When beginner growers ask if they should purchase autoflowering or feminized cannabis seeds, it is like asking if they should choose an apple or an orange. Each has its own appeal and unique characteristics, but the two seed types also differ in key ways. Knowing the similarities and differences between the two becomes crucial when determining which type of seed will be best for a specific situation.
Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Autoflowering seeds bloom automatically. When trying to grow marijuana, individuals find autoflowering seeds easier to cultivate, and the plants are smaller than other cannabis strains. In addition, they are quick to harvest when compared to Sativa and Indica strains. The lighting schedule is not an issue, and new growers find them very resistant to pests, fungi, and temperature fluctuations.
Breeders engineer feminized seeds to remove any males from the equation. Male cannabis plants do not produce smokeable cannabis. In addition, any plants they fertilize become seedy, which is not what growers want. The seeds negatively impact the quality of the cannabis. For this reason, many growers choose to remove male plants from the mix. Purchasing feminized seeds eliminates the need to remove male plants. The crop won’t have any.
The Benefits of Autoflowering Seeds
Autoflowering seeds are very easy to grow. Most cannabis plants depend on the light cycle to know when to enter the flowering stage. This isn’t the case with autoflowering seeds. The grower won’t need to adjust the light cycle to prompt the plants to move into this stage of development. When the plant reaches a certain stage in its growth, the process happens naturally.
If the grower is cultivating the cannabis outdoors, they won’t need the seasons to change. In addition, autoflowering seeds typically take less time to cultivate. The cannabis plants flower at an early stage, which reduces the time needed to go from seed to harvest. Many growers appreciate this, as it allows them to harvest more often. This can be important, as the yield seen with autoflowering strains is lower than seen with feminized seeds.
The Benefits of Feminized Seeds
Feminized seeds take more work on the part of the growers. These photoperiod plants must receive 12 hours of light each day and 12 hours of darkness to trigger the flowering stage. However, there are no male plants in the crop, so the grower won’t need to monitor the plants carefully and remove any males before they can pollinate the female plants.
In addition, plants grown from feminized seeds are bigger than those obtained with autoflowering seeds. Growers find they can experiment with feminized seeds. For example, once they have experience under their belt, they may choose to hold these plants in the growth stage. This allows them to work on the strength and size of the plant before triggering the flowering stage.
There remains some debate among growers about which type of seed produces more potent cannabis. When originally introduced, autoflowering seeds were less potent than other types. However, breeders have overcome this. Today, the quality of the seed and the plant’s growing conditions have more of an effect on the potency of the cannabis than the type of seed used.
Consider the above when determining which autoflowering or feminized seeds to buy. As each has its own benefits and drawbacks, there is no single answer for every grower and every situation. A person might find they want autoflowering seeds when growing some strains and feminized seeds when growing others. Thanks to advances in science, they can have the best of both worlds.