Pro-Tip #1: GET A CLONE
Don’t plant seeds unless you can’t get a clone. Don’t ever buy feminized seeds. Don’t pick them out of your bag to plant them. Don’t even get seeds from your grower buddy, because odds are if he’s giving you seeds to start he doesn’t know wtf he’s doing in the first place, because if he did he’d give you a clone or clones.
Welcome to the world of marijuana horticulture, where everybody knows everything and nobody’s wrong.
Oh, wait, you actually want to know why I’m so against seeds? Or do you want to have a three month argument about it in the comments section? GFY. I’m not saying seeds are better than clones for everyone in every single situation, but the title on this page is Learn To Grow Weed not Learn Every Single Thing There Is To Know About Growing Weed. If you really need to know everything, there are hundreds of long as hell, and boring as shit books that will probably fuck you up with information overload.
For those who really want to know why clones are superior to seeds, especially for beginners:
If you buy seeds from a reputable dispensary or online, you will probably get a decent strain with fair quality, but after you’ve planted them you’ll have to sort through which ones are females to keep, and which are males to chop down. That’s a bunch of wasted time and space right there. Unless you think you’re so damn smart that your going to keep the males and get into breeding before you’ve even flowered a harvest…or perhaps you can just roll the dice on whether or not they fertilize your blooming females. I’m sure if they are in another room or outside they won’t pollinate anything, right? lol…. Maybe you are just nostalgic for brick weed from Mexico and miss those seeds in your weed, or possibly you are an aspiring hemp farmer and want males, idk any other reason why you would keep males.
The only way to be absolutely sure if a plant is male or female is to begin the flowering process and visually inspect the plants to see if they’ve grown male or female parts after a couple weeks of growth. Female plants will have hairs, one or two of them just like on your finished buds, spiking out at the nodes where new branches stem off like in the picture below.
But hey, since these plants were born from seed, just because they are female now doesn’t mean they might not turn into males later on if stressed. Marijuana plants tend to have sex change issues under bad conditions. This isn’t just a problem for plants sprouted from seeds, clones can also turn to male under stressful environmental conditions or improper lighting schedules. But plants from seed have a much higher likelihood of hermaphroditism.
If you are going to use seeds anyhow and just wanna be a know-it-all and learn the hard way, or you simply don’t have access to clones, please for the love of God don’t use feminized seeds. Always use regular, or non-feminized seeds as I’ve heard them called. Yes, by using feminized seeds you eliminate the waste of growing and destroying male plants, but the time saved comes with a caveat.
Feminizing seeds uses a technique that allows the female plant to fuck itself and make some inbred genetically disabled duplicate version of itself, with an hermaphrodite marker activated in it’s DNA, making it more likely to change it’s sex to male under stress and mess your whole grow up by filling your buds with seeds, which, ironically, will also be feminized because your plants fucked themselves again. I don’t have any scientific analysis or group consensus yet, but it always seems to me like feminized plants also have less resistance to pathogens like powdery mildew and pests like mites and aphids compared to a properly seeded plant.
If you find just a few seeds in weed you bought, they are almost always feminized. If it’s filled with them, they are usually regular seeds and it was grown outside, or the farmer was in idiot.
Standard seeds, or non-feminized, use a different mother and father to be propagated. This type of seed production is like sex the old fashioned way, and the process by which the parents are selected for traditional breeding is long and time consuming. And it’s far from an exact science. With two sets of genetics available to intermingle, the result is that every seed will produce a plant that is similar to, but genetically slightly different than each of it’s unique siblings. Just like you and your brothers and sisters, if you have any, not exactly the same but similar because two sets of DNA will always combine to form something unique with each fertilization, like a snowflake or something. Unless you are a twin! A clone is like an identical twin, where the egg splits in half, and two of the exact same sets of DNA grow side by side. With a clone you are guaranteed to get the exact same results time after time.
The genetic variance between different seeds of a specific strain of cannabis is called a phenotype of a particular strain of cannabis. Usually standard fertilization produces child plants that have a mix of it’s parents traits. But it’s not as simple as that, however, because if the genetics of either of the parents are not stabilized by cross breeding the healthiest male and female plants from each set of seeds for several generations to find the strongest, healthiest, and best quality, high-yielding plants, and eliminating weak traits like susceptibility to pests or mold, the resulting seeds will possibly have what’s called a recessive gene that isn’t apparent or dominant until those plants bear seeds themselves. Simple, right? Are your really still reading this? Just go out and get some clones already. You don’t need to know why, just trust me ’cause I’m tired of explaining and we’ll only fall further down the rabbit hole if I keep writing about it.
Arguments against clones:
- Eventually, like years and years in the future, the DNA in your clones will degenerate and the plants won’t grow as well as they used to.
- Cloning is a form of genetic modification, and stops the evolution of cannabis DNA.
BULL-SHIT MY STRAINS ARE 18+ YEARS OLD
Did you read any of the above about seeds? The things they are doing with feminized seeds are disgusting. Breeders don’t care that only 5% of the strains on this earth are still true Indica, Sativa, or Ruderalis varieties. There are already too many cannabis strains on the market as it stands now, without proper scientific method being applied during the breeding process for the majority. Cloning is the only way to ensure these base strains found growing naturally in the wild that created everything we smoke today aren’t lost over time. By the way, almost every fruit and vegetable on the shelf at your grocery store is a clone…
Pro-Tip #2: MAKE YOUR OWN CLONES
IF YOU ARE SUPER LAZY, JUST READ THIS AND THEN SKIP AHEAD TO GROWING:
CUT SOME BRANCHES OFF YOUR WEED PLANT, STICK THEM IN GLASSES OF WATER ON YOUR WINDOWSILL or under FLUORESCENT lights. PLANT IN CHOSEN GROWING MEDIUM WHEN ROOTS APPEAR in 2-3 weeks.
Hopefully you’ve got a clone or a plant of any size from someone or somewhere, so now you need to make more clones. Unless you want to just grow weed one time and check that off your bucket list, you are going to need more plants for when you’ve finished flowering this first batch. If you can set up a second area to grow plants while flowering them in another separate room, it will save you the time of having to grow the plants before you can flower them in the same room.
Things to Know Before You Start Cloning:
You can take as many clones as you want off any healthy marijuana plant as long as you leave a few branches left on the mother plant that you take cuttings from. If your plant is not big enough yet, read the growing section while you grow the plant for a while and come back to this cloning section when it’s bigger.
Each cutting should have 4-6 nodes from the top at your cut point, and be about 3 to 6 inches long for optimal survival rates, but in reality I’ve cut them much longer and shorter with 100% survival rates. Realistically, the clone will probably be fine wherever you cut it unless it’s too tall to fit in the dome, or so short that the leaves touch the growing surface and get wet, otherwise don’t stress the numbers given here and cut them anywhere you please. It may just take a little longer to produce roots, and it’s safe to assume more plants might die than by following these instructions precisely.
Things You’ll Need:
And if you don’t have already have a light:
And sometimes the lamp will melt the plastic if you just set it on top of the dome, so if you don’t have any way to mount the light you can use this: