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Growing weed from seed: what are the pros and cons?
Whether you want to grow indoors or outdoors, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is whether you want to grow weed from seed or to plant clones, which are cuttings with an established root system. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods to help you make the decision:
The pros of growing weed from seeds
Growing weed from high quality cannabis seeds does have some very important advantages, so let’s start with the explanation of those advantages.
Cannabis plants that are grown from seed are generally stronger and more vigorous. This is because growing a plant from a seed allows it to develop a tap root which anchors the plant deep in the ground and acts as the support centre of the entire root system. Many believe this gives the plant a greater chance of fighting off diseases, predators and variable weather conditions when grown outdoors.
Many cannabis growers find that plants grown from seeds have bigger yields than plants grown from clones. This is unsurprising as more robust, and healthier plants naturally tend to have better harvests.
Better resistance to viruses and pests
Just like all kinds of life, weed plants are vulnerable to many different types of disease and pests. These can be airborne or genetic. Immunity is another area where plants grow from seeds have an advantage as cloned plants can inherit weak genetic traits from the mother plant. If you are a novice grower, we recommend to buy seeds. It’s the best way of guaranteeing that you won’t introduce any viruses or pests into your nursery or garden.
Seedlings or plug plants are more expensive than seeds with higher delivery and packaging costs. Each packet of seeds usually contains many seeds, each of which has the potential to grow into a sturdy and productive weed plant.
Spoilt for choice
Browsing a cannabis seed catalogue from a respected seller is one of the chief pleasures of growing cannabis. You can read the descriptions, look at the pictures and take your time and select a strain that perfectly matches your growing conditions. Buying a clone plant is much more of a guessing game when it comes to working out how it will respond to your growing environment, its morphology and more.
The cons of growing weed with seeds
It can be tricky to tell whether the seeds are male or female unless you have purchased feminised seeds. You just have to plant them and wait until they have grown big enough to tell the difference between male and female plants and then thin out the male plants. Male plants are not desirable as they do not offer the euphoric or stimulatory properties of female plants. It is also virtually impossible to identify the strain with seeds, which is why we recommend only purchasing seeds from an established and reputable seller such as Weedseedsexpress.
Related blog: how to identify male and female cannabis plants
No need to destroy male plants
There is little wastage with clones as you can be sure that the plant is female as soon as it arrives. Watch out though, as there is still a possibility they might become hermaphrodite if placed under too much stress!
Quick and easy
Buy a clone, and you will receive a plant that is several weeks ahead of a seed – if not more. Clones are generally easier to keep alive than fragile seedlings that have just sprouted. If you don’t have much in the way of gardening skills, clones are definitely the easier option – you need to pop it into the soil and water every now and then – unlike seeds which need careful attention in the early weeks.
Disadvantages of clones
Many of these have been mentioned in the pros of planting seeds section, but other problems of weed cuttings are the limited choice compared to seeds, and the fact that their buds tend to be smaller compared to weed plants grown from seeds. Unlike seeds which have an enormously long shelf life, cuttings have to be planted quickly.
Germinating seeds takes some degree of skill, but this is a skill that can be learnt with practice, and there is plenty of how-to advice online. We recommend practising your germinating skills on high-quality seeds that are suitable for beginners.