Once you decide to grow cannabis yourself, the first thing you need to do is to choose a strain. And here you may face a problem: the choice is so big that at some point it can be almost impossible to go in favor of one kind of the plant and put aside the others. In any cannabis strains database, you can find thousands of various crosses and variations. So how you can pick the right strain?
Nothing is impossible, and this problem can be solved by following a certain algorithm of little decisions. Once you understand what kinds of marijuana plants there are, what are their pros and cons, it would be easier to find what suits you best.
A new cannabis plant can be grown in two ways: out of a clone and from a seed. Seeds, in their turn, can be regular, feminized, auto-flowering, and at some occasions, you can even find seeds that are feminized and auto-flowering at the same time. Almost every cannabis strain has these kinds of seeds, and that is where your first choice should be made.
The reason why regular seeds cannot always satisfy growers is the different levels of difficulty of growing and the fact that only female plants provide yield.
Regular seeds behave exactly like Mother Nature designed them to behave (okay, maybe with some help of growers). The seeds germinate when the conditions resemble springtime, the plants grow when the light period is long, and when the days become shorter (the fall comes), you can finally see which plant is male and which is female.
If your goal is just picking up the yield, you do not need male plants; they can help you get seeds but not yield. And many growers are not excited about the thought that they will have to care for several months about plants which they will eventually throw away with no reward.
On the other hand, if you want to breed cannabis, if you want to have your own seed bank, male plants will come in handy. They will also serve you well if you want to create your own new strain with the properties that suit you the best, and if you, for some reason, cannot find what you need on the market.
Feminized seeds appeared on the market as a real savior for those who do not want to worry about getting rid of male plants and giving the precious space to the “useless plants.” Compared to regular seeds that give you approximately a 50/50 ratio of male/female plants, feminized seeds will give you almost 100% of female cannabis.
There are a few disadvantages of this kind of seeds: first, they will not allow you to get seeds or breed cannabis. Second, feminized cannabis seeds are usually significantly more expensive than regular ones. So if you want to grow another harvest, you need either to save some clones from the plants or to spend another fortune on the new pack of feminized seeds.
Auto-flowering seeds come in handy for absolute beginners in growing cannabis and those who live in the areas with short light days but want to grow marijuana outdoors anyway. These plants are “programmed” to switch into the flowering regime regardless of the conditions you give them (at least light conditions, you still need to water and fertilize your garden).
The great disadvantage of this kind of seeds is the quality and quantity of yield, which are much poorer compared to regular seeds.
As an alternative to seeds, you may grow your cannabis garden from clones. If the seller is honest (and we believe you will buy clones only from a trusted seller), the clones should be taken from a female plant.
You should worry to make everything you can for your little branches to root, and that means you need to think in advance what methods you will use, how you will provide them with the right humidity, light regime, and temperature until the first roots appear. In most cases, it takes about 5-14 days. After that, you need to plant the clones in the pots or in your garden if you grow them outdoors.
There is still a chance that the clones will not survive due to different stress factors, so it is always a risk. However, the seeds may also not always germinate in 100% cases, so the risks are pretty much the same.
Choosing the right kind of seeds or the right way of growing clones is only the beginning of the task. In the second part, we will tell you about other properties of cannabis plants you need to take into account before starting your growing project. Stay tuned, and happy growing!