Seeds, seedlings, or clones: Which one is right for you?

Updated: Feb 27

Ready to start growing hemp for CBD or CBG? One of the first questions might be what to plant. There are three options when it comes to planting feminized hemp: seeds, seedlings, and clones. Each of these options has its own pros and cons depending on where you are growing, how many plants you are growing, and what end product you want to end up with. Hopefully this blog can help you figure out which option is right for you.


Seeds

Feminized hemp seeds can be purchased online and mailed to your door. Quality breeders usually market a 95% germination rate and provide a minimum of a 5% overage on your seed order to account for germination loss. Pros: Feminized hemp seeds are the most cost effective option (up-front) if you have access to a greenhouse for germination. Direct seeding is not recommended and may result in a low germination rate. For seed breeder recommendations, you can check out our blog HERE. Cons: The germination process can be costly and poor greenhouse conditions can lead to mold, pests, and mildew. It is also rare for feminized seeds to be 100% female. Seeds carry their own genetics meaning that there may be a stray male or two per acre. Additionally, most seed breeders have minimum order quantities (MOQ’S) of around 2,000 seeds.


Seedlings

Hemp seedlings are germinated hemp seeds (typically 6-8 inches tall) ready to be transplanted. If you are buying seedlings for an outdoor grow, make sure that they have been hardened off, meaning that the seedlings have been acclimated to outdoor conditions for about a week after moving out of the greenhouse. Pros: Buying seedlings rather than seeds may be a better option for farmers who do not have access to a greenhouse, as the germination process has already been done and the plants are transplant-ready. Additionally, if bought from a reputable grower, there is comfort in knowing that your plants are off to a healthy start and what you’re paying for is what you're getting. Cons: In contrast to clones, each seedling carries unique genetics and there is a small chance for males. Walking the field and checking for males is recommended during the plants vegetation and flowering stages. Be careful of companies or individuals claiming 100% feminization, as that’s often not the case.


Clones

Hemp clones are genetically identical, coming from the same “mother plant.” When sourced and planted correctly, clones will grow uniformly across the field allowing you to more accurately predict your yield at harvest. Pros: Clones are most popular among indoor marijuana growers for their specific strains, time efficiency, and zero percent chance of males. These pros can outweigh the cons for cannabis growers who are trying to maximize grow cycles per year and obtain consistency in size, taste, look, and feel. Cons: Clones don’t produce as strong as a tap root in comparison to seedlings, and are more vulnerable to winds and stressors (if growing outdoors). Clones are also more expensive on average than seeds or seedlings and are resource intensive to grow.



Understanding the difference between seeds, seedlings, and clones will help you make the best choice for your farm or greenhouse. This decision will determine the rest of your preparation and operation, so taking the time to weigh your options is encouraged. As always, feel free to call us at (316) 688-0660 for your free initial consultation! We know first-hand that this process can be overwhelming and we are here to answer any questions you may have. Happy growing!


Sunnyland Kansas LLC specializes in sun-grown, feminized hemp for high-quality CBD and CBG biomass, oils, and isolates. Most of our blog posts will be concentrated on this part of the industry. We also support the expansion of grain and fiber hemp processing, and are expanding our network in that area.


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