As we discussed in our previous article, cloning is widely used among cannabis growers to propagate new cannabis plants. When compared to growing from seeds, cloning can be faster and more efficient. However, there are also some significant drawbacks to consider. Here we’ll explore the pros and cons of growing cannabis from clones.
Growing Cannabis From Clones: Pros
Cloning has quite a few advantages over growing cannabis from seeds including:
- Guaranteed female plants: Female plants produce cannabinoid- and terpene-rich cannabis flower. When you cut clones from a mother plant that you know is female, you can guarantee that every clone you cut will also be female.
- Less expensive: Seeds are expensive to purchase, especially feminized seeds that produce almost exclusively female plants. If you’re not buying feminized seeds, half of your plants will end up being unproductive males, costing you valuable time and resources.
- Shorter time to harvest: Plants that you grow from clones will be ready to harvest faster than plants that you grow from seeds. By eliminating the need for germination and a lengthy seedling stage, you can shave up to a month off your time to harvest when growing from clones.
- Consistent Quality: Every clone will have the same characteristics as your mother plant. If your mother plant is robust and a high quality strain, you won’t have to worry about inconsistent quality or potency issues when you clone.
Growing Cannabis From Clones: Cons
No growing technique is perfect. While cloning can give you the upper hand in terms of time, resources, and consistent quality, there are several disadvantages.
- Clones are sensitive: After you make a new cutting, fresh clones are extremely vulnerable to environmental stressors. That’s because cannabis clones initially lack a root system, the plant’s normal means of taking in nutrients from its surrounding environment. As a result, this technique is best left to more experienced growers.
- Fewer roots, lower yield: Although clones eventually grow their own roots, cannabis plants grown from clones tend to have a less robust root system than plants grown from seeds. That’s because seeds get a head start in terms of root growth. In fact, the very first growth stage for a seed involves the sprouting of the plant’s tap root. Clones simply don’t have as much time to establish their root system. This results in an overall smaller plant with less flower to harvest.
The Method of Choice for Commercial Growers
Although it requires more experience, cloning is a highly efficient way to grow cannabis. Unless you’re experimenting with crossbreeding to create new strains, most commercial cannabis growers rely on cloning.
Cannabis testing keeps your grow operation compliant and ensures your crop of clones is reliably producing high-quality flower. Encore Labs is a state-licensed, ISO-certified lab based in California that offers a full suite of cannabis testing options from cannabinoid profiling to microbiological analysis. Contact us today for more information.