Should you start growing your cannabis plant with seeds or clones? Each method has pros and cons, so check out the comparison below to find out what's right for you!
Starting With Cannabis Seeds
If you buy your seeds from an established seed bank, than you have a great idea on how your plant will be like in terms of looks, yield, quality, and flowering time.
Cannabis seeds can be discreetly delivered to almost anywhere in the world – you don't need to know a cannabis grower in person or collect bagseed in order to start growing with seeds
You can purchase feminized seeds from a seed bank which means you will get 100% females and don't have to worry about male marijuana plants. Only female cannabis plants produce bud. Learn more about male and female cannabis plants.
You can breed your own seeds by mating two cannabis plants, which gives you a basically unlimited supply of seeds
Seeds give you the best chance of a 'clean slate' which means you plants won't come with any sort of disease or pests
Not all seeds will germinate
Old seeds or improperly stored seeds may be slow growing
If using non-feminized seeds, about half of the plants will end up being male, which do not produce buds. Learn how to identify male plants right away.
Seeds can take a little more time than clones to get started growing and be ready for harvest, since clones are usually already "mature" and established when you start growing
Costs can add up if purchasing seeds for every grow, and famous strains can cost quite a bit of money per seed
Creating your own seeds will save you monetary cost, but there is still a cost in time (and effort) to cross together two plants to make seeds
Seeds are a good way for many people to start growing because they can be easily purchased off the internet. Where can I safely purchase cannabis seeds?
Sometimes you will find good seeds (bagseed) in marijuana that you have purchased which can definitely be used to start growing. The downside of using seeds that you find is you will have no idea what to expect as far as growth, yields, or size. The bud quality of bagseed is often different from the buds it came from, since it is not a stablized strain. It could be like the bud it was found it, or it could be completely different.
When using unknown seeds, you will need to determine the gender your plants as they are growing to prevent any males from pollinating your females.
Healthy seeds should be dark brown or light grey. If you find seeds which are small and white, they are likely immature and won't germinate properly.
Healthy seeds can be stored in a cool dark place, or your fridge until you're ready to use them(don't freeze them).
Seeds which are kept in a cool, dark place remain viable for years, though after a few years you will notice that they take a bit longer to germinate and you may get a few more duds than with fresh seeds. Seedlings from older seeds can also be really slow growing even if you're giving them perfect conditions.
Starting With Cannabis Clones
Guaranteed gender – if the mother plant was female, the clone will be female too
Clones usually have a head start compared to starting with a seed, since clones are usually already mature and established when you start growing with them. Compared to seeds, clones usually have an overall shorter grow period and therefore will be ready to harvest a bit more quickly.
Clones can be quickly grown into a 'mom' and recloned, for a constant source of new plants. You can clone any plant to create an unlimited amount of plants
Since clones are genetically identical to their mother plant, you know almost exactly what you're getting. Although there is some variance even between clones, they tend to grow much more alike than two random plants.
Rooted clones can be coaxed to flower almost immediately if time or space is an issue
Clones can be harder to find compared to seeds – many people don't know a cannabis grower in real life, and seeds are really easy for almost anyone to get due to the availability of online seed banks
If the original grower had any problems with the mother plant (like pests or viruses) then it's possible that the new grower (you) can inherit the same problems from the clone
If you start with a clone that hasn't been well established, it's possible it might unexpectedly die on you, or remain in shock for a long time. When cloning is done incorrectly, it may take weeks of extra care in order for the plant to recover
Newly created clones are more sensitive/picky about lights and nutrients compared to young plants from seed
In order to get clones, you will need to know someone who already has marijuana plants, or you may be able to buy some from your local medical marijuana dispensary if you're in a suitable location and have a recommendation for marijuana from your doctor.
Starting with a clone can save you a couple of weeks compared to starting with seeds because they have a head-start on growth. Using clones also guarantees the gender of your plant because the clones have the exact same genetics as their parent plant including gender.
If you have a female plant that you like, you can just clone her indefinitely to make more plants without ever again having to worry about sexing your plants or creating seeds. Yet you will also end up with the same strain/genetics for every clone you take off the same plant.
If you're starting out with a clone, you want to treat it gently for the first day or two that you have it. If your clone hasn't established roots yet, then you want to make sure that it stays moist and gets gentle light (like from florescent tubes) until it develops some roots. A humidity dome will help the plant get moisture until she's established her roots.
If your clone has already established its roots, then put it in its new home with your lights a bit further away than normal until she's settled in and showing new growth.
Only give your clone just a little bit of water at first with a highly diluted cannabis-friendly "grow" nutrient solution.
It's tempting to want to put your lights close to the new baby and give it full-strength nutrients because you want to do everything you can to make sure it does okay.
However, in the very beginning, less is more for your clone. Your clone is more sensitive to heat and light than an established plant, and you're putting it in a completely new environment.
It's important to check on your clone frequently during it's first 24 hours to make sure there isn't any unforeseen problems such as it tipping over. Once the clone has started really growing (usually after a couple of days) then you can put your lights closer and start feeding it with full-strength nutrients.