Aside from choosing whether you need a sativa, indica, or a hybrid strain, growers and cultivators also select the type of seeds that will give them the most advantage. Usually, they choose from autoflowering or autoflowers and feminized or female seeds. These two types of seeds are currently the most popular and are the favorite of top growers. Find out what suits best an indoor setup: quick autoflowers or all-feminine feminized seeds in this short comparative guide.
What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Strains?
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are from automatic plants. They are so-called because these plants will automatically flower or bloom without the need to use a special lighting schedule.
Automatic strains are smaller than most strains making these perfect for growing indoors or for stealth growing. And since auto strains are the quickest to grow, you can harvest your buds in just 7 to 9 weeks.
Is an autoflowering cannabis strain for you? Take note of the following pros and cons:
Advantages of using autoflowering seeds
Autoflowering cannabis seeds allow you to harvest quickly
If you’re an impatient grower and you want instant buds, then grow autoflowering cannabis seeds. Auto plants can flower in just 7 to 9 weeks, with the fastest recorded can flower in just 5 weeks. At this time, sativa plants are still developing their branches!
If you live in an area where there’s very little sunlight or just enough daylight in a year, this is the right kind of cannabis for you.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds will grow small plants
Autos are really small. These plants are tough and have developed this compact size and structure because of being exposed to rough and cold outdoor conditions. Because of its small size, it is the best kind of strain to grow inside indoor gardens, grow cabinets, and growing closets.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds for stealth cannabis gardens
The size of autoflowering cannabis makes it the perfect plant for stealth gardens. If you live in an area where cannabis growing is not allowed, it’s going to be hard to secure your plants, especially if you want to grow a larger garden or grow more yields.
With autoflowering cannabis plants, you can grow small, compact plants indoors. Have an extra room? You can use this as your secret indoor growing area and cultivate several small plants. And with the latest techniques to enhance yields like plant training, nutrition, and supplements, you’ll be able to grow plants with higher yields.
Autoflowering cannabis will save you money, time and effort
No doubt, growing autoflowering cannabis seeds lets you grow plants faster and harvest quicker than other seeds, but a very important point is usually missed. Because you harvest your weed earlier, you can save money, effort and time two or more weeks of water, plant food and electricity may be saved when you cultivate autoflowering plants.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds will let you double or triple your yields
Given the right growing conditions, you can grow two to three times indoors in a year and still have time to rest and focus on drying your weed. And because of this, you can grow more plants and get more yields without waiting too long to harvest.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds to grow plants indoors
And possibly the best thing about autoflowering cannabis plants is that you can grow these indoors without taking too much space.
If you’ve heard about growing cannabis inside space buckets, then this is a good idea if you want to grow autoflowering plants stealthily. A space bucket is a technique that turns ordinary 5-gallon buckets into a stealth growing system. A small 5-gallon bucket can accommodate two or three autoflowering plants, and by stacking buckets on top of the other, you can increase vertical space. With this system, you can confidently and secretly grow cannabis indoors.
Disadvantages of Using Auto Seeds
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are very expensive
There’s no doubt that autoflowering cannabis seeds are the most expensive in a seed bank. These cost twice as much as regular seeds because of their impressive traits. But despite this, many cannabis growers say that it’s worth buying autos than other seeds because of their impressive qualities. The advantages are worth every penny!
Autoflowering cannabis plants cannot be cloned
Sadly, you cannot grow autoflowering cannabis plants from clones. You can try growing from a cutting, but you’ll only get a plant that will remain in the vegetative phase. You need to switch lighting to a 12/12 light/dark to trigger flowering.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are available in male or female
Some autoflowering cannabis seeds are male and female, while you can also find autoflowering feminized seeds. This means you can still grow male plants in case you want to breed cannabis strains quickly.
- Autoflowering cannabis seeds are not available for the strain you want to grow
Several cannabis strains are available in an autoflowering form, but not all. You might have a favorite strain to grow, but sadly, this is not available in autoflowering form.
How to Use Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are grown like any kind of cannabis seed but with a few surprising advantages for any grower.
Choose viable autoflowering seeds
As with all seeds, you must select viable seeds to germinate. And just like any cannabis seeds, viable autoflowering seeds have a dark color (usually brown to black seeds are viable seeds, white, green and yellow seeds will never sprout), are shiny, with a smooth surface, with unique markings (stripes, dots, and other designs) and are heavy seeds. Separate the viable from the non-viable seeds.
Germinate your seeds
There are many ways to germinate seeds like the glass of water technique, the paper towel technique, and just dropping your seeds in the soil. But we recommend the growth cube technique.
Use peat cubes that contain rich amounts of nutrients to help your seedlings grow healthy and strong. To use peat cubes, soak the cubes in water overnight, and after the cube has grown in size, you may now take it out of the water and squeeze the excess. Open the cube and place the seed in. Close the cube by folding it and then placing it in a germination tray. Keep the cube moist by spraying water on the cube. It is easy to see if the seed has germinated as the taproot may grow out of the cube. Soon the small leaves or cotyledons will also grow out from the cube as well.
Support plants during the vegetative stage
Take the seedling and transfer this to a bigger growing container. Use good growing soil like a sandy, clayey soil to grow your seedlings. And if you don’t want to grow from the soil, you may otherwise grow from hydro or from an aeroponic system.
