If you are interested in growing your own hemp plant, then there are few different factors you need to consider. Those not only include where you will grow the plant, what the light source will be, and what kind of nutrients you will feed it. But before any of that comes into play, you will need to choose whether you are starting your hemp plant from a seed or from a clone.
Although all hemp plants technically start with a seed, you have the choice of going through the germination phase or heading straight to the more stable growth state of a hemp clone. Which method you choose will impact your growing techniques and environment. However, what are the advantages of choosing to start with a seed over a clone? Or should you always start with a hemp clone to increase your chances of success? Read on to learn all you need to know about clones and what the advantages are to growing them.
Hemp plants are easy to grow when placed in the right growing environment. A hemp plant is commonly referred to as a “weed” in some areas of the world, and it can grow as aggressively as an invasive weed in a garden bed. However, to nurture the hemp plant into its flowering stage of growth, you must tend to it carefully. It all starts with a hemp seed but can grow into a seedling in a matter of weeks.
The hemp plant always begins as a humble seed, but it can grow into a flower-producing plant if cared for correctly. After the hemp seed germinates and is planted in soil, it can grow into a seedling. Once the seedling has established its first few leaves, it has graduated to the vegetative stage of growth. And once the hemp plant grows a bit more in this vegetative stage, you will be able to take the next necessary step in growing a herb-producing hemp plant.
Once the hemp plant has grown out of the seedling phase of its natural lifecycle, you have a chance to tell if the plant is male or female. This will take about six weeks of growth, but then you will begin to see a female hemp plant develop tiny pistils on the nodes of the plant, or where the leaves meet the stem. Identifying the gender of the hemp plant is key since the female hemp plant is the only version of hemp that produces resinous flower. This flower is harvested and dried out to create the perfectly packaged dry herb you see on the shelves at dispensaries.
If the hemp plant is male though, it can be used to create fibrous textiles such as cloth, rope, or paper. You will be able to tell if a hemp plant is male because it develops pollen sacs at the nodes instead of hairs. These sacs end up looking like a tiny bunch of bananas, if they are allowed to develop enough. Most hemp farmers will pull male plants from a garden, however, since they can pollinate female hemp plants and potentially create hermaphrodite plants. Hermaphrodite plants are rare but can produce dry herb filled with seeds, instead of being packed with resinous trichomes. Telling the sex of a hemp plant is essential if you are looking to harvest dry herb in the end.
If the hemp plant turns out to be female, then you are in luck. Female hemp plants in the vegetative stage of growth can then be transplanted and nurtured into their final phase of growth, the flowering stage. Or they can be clipped to create a “clone”. A clone is simply a plant that is developed from a clipping of a larger plant. To make a hemp clone, the hemp plant is cut near the stalk and then placed in a growing medium to develop roots. Once roots are established the clone can head into its own phase of vegetative growth.
Hemp plants in the vegetative stage of growth are characterized by fan leaves and a strong stem. During the flowering stage of growth that follows, they also start developing pistils at the base of the leaves and stem. These tiny pistils are just the beginning of the growth of sticky, resinous flower. If nurtured and fed properly, the hemp plant will become even bushier, taller, stronger, and start developing identifiable flowers along the stalks. Once the hemp plant has entered the final phases of flowering, the stalks can be harvested, dried, trimmed, and cured to create beautiful dry herb.
It might sound like an obvious choice to go straight to the hemp clone when starting your own hemp garden. By purchasing a hemp clone instead of hemp seeds, you get to skip the germination and seedling stages of growth and head straight to the vegetative stage. However, there are a few different advantages to growing a hemp plant from seed.
Growing hemp from seed can be ideal if you are growing on a budget. Seeds tend to be a bit less expensive than hemp clones since there is less time investment on the seller’s end. However, it also means that you must invest the time and care to nurture the hemp seeds into seedlings and then into the vegetative stage of growth.
When growing from seed though, you also must determine what gender the hemp plant is and eliminate any male plants if you are seeking dry herb in the end. Thankfully, you can purchase feminized seeds created by hemp breeders, which are guaranteed to produce female hemp plants.
Growing hemp from seed can be a great option if you are seeking a new staring of hemp too. A seed is a bit of a gamble depending on where you purchase it from, but it can develop delightful results. If you want to diversify your hemp garden, seeds are a great way to do that too. Hemp cloning will only lead to more of the hemp strain you’ve already grown, but a seed is an entirely new beginning.
A hemp clone is not a fully grown plant, but it is a step closer to harvest than starting with a seed. The hemp plant will still need time to develop roots, but clones sold by farmers or obtained when you visit dispensaries will have these roots developed already. But if you are cloning your hemp plants at home you can create multiple plants from just one adult plant. This can easily expand your potential dry herb yield around harvest time. Starting with a clone will save you time and guesswork when growing a hemp plant, since you will not have to go through the seedling stage of growth, and you already know the plant is female.
But no matter which method you choose to use when propagating hemp plants, the key thing to keep in mind is to provide hemp with the right growing environment, no matter what stage of growth it is in. Each stage will require a bit of adaptation, but when nurtured correctly, a hemp plant can produce a surprising amount of dry herb. If you’re really into growing your own hemp, then give both methods a try and see which one you like best!
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