Autoflower vs feminized seeds: Which should I grow?

Author: OG Wells

Every grower will have their own opinion on which is best, however there is really no right or wrong answer. It is down to the individual, their specific requirements, and whats available to them. While both options have their benefits and drawbacks, let’s take a look at the differences and help you make a decision on what is best for your grow.

What is the difference between autoflowers and feminized seeds?

Autoflowers are known for their ability to flower without needing a change in light cycles, hence the name autoflower. This means that you don’t have to manually change the light schedule in order to trigger flowering. 

Feminized seeds are photoperiodic which means that that they will only begin flowering once the daylight hours drop below 13 hours. Which for indoor growers means you need to change the light cycle .

It’s important to note that you can also get feminized autoflower seeds. In this case, the plant will automatically flower, and all the plants that grow will be female. So the real question is what’s the difference between autoflower and photoperiods (standard non-autoflower) cannabis plants?

What are the main benefits of growing with autoflowers?

One of the biggest advantages of growing autoflower seeds is their fast growth cycle. Autos veg and flower much faster than photoperiod plants and can grow from seed to harvest in 8-12 weeks. While the same photoperiod strain will take up to 4 – 6 months. This makes them a great option for those who want a fast turnaround.

Another advantage of autoflowers is that they’re easier to grow. As previously mentioned, you don’t need to worry about changing the light cycle, which means less work for you. Also because autoflowers contain the ruderalis genetics which are native to cold regions, autos are naturally more robust and hardy plants which makes them more forgiving when it comes to mistakes, such as overwatering or nutrient burn.

Autoflowers are also great for stealth growing. Since they’re small and don’t require a lot of space, you can easily grow them in a closet or small tent without drawing attention to yourself.

What are the benefits of growing with feminized seeds?

The biggest advantage of growing feminized seeds over autoflowering is that feminized seeds will grow into huge plants with lots of bud. A fully grown photoperiod can yield as much as 1 kilo per plant grown outdoors, which is absolutely enormous. When we compare this to an autoflower, the biggest autos are not likely to yield more than 200g per plant. With this big of a difference if you are a commercial grower, it makes most sense to grow photoperiod strains.

What is easier to grow: Autoflower or feminized?

In terms of ease of growing, autoflower seeds are considered to be easier to grow than feminized. This is mostly down to the fact that autoflowers don’t require any change in light cycle, which makes them a great option for beginners. They’re also more robust when it comes to mistakes and harsh growing climates. 

Depending on where you are growing your plants the size of autoflowers can make them a lot easier to grow. Most autoflowers only grow to about 1 meter tall, which means they are easy to maintain in a small indoor tent or closet grow. 

Feminized seeds on the other hand while they are larger, if you are growing outdoors there is really no need to worry about struggling with space. Feminized seeds on the whole are considered slightly more stable because they are all hybrids. Whereas strains such as Afghan are landraces and have not been hybridized so you know exactly what your plants are going to look like.

Are Autoflowers better for beginners?

Autoflower seeds are generally considered easier to grow, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They are smaller in size and have a faster growing time, allowing you to see the results of your efforts much more quickly than feminized seeds. They also tend to be more forgiving of mistakes in nutrient levels or lighting, which can be helpful for those who are still learning the ropes.

Are Autoflowers less potent?

Yes. However, while this is true the gap has closed dramatically in the last decade. Take Gorilla Glue as an example, the photoperiod version of this strain produces 25-30% THC whereas the autoflowering version is still able to produce up to 25% THC. So, although if you were to grow two of the same strain, one autoflower and one feminized, you would likely get more THC from the feminized version, you can still produce highly potent weed from autoflowers. Whereas if you were to grow Gorilla Glue Auto and Big Bud feminized, you would most likely get the more potent weed from Gorilla Glue Auto.

What is the difference in yield and flowering time?

One of the biggest differences between autoflower and feminized seeds is their yield and flowering time. Autoflowers tend to have a shorter flowering time, typically around 8-10 weeks from seed to harvest. This means that you can get more harvests per year with autoflower seeds. However, they also tend to produce smaller yields per plant than feminized seeds.

On the other hand, feminized seeds can have a longer flowering stage, ranging from 10-14 weeks, depending on the strain. They can produce larger yields per plant, but it may take longer to see the results of your efforts.

If you are a beginner wanting to grow autoflowers but produce maximum yield, then why not try growing a high yield strain. High yielding autoflowers such as Big Bud or Tangerine Dream Auto can yield up to 500 grams per square meter of grow space.

Ultimately, the choice between autoflower and feminized seeds comes down to your personal preferences and needs. If you’re a beginner, autoflower seeds may be the way to go, as they are generally easier to grow and have a faster turnaround time. If you’re more experienced and looking for larger yields, feminized seeds may be a better choice. Whichever you choose, remember to do your research and choose a high-quality seed to ensure the best results possible. Happy growing!

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