Seeds vs Clones: Comparison for the first grow?

May 25, 2020

Seeds vs Clones: Comparison for the first grow?

Decided to grow cannabis but struggle to choose between seeds and clones? We will go over all the pros and cons helping you to understand when it is better to pick one option over another. Possessing this knowledge will help you to base your decision on facts and start growing without any doubts.

The question of what is better between seeds and clones is a small holy war inside of smoker’s community. There are numerous arguments stating why a particular method is better. As well as people who will die hard trying to prove that their way is ultimately the best. I will try to avoid any evaluative judgments and provide only solid facts. So that you can form your own opinion.

Growing with seeds

Note that when talking about seeds I mean only feminized autoflowers. They are the best option for a beginner since require much less attention and easily forgive some common growing mistakes.

Seeds Advantages:

1) TAPROOT

When cannabis seeds germinate they shoot out a long strong taproot. This root provides strong support to young baby and effectively absorb water and nutrients. That’s why in the very beginning a seed plant will be much more sturdy and healthy than a clone.

2) DISEASE-FREE START

It is impossible to have an infected plant, whereas creating a clone requires a mother plant that might have some disease.

3) PHENOTYPIC DIVERSITY

Every seed you plant has a potential to become something new and different. It can literally impress you. The clone on the other hand is not likely to outperform his mother.

4) LONG STORING TIME

You can always keep your seeds for later; proper storing will make them last for decades. It is very easy to create good storing conditions as seeds take little to no space.

5) ACCESSIBILITY

It is very easy to get seeds. A number of seedbank websites offer all the strains you could ever dream about. One order and the seeds are in your pocket within a week.

6) NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED

Literally everyone can germinate a cannabis seed after reading a half page instruction. It is as simple as growing a flower, in fact even more simple because Cannabis is very sturdy and unpretentious.

7) FIXED GROWTH TIME

It just takes around 8 weeks between the harvest and the germination of the seed. For clones it is not guaranteed, can be much longer as well as much shorter. Depends on the age of the mother and velocity of root system development.

Seeds Disadvantages

1) HIGHER PRICE

Seeds can be quite costly, especially if you go for some very popular strain. However, it is so much cheaper than buying weed all the time that I would not put it into substantial disadvantage.

2) GERMINATION RATE

Unfortunately, not all seeds germinate. Cannabis is the only type of plant that make people completely mad if it doesn’t grow. Though it is important to note that among all the plants cannabis has one of the biggest germination rate. Whereas roughly 50% of fruits and vegetables won’t make it to the flowering stage, 3 out of 4 cannabis seeds will successfully germinate from my experience.

3) SENSITIVE SPOUTS

Beginners will kill some spouts due to overwatering and other mistakes. But it is an inevitable part of the learning process that everyone goes through.

Growing with clones

How to clone marijuana plants | Leafly

Clones are an exact genetic duplicate of the mother. If the mother is a female, the clones will be female. If the mother produces bunch of a buds, the clone will produce them as well. Need high yields? Pick a mother who has already been used to make clones that yield like crazy.

Clones Advantages:

1) SAME AGE AS MOTHER

Clones will be at the same maturity stage as their mother. If the mother has been growing for 6 weeks by the time you take a cut, the clone will be able to go to the flowering stage as soon as it reaches the desired size.

2) RESILIENCE

In general, clones are less vulnerable than a young seed. However, this temporary advantage disappears as soon as a seed plant becomes a couple of weeks old.

3) FREE OF CHARGE

If you find a mother plant a clone will literally cost nothing.

4) CONSISTENCY 

Clones simplify a grow. Because clones are exact duplicates, each one will like the same type of light, the same amount of feed, the same pH levels—the same everything. Even if you grow all one strain from seed, you'll have some that can take heavy feed and some that get nutrient burn at the drop of a hat.

5) EFFECT SIMILARITY

The weed obtained from the clone will have very similar potency to its mother plant.

Clones Disadvantages:

1) NO TAP ROOT

Instead of a taproot clones have a network of fibrous secondary roots. That means they don’t absorb nutrients as effectively as seed grown plants.

2) EXTRA REQUIREMENTS

Making your own clones requires enough room and equipment to keep healthy mothers, as well as new clones that are still establishing their root system

3) THEY WORK OR THEY GO

There is no possibility to take a break from growing. Unlike seeds, you won't be able to tuck your clones away for future use as they have very short shelf-time.

4) EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Cloning is a little more complicated than germinating a seed. Not all clones will develop roots. Don't be surprised if it takes you several times before you get good at it (or even produce one clone).

5) SMOKING THE SAME STUFF

There is no variety, if you clone from your own mother the weed will always be the same. To compensate that you can try to exchange clones with other growers, but you need contacts and the range will still never be the same like with thousands of seeds from the seedbanks.

6) DISEASES

Clones my bring diseases to your grow room. If the mother was infected the clones will inherit it as well. Even healthy clones can have hitchhikers like spider mites that travel with them from dispensaries and markets into clean grow rooms

7) TAKES LONGER TIME

Transplanting a clone causes some trauma and shock that needs recovery time. If you're expecting to cut your time by more than a few weeks, you may be a bit disappointed in your new clones.

8) BORING GROWTH

Growing clones might get boring as they will always look the same as their predecessors at all stages. On the other hand growing seed is so much fun because you will never know how will it look like the next week.

Key takeaways

Now let’s sum everything up and highlight which method is more suitable for certain conditions.

Seeds are better when:

  • There is no mother plant to take cuts from
  • You just want a single growth or long breaks between several growths
  • There is lack of space for keeping mother plant
  • You want to experience the growing process from the very beginning

Clones are better when:

  • You want identical plants
  • Aiming to get bigger yield

I hope that you find it useful. Wish you good luck with the first grow. Be attentive to the details and thoroughly educate yourself before starting.


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