Autoflowering strains are popular among cannabis breeders due to their incredibly fast growth cycle. While regular marijuana seeds take around four to five months to grow into harvest-ready plants, auto seeds only need up to two or two and a half months.
How does autoflowering seeds differ from regular marijuana plants? Let us answer that question by taking a close look at both types of cannabis plants. We also explain how autoflowering feminized marijuana seeds differ from other auto cannabis seeds.
Regular Marijuana Plants
Nearly all kinds of non-auto marijuana strains are dependent on the photoperiod schedule. This schedule is the number of hours of daylight that a plant goes through. Regular marijuana plants usually go through the vegetative cycle in the middle of spring and up towards the end of summer. During this time, daylight hours are longer than the evening. When daylight hours go down to around 12 hours, the plants sees this as a signal to enter the flowering phase.
The dependency on the lighting schedule is one of the important factors that indoor cultivators need to be aware of. Major changes to the time that your grow light stays on can force the plants to enter the flowering stage prematurely. Changing back their lighting schedule may cause more harm if they go back to the vegetative cycle from the flowering phase.
Autoflowering Marijuana Plants
The standout trait of nearly every autoflowering plants is its independence on the lighting schedule. The plants have their own biological clock that tells them to enter the vegetative and flowering phase. This is why auto plants will flower during the middle of summer.
Thanks to the automatic nature of the seeds, you can keep exposing the auto cannabis flowers to longer daylight hours as much as possible. Even if it enters the flowering stage, all auto plants benefit from an extensive amount of light to improve their bud production. This also lets you avoid installing a timer to your grow lights so that they turn on or off at the designated light schedule.
Autoflowering Feminized Plants
Another different type of marijuana strains in the market is autoflowering feminized marijuana seeds. These strains have the automatic trait that allows the plants to be dependent on the photoperiod schedule. In addition, the seeds have a genetic code that gives them a high chance of growing into female plants.
Why are female plants beneficial to your garden? These plants are responsible for producing high inducing calyxes or buds while the male plants produce pollen sacs. Pollen sacs or any part of the male plants are lacking in cannabinoids, which provide the different recreational and medicinal effects of marijuana. Apart from being a non-bud producing plant, males can pollinate female plants in your garden if you leave them alone for a long time. Fertilized female plants will focus most of its energy on producing seeds and not the high inducing buds that you are producing in your garden.
Advantages of Autoflowering Seeds
As mentioned above, the automatic nature of the auto seeds is a major benefit for you if you cultivate the plants indoors. This removes any need to control the lighting schedule of the plants such as installing a timer to the grow light or manually operating the lights. Auto plants will grow in flowering plants no matter the lighting schedule they are under in.
The genetic of autoflowering seeds come from a species of marijuana plants that usually grow in harsh terrain. This is why they have a short growth cycle than regular cannabis plants. Marijuana cultivators looking to get an immediate result on their investment will enjoy growing autoflowering seeds that produce yields in half a time that most regular seeds take.
The short growth cycle is great for cultivating autoflowering seeds outdoors. By being independent of the photoperiod schedule as well, these seeds will develop into flowering plants even before September or autumn rolls by. This removes the chances of your plants unable to produce its buds completely due to the coming of the cold period of the year.
Indoor cultivation is also suitable for autoflowering seeds due to their compact sizes. The tallest that an auto plant can achieve is only three foot tall. This lets you accommodate the plants in any part of your grow room. They can also fit in your grow cabinet if you do not have space or spare room for a large indoor garden.
Disadvantages of Autoflowering Seeds
Because of the size and short growth cycle of autoflowering seeds, their plants usually have low yield rates than regular marijuana seeds. This is due to the lack of time for the plants to grow and develop its plant structure or its cola. The yield rate of autoflower plants will never be the same as tall sativa plants.
Another disadvantage of the height and short growth cycle of the plants is the difficulty to create clones. Clones are clipping taken from a healthy marijuana plant that is well within the vegetative phase. If you plant these clones in a good growing medium, they will grow into the same mature plant as the one it was taken from.
Successful cloning requires time for the mother plant and its clipping to heal as well as develop its plant structure. Regular plants have no problem with this because of their long vegetative phase. Unfortunately, autoflowering plants have a shorter time to develop its structure. By cutting a significant part of an autoflowering plant, the mother and its clone may not have enough time to heal before it enters the flowering phase. This usually results in low yield rates than expected while clones may not even produce any amount of high inducing buds.
The other disadvantage of autoflowering seeds is its automatic nature or independence from the photoperiod schedule. Expert cultivators can manipulate the lighting schedule of their indoor garden to intentionally disrupt the growth cycle of their plants. For example, you can force the plants to enter the flowering phase early than expected if it has the right amount of growth to produce a decent yield. Unfortunately, it is not possible to manipulate autoflowering seeds the same way as regular seeds.
You now have a good idea on how autoflowering marijuana plants grow as well as the special trait of their feminized version. Autoflowering seeds make it easy for anyone to enjoy growing your own stash at home for recreational or medical uses. Popular people like the late Hunter S. Thompson have been enjoying cannabis throughout their life. As Thompson has said “I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits – and millions of Americans agree with me.”