Autoflowering strains are gaining popularity among cannabis growers due to its fast growth cycle. Regular marijuana strains take an average of four to five months to reach the harvest-ready stage, while Autoflower strains only need half of that which is around two or two and a half months.
How different are autoflowering seeds from regular seeds? We will tackle this question by first understanding each type of marijuana plant. Then we will go into the autoflowering feminized marijuana seeds and how they differ from any other autoflowering cannabis seeds.
Regular Marijuana Plants
Almost all kinds of non-autoflowering strains are fully dependent on the photoperiod schedule to engage its flowering stage. This schedule is basically the natural cycle of the sunlight to sunset based on the particular season of the year. The number of hours of daylight that a plant gets on a day will trigger the plant to start its flowering stage. Regular marijuana plants are usually on its vegetative cycle in mid-spring up to summer’s end. During such, daylight hours are longer than nighttime. When daylight hours go down to around 12 hours, the plants detect this as a signal to start its flowering phase.
This dependency on the photo exposure schedule is one of the most important attributes that indoor cultivators need to have a deep understanding of. Drastic changes on the schedule of your grow light being on can induce the plants to prematurely enter the flowering phase. Otherwise, switching back the lighting schedule from this mistake may do more harm, this is if they revert to the vegetative phase from being in the flowering phase.
Autoflowering Marijuana Plants
Its Independence on the lighting schedules is the most known characteristic of almost all autoflowering plants. These plants have their own biological clock that tells them when to enter the vegetative and flowering phase. This is the reason why auto plants will flower almost anytime of the year even during mid-summer.
Thanks to its automatic nature, auto cannabis flowers can be exposed extensively to longer daylight hours as much as possible. Even while entering the flowering stage, all autoflowering marijuana plants benefit from extensive light exposure by improving bud production. This also takes away the need for installing a timer to your grow lights.
Autoflowering Feminized Plants
Another type of marijuana variety that is available today is the autoflowering feminized marijuana seeds. This type of plant possess the auto trait which means they can enter the flowering phase without depending on the light schedule. On top of that, these seeds are genetically altered which more likely guarantees that these will grow as female plants.
Why are female plants more sought after? Female plants are the ones producing buds while the male plants develop pollen sacs. Pollen sacs or any part of the male plants are low in THC or CBD, which is what is sought after for either recreational or medicinal uses of marijuana. Aside from not producing buds, males will pollinate female plants in your garden if you leave them alone for a long time. In turn fertilized female plants will then focus its energy on seed production instead of bud production. Remember, only unfertilized female plants produce the quality buds with the highest levels of cannabinoids.
Advantages of Autoflowering Seeds
1.) Autoflowering Nature
As mentioned, this automatic trait of autoflowering seeds highly benefits the cultivation of marijuana plants indoors. This takes away the need to stick to the lighting schedule of these plants. This makes the timer for the lights or operating the lights manually unnecessary. Auto plants will engage in the flowering phase no matter how much or how less light they receive.
2.) Shorter growth cycle
The genetics of an autoflowering seed comes from a species of cannabis plants that only grows naturally in very harsh environments. This is due to its adaptation to the extreme conditions it has developed a shorter growth cycle in comparison to the regular ones. Marijuana growers who want immediate results will enjoy cultivating autoflowering seeds as they become harvest-ready plants in lesser time than most regular seeds need.
The shorter growth cycle is excellent as well for growing autoflowering plants outdoors. Not having to depend on the light schedules, these seeds will become flowering plants even before autumn comes. This takes away the chances of the plants stopping production of its buds when the colder periods of the year starts.
3.) Compact in size
Due to their compact sizes, growing indoors is highly suitable for autoflowering seeds. The tallest height these plants can achieve is just three feet tall. This allows you to accommodate them in any part of your house. They can fit perfectly in cabinets if you do not have any other space or spare room for indoor growing.
Disadvantages of Autoflowering Seeds
1.) Lower yields per cycle
Because of the compact size and shorter growth cycle, autoflowering seeds usually have a lower yield per cycle than regular marijuana seeds. This is because of the shorter time the plants have to grow and develop its structure and its cola. The yield rate of autoflower plants will never be as much as a tall sativa plant.
2.) Difficult to clone
Another disadvantage is the difficulty to clone these plants. Clones are the cropping from a healthy marijuana plant in its vegetative phase. If you plant these cropped stems in a good growing medium, they will thrive into a new plant that starts off as the same mature plant it was clipped from.
Successful cloning requires time for clipping to heal as well as develop its plant structure. Regular plants do not have any problem with this because of the long vegetative phase they have. But, since autoflowering plants have shorter periods, the mother and the clone may lack the time to heal and to develop its structure before it enters the flowering phase. This most often results in lower yield than expected while clones may not even get to bud production at all.
3.) Unable to manipulate
Lastly, because of autoflowering seeds’ automatic nature or independence from the photoperiod schedules. Expert cultivators can alter the lighting schedules intentionally to disrupt the growth cycle of plants for a benefit. One example is, you can induce the plants to engage in the flowering phase earlier than expected given it has grown enough to produce an acceptable yield. But, this is not possible for autoflowering seeds like how it is to regular seeds.
You now have a better grasp of how autoflowering marijuana plants grow. Also with the special variety which is the feminized autoflowering marijuana seeds. These seeds only makes it easier for anyone to grow their own stash at home either for recreational or medical purposes.