I have always made mother plants from seed only. All my friends tell me its OK to make a mother from a clone. I can’t see how that could be OK. It would be like cloning off a clone, and cloning off that clone, etc. This can’t be a good practice.
F1 plants grown from seed have the added advantage of having “hybrid vigor” which means that this cross will grow about 25 percent bigger and stronger than cuttings. Hybrid vigor also makes plants less susceptible to pest and disease problems. Clones taken from F1 mother plants take on a part of this hybrid vigor. But, after you keep a female plant grown from seed in the vegetative stage for more than a couple of months, they tend to loose part of their “hybrid vigor.” On the other hand, if you continue to grow mothers from seed, you must be very sure that subsequent plantings are from seeds with the exact same genetic qualities so the crop remains consistent.
Taking clones of clones is not a bad thing. I have interviewed growers that have made clones of clones more than 20 times! That is, clones (C-l) were taken from the original female grown from seed. These clones were grown in the vegetative stage, and clones (C-2) were taken from the first clones (CI). Blooming was induced in (C-I) two weeks later and (C-2), grown in the vegetative stage. Then, clones (C-3) were taken from the second clones (C-2). This same growing technique is still going on with clones of clones well past (C-20) and there has been no apparent breakdown in the potency or the vigor of the clone. However, if mothers suffer stress, they produce weak clones. Mothers that are forced to flower and revert back to vegetative growth not only yield less, they are stressed and confused. Clones that grow poorly are generally the result of poor, unsanitary cloning practices.