Feminized marijuana seeds are genetically engineered. Unlike regular seeds that produce male and female plants, these are tailored to become females, and 99.9% of them do so. Before the early 90s, cannabis growers had a 50/50 chance of getting male and female plants. However, only the female plants grew buds rich in THC and CBD. When left around long enough, male plants produced seed pods that pollinated their female counterparts, reducing their yields. Therefore, seed growers identified plant sex early to start culling the males.
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This post explores feminized cannabis seeds and plants. It also sheds light on cloning, plus tips on doing it better.
Pros and Cons of Feminized Marijuana Seeds
Now that you know what feminized seeds are, let’s consider their pros and cons for growers. At a glance, the best feminized seeds contain higher cannabinoid amounts compared to male cannabis. Feminized strains are often bred for maximum potency and aroma. Additionally, these seeds are usually photoperiod, meaning they’re light cycle-dependent.
- Planting feminized seeds for sale guarantees growers of female plants that grow faster and are easier to maintain. You don’t need to prune or watch for male plants to cull them down.
- Feminized plants produce buds rich in CBD and THC, guaranteeing higher yields because growing spaces are optimized.
- Feminized seeds let you raise healthy mother plants from which you can get great clones for further cultivation.
- You can’t breed with them.
- Cloning these plants is harder than those grown from regular seeds.
- They come with higher risks of producing hermaphrodites unless you buy high-quality seeds.
- They’re limited to commercially available genetics.
Growers have two options for getting future plants for their growing—clones or seeds. Seeds are reliable, easy, and accessible. Inversely, cloning is fast, efficient, and carries a mother plant’s exact traits. Each of these two alternatives comes with its strengths and weaknesses.
A cannabis clone is a cutting, such as a branch, removed from a living marijuana plant that grows into another plant. A cloned plant bears its mother’s genetic makeup. After cutting a clone from its mother, it is placed into a medium like a rooting cube and given hormones to stimulate root growth. After the roots develop, the clone is transplanted into a pot or ground, where it grows like other weeds.
Pros and Cons of Cloning Your Cannabis Plants
Cloning has pros and cons. This subsection discusses the advantages and disadvantages of cloning cannabis plants.
- Fixed gender. Cloning assures you that you will get female plants. Though they can become hermaphrodites if stressed, you may still rest assured you won’t have males in your garden.
- You know what you are getting. Cloning helps you determine what to expect from your female clones. This assurance is possible if you cloned your plants from a reputable and trustworthy source. You can check the breeder samples and documentation to learn about previous harvests.
- Speedy cultivation process. Cloning speeds up the cultivation process. Seeds take more time to sprout and germinate into plants. Conversely, a clone is already a plant several weeks ahead of the growing process.
- Clones are hardier than seeds. This means that a rooted clone is easier to keep alive and nourish than a newly sprouted seed.
- Easier growing. Lastly, cloned plants are easier to grow overall, so they provide novice growers with a ‘plug and play’ convenience.
- Clones lack taproots. Taproots are straight bases that give plants a strong hold in the soil. Instead, they have secondary roots called a fibrous root system.
- Some clones carry diseases and/or pests. Powdery mildew is problematic because clones have diseases that may not be visible to the unaided eye. That means your clones will inherit whatever disease their mothers had. Therefore, growing experts recommend quarantining clones before bringing them into the rest of your grow room.
- Limited choices. Cloning limits you to what you can find in your region. While some dispensaries and stores work on the product range’s expansion, diversity is still scarcer than what most seed banks offer.
- You can either use or lose them. When opting for clones, you should either use or lose them because they have a short shelf life. The plants wither and die unless you follow them through to the end.
You can find useful tips for managing feminized seeds and decide on the seed type at https://askgrowers.com/seeds/feminized.
Tips for Successful Cannabis Cloning
Here are seven tips to help you clone your marijuana plants successfully.
Choose the right branches to cut
You should identify the right branches on the mother plant you want to cut and clone. When choosing the stem, check the following qualities before cutting it.
- It must appear healthy, with a green, flexible, vigorous outlook.
- Its leaf veins must be translucent.
- It should have at least six nodes.
- Its diameter must equal or be greater than your cloning cubes’ holes.
Use a sharp cutting blade
Use a sharp pair of scissors or a blade to guarantee a clean cut. Otherwise, a dull blade can crush the cutting’s bottom, making it hard for roots to grow.
Clones are vulnerable to mold and other diseases. Therefore, minimize this risk using sterilized instruments, such as razors, humidity domes, trays, and cups.
Use gentle lights
Cloned marijuana plants grow easily. However, HID lights aren’t ideal because they’re too hot and intense for delicate cuttings. You may utilize Fluorescents (CFL grow lights) or position your cuttings near a window to let them enjoy indirect sunlight.
Manage temperatures well
Managing temperatures is another success secret. Cannabis clones usually do well in temperatures between 74 and 77°F. Leaving fluorescent lights on over your clones for 24 hours a day is enough to control the temperature. Remember to manage the clone’s root zone temperatures so they don’t drop below 69°F or rise above 79°F. Otherwise, your clones will suffer heat stress.
Use an aero or bubble cloner
You may also use an aero or bubble cloner if you have a clone that won’t clone successfully with other methods. Setting this cloner well guarantees a near 100% success rate.
Use healthy mother plants
While this last tip might sound obvious, failing to follow it can mess up your entire cloning endeavor. It’s like a seed: you reap what you sow. Thus, cloning healthy mother plants produces healthy clones and vice versa.
There you go with all the facts you need to know about feminized marijuana seeds and the art of cloning. We hope you’re better prepared and understand what to expect when choosing between cloning and feminized seeds. Go on and apply these insights during your next weed-growing season.
Helga works at AskGrowers as a marketing specialist and blogger. She initially dreamed of becoming a doctor and even studied physiology in college, but ended up doing online marketing. She harnesses her medical knowledge to draft high-quality and researched posts on weed, marijuana effects, terpenes, etc.