Clones 101: Clones vs. Seeds & Why Clones Can Be The Better Option
In this first installment of our new Clones 101 series, we give an overview on why you might want to choose clones over seeds when you decide to start growing, and how it will affect the growing process.
In this series, we will give you everything you need to know about clones.In this first installment, we want to give an overview on why you might want to choose clones over seeds when you decide to start growing, and how it will affect the growing process.
If you have ever had a really great smoke, and tried to go back to get more only to end up with something that only vaguely resembles the first batch, if at all, you know the hardship. Plants grown from seed can be less than predictable. Like children, they may resemble one parent or both, but rarely are they a perfect mix. A clone is a cutting from a plant, and will have the exact DNA, therefore the exact same properties as the mother plant. Growing from clones is how the best growers in the business produce a reliable, repeatable product, batch after batch. Not only are clones more reliable for growing the same quality, but you already know what the bud will be like, so there is no guessing.
Another reason clones can be better is that if you are going to be growing repeatedly, using clones puts you on the fast-track to harvest, because you are starting out with a plant that is further along than a seedling, cutting about a month or more off the start to finish of your grow cycle. This is another reason many professionals use clones. The more harvests you can squeeze into your timetable, the more bud you have to sell.
With clones, you are also saving effort. Every grower knows that not all seeds sprout, and if you are growing on a budget, paying $10-$50 dollars a seed every crop can really add up, especially when you could just cut clones for virtually nothing, and get more reliable results in less time.
The downsides of seeds
Having extensively looked into the online market for seeds, I have to report that buying seeds online can be a luck of the draw. There are reputable companies out there that deliver a quality product, but there are just as many shady sites that will either take your money, take your money and give you lousy seeds that hardly grow, grow something different than your expecting, or are actually sites run by or monitored by Drug Enforcement Agencies.
If you are getting your seeds from a bag of bud, odds are they will have a low germination rate from being stored in poor conditions for long periods of time. You are also stuck with whatever quality of weed was in the bag. Usually, if it is low enough quality to have seeds in it, it probably isn’t worth the effort of growing.
While getting clones means more limited sources, such as knowing a grower or getting them from a dispensary, it also means that the source knows exactly what growing that plant requires. When you get clones, you get a wealth of knowledge on how to maximize the grow from someone who has grown the exact same plant. When you cut your own clones, it means you already know how to grow that strain, and won’t have to adjust your methods to another strain’s temperament when things go wrong.
Drawbacks to clones
To be fair, clones have their own drawbacks. You will want to weigh the pros and cons before choosing what works best for you. The first and most obvious drawback to clones is availability. If you are growing in an area without access to a legal dispensary, clones may be hard to come by unless you know your local grower. In an underground market, asking a for-profit grower for a cutting can be similar to asking a magician for his secrets. They may not want to share, whether from propriety or caution. You may not want to ask them. Seeds might be your only initial option.
Second, if you are an inexperienced grower, the initial care of a clone might be more than you want to deal with. Seeds are intuitive, clones take a little more skill. A clone also tends to be asymmetrical, being cut usually from the side branches. An asymmetrical plant will take to training techniques like mainlining differently, and will take adjustment.
Finally, if you aren’t sure about the quality of the grow that the clone comes from, you could be exposing your grow to any pests or diseases that were present there. Clones should only come from a reliable source, and the most reliable source is your own garden.
Do you grow you own herb? What is your preference: Seeds or Clones? Share you opinion on social media or in the comments below.