If you’ve been around the cannabis industry for quite some time, chances are you’ve heard of the term “autoflowering.” Now, you might be wondering, “What does autoflowering marijuana seeds mean?” Cannabis breeders are now supplying either feminized or autoflowering seeds with the former more usual than the latter in most cases. Still, it can make you wonder how autoflowering cannabis seeds work. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place as we’re about to give you the information you seek.
What Does Autoflowering Marijuana Seeds Mean?
After a certain phase of development, certain cannabis seeds start to autoflower. Most marijuana strains have photoperiod flowering which means the plant begins to flower after the summer solstice. Photoperiod cannabis crops begin to flower after basking in the right environments in areas with at least 2 weeks of long darkness.
Cannabis plants with the genetic ability to autoflower can pass down this trait to its “offsprings” through its deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Hence, not all marijuana strains have autoflowering ability. Most cannabis seeds need a particular content of light or darkness to produce yields. For instance, some strains may require 10 hours of lights and 14 hours of darkness.
On the other hand, autoflowering seeds don’t require a specific amount of light and darkness for them to grow flowers. Instead, these plants require very little light and darkness requirements as compared to their photoperiod flowering counterparts.
What Differs the Autoflowering to Standard Marijuana Seeds?
Cannabis strains have unique characteristics to differentiate one from the other. Different strains offer varying benefits targeted for both recreational and medical use. However, autoflowering seeds produce plants that tend to be smaller than standard marijuana strains. Small plants can also mean fewer yields.
Still, there are some autoflowering cannabis strains that can yield to as much as 150 grams per plant. Most of these seeds, however, have yields found in the double digits. It’s also important to keep in mind that autoflowering plants are more susceptible to damages brought by rain and frost as compared to standard marijuana strains.
Cannabis seeds with autoflowering traits tend to grow better and produce more yields when cultivated in northern climates. Areas with weather conditions similar to long summer days create the ideal environment for these marijuana strains to produce satisfactory to excellent yields. Even though it’s not impossible to grow autoflowering cannabis plants in southern climates, gardeners will find it difficult to keep the strains as healthy as possible.
How are Autoflowering Marijuana Seeds Made?
Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are two of the most popular species of marijuana. The often-overlooked Cannabis ruderalis mixed with either Indica or Sativa strains will create varieties of autoflowering plants. Breeding multiple generations of either Indica or Sativa strains with a ruderalis variant will result in autoflowering plants.
Individuals interested in cultivating autoflowering plants should know that their genetics are recessive. Therefore, it may take more effort and time for the strains to develop autoflowering characteristics as compared to attempting to use traditional methods to grow feminized seeds. The resulting plants will either have psychoactive or high CBD content but the buds will flower regardless of the amount of available light.
Are There Advantages to Growing Autoflowering Seeds Indoors?
Marijuana gardeners and users especially those who love Sativas can grow autoflowering plants in indoor environments. Since these cannabis strains tend to be small in stature with compact dimensions, it can handle a broad range of growing environments. Sativa strains, on the contrary, are tall plants that offer long flowering periods. Sativa seeds with autoflowering traits make it easier to grow the plants indoors because of their smaller-than-average heights.
Indica autoflowering plants, on the contrary, are still short but will still perform well when grown indoors. Also, Indica cannabis strains with autoflowering characteristics will provide healthy and satisfying yields under the right growing conditions.
Autoflowering cannabis plants are also more resistant to cold climates and drastic changes to temperature levels. However, they’re still susceptible to frost. These strains are also useful when grown outdoors as long as the climate and temperature conditions are at appropriate levels. Lastly, gardeners will always have a timely crop every time.
Things to Remember When Growing Autoflowering Seeds Outdoors
The first thing to take note of when choosing outdoor environments for cultivating autoflowering cannabis seeds is their flexible schedule. Autoflowering plants aren’t restricted to tight growing schedules as compared to their photoperiod counterparts. Gardeners can have several harvests bunched together in one location throughout the months of March to October.
Next, always keep your plants safe from thieves. Beginner gardeners make the rookie mistake of not securing their strains from watchful eyes and prying hands. Leaving the seeds and plants for the world to take can lead months of careful preparation down the drain. Since flowering schedules for autoflowering plants are flexible, it’s best to plan harvest in months when thefts are less common to take place. The days found from June to August are great for harvesting as reports indicate these months have less frequent marijuana thefts.
After securing the plants, bear in mind autoflowering seeds are different than feminized seeds, especially regarding light pollution. Feminized marijuana plants require the right amount of light and too much or too little of that element can bring disastrous results. Autoflowering cannabis strains, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about excessive amounts of lights. In fact, it doesn’t matter if there’s a lamp shining light directly at the plants at night as gardeners can still expect excellent yields from their harvests.
While it may seem that autoflowering cannabis plants promote plenty of benefits, not everything about these marijuana strains lean on the positive side. For instance, these plants produce more leaf material as compared to photoperiod or feminized strains. Hence, the taste of autoflowering strains may be slightly worse than other marijuana variants.
Also, it’s not recommended for gardeners to use pruning techniques on autoflowering plants. These strains have no time to recover after trimming its leaves. Pruning tends to lose all meaning when done to these strains.
Lastly, cultivating autoflowering plants may be a good choice for beginner marijuana gardeners but they do have one small caveat – there’s no recovery time for these plants. Hence, if gardeners make any rookie mistake, then blocking can ensue. If this instance takes place, then the results of the yields may not be as satisfying as initially expected.
Things to Remember When Growing Autoflowering Seeds Indoors
Cultivating autoflowering seeds indoors have slightly different methods than growing the plants in outdoor environments. For instance, you don’t have to worry about pests ravaging your strains. The risk of plagues is also significantly less when growing the plants indoors as compared to placing the seeds outdoors.
Gardeners should also take note of the right amount of light and darkness for excellent yields. Even though it won’t matter too much if autoflowering plants acquire more or less light, it’s recommended to give 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness to these strains for maximum performance. Even though it can result in an increase in harvest, it also implies an increase in expenditures regarding electricity bills.
What does autoflowering marijuana seeds mean? After reading through the content found on this page, you should now have a better understanding of autoflowering cannabis plants. Some critics do find autoflowering seeds to be less exciting than feminized or photoperiod strains because of their fewer-than-average yields. However, the main advantage of planting these seeds is their speed. Autoflowering plants can quickly grow which can mean more harvest opportunities for marijuana gardeners.