Newcomers to cannabis cultivation often find themselves overwhelmed by all of their options. It’s not just that there are hundreds of different types of lights for indoor grows, soil amendments for outdoor gardens, and strains of marijuana suited for every conceivable situation. There are even different types of seeds available for each strain.
Marijuana seeds can generally be categorized in two ways. Seeds can be photoperiod or autoflowers, and they can be regular or feminized. This article will delve into the key differences so even novice growers can make informed decisions about what to buy.
What Are Feminized Seeds?
When buying marijuana seeds, the first decision growers will have to make is whether to buy feminized seeds or regular ones. The difference is that feminized seeds are produced using the genetics from only female marijuana plants, which eliminates the possibility of any of them growing into hemp. Regular seeds, on the other hand, have only a 50/50 chance of actually becoming marijuana plants.
What Are Autoflower Seeds?
There’s some confusion among newcomers regarding feminized vs. autoflower seeds. In fact, this is a false dichotomy. Autoflower seeds can be feminized or they can be regular, just like their photoperiod alternatives. The key difference here is between autoflower and photoperiod seeds and plants.
While photoperiod plants require a full growing season to produce a crop and a switch in light patterns to tell them when to start flowering, autoflowers need none of that. They simply start to flower when the plants’ biological clocks tell them it’s time to do so, then produce buds no matter what the lighting schedule is like. Autoflowers also have shorter growing seasons.
The Benefits of Feminized Seeds
The obvious benefit of feminized seeds is that they are guaranteed to produce marijuana plants. There are more reasons than just convenience that lead growers to pay extra money for them, though. Growing regular seeds can lead to accidental pollination, especially for those who aren’t familiar with how to tell male from female plants. Growing only from feminized seeds eliminates that problem.
There’s a second reason that ensuring all of the seeds that germinate will grow into marijuana can be a very good idea. It’s that, in many states, growers face restrictions regarding how many plants they can have. If they have to wait until right before the flowering stage to determine which ones to pull out, that means not just devoting resources to plants that will never bear a harvest but also losing half the crop if the growing season is short. That won’t happen with feminized seeds.
The Benefits of Autoflower Seeds
The benefits of autoflower seeds are slightly different, and they’re more diverse. Most growers cite one or more of these reasons for choosing autoflowers over photoperiod seeds.
- Shorter growth cycles
Reduced need for careful light monitoring
Smaller footprints for indoor grows
The Best of Both Worlds
Growers who want the best of both worlds can have it as long as they order through a reputable seed bank that can source a full supply of high-quality seeds from breeders. Look for feminized autoflower seeds to grow a quick crop of cannabis that will produce delicious buds. Just be sure to buy from a reputable seed bank because, while all strains and seed types grow into slightly different plants, they look the same until the vegetative stage.