As legal medical and recreational marijuana use becomes more common, many people opt to grow cannabis in their backyards. It can be confusing at first because cannabis comes in three different seed types: regular, feminized, and autoflower. Each one comes with its benefits and drawbacks. Growers new to the hobby may want to consider using autoflowering seeds. Keep reading to understand better what autoflowering seeds are and what benefits they have.
Both regular and feminized cannabis seeds require a certain amount of light and darkness each day to reach the flowering stage. However, auto-flowering marijuana seeds will reach the flowering stage and produce flower buds when the plant is the right size. The average lifecycle of an autoflowering cannabis plant is 60 to 90 days.
Cannabis plants contain diploid cells, meaning that they receive one chromosome from the mother plant and one from the father plant. Each of these chromosomes contains two genes. Those genes are either photo-dependent (allowing autoflowering) or not photo-dependent (not allowing autoflowering). Autoflowering is a recessive trait, so both parents must give the gene for autoflowering for the plant to autoflower.
One of the biggest benefits of autoflowering plants is that they are ready for harvest in approximately ten weeks. There are even hybrid plants that can flower in sex weeks. The amount of light and darkness the plant receives does not change how long it will take to mature. These plants have a much quicker lifecycle than regular and feminized cannabis seeds. Autoflowering plants are well suited for areas without much daylight.
Benefits of Autoflowering Seeds
Growers may wish to consider autoflowering seeds because they grow more quickly. The time between the vegetative growth phase and the flowering phase can be as little as seven weeks. Growing cannabis with autoflowering plants can produce hundreds of seeds, which means growers automatically have more seeds to grow without buying any new ones. Autoflowering plants are also very flexible, meaning they can grow in many environments. They can even grow in cities since artificial light does not damage them. Growers appreciate that they can grow several batches each season. Growers can enjoy the marijuana right away, or dry it and store it for later use.
Drawbacks to Autoflowering Seeds
One drawback to autoflowering cannabis plants is that they are usually smaller than regular plants. Therefore, autoflowering marijuana plants will usually have a lower yield of leaves. There are, however, super autoflowering plants that grow to be tall and do have a higher yield. Autoflowering plants are hardier and can grow throughout the year in many places. Some people argue that the quality of the marijuana grown is not as good as with regular or feminized plants.
Autoflowering strains do not do well for cloning purposes, since the cuttings will quickly transform into the flowering stage and not provide a large yield.
As with growing any plants, autoflowers do grow better with nutrients. However, do not go overboard on fertilizer, or the cannabis seeds will suffer. Choose a fertilizer formulated for autoflowering strains of seeds, and use microdoses rather than pouring on the fertilizer. Lightly fertilized soil, with added vitamin B, enzymes, and fungi, is best for autoflowering seeds.
Autoflowering cannabis plants can make growing marijuana an easy and productive hobby for just about anyone.