabis plant with seeds or clones?

Should you start growing your cannabis plant with seeds or clones? Each method has pros and cons, so check out the comparison below to find out what’s right for you!

Starting With Cannabis Seeds

Pros:

If you buy your seeds from an established seed bank, than you have a great idea on how your plant will be like in terms of looks, yield, quality, and flowering time.

Cannabis seeds can be discreetly delivered to almost anywhere in the world – you don’t need to know a cannabis grower in person or collect bagseed in order to start growing with seeds

You can purchase feminized seeds from a seed bank which means you will get 100% females and don’t have to worry about male marijuana plants. Only female cannabis plants produce bud. Learn more about male and female cannabis plants.

You can breed your own seeds by mating two cannabis plants, which gives you a basically unlimited supply of seeds

Seeds give you the best chance of a ‘clean slate’ which means you plants won’t come with any sort of disease or pests

Cons:

Not all seeds will germinate

Old seeds or improperly stored seeds may be slow growing

If using non-feminized seeds, about half of the plants will end up being male, which do not produce buds. Learn how to identify male plants right away.

Seeds can take a little more time than clones to get started growing and be ready for harvest, since clones are usually already “mature” and established when you start growing

Costs can add up if purchasing seeds for every grow, and famous strains can cost quite a bit of money per seed

Creating your own seeds will save you monetary cost, but there is still a cost in time (and effort) to cross together two plants to make seeds

Seeds are a good way for many people to start growing because they can be easily purchased off the internet. Where can I safely purchase cannabis seeds?

Sometimes you will find good seeds (bagseed) in marijuana that you have purchased which can definitely be used to start growing. The downside of using seeds that you find is you will have no idea what to expect as far as growth, yields, or size. The bud quality of bagseed is often different from the buds it came from, since it is not a stablized strain. It could be like the bud it was found it, or it could be completely different.

When using unknown seeds, you will need to determine the gender your plants as they are growing to prevent any males from pollinating your females.

Healthy seeds should be dark brown or light grey. If you find seeds which are small and white, they are likely immature and won’t germinate properly.

Healthy seeds can be stored in a cool dark place, or your fridge until you’re ready to use them(don’t freeze them).

Seeds which are kept in a cool, dark place remain viable for years, though after a few years you will notice that they take a bit longer to germinate and you may get a few more duds than with fresh seeds. Seedlings from older seeds can also be really slow growing even if you’re giving them perfect conditions.

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Starting With Cannabis Clones

Pros:

Guaranteed gender – if the mother plant was female, the clone will be female too

Clones usually have a head start compared to starting with a seed, since clones are usually already mature and established when you start growing with them. Compared to seeds, clones usually have an overall shorter grow period and therefore will be ready to harvest a bit more quickly.

Clones can be quickly grown into a ‘mom’ and recloned, for a constant source of new plants. You can clone any plant to create an unlimited amount of plants

Since clones are genetically identical to their mother plant, you know almost exactly what you’re getting. Although there is some variance even between clones, they tend to grow much more alike than two random plants.

Rooted clones can be coaxed to flower almost immediately if time or space is an issue

Cons:

Clones can be harder to find compared to seeds – many people don’t know a cannabis grower in real life, and seeds are really easy for almost anyone to get due to the availability of online seed banks

If the original grower had any problems with the mother plant (like pests or viruses) then it’s possible that the new grower (you) can inherit the same problems from the clone

If you start with a clone that hasn’t been well established, it’s possible it might unexpectedly die on you, or remain in shock for a long time. When cloning is done incorrectly, it may take weeks of extra care in order for the plant to recover

Newly created clones are more sensitive/picky about lights and nutrients compared to young plants from seed

In order to get clones, you will need to know someone who already has marijuana plants, or you may be able to buy some from your local medical marijuana dispensary if you’re in a suitable location and have a recommendation for marijuana from your doctor.

Starting with a clone can save you a couple of weeks compared to starting with seeds because they have a head-start on growth. Using clones also guarantees the gender of your plant because the clones have the exact same genetics as their parent plant including gender.

If you have a female plant that you like, you can just clone her indefinitely to make more plants without ever again having to worry about sexing your plants or creating seeds. Yet you will also end up with the same strain/genetics for every clone you take off the same plant.

If you’re starting out with a clone, you want to treat it gently for the first day or two that you have it. If your clone hasn’t established roots yet, then you want to make sure that it stays moist and gets gentle light (like from florescent tubes) until it develops some roots. A humidity dome will help the plant get moisture until she’s established her roots.

If your clone has already established its roots, then put it in its new home with your lights a bit further away than normal until she’s settled in and showing new growth.

Only give your clone just a little bit of water at first with a highly diluted cannabis-friendly “grow” nutrient solution.

It’s tempting to want to put your lights close to the new baby and give it full-strength nutrients because you want to do everything you can to make sure it does okay.

However, in the very beginning, less is more for your clone. Your clone is more sensitive to heat and light than an established plant, and you’re putting it in a completely new environment.

It’s important to check on your clone frequently during it’s first 24 hours to make sure there isn’t any unforeseen problems such as it tipping over. Once the clone has started really growing (usually after a couple of days) then you can put your lights closer and start feeding it with full-strength nutrients.

Cost can be high to continue using seeds, whether in time or money. You can spend a lot of time cross-breeding plants and controlling the number of males to produce your own seeds. If making your own feminized seeds, you have to worry about creatingmasculinized female plants which also won’t give you any bud. If you choose to purchase your seeds for every crop, than the cost can really start to add up.

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