Clones vs Seeds: Which do you need?

June 17, 2022 0 Comments

Clones vs Seeds:  Which do you need?

There’s nothing like that ‘New plant’ feeling!

Whether you’re starting or supplementing your crops, a new arrival is sure to bring excitement! But it can also bring challenges. 

First off, how do you even know how your new plant should come? You have the option of cultivating cloned cannabis–offshoots of mature plants that can be made to develop roots–or to grow from a brand new weed seed. 

Each option comes with good and…not so good aspects to their development! 

Cannabis clone pros

A small cannabis plant in a teapot
Photo by Alexandre Chambon

The best thing about growing from clones is that there’s no hassle in sexing the produce! Bud only comes from female cannabis plants, but it’s impossible to tell which seedlings will be pollen producing boys, and which will be terpene-laden ladies! 

Since your clone is an exact genetic copy of its mother plant, you know just what you’re getting!

Similarly, if you’ve known and consumed the particular plant you’re getting a clone from, you can be assured that once the offshoot matures, you’ll have a terpene profile and THC level that you’re already enjoying. 

And because clones don’t need to take time to develop a whole new structure, you’ll be harvesting, curing, and enjoying your grow that much sooner. 

Seed Pros

Are you more of the ‘slow and steady’ type of grower? Then seeds are perfect! 

Because cannabis seeds can be stored almost indefinitely (in a cool, dry location), you don’t even have to have your entire setup ready to grow before you get your hands on some plants-to-be. 

And because you know exactly how the plant got its start, there’s no need for the incubation period or worries about contaminated soil you would have if you purchased a clone from someone else. 

Seeds also allow for variety! Just like kids from the same parents aren’t always alike, the many seeds you’ll get have the chance to give you different strengths and profiles you can tailor to suit any mood. 

Seed cons

A pile of cannabis seeds
Photo by Goh Rhy Yan

Notice we mentioned variety? Even if you only want to have one cannabis plant, you will need to acquire multiple seeds. Seeds are delicate and may die off underground, or just be plain duds! Because each one is a surprise, you’ll have to hedge your bets. 

You’ll also be waiting longer for the germination process to finish, and for the vegetation stage to proceed enough to accurately judge whether you have male or female plants. Feminized cannabis seeds are sold to better your odds, but before the plants take off, there’s just no guarantee of their sex. 

You’ll be waiting about six weeks to find out, no matter what!

But don’t think it’s only seeds that require a wait and see period. 

Clone cons

If you’re buying new clones, you’ll need to have a quarantine period–even if your other plants are just begonias and peace lilies. Unfortunately, since you can’t see into suppliers’ homes, you just don’t know if pests like spider mites, or powdery mildew spores are present. 

When you transplant a clone, you transplant every microbe that clone’s ever been with!

Is variety the spice of your life? When you want a different, homegrown taste for each day, a room full of genetic duplicates isn’t ideal. Beyond that, if the mother plant had any inborn flaws like smaller leaves, looser buds, blander flavor, etc–that apple will drop straight down into your clone family.

Small seedlings poke their heads from the soil
Photo by Jen Theodore

The debates over whether cloning or growing from seed creates better harvests will rage on. But as long as you’re feeding, watering, and smoking well? There’s only what’s right for you.

Want more THC tips n' tricks? Follow along at Grow Strong Industries' channel!