Chapter 4

Choose Seeds or Clones

You can grow cannabis with clones propagated from mother plants, or you can grow with seeds. First, what is a cannabis clone? A clone is simply a branch cut off of a cannabis plant. These branches grow into plants themselves. A clone is essentially a baby cannabis plant. A clone can be cut from the bottom, middle, or top of a cannabis plant and is typically grown in a peat or rockwool cube until plenty of root growth is evident. Plants that produce clones regularly are called “mother plants.” As long as a cannabis plant is in VEG phase, you can cut a branch and get a “clone.”

You can also grow cannabis with seeds, ideally “feminized” seeds, not “regular” seeds. Feminized seeds produce female plants 99% of the time. You want female plants, because females produce flowers and buds. Male plants don’t do that. Regular seed packs on the other hand will include both males and female outcomes. When you plant regular seeds, expect it to take around 2 months (60 days) for their gender to be revealed. But sometimes it will take up to 2.5 or even 3 months. Female plants will have thin long white pistils begin to form where the flowers would eventually bloom. Male plants will develop pollen sacks that look like little balls. Once you see males, cull them, meaning cut them down and throw them out.

If you’re a new grower and thinking of buying regular seeds, reconsider and get feminized seeds. However, if your favorite strain is only available as regular seeds, then go ahead and grow them. Just remember to throw the males out and only keep the females.

The last type of seed to be aware of is called “auto-flower” or “autoflowering” seeds. Auto-flowering plants are unique because you don’t change the light cycle with them like you do with clones or feminized and regular seeds. Just keep auto-flowers at the 18/6 light cycle and they will automatically flower on their own. Many auto-flowering plants tend to grow to be around 3 ft tall. Although they have been gaining popularity, they aren’t nearly as popular as feminized seeds.


There are pro’s and con’s with both clones and seeds. It is gardener’s choice!

That means you get to choose. I recommend you start with one, and try the other method some other time.

However, please beware of seed scams from online thieves who prey on new growers on popular social media platforms. Also, please be cautious when buying clones or accepting them as gifts, because clones have the potential for having pests (bugs) or powdery mildew, and you do not want that. Buying seeds and clones at your local dispensary will squash your odds of getting scammed or screwed. It’s worth it!


Seeds vs. Clones


Cannabis Seed PRO’s 

● Cannabis seeds are easy to find online. Shop seeds here

● Cannabis seeds won’t ever come with spider mites or powdery mildew.

● Cannabis seeds can be shipped very easily.

● Cannabis seeds can be stored easily and for a long time.

● Cannabis seeds come with greater options at your fingertips. (Thank you breeders and the internet!)


Cannabis Seed CON’s

● Many cannabis seed scams occur on social media.

● Not every seed may sprout.

● Cannabis seeds take longer to bring to harvest than clones do.


Seed pack by Humboldt Seed Company



Clone PRO’s

● Clones give you a head start, so you’ll harvest sooner than with seeds.

● Clones aren’t shipped easily, but they are shippable with proper clone shipping containers.

● Clones like Dark Heart Nursery clones are available at cannabis dispensaries.

● Cloning at home is something every grower can learn to do.


Clone CON’s 

● There are less strain options accessible than seeds.

● Clones can have powdery mildew or pests.


Clones by Dark Heart Nursery




Tips On Choosing Clones:

You can get clones at your local cannabis shop, or from someone you know if you’re lucky. Whether you get clones from a store or friend, be sure to inspect each clone closely for good root growth, as well as signs of pests or plant disease. Look at the top of the leaves, but most importantly, look under the leaves for bugs and eggs. If they are sickly and infected, then don’t take them home with you. Only take home healthy clones!

As you look at the roots, you want to see plenty of white wet roots. Some light browning on roots is acceptable, but dry brown roots is not desirable. When you see roots that are brown and brittle, or brown and slimy, don’t take them home.

Clone leaves should be light to dark green, not yellow, yellowing, or browning. A small little yellow or brown speck typically isn’t cause for alarm. But there shouldn’t be any severely twisted leaves, brown leaves, yellow leaves, and the leaves shouldn’t be wilting or drooping.

With clones, you’ll sometimes see the tips of their leaves cut off. This is a somewhat common practice, so don’t be alarmed if you see it.


Seedling example


Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners
Published by Green Carpet Growing, Inc.
San Diego, CA 92103
© 2021 Green Carpet Growing, Inc
All Rights Reserved

No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law.

For permissions contact: marc(@)