When buying cannabis seeds for the first time, you might be overwhelmed with the many options before you. In one online or local dispensary alone, you might find hundreds of strains, numerous new strain creations and several types of cannabis seeds.
But the most common question for beginner growers is what is the difference between feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds? Are feminized seeds better or can you get more yields when you grow autoflowering seeds?
Differentiating a feminized seed from an autoflowering seed
The appearance of the seeds
Inspect feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds and you’ll see that there are no differences. Both types of seeds will have rounded, smooth seeds in dark colors ranging from brown to black. Take one and hold it between your thumb and index finger and gently press on it. These seeds are hard and will never open even if you press a little hard.
When the seeds sprout, the taproot will orient and burry to the ground. Round leaves will be the first to emerge and then the leaves with serrated edges. The round leaves are leaves from the seed coat while the serrated leaves that come after are the very first leaves that your plants have made.
The growing phase of feminized and autoflowering seeds start almost at the same time although there are some differences according to the strain you want to grow.
The growing phase
As your plants start to grow, it needs nutrients. Initially, it takes nutrients from the seed, then the soil or growing medium and then from fertilizer mixes you add to the soil. Feminized and autoflowering plants need nitrogen-rich fertilizer to stimulate leaf, stem and branch growth in the growing phase.
During the flowering stage, the plants don’t grow anymore and will concentrate only on flowering. These plants will now focus on growing buds. These will need fertilizer feedings high in phosphorous and potassium.
When applying lighting, any kind of lighting schedule will work as long as your plants get adequate amounts of dark hours. The type of lighting is very important since using more light = increased growths.
An 18-hour light and 6-hour darkness is the best schedule however, some growers also recommend a 24/0 lighting schedule to improve light exposure.
Regular seeds are also called photoperiod strains. This means that these plants will flower after it senses that the length of the day is getting shorter and the nights are cooler. This may be naturally stimulated but this may take a while.
This is the reason why growers flip the switch and expose their plants to a 12 hour light and 12-hour darkness to start flowering. Feminized strains should be under this lighting schedule until the plants have grown flowers and till harvest time.
Meanwhile, when it comes to autoflowering plants, these will flower according to their natural schedule. Usually, this happens quickly as early as 5 weeks to as long as 9 weeks. This is still quicker compared to the flowering times of other photoperiod cannabis strains.
The difference in size, height, stretch, and yields
The size of the cannabis plant depends on its genetics. If the feminized strain is sativa-dominant then you might expect a taller plant with larger and wider leaves. Meanwhile, indica-dominant feminized strains are smaller and more compact with smaller leaves and buds.
However, autoflowering cannabis is small and has a compact structure. This is due to the natural size and appearance of ruderalis strains which are known as the smallest strains of cannabis. These plants are suitable for indoor growing or stealth growing because of their small sizes.
When you compare feminized plant yields and autoflowering yields, this could depend on the strain. Sativa feminized or autoflowering strains will grow the longest but have the best yields. Indica strains grow faster than sativa strains but have moderate yields. And when it comes to ruderalis or autoflowering strains these grow the fastest and have very small yields.
And because of careful breeding, growers and breeders have more productive strains. You may now grow regular indica strains that can provide give you high yields which are better than sativa strains.
There are also autoflowering strains that can produce more yields per plant although the appearance of the plant remains small and compact. Thank breeders for their remarkable efforts!
No need to remove males with feminized seeds
When you used regular seeds you can’t tell if you are growing male or female plants so you tend to plant more seeds. You will need to take care of your regular plants until the flowering time when you can see their genders.
Regular male plants will develop balls or sacs between the stems and branches. When these sacs or balls ripen these will open and let pollen burst out to fertilize your female plants. On the other hand, females will grow wispy flowers called pistils. These female structures will receive pollen and will grow seeds.
Growers remove the male plants because only need unfertilized females. When you use feminized seeds, you have plants that will grow female plants. There is no need to worry about your plant’s genders or wait for gender during flowering time. There’s no need to discard the males anymore. You won’t waste money, effort and time cultivating plants that you will never need.
On the other hand, some auto seeds are feminized so there’s no need to worry about male plants. Provide the best growing environment and you can get healthy and strong plants.
The harvesting time of feminized and autoflowering plants is determined by the kind of strain and the readiness of the plants to bloom. Usually, growers use techniques to find out if the plant is ready to harvest. Check the trichome clarity, pistil color and the flowering time of the strain. These will give you clues when the plants are ready for harvest.
Feminized and autoflowering cannabis seeds are the most expensive whether you’re buying from an online seed bank or a local seed bank or dispensary.
Characteristics of Autoflowering Cannabis
Autoflowering seeds will grow autoflowering plants. Those who don’t want to waste resources, time and effort in growing regular or photoperiod seeds use autoflowering seed. With photoperiod seeds, you will wait till 10 weeks to flower with some strains even longer. You will have to spend more money, time and resources instead flowering and harvesting in just 7 to 9 weeks!
Autoflowering plants are impressive which is why there is a strong demand of these seeds online and even from local seedbanks. Because of such demand, these seeds are more expensive compared to photoperiod strains.
Special features of autoflowering cannabis plants
Autos will flower automatically
These plants will automatically bloom without the need to expose this in 12 hour light and 12-hour darkness that photoperiod plants need to flower. Some growers have difficulty maintaining a strict 12/12 schedule. This is common in growers who plant their cannabis outdoors.
Exposing the plants to light was easy but maintaining a 12-hour total darkness schedule was a challenge. Growers had come up with creative ways to keep their outdoor growing areas dark for 12 hours straight and there should be no beams or streaks of light. Only complete darkness.
