Before feminized seeds became popular regular seeds were the only option for growers who wanted to create unique strains. Breeding with regular seeds is a labour of love as male plants must be separated from females and pollen collected.
Regular seeds undergo fewer genetic tampering than feminized ones and can produce robust descendants. This makes them ideal for breeding and cloning.
If you’re interested in breeding your own strains of marijuana, you will need to work with regular seeds. They will not be automatically feminized and you will have to separate male plants from females before they flower. This can be impractical for beginners who have not yet mastered growing and it adds time to the overall breeding process.
However, working with regular seeds is essential for anyone who wants to discover new phenotypes and breeders need a good supply of both female and male cannabis plants to make the most out of their breeding. This is because male plants produce pollen that can be used to create hybrids.
Feminized cannabis seeds are a great choice for growers who want to avoid the male plant problem and concentrate on producing the best female plants possible. They are also more resilient and less prone to hermaphrodite growth during the growing process. This makes them a better choice for novice and beginner growers.
Taking clones from regular seeds allows growers to enjoy a greater level of control in their garden. While feminized seeds are ideal for novice growers as they produce only female plants that are ready to be harvested, regular seeds give you the freedom to produce a mix of both male and female plants to create your own cultivars.
Clones should be taken from a healthy, strong mother plant that is approximately two months into the vegetative phase of growth. Avoid fertilizing the mother plant before cloning as large concentrations of nitrogen divert energy away from growing roots. Immediately after cutting the clone, sterilize your scissors or razor and remove any excess fan leaves (these will divert energy from root development).
It is important to place your clones in a dome or propagator to maintain high levels of humidity. Additionally, you should feed clones a balanced nutrient solution to promote health and accelerate their growing process.
Whether you’re an inexperienced grower or a seasoned pro, the presence of a mother plant allows you to streamline the cultivation process. You’ll need a special space designated for the mother, a strict veg lighting schedule and appropriate nutrients but once you establish a good formula, keeping a healthy mother plant in place allows for clone production that can be turned to harvest over and over again.
A properly maintained mother plant will live for years, constantly producing new clippings to be grown as clones. Compared to plants that progress through their natural life cycles, well-kept mothers save growers a significant amount of time and money.
Maintaining a mother plant begins with identifying the ideal strain to serve as a mother and subsequently growing multiple phenotypes of that cultivar from seed until you find a perfect match. Once the chosen mother is in place, she should be maintained in a dedicated area of your grow room or tent to avoid cross-contamination and ideally fed a vegetative growth solution with half-strength or quarter-strength nutrients to encourage vigorous growth and prolific branching.
Seeds are a common good that provides the basis of all life on earth and should be protected for the benefit of all. Globally, various initiatives are devoted to this goal. Gene banks save millions of seeds from all over the world, botanical gardens showcase dazzling plant collections and pastoralists raise traditional livestock breeds to preserve biological information for future generations.
For each generation of a clone population, the genetic diversity is determined by analysing parents and offspring together. The calculation of allelic richness is adjusted by rarefaction to account for the different sample sizes of parent and offspring generations. In all analysed seed orchards, genetic diversity is lower for the parental generation than for the offspring generation. This is likely to be due to the high degree of relatedness between individual clones in the parental generation. This can lead to selfing and inbreeding depression effects like a higher proportion of empty seeds in the offspring.