The age-old question. Do I start from cannabis clones or seeds? We live in a fast-food culture, and everything is fast. You always tend to pay a price for convenience, my esteemed homeskillets.
Using synthetic nutrients on your cannabis is very convenient, however, your end product sucks. I mean when compared to all naturally grown cannabis. Anyone who disagrees, just doesn’t have a truly experienced palate. It’s as clear as night and day regarding the difference. That “synthetic burn” in the back of your throat on the exhale is hideous. Not to mention alteration of terpene expressions. Yuk!
The choice between starting with cannabis clones or seeds offers speed (convenience), if starting with clones. Using clones, you can be harvesting in about 12 weeks (3 months). This assumes about 2 weeks clone vegging time before flowering. Using seeds to start with takes about 6 or 7 weeks longer. In other words, about 4 ½ months. See timelines below.
I am using a basic 10-week flowering time here as my plants in the timelines above. The bottom line, still assuming 10-week flowering plants, regarding total time, is as follows below:
Starting with Clones or Seeds Timelines
- Clones or Seeds—Clones: About 10 weeks (flowering time) plus 1- or 2-weeks vegging time. Say 90 days; about 3 months total time before harvesting.
- Clones or Seeds—Seeds: About 1 week to sprout. 6 to 8 weeks vegging time. And 8 to 10 weeks flowering time. So, 18 weeks total (assuming 10 weeks flowering and 7 weeks vegging). About 4 ½ months total time before harvesting.
I would ALWAYS make sure that my plants from seeds, were at least 7 weeks old before initiating flowering. Resin production will be much greater. Using clones, it doesn’t matter, you can put them straight into flowering if they are of the proper size, and have been under the proper photoperiod. Also, drying your cannabis plants can take between 2 weeks to 2 months. Depending upon your drying environment.
Clones or Seeds—Pros and Cons
If you are growing in containers, indoors or outdoors, I would use clones. Clones do better in containers than they do in the ground. Plants from seed have a taproot. Clones, have no taproot. Plants with a taproot can become rootbound quickly and need larger container sizes. Clones can yield just as much—or more—than a plant from seed, even in smaller container sizes. Yessir! Don’t get me wrong, clones are fine in the ground. Just not as badass, as plants from seed in the ground. You savvy?
Plants with a taproot, in the ground, have greater chances of success reaching harvest time (all fat and healthy), than clones do. Not only does the taproot have an anchoring quality, making the plants much better fortified against strong winds. It also allows the plants’ roots to go deeper underground, finding more water and food. Plants with a taproot also seem to me to be more badass regarding resistances. Outdoors especially, and this is really helpful. Outdoors is full of dangers.
When you are deciding whether to start with cannabis clones or seeds, keep in mind, most clone sources are questionable; at best! No matter what they say. Very often your clones will come with mini and/or microscopic hitchhikers. Powdery Mildew, Spider Mites, and Russet Mites, are some of the “baggage” that can, and often will, come along with your clones. You don’t see them initially, but about ½ through flowering, they’ll “show up.” Parasitic infestations can easily ruin your harvest, and waste money, along with 10 weeks of your labor. So, weigh that clones or seeds choice, bigtime.
Safe and Powerful Clones
Growing indoors, I always prefer using clones. My number 1 reason for this, is greater potency and terpene expressions (stronger smells and flavors). If using plants from seeds indoors, you need to let them get at least 55 days old before initiating flowering. Again, this is for way better resin production and terpene expressions. Indoors, I actually use both clones and seeds to start my cannabis plants out. However, I don’t outsource my clones. I make them myself, from my favorite plants that I have grown from seeds.
My method is awesome for a few reasons. First, no hitchhikers! Yay! They are also the clones that I made from plants, selected by me—my favorites—and, I am familiar with their particular growing behaviors already. Win-win baybee.
For example, I often start out with 12 seedling plants. Say I get 6 females. I cull (kill) any less-desirable looking females, and take clones (cuttings) from all the rest of the females’ lower axial branches. I flower all the females from seed, and this shows me which females are extra special. My selected extra special clones—that are labeled to identify which female they are from—stay in my garden for years. I just keep making more (clean) clones of clones of clones, etc. and so on.
I use an aero cloner myself, and I think they are the best and fastest way to root cuttings. My pick here is the Clone King 36 Site Aero Cloner. My way allows you to stay pest free baybee. Once you have grown all pest free, you’ll never look back. Trust me. Your end product is several levels of magnitude better.
Clones or Seeds Started Early Indoors for Growing Outdoors
This move can be tricky for newbies. There are a couple of things you need to know before starting clones or seed plants predestined for growing outdoors. This move is used to get a jump on the season and start off early with larger plants, for larger plants at the finish line. Putting plants out too early can subject them to surprise freezing weather and whatnot. Also, outdoors small plants can easy fall prey to snails, slugs, small animals etc., and be utterly demolished. It’s a dangerous world for small cannabis plants outdoors.
You can place your plants outdoors much later than May 5th, and I often place larger clone or seed plants outdoors, more like June 15th to June 25th. One of the major tricks here is to take your local sunup to sundown hours and add 90 minutes to that total daylight time. That will be your true outdoor photoperiod. Ideally you want your outdoor photoperiod to be at least 14 hours of daylight before placing larger plants outside from inside. You just want the photoperiods to be close to the same.
Make sure and use a 16/8 photoperiod indoors, not 18/6. For sure don’t use a 24 hours ON photoperiod. This will cause your plants problems once outdoors and they will start to flower then go back into veg. That will suck for you, regarding final potency and yields!
A great, and underrated growing light for vegging plants for pre-outdoors, is the 250-watt Metal Halide. With a full spectrum, and a blue color temperature bulb. Vegging your plants under full spectrum with a color temperature of 5,500 – 6,500 kelvins is optimal. If you put them outside after vegging under weak lighting, they could experience heavy shock, and die. Hardening off will be needed.
Plants, from either clones or seeds, should be vegged under a high intensity blue light (as above) and under a 16/8 photoperiod for at least 2 weeks prior to placing outdoors. I would allow your plants to at least get a foot tall before placing them outdoors. This way, a basic slug attack would only harm them a bit. Rather than wiping them out. “Dude, where’s my sprouts?”
That’s it for this week man. I hope you enjoyed this article. Remember when it comes to starting with clones or seeds, seeds are usually best in the long run. Just get some good seeds, like from Kingdom Organic Seeds. Okay, shameless plugs aside, I hope you are all well and happy. Here’s another article by yours truly, Seedling Stage Using Living Soil – L8r G8rs
- REvski 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.