Growing cannabis at nearly every scale is a complex process starting with the choice between seeds or clones.
Equipment, available tools, accessibility of seeds or clones, & the amount of time/effort will determine if seeds or clones are best. Cannabis seeds are resilient, reliable, and accessible. In contrast, cannabis clones are fast, efficient, and contain the same traits as the mother plant.
Check out the detailed analysis below to know more about the pros and cons of growing both cannabis seeds and clones.
What Are The Advantages Of Growing Cannabis From Clones?
Whether you are growing cannabis indoors or a greenhouse, one of the biggest advantages of growing cannabis with a clone is the predictability of the plant’s sex.
The gender of the cannabis plant clone is able to be known before it reaches maturation.
Knowing the plant’s sex allows the harvester to not have to use as much guess work of the strain when compared to growing cannabis from seeds.
Clones from reputable sources are usually obtained after multiple selection tests to provide more uniformity and regularity in taste and yield.
Using clones at the start is a huge time saver since the germination period, which is usually one of the longer stages, is not required.
With the head start you get from using a clone, the journey from planting to harvesting the flowers can be shortened by several weeks or more.
Clones can be also coaxed into the flowering stage by changing the feeding pattern and environmental conditions.
Because of the exact genotype of the mother plant, cuttings taken from the female mother plant will also be females.
Harvesters can sidestep the 50/50 chance of obtaining a female with non-feminized seeds.
In doing so, the clones can grow into the new ‘mother’ plant and become a constant source of female plants.
If the mother plant is well taken care of, it may reduce the expenses of growing cannabis plants in the long run.
What Are The Advantages Of Growing Cannabis From Seeds?
The primary advantage of seeds is the accessibility that planters have compared to clones.
Seeds are easily obtained from a trusted seed bank while finding high-quality cannabis clones can be very difficult.
Even with the limited variety of seeds available on the market, recreational growers easily obtain them.
Established seed banks ensure the quality, yield, and flowering time -- in contrast to third-party sources.
Investing in a trusted seed bank is critical to maintaining a large scale (or smalle) cultivation operation.
On the contrary, growing non-feminized seeds without knowing can be a waste of effort, time, and money.
There are Plant DNA Sex tests that are also available on the market to prevent any mishaps.
As compared to the fragile state of clones, seeds can grow larger and are typically more resistant to diseases.
Larger yield and more resistant properties are due to the formation of a taproot during the germination period.
A taproot is the large central root that comes out of the seed when germinating.
The taproot anchors the plants to the soil while sprouting lateral roots for better access to water and nutrients.
Plants grown from seeds can also reduce the risk of transferring pests and mildew to other cannabis plants.
Other advantages of growing cannabis from seeds is the larger genetic pool that increases the chance of withstanding unexpected and unfavorable events.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Growing Cannabis From Clones?
The biggest disadvantage of growing clones is the difficulty in actually finding and obtaining clones.
Obtaining a high-yield female clone from a reliable source can be a complex mission to accomplish.
Cannabis growers are commonly known for being low-key about their plantations, while seeds are readily available because of online seed banks.
Another disadvantage is the lower yield that cloned plants provide because of the weaker root system due to the absence of the taproot in clones.
Clone plants are susceptible to diseases, especially if the mother plant had previously encountered problems like pests or viruses.
If the mother plant had to deal with diseases or pests, there’s a possibility that the daughter plant inherited similar issues.
Furthermore, clones require a lot of effort and care during their initial growth stages, including, but not limited to a humid environment, specific nutrients (such as the B1 vitamin), and rooting hormones.
Extra care is needed for clones due to the plants’ high rate of transpiration and fragility when they are freshly cut.
The high humidity levels are a must until roots are formed, meaning potentially more equipment is needed to maintain a constant temperature for the clones to thrive.
If the plant is not well established, they may quickly die or remain in a state of shock, thus not providing any flowers.
Bad traits from mother plants are also passed down to clones.
Any known or unknown underlying genetic issues that the mother plant had, will be inherited by the daughter plants.
Clones are also prone to accelerated senescence. Senescence is the deterioration of the plant’s health due to aging.
Senescence is even more accelerated when clones are taken from a cloned plant.
Finally, cutting the clones triggers minor stress that can cause infection or tissue damage that can start accumulating over time.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Growing Cannabis From Seeds?
Even though the process of germination is not difficult, it can take a long time for the seeds to germinate and form their taproot.
In some situations, the strain type is not necessarily always guaranteed, and some seeds may even fail to germinate.
With different combinations of genetics found in the large number of seeds produced, doesn’t guarantee the seed plant will be the exact replica of the mother plant.
Occasionally, the yield and quality of buds harvested from the seed plants can be inferior to the original plant.
Old seeds or improperly stored seeds may produce a slower and lower bud yield due to the longer time taken for their growth.
Unfortunately, this cannot be known until the germination and growth stages which can be a waste of resources.
Purchasing seeds for every growth becomes expensive as famous strains are costly.
It is also important to determine the sex of the plant as half of the regular seeds can end up being males.
Cannabis growers must know which ones are males to prevent them from pollinating the female plants as it would prevent the formation of buds.
Along with the different variations obtained from seed plants, external factors also affect the phenotype of the plants.
Temperature, nutrients, light, and water are all important factors that can change the phenotypic expression of seed plants.
Uniformity and regularity are even more difficult to achieve since the yield, taste, and strains of seed are also different.
Final Thoughts: The Best Way to Grow Cannabis
The best way to grow cannabis plants all depends on the tools available, the accessibility of both seeds and clones, and the amount of time and effort growers want to dedicate to their crop.
You can also grow cannabis with other plants to enhance your harvest.
The preferences and skills of the harvesters are also important factors that need to be considered.
Experimenting is the best policy to determine what suits you best.
About the author: Joe Powers
After an incident in the military, in 2011, Joe Powers began investigating cannabis by talking with industry leaders. In 2016, Joe launched Hemp Writer with its first publication in clarifying disinformation on specific updates to certain federal CBD laws.
Upon calling out a leading cannabis law firm spreading dis-info, Hemp Writer established itself as an authority in clarifying updated information emerging from the cannabis industry. Joe continues charging forwards with increasing momentum to continue fulfilling his vision of SHARING ACCURATE CANNABIS INFORMATION.