Provide the best growing environment that’s needed by the autoflowering cannabis strain. Maintain the right temperature and humidity plus continue providing the right amounts of nutrients or supplements and water your plants regularly. Always follow product instructions on how to apply nutrients and supplements and remember that there are different nutrients for the vegetative phase as with the flowering phase.
Support plants during the flowering stage
Your autoflowering plants will grow and flower without the need to place your plants to a 12/12 lighting/darkness schedule. These will grow according to the readiness of the plants.
Unless you are growing feminized autoflowering cannabis, check for any male plants. Females have white wispy flowers known as pistils, while males have balls or sacs. Remove males as soon as you spot them.
Once your plants have bloomed, get ready to boost its flowering by applying bloom nutes. It won’t take long for autos to be ready for harvest.
Harvest your buds early
After 7 to 9 weeks, the plants are ready for harvest. You can tell by the color of the pistils on the flowers and according to the clarity of the trichomes. Darker colored pistils and cloudy trichomes mean that the buds are ready for harvests.
To harvest, cut the buds from the plants and place them on a tray to dry or you can cut the entire plant and use other plant parts. Dry these, buds and plant parts, inside a dry area or room. Maintain very low humidity inside the drying area to help your buds dry more efficiently.
What are Feminized Cannabis Strains?
Meanwhile, feminized cannabis seeds are exactly what its name suggests; these are seeds that will grow female plants. Planting all-female plants is an efficient way to grow cannabis rather than cultivating regular seeds with male or female seeds.
Regular cannabis seeds are male and female. If you buy a pack of regular seeds, there is a chance that 50% of the seeds are male and 50%. But when you grow feminized plants, you don’t need to deal with male plants. You just proceed with growing your plants without any hassles at all.
Is a feminized cannabis seed for you? Read about the pros and cons of this type of seed before you purchase seeds from a seed bank near you.
Advantages of Growing Feminized Seeds
Feminized cannabis seeds will save you money, time and effort
Just like using autoflowering cannabis plants, you’ll save money from growing feminized seeds. Because you won’t have to deal with male plants or grow more plants to compensate for growing male plants. You’ll be saving money, time, effort, and resources, plus you can be confident that your female plants will grow well till harvest time.
Feminized cannabis seeds will do away with growing male plants
Male plants can ruin your growing garden. They can release pollen and accidentally pollinate your female plants and ruin all your hard work.
Feminized cannabis seeds are available in different strains
Yes, feminized cannabis seeds are available in different strains from feminized sativa strains to feminized indica strains. You will surely find a feminized version of your favorite strain online or from local seedbanks.
Feminized cannabis seeds are available in all seedbanks
Almost all seedbanks carry feminized cannabis seeds. You don’t have to look far because even local seedbanks will have a wide variety of feminized varieties. You can try buying feminized cannabis seeds online, and you’ll be amazed as to a wide variety of strains available for you.
Disadvantages of Feminized Cannabis Strains
Feminized cannabis seeds are among the most expensive kinds of seeds
There’s no doubt that feminized cannabis seeds are among the most expensive, possibly second only to autoflowering seeds. But don’t worry, like autos, you can buy feminized seeds cheaply when you take advantage of discounts, deals and special offers from seed banks. Also, there are local and online seed banks that offer free seeds when your purchases reach a certain amount.
Not all feminized cannabis seeds may not grow well indoors
There are feminized cannabis seeds strains that are not too happy with growing indoors. Some strains are better off grown outdoors because of their size, shape, and effects.
Feminized cannabis seeds eliminate males in breeding
Because there are no males, you can’t start breeding new plants or strains. Naturally, new strains are conceived by combining a female and male plant. You still need strong and good male cannabis genes to conceive a healthy plant.
How to Grow Feminized Cannabis Seeds
Choose viable feminized seeds
You can only use viable feminized seeds. Viable seeds are seeds that are firm, dark-colored, smooth, shiny, and heavy seeds. Never germinate green, yellow or white seeds, soft seeds, open seeds, and light seeds.
Germinate your seeds
As always, we recommend using the peat pellet technique where you place the viable seed inside a moist peat pellet. Seal the pellet and let the seed germinate quietly. As the seed opens and the taproot grows from the pellet, it’s time to transplant in your favorite growing medium.
Support plants during the vegetative stage
As your feminized plant vegs out, provide its needs according to the type of strain. Remember to give nutrients that are according to the growing phase of your plants.
Support plants during the flowering stage
When your plants have reached maturity with a good structure, and lively growth, it’s time to trigger the flowering stage. Flip the switch and place the plants in a 12-hour light and 12-hour darkness schedule. Be strict about this schedule; use a timer as much as possible. Never interrupt darkness times even with a small amount of light because you may ruin your plant’s ability to bloom. In a few days, you’ll have flowering plants, and the best part is, you don’t have to deal with male plants.
Harvest your buds early
As with autoflowering cannabis, harvest your plants when they are ready. You can harvest only the buds or the entire plant.
Feminized cannabis seeds are for growers who don’t want to deal with male plants. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are for growers who want faster harvests, quicker flowering times, and a compact plant for indoor or stealth growing. Feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds can save you time, money, and effort, somethings that any type of cannabis grower will greatly appreciate. Automatic seeds or feminized seeds, choose seeds according to your needs.