Seedlings are less work to grow outdoors because branches are usually farther apart at first. Clones grow too densely from the bottom and require more pruning work.
Ten seeds from a reputable seed company germinate into about half female and half male* plants. Some plants will be small, and others will be strong, healthy, cannabinoid-potent females. Of these “super” females, one will be more robust and cannabinoid-potent than her siblings. This super female is selected to be the mother of future “super” clones.
*Scientific studies show a minimal weighting of averages that favor one sex or the other. This could be based on various factors including the external to the gene set and a phenotypic control of gene expression.
Normally all the seeds are germinated and planted. Males and weak plants are culled. The best female, or a clone of the female, is often retained as a mother plant. The mother can’t be chosen until harvest. Two scenarios are possible: re-vegetation or taking cuttings from desirable females before they flower. This way, the plants grown out are big by the time the desirable female and corresponding clones are chosen for mother plants.