Seeds vs clones debate: Understanding how to leverage strengths and weaknesses.

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Frankster

Frankster

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Thought I would start a thread on this subject. Feel free to chime in and give your .02c on this subject, it's a debate:
The rules: There's more than one way to "fry a fish" or so they say... So simply try and be polite, and respect other viewpoints.

I'll try and outline some fundamentals here, so that others can fill in some of the gaps.
So we all know that the pro's say clones are best... right??? I don't think that's always the case, but more on that part later.

The advantages of clones:
Cheaper (no need to buy over and over)
Female (if you have a known mother)
Earlier harvest (no gemination period)
Uniform quality (every plant is the same)
If your a newer grower, and not experienced with seedlings/starts (and can acquire the clones) this is probably the best overall option.

Cons:
Sensitivity (clones are prone to environmental stressors at first)
Less roots, lower yields (seeds have faster root growth, and possess a "tap" root)
Pest, infestation. (If your starting with a contaminated plant)
Acceleration of senescence (aging of the plant)
Worse, is a clone is taken from a clone (A mother ages, becomes exhausted).

Advantages of seed:
Breeding your own strains
Feminized Seeds
Grow larger, bigger harvest (higher yields)
Higher disease resistance
Taproot (superior core nutrient transport system for the plant, and also gives the plant greater overall strength)
No disease, seeds are "pure"
Increased variety (more choices)
Shelf life (can be kept even for decades)
Health and overall vigor make them invaluable to many growers.
Phenotype vs Genotype (There will always be genetic variation from parents to progeny, and sibling to sibling.)* I put this in advantages and disadvantages...

Cons:
Phenotype vs Genotype (There will always be genetic variation from parents to progeny, and sibling to sibling.)
Male or female (always an unknown even with so called "feminized" varieties to some degree).
Sprout sensitivity. (When a seed germinates, it's in a vulnerable stage).
Takes practice. (the only way to get good, is to do it, then learn from your mistakes).
Slower




The third way... Tissue Culture: I'll let some of the pro's step in on this issue. If they want to offer up some of the upsides/downsides to that one. Tissue cultures overcome some of the drawbacks of traditional clone cuts, and check more boxes in the advantage side, but they are most certainly an advanced technique, left for experienced and/or professionals. The most obvious downside to all of this is infrastructure and continual maintenance of culture stocks.

Now that I have the ability to edit, I'll come back and update this thread, adding in the plus++ minus-- in various column as things get debated, as merit dictates.

So there ya have it. My fundamental spin on this debate. Please feel free to offer up additional information, advice, comments or constructive criticism. This is certainly a fascinating part of why I hobby breed cannabis, and I'll have to admit, I'm a fan of seeds. But certainly clones have clear advantages also.
 
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Rawkn

Rawkn

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Great read! I've been going through pros and cons myself as I have seeds and clones indoors and outdoors right now. I'm using most of my indoor Flowering space for making feminized seeds of any strain I don't have many seeds of now. I actually planted some of my seeds at the same time my clones were beginning to show roots. The clones of course were far ahead of the seeds in size, but now after about 3 weeks they're almost exactly the same size, so clones start faster but seeds can catch up and surpass them. Of course it can depend on the strains and genetics also.

Personally, I love both. If I need several of a strain, I'd rather cut several clones. If I need a couple, I can go seed or clone. I like that I can plant 1 seed and get infinite plants, talk about a great bargain! 👍 You can't guarantee a clone will root, or a seed will germinate and survive so its kind of a tie there. I think my #1 favorite thing about seeds is I can grow that strain when I want, and quit it when I want and start later. I have seeds for like 12-15 strains and will likely have twice as many soon. It'd be virtually impossible for me to keep that many mothers going at a time. With seeds I can grow what I want when I want, and keep strains around for years, so when they seem to get forgotten and disappear I'll still have it.

For many plants at once, cloning all the way. For storing and preserving genetics, definitely seed!
 
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