Why Cannabis Clones Are A Better Idea Than Seeds for your Recreational Grow
The great green debate, should you grow with cannabis clones or start from seeds? There are a lot of pros and cons to both, but today we are talking about why it’s a better idea to start your garden off with clones.
So what is a cannabis clone anyway? Don’t worry it’s nowhere near as complicated as cloning a sheep. In fact, cloning cannabis couldn’t be easier.
To clone cannabis, all you have to do is find a plant with strong genetics to take cuttings (future clones) from — called a mother plant. Then you just clip off one of her branches, dip the tip in some rooting hormone gel (optional), and place it into it’s growing media just like if it was a seed.
Within a week or so the cutting will start sprouting roots and creating a fibrous root system. The clone will be an exact genetic replica of the plant you took it from and grow to be just as big and strong as her.
You can take thousands of cuttings off a single plant, and unlike with seeds, you’ll be able to look at your young plants and feel confident knowing they’re going to grow to incredible heights because the mother plant did.
Don’t want to do that work finding a plant that will be a good mother, then no sweat, as more and more reputable breeders and shops are starting to favor selling clones over seeds.
So let’s find out all the reasons buying clones is a safer bet than buying seeds.
You Know Exactly What You’re Getting
When you’re growing cannabis to use for medical purposes, you want plants that produce flowers that are rich with cannabinoids like CBD. This means you only want to grow female cannabis plants because the longer a female plant goes without getting pollinated, the more resin she’ll put out. That resin is where all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other goodies reside.
Unless you’re trying to breed a new strain, you don’t want a male in sight as they will ruin your harvest and instead of flowering you get seeds — they also don’t produce much if any resin themselves. A super easy way to never have a male pop up in your grown tent is to only buy female clones from a reputable breeder.
Predicting How It Grows
Most cannabis strains have two to three different paths of physical characteristics (phenotypes) they can take on, and one of those is how tall/lanky vs. short/bushy they’ll get. You can pick a strain that’s supposed to stay short and bushy due to its dominant genes, but you can end up with one that expresses its recessive genes instead. And that can mean a plant that’s growing too fast for you to keep up.
A lot of growers don’t have limitless room for a cannabis plant to grow and often use plant training techniques to lower the height. But maybe you don’t have the time for that and need one that will stay short.
If that’s you, pick a clone who comes from a breeder that can tell you how the mother plant grew. If they are a really good breeder, they can pinpoint which phenotype the mother is, so there will be no guessing involved.
A clone will always grow faster and be ready to harvest sooner than a seed because a clone will start at the same age the mother was when it’s taken from her.
This also means you won’t have to play the waiting game and sit around wondering when your seedlings will pop. Cannabis seeds can take anywhere from 3 to 14 days before they germinate, and if your seed is bunk that can set you back two weeks.
You can get an even quicker harvest by picking a clone that was taken from a plant in flowering. That’s right you can skip the veg and growth stage and skip to the flowering stage where cannabis plants start producing bud.
Less Work And Maintenance
This one can be a double-edged sword, so watch out. Only buy clones that come from a stable and healthy mother plant with solid genetics.
When you do that, you know you’re getting a clone that’s strong against pests, diseases, and nasties like mildew and mold. When starting from a seed, you won’t know if your plant is great against those things until it’s too late.
Great Genetics For New Clones
Much to George Lucas’ delight, you can use your clone and make a clone army. A clone that was taken from a mother plant in veg is a great way to create your own mother plant that supplies you with all the cannabis plants your heart desires.
Since it’s a clone itself, you already know it has solid genetics, know your clone will do well as a mother plant, and know that it will produce great and exceptional offspring.
Remember, cloning is as easy as snipping off a branch and sticking it into a grow medium. The hardest part is predicting whether a plant you grow from seed will make a good plant to clone. Buy choosing a clone to clone, you remove the hardest part of the process.
Clones Are Cheaper
Cannabis seeds are often expensive and there is never a guarantee that they will germinate and turn into a plant. And with each unpopped seed goes money out the window leaving your pockets empty of green in more ways than one.
As well, cannabis plants are never more vulnerable to death than when they are seedlings.
With clones you avoid both of those issues and while they may cost more than seeds, their success rates more than makes up for the initial cost.