There are two types of marijuana seeds, photoperiod seeds and autoflowering seeds. Autoflowering or Cannabis Ruderalis is an innovation in marijuana. growing, they are a product of years of research and experimentation. Cannabis Ruderalis is a mixture of Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica bred to create an autoflowering seed.
Autoflowering seeds have the ability to grow and mature without being dependent on daylight lengths or changes in photoperiod. They use the genetics of the ruderalis family, allowing them to survive more inhospitable environments, and provide advantages that can be beneficial to marijuana cultivators. Autoflowering plants are great in regions with short summer periods. As the term “auto” implies, the plants flower automatically and can be harvested earlier than a regular marijuana seed. These seeds start producing buds or start to enter the flowering stage within 3 to 4 weeks after sprouting or once the main root hits the bottom of the pot.
Autoflowering Strains vs. Photoperiod Strains
- Photoperiod or traditional strains need to follow a certain light cycle since they require darkness to flower. For an auto-flowering strain or ruderalis, the plant doesn’t need to follow any light cycle to switch into the flowering stage.
- Photoperiod strains follow the normal cannabis growth process, the vegetative phase and the flowering phase. Autoflowering seeds skip most of the vegetative stage and automatically proceed to the flowering stage.
- Photoperiod strains can be cloned while the auto-flowering seeds can’t be cloned because of their short lifespan.
- Photoperiod strains can be trained to grow into any size or shape because, during the vegetative stage, the plant becomes large and sturdy. In using auto-flowering seeds, since the vegetative stage is skipped, it is difficult to produce large plants, and their focus on flowering creates smaller plants. The typical height of an autoflowering plant ranges between 1 to 4 feet.
- Photoperiod strains have higher levels of THC while auto-flowering strains have a higher concentration of CBD. This can be an advantage, especially if the marijuana is used for medicinal purposes.
- Photoperiod strains are more prone to some deficiencies and pest infestations, whereas auto-flowering seeds are more pest and mold resistant
- Both photoperiod strains and auto-flowering seeds can grow in different medium whether in an outdoor or indoor set-up.
- Both photoperiod strains and auto-flowering seeds need the same amount of nutrients (nitrogen, oxygen, potassium etc.) to grow.
Things to be mindful of when growing Autoflowering strains
- Exposure to light – If the plant is given a longer photoperiod, then there is a greater chance of producing higher yields. Autoflowering plants need a minimum of five hours of direct light every day. If you are growing indoors, give the plants up to twenty hours of light each day.
- Weather – Since autoflowering strains have such a short season, it is important that conditions are favorable for the plant during the grow, as there is not enough time in the plants lifespan to recover from poor conditions. Ensure three months of warm sunny weather to get the most out of these strains.
- Avoid plant stress –Again, because autoflowering plants tend to grow faster they don’t have time to recover if they are stressed, so activities such as taking cuttings and transplanting Should be avoided. . Since so much of the plant’s lifespan is spent in peak growth, stresses may easily stunt your plants.
- Overwatering and fertilizer concentration – Since the root systems in thesestrains have less time to develop, they are more fragile than regular marijuana strains, and must be treated with greater care. They are more susceptible to over watering and nutrient burns, so you must be particularly careful not to over water or over fertilize these plants.
- Pot size –It is important to give these strains plenty of room for roots to spread out as they have such a short time to do it in, a larger root-space or pot will help increase the flower weight of these strains.
- Temperature – Autoflowering plants prefer temperatures between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius or 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.. Autoflowering strains have increased temperature resistance, as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Top Ten Autoflowering Seeds
- Easy Ryder Autoflowering seeds
- Afghan Kush Ryder Auto Fem
- Northern Lights Autoflowering Fem
- Fast and Vast Auto Fem
- Cash Crop Autoflowering
- Jack Herer Auto Seeds
- Auto White Widow Feminized
- Pandora Autoflowering Feminized
- Lemon Haze Auto Feminized
- THC Bomb Autoflowering Feminized
Advantages of Autoflowering strains
- They can be useful for beginners, since a new marijuana grower doesn’t have to master the light cycle, they can just focus on properly watering and supplying the plant with nutrients.
- They are ideal for impatient growers because they can be ready for harvesting in less than 10 weeks.
- Since autoflowering strains require careful breeding, you can be sure of a quality smoke since they come from carefully selected genetics.
- They are an ideal plant to grow if you have space restrictions, and they are more easily camouflaged.
- Since the plant grows so quickly, usually being ready to harvest within 60 – 90 days, you can harvest many times a year. If you’d rather have multiple smaller harvests of different strains on hand for variety, this can be ideal.
- They have high resistance to disease and pest infestations. They can also endure temperature swings.
Disadvantages of Autoflowering Strains
Since the plants grow quickly, they will produce less bud. No twelve-foot plants with colas the size of a Pringles can.
They have less THC potency, Which results in the user not having the “high sensation”, although for medical use this may be an advantage.
Autoflowering plants can’t be transplanted. Since the root systems are fragile. They need to start and finish in one pot, so choosing the right pot is very important.
They can increase your electric bill, since you need to give the marijuana plants at least 20 hours of light every day.
Autoflowering strains provide a number of characteristics that are very different from regular strains. Dependent on your growing goals these can be advantages or disadvantages. For example, if you know you are going on vacation in three months and don’t want to leave your plants in the care of others, then a short growing strain could be ideal. Also, if variety is more important then quantity then a fast turn around may suit you. Autoflowering strains are just another tool in the growing world of cannabis cultivation.