Now that growing cannabis for personal use is legal in many states of the US, more and more people are choosing to start planting their own cannabis crops. However, growing cannabis is an art that requires a fair amount of patience, skill, and knowledge. As a beginner, you may wonder whether you should grow your cannabis plant from seed. Let us look at the pros and cons of this method of cultivating cannabis.
Pros of Growing Cannabis from Seed
Cost-Effective – In general, growing cannabis from seed is more cost-effective. You can find cannabis seeds for sale in a variety of online and offline seed banks and these are usually much less expensive than cannabis clones. This is because producing clones requires more resources such as time, space, expertise, and specialized equipment. Since seeds are relatively affordable, you do not suffer a huge financial loss if you fail to successfully grow your cannabis plant the first time.
Environmental Control – When you start growing from seed, you have control over the growth process from the very beginning. This means that you can ensure that the growing medium, water, and nutrient conditions are optimal for your plants. In the end, this will lead to healthier plants that produce higher yields. Conversely, many clones will have already experienced stress or damage during the cloning process. They may already be in less than peak health when you integrate them into your environment after purchase.
Pest-Free – Infestations or diseases can damage your plants and devastate your entire crop. Cannabis clones can carry pests and diseases from other growers that can be difficult to get rid of once they have established themselves in your garden. You can avoid this problem by growing from seed instead. While growing cannabis from seed can take a longer time, starting with a clean slate will save you a lot of headaches. Furthermore, you will not need to purchase and apply pesticides to the plant, which results in a cleaner product and helps to save you money in the long run.
Genetic Diversity – Genetic diversity is one of the main reasons why cannabis enthusiasts choose to grow from seed. When you use seeds, you have access to a wide variety of genetic traits which allows you to grow a crop with the specific qualities that you want. For instance, you can look for a strain that is high in THC or has a desirable terpene profile. Clones, on the other hand, are limited to the genetics of the mother plant, which may not have the exact characteristics you want.
Cons of Growing Cannabis from Seed
Genetic Diversity – While genetic diversity can be a pro, it can also be a con. When growing cannabis from seed, you must accept that each plant will have a unique genetic makeup, which can lead to differences in growth rate, potency, flavor, and aroma. This can be problematic if you are looking to produce a consistent and uniform crop. Most home growers welcome a little variety when growing for private consumption but commercial growers may need more control in this regard.
Longer Wait Time – Needless to say, growing cannabis from seed takes longer than growing from a clone. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months from seed to harvest, while clones may only take 2 to 3 months. If you are growing a large number of cannabis plants, this means that you will have to wait longer to recoup your initial investment. Similarly, if you are eager to start harvesting your plants as soon as possible, growing from seed may not be the best option for you.
Gender Selection – When growing cannabis from seed, you will never be sure if you will get male or female plants. Female plants produce the buds that are harvested for consumption, while male plants produce pollen that can pollinate the female plants and reduce the potency of your crop. If you are lucky, most of your plants will be female. Regardless, you will need to learn how to differentiate male and female plants so that you can remove male plants promptly from your growing area.
Risk of Failure – Growing any plant from seed comes with a higher risk of failure. Seeds can fail to germinate, and sprouts can quickly become sickly due to poor soil, light, or temperature conditions. In addition, if you are growing a large number of cannabis plants, it can become overwhelming to monitor and tend to the different seed trays and sprouts regularly. If you are a beginner grower, the learning curve to producing a productive crop from seed can be steep and intimidating.
Which is Better?
Growing cannabis from seed can be a satisfying experience. You will see your plant grow from a tiny sprout into a mature, healthy plant with plenty of sticky, tasty buds. If you are looking for a sense of accomplishment and full control over the growing environment, growing from seed may be the right option for you. That said, it is not an easy process. If you are thinking of growing cannabis from seed, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages before you commit to it. Regardless of the method you choose, remember that growing cannabis requires knowledge, patience, and giving lots of love and attention to your lovely green garden.