There are two ways to start growing cannabis: with seeds or with cuttings. While most beginners start with cannabis seeds, there are great advantages to working with cuttings, which we will explore further.
- WORKING FASTER WITH CUTTINGS
Using cannabis cuttings is much faster than using seeds, because you skip the germination phase. When you plant a cannabis seed, it has to germinate first to be able to come out of its shell and then get roots and leaves.
Some seeds germinate in about 24 hours, while others take between 2 and 7 days to show the first signs of germination. After opening the shell, the taproot becomes visible first, then the first leaves, called “sugar leaves”, grow. The entire sowing phase can take about 2-3 weeks indoors and up to 6 weeks outdoors from start to finish.
However, if you use a cutting, you short-circuit this whole process. Just give the cutting time to take root. Once this is done, it usually goes directly to the vegetative phase. Remember also that some seeds will not germinate at all. While some germination methods are better than others, none can guarantee a 100% success rate.
Indeed, seeds are sensitive and even slight handling errors, temperature or humidity can affect the germination capacity.
- THE USE OF CUTTINGS IS LESS EXPENSIVE
Another advantage of using cuttings instead of seeds is that it reduces costs. Whenever you work with seed, it is best to buy it from a reputable breeder or seed bank to make sure you get the right genetics. However, buying seed from seed banks can be very expensive.
If you plan to grow more than a few plants over a long period of time, it might be wise to think about growing and preserving a mother plant. By working with cuttings you can avoid these costs. A good, strong and stable mother plant can produce countless cuttings! Therefore, most dedicated breeders first buy seeds and then have a genetic variety to work with. Then they usually work with cuttings from a handful of strong mother plants.
Although there is a cost to growing and maintaining healthy mother plants, it is usually much less than buying new seeds at the beginning of each season.
- CUTTINGS ARE ALWAYS FEMALE
A single male cannabis plant can pollinate hundreds of female plants and endanger entire crops. Unless you plan to grow your own seeds, you will want to avoid male plants for everyone in the world. When working with seeds, most growers choose feminized seeds to minimize the likelihood of male plants. Of course, feminized seeds tend to be more expensive than regular seeds, which further increases the entire crop’s cost.
Cuttings of a female plant, on the other hand, are guaranteed to be female. So they are a great way to prevent male plants from pollinating your females and turning your hard-earned buds into seed packets!
However, keep in mind that taking cuttings too often and other high levels of stress on your mother plant increase the likelihood of hermaphrodites and cuttings with poor characteristics. To be sure, we recommend that you clone your mother plant a maximum of 4 times before crowning one of the cuttings as a new mother plant.
- Cuttings allow you to harvest more
A final advantage of using cannabis cuttings is that it allows multiple harvests. As the cuttings skip the whole germination phase of a plant, you can even get more harvests per year with the cuttings.
If you grow outdoors, you can usually get an extra crop each year from the cuttings before winter arrives. When you grow indoors, you can grow plants all year round and maintain a constant cycle of mother plants, cuttings and growing plants. The effective use of cuttings can result in an extra harvest per year. After all, that means more weeds for you!
STICKLINGE: THE UNCERTAINTY OF CULTIVATION
As you can see, there are many advantages to using cannabis cuttings instead of seeds! No wonder many professional breeders prefer them.
Even though it may take some time at the beginning to perfect the whole cloning process, it will certainly pay off in the end if you can enjoy the benefits mentioned above!
Don’t forget: seeds have their own advantages too!