Stoney Tark edited on: March 16, 2023 8 minutes read
"As a beginner grower, it is important to know everything starts from a Cannabis seed. Every seed is different and will be an expression of desirable traits created naturally as a landrace or by a breeder. In this article we explain the differences between regular and feminized, the advantages associated, mother plants, cloning and what to consider next time you purchase Cannabis seeds."
A Breakdown of Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Feminized Cannabis seeds revolutionized the indoor market and how a grower was able to operate. As the seeds are created with only female chromosomes, the result is a female only crop. This was music to the ears of many, who would normally be required to sex the plants once flowering had started. Not only did feminize Cannabis seeds give the grower peace of mind, they would not have to be concerned about losing out on final yield due to sexing.
The Advantages Associated
- Space can be totally maximized, meaning the highest possible yields are possible.
- Nutrients and growing medium do not be wasted on male plants.
- Hydroponic systems can be filled with feminized seeds, increasing efficiency.
- Beginner growers do not have to worry about identifying male and female plants.
- Feminized seeds allow a grower to harvest multiple different strains in one space.
- For Sea of Green, using feminized Cannabis seeds works perfectly.
- Outdoor feminized Cannabis seeds can be left to grow without pollination occurring.
- A perfect starting point for beginner growers or experts.
The Disadvantages Associated
- There will not be as much variation between phenotypes compared to regular sexed.
- For breeding, they should not be used and working with regular is preferable.
- Some feminized Cannabis seeds may hermaphrodite under stressful conditions.
- Feminized Cannabis seeds will cost twice the price as the regular version usually.
A Breakdown of Regular Sexed Cannabis Seeds
Before 1999, before feminized Cannabis seeds took the industry by storm, indoor, and outdoor growers were left with only one option. Regular seeds basically mean that the plants will be either male or female. Naturally, you can expect a ratio of 60/40 or 70/30 ratio of female to male plants; however, environmental settings can also have an influence on the final sex. Every single seed bank started with regular seeds and has transitioned to offering both regular and feminized Cannabis seeds.
The Advantages Associated
- Regular seeds will produce much more variation in the phenotype and desirable traits.
- Breeding with regular seeds is the most natural way and will produce the best hybrid vigor.
- They will be cheaper than the feminized version, meaning you can buy more quantities.
- Regular sexed plants are more resistant and tolerant to stress than feminized.
- Starting with regular sexed plants and selecting keeper clones does not take too much time and space.
The Disadvantages Associated
- Removing 4 out of 10 plants once flowering starts can be a big loss to your final crop.
- Identifying male flowers can be difficult if you are not experienced with Cannabis plants.
- You can essentially waste soil and nutrients on male plants that do not make the final cut.
- Not all the new strains are made in the regular version due to the demand of the marketplace.
What About Mother Plants and Cloning?
The next best thing after growing from Cannabis seed is to take clones. Cloning will allow a home grower to obtain a genetic replica from an existing plant, that will form roots and can be vegetated or flowered.
There are many advantages to taking clones, and even more when you can keep a mother plant alive. A mother plant, as the name suggests, produces the children or clones in this case, and will be a long-term source. Mother plants taken from Cannabis seeds can be kept alive for decades under the right conditions.
The 7 Advantages of Cloning Cannabis Plants
- An exact replica is produced from a plant that has already been grown and proven worthy of keeping.
- Clones can be passed around from growers and on forums, allowing access to be relatively easy.
- There is no need to invest in more regular or feminized Cannabis seeds every harvest.
- Clones make large-sized projects much easier and require no sexing like feminized seeds.
- Outdoors clones can be placed outside at the end of Summer, giving an extra crop.
- Cannabis clones can flower immediately once the root ball has formed.
- Hydroponic systems filled with female clones will be 100% efficient with space.
Mistakes To Avoid Using Cannabis Clones
Before you fill your indoor garden full of the next best strain, it is important to consider what may go wrong and what mistakes to avoid.
There have been plenty of horror stories of indoor growers who were gifted clones only to find out they were infested with spider mites. Once these tiny mites enter your garden during bloom, the damage caused can be devastating. Do your best to source the clones from reliable, clean, and honest growers.
Oftentimes, it can be hard to notice any mildew on a Cannabis clone; however, powder mildew is an airborne pathogen that has attached itself to the weakest part of the foliage. Once an infected clone is placed around other plants, the mildew will only spread and slowly cover the plants if not dealt with prior.
This occurs when clones were taken off a female plant late into 12/12. As the Cannabis plant has already gone through a hormonal change and growth spurt, the clones will now need to focus on producing root cells and slowly grow back. These clones can be frustrating to work with as they can be slow to grow and will produce one leaf at a time before normal growth patterns can be observed.
Nirvana Seeds’ Conclusion
As a beginner grower, we always advise working with feminized seeds, for the advantages and skill level associated. Regular Cannabis seeds are a great way to learn about male and female plants, and can be a great way to transition to a cloning culture.
Practice and patience are the only way to learn more about this incredible plant and all the medicinal applications Cannabis seeds have to offer!
Stoney Tark has been involved with cannabis for over 15 years. During this time, he has become head writer for the long-standing magazine; Soft Secrets, a position he has held for the last ten years, alongside writing for every other main publication.
Author of Stoney Tark’s Top Tips on Growing Cannabis, host of The Roll Models Podcast, breeder and sponsored by SANlight LED. Stoney is well versed in many systems and methods of growing, including, Organics, Hydroponics, Breeding, and Hash production.
Well known in the public eye for his easy-to-understand and detailed breakdowns of all things related to cannabis.