Growing Cannabis Plants: Seeds Versus Clones
There are innumerable pleasures in growing your own cannabis plants. Nurturing plants takes care and patience, and a casual interest can easily blossom into a real passion.
If you are considering growing for the first time, you have taken the first step on the road to becoming a true cannabis connoisseur.
As a first time grower, there is one basic decision you need to make before starting your new venture. Do you plan to raise your plants from seeds or by using clones? You may not have even realized that there are two methods for growing cannabis plants. Each one has its pros and cons, and choosing the right option can mean the difference between success and failure. This information about each technique should help you decide which is right for you.
Growing from Clones
A clone is a cutting from a mature cannabis plant which can be replanted and raised to produce buds. It might seem simple to raise a plant from a clone that has already partially developed, but it can actually be much more difficult than growing a seed from scratch. For one thing, all plants are highly susceptible to diseases such as fungus or infestation by bugs. A clone is the exact genetic image of the mother plant it came from, so if the mother had any health issues, the cutting will also suffer. As a first time grower, you may not have the experience or know-how to deal with these problems, and the plant may die.
The condition of the clone can pose other obstacles. A freshly cut clone needs a lot of tender loving care, and when it’s first replanted it will be extremely sensitive. An initial period of transplant shock is to be expected, and it will need very specific amounts of light and nutrients to nurse it through this phase. Transplant failure is all too common, and a new grower may struggle to keep young clones healthy.
Another major problem with using clones is that they can be hard to find. You will need access to a mature mother plant and, of course, permission to take a cutting. In this event, how can you guarantee what strain of cannabis you’re getting? Will it be any good? This will be a mystery until you’re finally ready to test it. Some clones are available for purchase online, but this is an extremely risky way to buy plants. Shipping clones can be traumatic for them, and you’re likely to receive a clone in poor health. Commercially sold plants are sometimes treated with pesticides or fungicides, and a clone from these plants will contain these elements as well.
The only tangible benefit of using the cloning method for a new grower is that the plant is already farther along in development than a seed would be, and you can hope for an actual yield sooner. If time is not an issue, this may not matter to you at all. It usually only shortens the entire growing cycle by about a month. In addition, most people find that they really enjoying the experience of learning to raise a cannabis plant from its earliest stages. It’s a bit like experiencing a birth, and you can be proud of your adult plant once it flowers knowing that you grew it from seed on your own.
Choosing Seeds for Growing
Starting new plants from seeds is probably a more hassle-free, guaranteed method for inexperienced growers. If growing a plant from a tiny seed sounds intimidating, you can rest easy that it actually poses far less difficulties than using clones.
Firstly, there are great seed banks like Royal Queen Seeds that offer a tried and true product that you can count on. There’s no guesswork with seeds from a seed bank. By having control over what variety you purchase, you’ll already know what you’re getting as far as the strain of the cannabis. This means you won’t waste any time on a low-quality plant. Royal Queen Seeds also offers feminized cannabis seeds. Feminized seeds yield female plants exclusively, and since only the female plants produce buds, you can be assured that your money isn’t being thrown away on plants you can’t use.
Another reason that starting plants from seeds is optimal is because it’s simply what is natural to the cannabis plant itself. Marijuana is an annual plant, meaning that its life in its natural environment is only around a year long. Marijuana plants are simply not genetically engineered to remain active and flowering for longer periods of time, so a clone from a mature plant may already be getting old and could yield less buds than a seedling.
If you think that clones will offer buds sooner than a seedling, consider the fact that Royal Queen Seeds offers auto-flowering seed varieties. Auto-flowering seeds have been carefully cross-bred and conditioned in an area of the world with extended daylight hours. This means that these seeds have been exposed to more of the light that they need to bloom, and therefore will bloom in as little as two to four weeks.
Finally, a plant grown from seed will have a hearty root structure. For those of you completely unfamiliar with gardening of any kind, a tap root is the central part of a plant’s entire root system, extending deep into the surrounding soil and absorbing large amounts of nutrients. A clone is incapable of growing a tap root and may never be as strong and healthy as a plant grown from seed, which will develop its own tap root.
Though growing from clones might have at one time been popular, growers concerned with the singular quality of their plants are moving back to a method of growing from seeds. One look at the extensive selection of premium seeds available online may convince you that the seed method is the best route to success as a new grower.