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Clones vs Seeds

clones vs seeds

When growing your own cannabis, you can either grow from a seed or from a clone of another cannabis plant. As with everything, there are pluses and minuses to both, which are explained below.

In short, seeds will carry the genetics from both parents (i.e., the male and female plant) giving a stronger genetic, and clones will generally be taken only from the female plant and will allow for a more consistent reproduction.

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Growing Cannabis from Seed

Seeds can either be male or female but for home growers, it is the female seeds you want to buy. Only the female cannabis plant produces the buds needed to consume and get a high from cannabis. The male plants will have pollen sacs, which burst and pollinate the female plants, but will not produce any buds (flowers).

It may be easier for the home grower to buy seeds rather than a clone, as they can easily be bought online. 

Male plants are usually grown completely separately from the female plants. This is because if the male pollenates the female, it will then grow and develop seeds, using up energy for seed growth as well as bud growth. By removing the male plant before it has a chance to pollinate the female, means the female cannabis plant can put its attention solely on creating healthy buds. The traditional word for this type of growing is called ‘sinsemilla’, which means seedless.

Hermaphrodite cannabis plants are those which have both male and female sex organs, and these plants are generally not good to have. They may pollinate themselves and produce seeds, so you may not get the best buds from these plants. The best way to ensure you grow a female plant is to buy feminised seeds. This ensures the plant will turn out to be female, and you won’t have to worry about wasting time and energy!

Growing from seed can be a great way to start from scratch and ensure your plant has the best outcome, without any diseases or pests that may come with a clone. Growing cannabis from a seed means you have complete control in the growing process and can pick your seeds based the type of strain you want to grow, and its effects.

A decent manufacturer will provide good grow information about how tall the strain is likely to grow, best methods to use, how much yield you can expect to get, the tastes, aromas and THC or CBD content. However even with this information, there is still no guarantee this will be the outcome.

There is more chance for things to go wrong in the early stages, when you are germinating a seed, compared with one that is already germinated for you. Particularly if you have bought a generic regular seeds pack, you may end up wasting time and money growing a male plant or hermaphrodite plant. Sexing plants can be very difficult for beginner growers too. To avoid this, spend a bit more to buy feminised seeds to ensure your plant will be female.

patting in cannabis seedling into soil
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feminised seeds

As said above, buying feminised seeds is a great way to ensure your plant will be female, to produce the buds you want. Seeds can be feminised in number of ways. They will first put put into a monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant, meaning both male and female reproductive organs will be situated on the same plant, but on different branches. The seeds produced from this plant will be near identical as it has been self-pollinated form one set of genes.

This can be achieved in a number of ways such as a method called rodelisation in which a female cannabis plant is matured longer than normal, so it ends up pollinating another female. Colloidal silver can also be used to spray over the plant (this comes in a liquid form containing silver particles).

Expert breeders and growers do not generally use feminised seeds, as they only contain one gene set, which is not good for large reproducton. However, for beginners and home growers feminised seeds are an excellent way to ensure you grow a female plant to maturity.

Growing Cannabis from a Clone

A clone is a cutting directly from another grown cannabis plant, also known as the mother plant. The genetics of the clone will be identical to the mother plant.

Clones can be good for new growers if you are worried about not being able to germinate a seed and can give you piece of mind in that early stage. You will still have to take care of your plant through the rest of the growth cycle however!

The best part about clones so that if you know the strain you like or have grown a plant that has produced great tasting buds, you may want to replicate that. If you know which strain you want or have already have a great producing plant, then taking a clone can ensure similar results with a clone.

The downside of growing form a clone is that if the mother plant was susceptible to disease or pests, then you may have a similar problem with your clone. Clones will also degrade after a period of time.

Keep in mind that clones need to be taken from the mother plant during its vegetative stage as it will be too late after it has started to flower.

If growing at home you will likely need two sets of growth lights, one for the flowering mother plant, and one for the clone during its early growth stage. This is because your clone and mother plant will be at different growth stages, and will need different type/strength of light when grown indoors. This can be tricky for new growers to manage without any experience or who have limited time or space.

tiny cannabis seedling in soil

Clones vs Seeds – Which are best?

It is really down to you, but we suggest growing from a seed if you are a home grower. Seeds grown directly can produce a hardier plant, compared with a clone, and it will give you the best chance to produce a strong and healthy plant.

You also wont need to worry about growing from a clone that could have come from a plant with disease or pests. Seeds can be grown both indoors and outdoors. If you want to grow your plant outdoors but the weather is still too cold, then a seed can be germinated indoors and then transferred outside.

See our Aussie outdoor grow calendar is growing outside! 

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Our deep love of plants and fascination with Cannabis has enabled over 25 years of successful small scale Marijuana cultivation from indoor hydroponics, greenhouses and outdoor growing set-ups.

As Cannabis laws around the world change, *we support the movement toward freedom of choice for responsible, consenting adults who wish to experience the joy and wonder of growing a Cannabis plant.

*All info is for entertainment purposes only.  We do not condone illegal growing of Cannabis.   Consult your state laws accordingly.