Cannabis Seeds vs. Clones: Pros, Cons, and Which to Choose 

With the recent advances in cannabis legalization, everyone willing to get a personal supply of top-quality weed for medicinal or recreational purposes can grow a couple of cannabis plants at home. Thus, as soon as you realize that you’re ready for your first weed-growing project, the dilemma you should resolve is whether to opt for the full growing cycle – from seed to harvest – or to take a ready-made clone and develop it in your plantation.

First, you should note that there’s no ideal solution for everyone. Some growers find growing from clones more convenient and suitable for their setups, timing, and experience level. Others prefer to develop their plants from seeds and find this option more comfortable and predictable. In this article, we cover the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision.

Growing from Seeds: Pros and Cons

Cannabis Seeds

Growing your weed from seed is a natural way of developing a plant; it’s how things happen in nature. You buy the seeds of your interest, germinate them using a wet paper towel or any other technique, watch the firm sprout appear from the cracked seed, and then nurture the strong, young plant’s development before moving it to the pot. The benefits of this option are as follows:

  • Strong plant: Seeds develop into sprouts and then grow into healthy, strong plants with a taproot, which makes them more resilient and healthier in the long run. This way, you can be confident in your crops and await a healthy yield regardless of weather conditions or other minor issues your plants may face during the growing cycle.
  • Phenotype differences: Growing weed from seeds gives you an exciting opportunity to explore various phenotypes of one strain variety. Thus, the cultivation process gets more versatile and interesting.
growing your weed from seed
  • Pest and disease resistance: Plants growing from seeds are usually more resistant to pests and disease. In any way your plants won’t be affected by these problems if there are no risks in your growing environment.
  • High yields: It’s commonly considered that plants developing from seeds can yield more buds than those growing from clones. However, this point is debatable, as growers of various expertise levels can affect the yields in many ways.
  • Low costs: Buying a pack of seeds is much cheaper than getting clones. Thus, if you can germinate and grow seeds on your own, it will be a great way to save on the costs of setting up your weed plantation.
  • Broad selection: You can purchase seeds from virtually any location and acquire the most exotic and premium-level strains for your garden. The same is impossible for clones, as you’re limited to a small selection of clones available in the nearby dispensaries.

So, if you find these advantages convincing for selecting your optimal strain and moving on to the cultivation project, you are welcome to

Yet, you shouldn’t consider growing from seeds a one-size-fits-all approach. Growers who start with seeds may come across the following problems:

pollination of cannabis
  • Gender issues: Growing from seeds, especially regular ones, is always guesswork, as some of your plants may be male. Thus, you will need to remove them from the growing room to avoid pollination, thus losing a part of your crop.
  • Longer growth cycle: Seeds take a while to grow into sprouts and then become robust, healthy plants. Thus, buying clones may save up to a month of waiting time.
  • Genotype variations: Seeds of the same strain can grow differently and deliver varied effects on the users. This will never happen with clones, which come with strictly predetermined genetics with no variation possibility, as they are all taken from one mother plant.
  • Germination problems: Seeds require proper care and delicacy in treatment at the germination stage. Let’s face it; not everyone can germinate seeds. So, if that’s about you, this problem shouldn’t stop you on the way to your own weed plantation. Pick the clones and grow them instead of messing with the germination hassle.

Growing from Clones: Pros and Cons

Growing from Clones

Naturally, not everyone is ready to watch their weed grow from seed to plant, especially if they’re complete newbies and have had a couple of unsuccessful germination efforts. In such cases, clones come in handy due to the following benefits:

  • Quicker growth: Clones are already small plants ready for planting in the pot. Thus, you skip the germination stage and the first week of plant development, getting a healthy plant ready for fast growth.
  • Predictable genotype and phenotype: Clones have acquired their name for a reason; they are indeed 100% clones of the mother plant, so you won’t have any surprises regarding bud appearance, aroma, flavor, and effects.
  • Proven gender: All clones are female – no gender surprises.
  • Lower survival requirements: Clones are already well-developed plants, so you don’t risk non-germination or sprout death on the first days when the seedlings are the most vulnerable.
  • A plug-and-play solution: Clones don’t require any extensive input on your part. They are ready for growth and only need a bit of fertilization, watering, and light provision.

Yet, there are some downsides to opting for clones as well. It would be best to consider the following potential barriers in advance:

cloned cannabis
  • No taproot: The main bummer you should keep in mind is the absence of taproot, which makes clones weaker. They only have a net of secondary roots, which is usually enough.
  • Disease inheritance: If the mother plant is sick, your clones will also be sick. The worst thing about this is that you may not detect the signs of pests and diseases at the moment of the clone’s purchase.
  • Limited choice: Sellers don’t know hundreds of clones; they stick to the most popular strains and provide you with a severely limited choice of strains in your location.
  • No autoflower cloning: Only plants growing from feminized seeds can be cloned, so you won’t be able to grow autoflower cannabis from clones.

When to Choose Any of These Options?

As you can see, seeds and clones have distinct pros and cons that matter for each grower. Thus, choosing a growing option should be a matter of your priorities. If you’re a complete dummy in weed growing or previously had trouble with germination, it’s better to start with clones and then proceed to seeds once you hone your growing skills. Clones are also optimal for people looking for a quick, plug-and-play growing experience. However, if you want healthy plants or prefer autoflower strains, seeds will be a better option for your individual project.

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