by | Jan 17, 2024 | Seeds Types

Automatic flowering cannabis seeds are a type of cannabis seeds that produce plants that automatically transition from the vegetative growth stage to the flowering stage based on their age, rather than relying on changes in light cycles. This unique characteristic is a result of specific genetics inherited from a wild cannabis subspecies called Cannabis ruderalis. Unlike traditional cannabis strains, which require a specific light schedule to induce flowering, auto-flowering strains will start flowering after a certain number of weeks, regardless of the light cycle they are exposed to.

Key features of auto-flowering cannabis seeds include:

Automatic Flowering: As mentioned, auto-flowering cannabis plants will start to flower after a predetermined amount of time, usually around 2 to 4 weeks from germination. This is in contrast to photoperiod strains, which require a change in the light cycle (typically from 18 hours of light to 12 hours of light) to initiate flowering.

Compact Size: Auto-flowering strains tend to be smaller in stature compared to many photoperiod strains. This can be advantageous for growers with limited space or those seeking more discreet cultivation.

Short Lifecycle: Auto-flowering plants have a relatively short lifecycle, usually ranging from 8 to 10 weeks from seed to harvest. This quick turnaround makes them attractive to growers looking for fast results.

Flexibility: Because auto-flowering plants are not as dependent on light schedules, they are well-suited for outdoor cultivation in regions with shorter growing seasons or inconsistent weather patterns. They can also be grown indoors with a consistent light schedule, but this isn’t strictly necessary for flowering initiation.

Multiple Harvests: Due to their shorter growth cycle, it’s possible to achieve multiple harvests within a single growing season, both indoors and outdoors.

Simplicity: Auto-flowering strains can be easier for beginner growers to manage because they don’t require as much attention to light schedules. This can be particularly useful for those new to cannabis cultivation.

While auto-flowering strains have many advantages, there are also some potential downsides to consider:

Yield: Auto-flowering plants tend to yield smaller quantities of buds compared to some photoperiod strains. This can vary depending on the specific strain and growing conditions.

Potency: Some earlier auto-flowering strains had lower levels of THC and other cannabinoids compared to photoperiod strains. However, advances in breeding have led to the development of auto-flowering strains with higher cannabinoid content.

Limited Training: Auto-flowering plants have a shorter vegetative phase, which means there is less time for training techniques like topping and pruning to have an effect on plant structure.

Less Genetic Diversity: Auto-flowering genetics are often derived from a smaller gene pool, which could potentially limit the variety of flavors, aromas, and effects available compared to photoperiod strains.

Choosing whether to grow auto-flowering or photoperiod strains depends on your goals, resources, and preferences. As with any cannabis cultivation, it’s important to research specific strains and their characteristics before making a decision.