Growing cannabis from seed is a great experience that’s quite different from growing from clones. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages seeds have over clones…
The range of cultivars available as seeds can be measured by the thousands. A good dispensary might offer a nice selection of clones, but nowhere near the variety open to growing from seed.
Seeds can deliver an amazing variation of phenotypes within the same genetic family. You can plant 10 White Widow seeds and, while they’ll mostly be the same, you might get one that’s taller, fruitier or with a more Sativa or Indica-leaning high. This is called genetic diversity and it’s the cornerstone of evolution.
No genetic degradation
With seeds, there’s no fear of the genetic degeneration that is sometimes associated with over-cloning. Genetic drift is wrongly associated as the cause – the degeneration is really caused by environmental factors, anything from plant diseases to repeated heat and stress factors.
Far better availability and accessibility
Unlike clones, seeds can be delivered quickly and easily anywhere in the world. No need for dispensary down the road and no worries about introducing pathogens into your shiny new space.
Stronger cannabis plants
While it may seem easier to pop a clone into your soil, clones do not have taproots. Seeds give you stronger roots and a potentially more vigorous plant.
Before choosing a variety of cannabis seeds, you need to ask yourself these questions, among others:
- What kind of high do I want?
- How experienced am I in growing?
- How much space do I have?
- Do I grow indoors or out?
- Do I want feminized or regular seeds?
The answers could affect your decision. Nonetheless, most focus on just these two critical factors – the seed type and the strain.
Type of seed
If you are planning to breed (create more seeds), you need regular, unfeminized seeds. They have roughly a 50/50 chance of becoming a male or a female, and you need both for a successful breeding program.
The fact that feminized seeds only produce female plants comes with two main advantages:
- They grow beautiful, smokable flowers full of cannabinoids; males don’t, only providing pollen to propagate the species.
- They remove the wasted hours locating and discarding male plants from your grow. Not to mention the space they take up.
If you are a novice or too busy to take full care of photoperiods, you might want to start with an autoflowering strain. Here are some reasons why autos make a great choice:
- They can be planted all year round.
- They automatically flower after 2-4 weeks of growth, regardless of how many hours of light they receive.
- Autos tend to be robust plants and very easy to grow.
- Most autos complete their entire life cycle under 3 months.
- They generally finish smaller than your photoperiods at just around 3-4 feet. This means they thrive in limited spaces.
Type of strain
Apart from the seed type, you must also choose which type of strain to grow – Sativa, Indica, or hybrid (a mixture of both).
Pure Sativa or Sativa-dominant
Sativa plants are tall, thin plants with long flowering times, which generally translate to higher yields.
Pure Indica or Indica-dominant
Indica plants are hardier plants that evolved in harsh climates. They mature faster with short, compact bud clusters.
Hybrids make up most of cannabis cultivars, comprising different combinations of Indica, Sativa, and, for autos, the Ruderalis gene. This makes it tricky to generalize the growth pattern of individual strains, so always look to the breeder or seller for guidance.
No matter what seeds you choose, make sure you make a note of the flowering time – this is very important in determining when to harvest.
In Episode 5, I’ll show you the easiest way to germinate your seeds – the first step to growing strong, healthy plants. See you soon!