If you’re thinking about growing your own cannabis, there’s only two ways to go about it. You’ll need either decent cannabis seeds or clones to start off with. But what is the difference between these two and more importantly: which yields the most?
Clones and Seeds
In contrast to what the complex ‘back door’-situation of coffeeshops may have you thinking, cannabis does not fall from the sky. Wouldn’t it be cool if it did though? Anyway, if you’re thinking on growing your own weed you’ll need some genetics to start with. In the case of cannabis it can be clones made from a motherplant or seeds bought from a serious seed company like Amsterdam Genetics. Before you decide which to choose, let’s look at some of the differences between growing cannabis from clones and seeds.
Clones are literally an identical copy of their mother. Because they are made by carefully cutting off a branch of a plant that has proven itself (through amazing flavor, mold resistance or potency for example), and letting that branch make its own root-system. Making it an individually surviving plant, a new organism.
Unfortunately, clones also carry the same diseases, pests or pesticides their mother may carry.
By taking clones you know your crop will consistently have the exact same grow characteristics and flavor-profile as its mother. Unfortunately, clones also carry the same diseases or pests their mother may carry. As a result, they’re often treated with (loads of) pesticides. One single motherplant can survive for years, providing you with a stable harvest each time.
Some may find that a good thing, but we know all you pheno-hunters out there wouldn’t be able to handle that. And who blames you, one of the perks of cannabis is having so many variaties. In contrast to clones, cannabis seeds from the same parents can each still have different tastes and grow characteristics. Just like human siblings are not identical, neither is the natural offspring from cannabis plants.
These different tasting variaties are classified as phenotypes; and offer a way to select the perfectly balanced plant for you. Because let’s be honest, some like our Strawberry Glue to taste more like strawberries while others like it more Gluey. As you’ll see on the pictures @JOHE420 took of our Lemon Ice (above), two seeds from one strain can give different looking and tasting buds.
Roots and branches
Clones are simply rootless branches that were cut off a motherplant. So the first thing they need to develop after you plant them is a root-system. And that costs energy, a whole lot of it. In the meanwhile, the already existing leafs of the clones are asking for energy to continue THEIR work: photosynthesis.
This means the plant will probably not develop its root-system to the fullest. And that’s a shame, considering that root-volume equals yield volume. In contrast to seeds, clones need a shorter vegetation period. During that time they’ll also grow faster than plants from seeds, because the clone is not an infant, but has the same age as its mother.
Clones will not grow as sturdy as cannabis plants from seeds, though. After germination, cannabis seeds develop a fat taproot, which travels as far down into the soil as it can. Working as some sort of anchor, this taproot increases the stability of the plant. This vertical root will go on to develop lateral roots horizontally, ensuring a deep-rooted cannabis plant. And as we stated before, root volume equals yield volume. So a healthy and substantial root-system, will produce a healthy and substantial yield.
Apart from developing their roots differently, clones and seeds also develop differently above ground. On one of our latest strainhunting expeditions, we discovered that clones develop one sided nodes. Meaning each time the stem of a clone splits into branches, it only develops one single branch per node. Cannabis plants from seeds on the other hand, develop two-sided nodes. Considering they develop double the amount of branches per plant and have a bigger and stabilizing root-system, weed from seeds yields much more than clones.