Excellent marijuana can come from either seeds or clones. The choice between the two depends primarily on the grower’s intentions and the accessibility of clones.
What I mean by ‘the grower’s intentions’ is whether the plants are simply to be grown and flowered for smoking or used for breeding. In either case it is still wise to set up a cloning area, to preserve any excellent plants for future use. Only experienced growers should attempt to breed plants, as it requires a lot of space, work and attention to detail.
Cloning is relatively easy and, though many growers struggle at first, anyone can get the hang of it fairly quickly. Here is a great discussion on GrassCity with instructions on cloning and making your own cloner.
The accessibility of clones is usually the biggest factor in deciding whether to purchase seeds or clones.
A pack of ten seeds can cost well over $100, each needs to be grown out, the males need to be removed (unless the grower is breeding) and clones should be kept from each female. After the seedlings are harvested, they can be evaluated for future use, assuming clones were taken successfully. Seeds are an incredibly valuable resource for growers that are not surrounded by dispensaries that carry tons of clones. For growers in many parts of the country, there is no choice of seeds or clones.
Even in places like Denver you cannot always find the strain you’re looking for. There are an incredible number of strains available online, complete with discreet worldwide delivery. Always research both the seed bank you buy from and the breeders that created the strain. Not all seeds are created equal, please be sure to read my articles about feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds. Two seed banks I’ve used before are Attitude Seeds and Marijuana-Seeds.nl. Both sent quickly and all seeds sprouted well. Attitude has more selection, as well as higher prices.
In places like Denver, with clones all over town, growers have the luxury of purchasing clones for each grow cycle.
This eliminates the need for a second, vegetative grow space which would house mother plants, rooting clones, and plants not yet large enough to flower. While the cost of clones quickly outweighs the cost of a second growing area, many hobby growers prefer to keep their grows as small and simple as possible. Purchasing a set of rooted clones the day after each harvest is definitely easier than keeping mother plants and rooting clones.