In the long debate over clones vs seeds, I’ll help shed a bit of light and help you figure out which technique to use in your next grow.
Clone / Cuttings
First off, you will need a mother plant to produce clones. Wikipedia defines clones as any organism whose genetic information is identical to that of a parent organism from which it was created. A mother plant can come from a seed source, be purchased from a nursery, or taken from your current garden. Usually a mother plant is a plant kept in perpetual vegetative stage by keeping it on a 16-24 hour light cycle. This light cycle prevents the mother plant from going into flower. One of the main reasons some people will choose to take cuttings is that they can replicate their most vigorous, high yielding plants over and over again. One thing to keep in mind is that annual plants in nature do not live for more than one year, which will cause a decline in yield in every round of cuttings. Problems can also arise with fighting off environmental stresses, diseases and insects, as the genetics weaken season after season.
A plant grown from seed is capable of yielding more than a cloned offspring. Most plants grown from seed naturally produce a tap root, whereas plants grown from clones are unable to do so. A tap root acts as an anchor for the plant which aids in better support and water and nutrient uptake. Outdoor growers lean toward growing from seed for this very reason. For indoor growers, tap roots are not a major concern, as plants do not require them to survive in containers. Growing from seed also lessens your chances of inheriting any pests or diseases from a cutting. Seeds do have their cons however. Germination rates vary by plant species, harvest times are longer than when starting from cuttings, and there are costs associated with purchasing them (whereas clones taken from plants you already own are free).
Both methods can be fun to explore, and you should try and see what works best for you.
Items to help you out in your projects:
- Super Starter Plugs provide an ideal air-to-water ratio to give plants the best start possible. These bioactive plugs are comprised primarily of composted tree bark and peat moss and can be used in soil or hydroponic applications. A predrilled hole in each plug makes planting a cinch. Great for both Seeds and Cuttings
- EZ Cloner 16 Site made from fully recyclable HDPE which highly chemically resistant and extremely durable.
- Sunblaster Nano Dome Kit comes with an 18 in T5 HO SunBlaster™ NanoTech light fixture, a unique 7 in high dome designed to accommodate the included NanoTech fixture and a 10 x 20 tray.
- Super Sprouter Heat Mat Warms root area approximately 10°F – 20°F over ambient temperature to improve germination process. Also aids in success rates with cuttings. Perfect for one standard 10 in x 20 in propagation tray.
- Rapid Start delivers a powerful blend of premium plant extracts, amino acids, and nutrients generating explosive root growth. Using RapidStart® stimulates prolific root branching and development of fine root hairs that increase nutrient uptake and grow healthier, whiter roots.