Both growing options have advantages and disadvantages. Read about them here.
Contributed by: snoofer Submitted: 11-10-2003
Introduction: Growers face the decision to start a grow from either seeds or
rooted clones. The decision is not obvious, as both growing options
have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Growers may have to
weigh cost, growing space, crop risk and turn around time.
Clones are female! No need to pre-sex or worry about males
Clones are much faster to veg up and flower than starting
from seed, resulting in a quick harvest and a much shorter turnaround
Clones can be quickly grown into moms and re-cloned, for an (almost) instant vegetative and flowering crop
Clones are genetically identical, but some differences
will still be evident in the phenotype. In general, clones will exhibit
even growth and growing characteristics.
Rooted clones can be flowered immediately if space or time is a problem.
Clones can quickly indicate a strain’s characteristics
(smell, vigor, branching pattern, sativa/indica dominance, rooting
Clones can be difficult to find, as opposed to available
seed banks. Clones from unknown sources are of suspect quality and
Growers run a high risk of inheriting problems from the
last grower: Root rot, spider mites, powdery mildew, etc. If these
problems are not identified and treated, they can quickly spread to an
Unhealthy clones may die or remain in shock for an extended period
Shipped clones may be in shock and take weeks of TLC to
recover. There are many stories of medical clones shipped without any
protection and arriving flat!
Clones are more light-sensitive than seeds. Unrooted
clones take time to become established, and are easily burned by light
As clones are almost always female, breeding options are limited. Hermies are possible with unstable clone crosses.
Seeds obtained from reputable seed banks are of known
lineage and genetics. You should have a reasonable idea of what the
strain will do in terms of yield, quality and flowering time.
Breeding and crossing options are possible with male
seeds. (Feminized seeds produce a higher % of female seeds, but 100%
female is never guaranteed, and hermaphrodites are more possible).
Hybrid vigor. Females grown from seed are often higher
yielding than clones. Strains can lose their vigor over time; growers
may want to 'rejuvinate' their grow with the same successful strain.
Your seeds should produce healthy plants, free of disease and pests.
Seeds take a long time (and there is more labor, money and time involved) before a harvest can occur.
Cost. Seeds can be expensive, not only per seed pack, but in the time they take to produce a flowered crop.
Problems with shipping/customs seizing seed bank deliveries, switched seeds, etc.
Not all seeds will be viable (germinate) and only 50% of
the unfeminized seeds will be female (feminized seeds may produce up to
90% females). Only female seeds will produce female mothers, from which
productive clones can be taken and flowered.
It may take several seed packs to discover an excellent mother.
The procedure to sex seeds enmasse:
-grown into mothers
-clones taken from each mother, labeled, then sexed to tell which mother is female or male
-the best mothers are selected (males may be optionally discarded).
-mothers are mass cloned
-clones are vegetatively grown and then flowered