Difference in Seed Grown and Plants Grown from Cuttings?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: February 28, 2002

What is the difference in herb plants grown from seed and those from cuttings? Which is a better plant?

For many herbs there is no difference. A lemon balm grown from seeds will be the same as a lemon balm grown from a cutting, all other things being equal.

There are, however, many improved varieties that are not available in seed form. For example, you can grow rosemary from seeds, but you can’t get the cultivar ‘Rex’ rosemary from seeds because ‘Rex’ is only propagated by cuttings. Cultivars such as ‘Rex’ rosemary, ‘Lemon Frensham’ scented geranium and ‘Highland Cream’ lemon thyme are what are called "vegetative clones". Vegetative clones do not reproduce by seeds either because the seeds offtypes with colours, shapes, and sizes that differ from the original plant or because the original plant is infertile and does not produce seeds.

Another example is tarragon, Tarragon can be grown from seeds, but the seed grown version has no flavour. The true french tarragon, on the other hand, can only be grown from cuttings (or division) because it does not produce seeds; it is the one that has the wonderful anise-like flavour and aroma.

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