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Cannabis seeds, aka beans, come in a lot of different varieties. On top of countless different strains to choose from, there are regular cannabis seeds, feminized cannabis seeds, auto-flowering cannabis seeds, and ruderalis cannabis seeds.
Ruderalis cannabis seeds are the least common out of the group, generally only used by breeders. Regular cannabis seeds produce both male and female plants. Feminized cannabis seeds produce predominantly female plants with a very low male-to-female ratio. Then there’s autoflowering cannabis seeds which fall somewhere in between.
Let’s take a trip into the world of cannabis seeds to learn more about how each type affects cannabis cultivation. We’ll go over what autoflowering cannabis seeds are, how they’re different from other cannabis seeds, and cover the pros and cons of growing with these types of cannabis seeds.
What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are a variety of seed that is born to flower. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are created by crossing indica, sativa, or hybrid varieties with ruderalis. The indica variety of cannabis produces shorter, bushy plants with fatter leaves. Sativa plants tend to produce tall, lanky plants with long fingery leaves. Some of the best auto-flowering cannabis strains combine strains that produce large yields with strains that house impeccable flavor.
Regular or feminized cannabis seeds require a vegetation period that ranges between 45 days and upwards of two months or longer. They will not begin to flower until the light cycle changes to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of total darkness. When this happens, they require another 8-10 weeks for the flowering stage. Autoflowering cannabis seeds, meanwhile, begin to flower on their own within 2 to 4 weeks of germination and are ready for harvest in an average of 10 weeks.
How Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds Different from Other Cannabis Seeds?
Beyond the speed at which they grow, auto-flowering cannabis seeds have a number of other differences from more traditional seeds.
For instance, regular cannabis seeds produce a male and female plant ratio that averages 50/50 or better. Feminized cannabis seeds average 99% females. Autoflowering cannabis seeds, meanwhile, have a very low male-to-female ratio, with an average of 1 in every 1,000 seeds producing a male plant. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are also considered to be non-photoperiod, meaning they do not require an adjustment in the light cycle in order to trigger the flowering stage.
Most autoflowering cannabis seeds thrive under a steady 20-hour light cycle. They are harvest-ready in an average of 10 to 12 weeks compared to 3 to 6 months for regular or feminized seeds.
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What Are the Pros?
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are perfect for first-time growers. Managing your growth space with these cannabis seeds is easy to do. They grow short, making them an ideal choice for limited-growth spaces
These seeds are also not moody when it comes to light. You put the light on a 20-hour light cycle and leave it until harvest. With other plants, an interruption in a light cycle can stress them causing them to hermie (turn male), potentially ruining an entire grow. Autoflowering seeds meanwhile, become female the majority of the time, no matter the growing conditions..
Lastly, autoflowering cannabis seeds are ready for harvest much faster than other seeds. The quick turnaround time from seed to harvest for an average of 5 to 10 grows a year in comparison to regular or feminized seeds which only tend to allow for 2-4.
What Are the Cons?
The biggest downside to growing cannabis using autoflowering cannabis seeds is they can produce lower yields and cannot be cloned. What autoflowering seeds don’t have in raw yield, they make up for in impeccable taste and potency.
Beyond a slightly lower yield and the lack of ability to clone, autoflowering cannabis seeds don’t have many other negatives. They are strong, hardy plants thanks to their ruderalis genetics.
Some Popular Strains
If you’re looking to try growing cannabis using autoflowering cannabis seeds, you may consider trying one of these popular strains:
- Northern Lights Auto
- Critical Auto
- Cookies Auto
- Haze Berry Auto
- Big Bud Auto
- Royal Cheese Auto
- AK-47 Auto
- Afghan Auto
- White Widow Auto
- Sour Diesel Auto
- Chemdawg Auto
- Blue Dream Auto
These are just some of the most popular autoflowering cannabis strains. If you’re thinking about growing autoflowering cannabis seeds at home, pick your favorite strain. Most likely, your favorite strain is available.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds aren’t only for new growers. They make great genetics for experienced growers to experiment with different methodologies and techniques of cannabis cultivation.