Deciding if you will be growing from seed or from clone can do be down to a few different things. It can be down to what country you live and what the laws permit, if you are part of a cloning culture, or as the European scene is heavy into growing seeds. Below is a list of the advantages associated with growing from either seed or clone and which may be better suited to your practical needs.
The Benefits Of Growing With Seeds
If you are an old school grower or simply don’t agree with femenised seeds, then you can grow out regular seeds. The advantage of growing from regular seed will mean you will get a better variety of phenotypes than with a femenised genetic match. You will need to label pots and be ready to separate male and female plants also when pre flowering occurs. Not the end of the world and a great way to narrow down a winner keeping phenotype. If you wish to perform your own breeding project then this would be the perfect opportunity.
For those new to growing and have always been aware of regular seeds, then it may be a real time saver to discover femenised seeds. Basically a seed that is genetically programmed to produce only female flowers. The immediate advantage of this is the ability to fully utilise all of your space meaning no wasted pots, no wasted vegging time and nutrients and no empty hydro systems once flowering begins. Another benefit to using femenised seeds is a grower can perform a Sea Of Green set up with easy and have an entire crop filled from top to bottom.
A serious game changer for anyone who suffered from challenging weather outdoors. When it came to growing outside, Northern European growers would face inconsistent summers that usually require strains with a short flowering time and resistance to the cold and wet weather. The evolution of autoflowering seeds means that from seed until harvest , a Cannabis plant can flower without being dependant on any photo periods. Growers in Southern Europe and South America find autoflowers to be easy to grow, discreet and the quality and quantity they produce is top class. The selection of indica, sativa, hybrid or CBD rich varieties is what makes autoflowering strains so popular around the world.
CBD Rich Hybrids:
After judging the CBD category for The High Life Cup 2018, I was extremely surprised as how good the flowers were. In terms of flavour, aroma, taste, appearance and effect they certainly ticked all the boxes. CBD varieties are an amazing turning point for those who are seeking medicinal flowers or want to enjoy the full body of the flower without high THC levels. Not only do CBD strains open the doors even further for recreational use, they also provide a platform that can be enjoyed without any uncomfortable, off putting experiences often associated with potent Cannabis flower. The range of cannabinoid profiles can range from 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, 10:1 and 12.5:1.
Take A Clone Of The Keeper:
The ultimate joy of flowering your labelled pots and waiting to see which one starts to stand out. You will want to have a keeper that you can clone for future use. The benefit of growing with seeds is once you have your best females picked out and after taking a clone of each, waiting to see the plant structure, aroma, resin profile, bud structure and resistance to bugs, mildew and cold weather is the true test. Once that work is done and you can disregard the other selections that were not good enough, you now have a plant that can cloned over and again and grown out into a mother plant.
Arrive In The Post:
Seed banks and breeders these days are everywhere and the choice is certainly overwhelming. One of the best benefits about using seeds is how they can be bought at a store or sent through the post. In Europe the cloning culture that exists in Canada and America is very underground, so the ability to purchase clones from a nursery is out of the question. Many seed companies now also offer many promotions on the websites and can usually guarantee save delivery of goods, within a short time frame of ordering.
The Benefits Of Growing With Clones
Ready To Flower
If you have ever grown from seed and flowered immediately, you will find your plants require at least 3 weeks to grow before producing any flowering sites. As clones do not have a tap roots, the main advantage of working with clones is that they can be flowered immediately once roots form. For those who are growing on a large commercial scale that is profit and number driven, then working with clones that are easy to access and able to flower immediately can increase the total number of grows in one year. Growing a Sea Of Green with clones achieves great results and will usually require a short vegging time. The same applies to growing hydroponically and providing a short growing period.
Saves Buying Seeds:
Some growers have been growing with seeds for so long, that the idea of starting from seeds is a slow, painful process that is only wasting time. Not only that, the requirement to buy seeds in large quantities or bulk orders does not exist anymore. By resorting to a mother plant that provides regular stock, the overall expenses saved in comparison to a grower buying a large number of femenised seeds is huge. This does not mean that a cloning culture is a valid reason to not grow new strains, but for those who work primarily with clones, switching to seeds can cost potential grow cycles in a year.
One of the main reasons why clones are so popular and the hype surrounding them on forums, in magazines and on social media is because they are guaranteed to perform in a certain way. A clone is a genetic match of an original plant that was selected for its desired traits, so even a beginner grower is guaranteed some success when it comes to starting with good genetics. If the clone is a from your keeper phenotype then you will already know exactly how she performs in both seed and clone form.
As the price of seeds and boutique genetics is at an all time high, it seems that clones remain consistent when it comes to value for money. Rooted healthy clones that are ready to plant up and flower will cost around £5-7 each depending on popularity and there will usually be a price drop in the more that is ordered. If you are in a situation where you need to buy clones, then you may be doing so with the intention of taking your own clones from those and then saving an further expense and time spent allocating healthy, bug free clones.
This really applies to growers who have medical cards and are able to legally purchase registered clones. In Humboldt, California the Wonderland Nursery is host to some of the best varietal species of Cannabis ever passed through the hands of growers. To locals of Humboldt, a trip to this nursery and walking away with clones that are not only ready to grow outside without any shock to U.V, they are also personally recommended by well versed staff who can verify if the strain you need is best suited for your growing environment. Canada also follow a large cloning culture and that is down to the legal status on the import of Cannabis seeds.
My Final Conclusion
There are many different scenarios where growing indoors, outdoors and greenhouses require either clones or seedlings. When growing outdoors a well experienced grower will be able to take advantage of the full seasons from Spring until Winter, utilise light deprivation and also grow clones onces the daylight drops to 12 hours of light or less. Growing autoflowering strains has many benefits in many situations and the ability to harvest nearly every 70-80 days means you can produce a constant harvest, and for those who are seeking CBD rich flowers, can enjoy a quicker turnaround time on their medicine with autos. My personal tip to anyone is to always grow from seed and then take a clone, and after growing the clone out at least 3 times, then the plant will truly reveal herself. You would be amazed how a clone of a plant grown from seed can perform better and even improve growth structure.
Good Luck growing either seed or clones to perfection…
Author: Stoney Tark