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  • Writer's pictureAlexis Mellons

Choosing the Right Path: Seed vs. Clone in Cannabis Cultivation

Cannabis cultivation is a delicate art, requiring a thoughtful approach and a keen understanding of the plant's life cycle. When embarking on the journey of growing cannabis, cultivators face a crucial decision right from the start: whether to grow from seed or from a clone. Both methods have their unique advantages and drawbacks, and choosing the right path can significantly impact the success of your cannabis grow. In this blog, we'll explore the processes, benefits, and challenges associated with growing from seed versus growing from a clone.


Growing Cannabis from Seed

Growing from Seed: A Natural Beginning


Growing cannabis from seed is a process rooted in nature. Seeds carry the genetic material from both parent plants, resulting in unique combinations and the potential for diverse traits. This method is akin to starting from scratch, allowing cultivators to experience the full life cycle of the plant.


How to Grow from a Seed

Growing cannabis from seed involves starting the cultivation process with the plant's natural reproductive method. Here's a step-by-step guide:


  1. Germination: Begin by germinating the seeds in a controlled environment. This usually involves placing the seeds between moist paper towels until they sprout.

  2. Seedling Stage: Once germinated, transplant the seeds into a suitable growing medium. During the seedling stage, provide ample light, warmth, and a gentle nutrient solution.

  3. Vegetative Growth: After the seedlings develop, transition them to the vegetative stage. Continue providing a balanced nutrient regimen and adequate light to encourage healthy growth.

  4. Flowering Stage: Once the plants reach the desired size, induce flowering by adjusting the light cycle. Monitor nutrient levels closely during this stage for optimal bud development.


Benefits of Growing from Seed


  • Taproot Development: Seeds develop taproots, providing plants with a strong foundation for nutrient uptake and overall stability.

  • Genetic Diversity: Growing from seed introduces genetic diversity, allowing cultivators to explore a variety of phenotypes within a strain.

  • No Risk of Pests or Diseases: Seeds typically carry no risk of inheriting pests or diseases from a mother plant.


Why You May Not Want to Grow from Seed


  • Variable Growth Rates: Due to genetic diversity, plants grown from seed may exhibit varying growth rates and characteristics, making the growth process more variable than propagating from a clone.

  • Sex Identification: Determining the sex of a plant can be time-consuming, and if male plants are not identified and removed promptly, they can negatively impact an entire crop.

  • Extended Growth Period: Growing from seed generally takes longer than from a clone, as the plants must go through the germination and seedling stages.


Requirements for Growing from Seed


  • Quality Seeds: Start with high-quality, viable seeds from a reputable source.

  • Germination Setup: Create a controlled environment for germination with consistent temperature and humidity.

  • Nutrient-Rich Soil or Growing Medium: Provide a well-balanced growing medium to support early plant development.


Growing Cannabis from Clone

Growing from Clone: Harnessing Genetic Prowess


Cloning involves taking a cutting or "clone" from a mature, healthy cannabis plant and encouraging it to develop roots, essentially creating an identical genetic replica. This method skips the germination phase, providing growers with a head start in terms of growth and maturity.


How to Grow from a Clone

Growing cannabis from a clone involves taking a cutting, or "clone," from a mature, healthy mother plant. Here's a simplified guide to the process:


  1. Select a Healthy Mother Plant: Choose a well-established, disease-free mother plant with desirable traits.

  2. Take Cuttings: Using a sterile razor or scissors, take cuttings from the mother plant's lower branches.

  3. Rooting Medium: Place the cuttings in a rooting medium or cloning gel to encourage the development of roots.

  4. Transplant: Once roots are established, transplant the clones into a suitable growing medium.


Benefits of Growing from Clone


  • Uniformity: Clones offer genetic uniformity, ensuring that each plant will exhibit the same characteristics as the mother plant.

  • Faster Growth: Clones skip the germination and seedling stages, allowing for a quicker transition to the vegetative and flowering stages.

  • Pre-sexed Plants: Since clones come from a mature plant, their sex is already known, eliminating the risk of unwanted male plants.


When you choose to grow from a clone, you're essentially copying the genetic blueprint of a proven, high-quality plant. This genetic consistency ensures predictability in terms of growth patterns, cannabinoid profiles, and overall plant characteristics. By starting with a known genetic entity, you're setting the stage for a more controlled and reliable cultivation process.


Why You May Not Want to Grow from Clone


  • Limited Genetic Diversity: Cloning restricts genetic diversity, potentially limiting the range of characteristics within a crop.

  • Risk of Pests or Diseases: If the mother plant carries pests or diseases, clones may inherit these issues.

  • Root Health: Clones might exhibit weaker root systems compared to plants grown from seed.


Requirements for Growing from Clone


  • Healthy Mother Plant: Ensure the mother plant is free from pests, diseases, and other issues.

  • Sterile Equipment: Use sterile tools and equipment to prevent the introduction of pathogens.

  • Rooting Medium: Choose a suitable rooting medium to encourage healthy root development.


Which Types of Cannabis Grows Should Grow from Seed Versus from Clone?


Growing from Seed


  • Research and Development: Cultivators exploring new strains or seeking to develop proprietary genetics may prefer growing from seed for the genetic diversity it offers.

  • Breeding Programs: Seed cultivation is essential for breeders looking to create and stabilize new strains by selecting and crossing specific phenotypes.


Growing from Clone


  • Consistency in Commercial Grows: Commercial operations often favor cloning for the uniformity it provides, ensuring a consistent product.

  • Limited Space: Cloning is advantageous in situations where space is limited, and a quick turnaround is essential.


In conclusion, the choice between growing from seed or clone in cannabis cultivation depends on various factors, including the grower's goals, available resources, and preferences. While both methods have their merits and drawbacks, the decision ultimately rests on the unique needs of the cultivator and the specific demands of their cultivation environment.


At Summit Genetics, we specialize in providing high-quality clones that have been meticulously selected and cared for. Our clones offer the benefits of genetic uniformity, rapid growth, and a known sex, making them an ideal choice for both novice and experienced cultivators. Contact us today to explore our diverse selection of premium clones and take your cannabis cultivation journey to new heights.

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