Growers use large tarps, cardboard boxes, trash bags, every idea has to be exhausted just to maintain long, straight darkness. When it comes to growing autos, you won’t need to deal with this scheduling anymore. You can relax as you cultivate your plants indoors or outdoors.
Autoflowers will flower quickly
Autoflowers are programmed to flower fast with the quickest autoflowering cannabis plant flowering almost immediately after it has germinated in just 5 weeks! Most flowering plants can flower in just 7 to 9 weeks. And if the growing conditions are right, you can grow twice or maybe thrice a year.
Autoflowering strains are smaller
Autoflowering cannabis is classified as Cannabis ruderalis. These are plants that were discovered in the frozen areas in Asia and Russia. These plants are smaller compared to its sativa and indica siblings because these had to adapt to extremely cold climates.
With a ruderalis strain, you will notice that the plant body or structure is smaller with leaves are smaller as well. When these flower, the buds are small but dense. Depending on the strain you want to grow, you may have multiple buds or only a few buds densely packed and flavorful.
And due to the plant size, you can grow several plants stealthily in an indoor growing area. You can have several plants in a growing cabinet or a tent and no one will suspect you are growing weed at home.
Autoflowering traits cannot be passed to clones
Aside from growing seeds, cloning may be used to grow different cannabis strains. Cloning is harvesting cuttings from the parent plant. In the right conditions, cuttings will grow like the parent plant with its characteristics inherited as well.
However, autoflowering cannabis plants will not pass their autoflowering characteristics to clones therefore cloning is not an advisable method to grow auto plants. You must start from seeds if you want to grow autoflowering plants.
Autoflowering seeds are feminized seeds as well
In most cases, autoflowering cannabis is also feminized plants. This means you can enjoy fast flowering plants which won’t need special lighting. There’s no need to wait for feminized plants to grow preflowers and separate male plants.
When you use photoperiods, there is no way to tell if you are germinating female or male seeds. You must grow these seeds to identify their genders. So you have to waste time and effort in growing plants that you won’t use.
Growers grow more plants to compensate for any male plants you have grown from the lot. When it comes to autoflowering seeds, you can grow only plants you need which will save you time, effort and resources.
Research on the strain you want to purchase to find out about feminized seeds. Mostly this is indicated by the seed bank where you will buy your seeds. If this is not indicated on the packaging ask about it from customer service before you buy your seeds.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are expensive seeds
Autoflowering cannabis has all the qualities you need. This is why these seeds are the most expensive in a seed bank. But you don’t need to settle for expensive seeds. You can look for better deals for autoflowering cannabis online or from local seed banks. You can check out free seeds for your purchases including, free deliveries, free stealth shipment and many more.
Auto counterparts of regular plants
Check out the lineage of most autoflowering cannabis and you will notice that the breeders mixed the genes of a regular photoperiod with a ruderalis to make autoflowering counterparts of the strain. Usually, not all regulars have autos.
Some photoperiod plants may not have the best genes when mixed with a ruderalis strain. And from this, breeders may have other factors to consider when breeding cannabis plant.
So when you find autoflowering counterparts of any indica or sativa, you can easily find out the characteristics of the resulting strain. Usually, recreational or medicinal traits of a strain are preserved including their distinct taste and smell.
Usually, the plant will take after the quick flowering and small compact size of the ruderalis strain. And if you want to find out if your favorite strain comes with autoflowering counterparts, talk to your budtender or visit a local seed bank for updated information.
Why grow autoflowering plants?
Instead of growing regular or photoperiod plants, autoflowering cannabis plants may be the best kind of seeds for you. Autos offer more value for your money because there’s no need to spend so much on resources including time and effort in cultivating regular plants.
Growing cannabis is a lot easier compared to other types of seeds especially when there are restrictions in your area. Because these plants have smaller structures, you can grow these secretly indoors in your basement, garage or attic without anyone suspecting.
If you want to grow marijuana quickly and you want your supply of weed fast, then quick-flowering autos are the best choice. As long as you provide the best environment for your plants, these will flower quickly and you don’t have to use a special lighting schedule.
If you want to save money on growing cannabis then autos are for you. These may be expensive initially but the cost of growing and cultivating are lesser compared to growing regular strains.
With regulars, you must grow more plants to compensate any male plants that may grow from the batch you germinated. All the plants you grew will have equal amounts of care, time and attention only to find out that all the plants you cultivated are mostly male plants.
With autoflowering cannabis, you are completely sure that your plants are female and will bloom and grow quickly. You save resources, time and effort that you should have used to grow female plants in the first place.
How to look for quality autoflowering cannabis seeds
The problem with buying cannabis seeds is that you’ll never know what you are getting until you grow these. And only then it’s too late to complain about the quality of the seeds.
Autoflowering cannabis is very expensive therefore you need to be certain about your seeds when you buy these from dispensaries. You must buy only from reputable cannabis seed banks. Understand how to find legal and reputable seed bank companies and to stay away from scam sites.
Only reputable seedbanks have good reviews and sometimes even if there are negative reviews the company should be able to resolve any issues and regain their customers’ trust. Meanwhile, legit seedbanks do business under the law and will abide with these regulations around the world. So if growing and/or consumption are illegal in your area then you cannot order cannabis seeds and any marijuana products online.
Legit sites should ask for the visitor’s age or if the visitor is legally allowed to visit their site. Legit seedbanks will have contact information so you can contact customer service for any questions or concerns. A customer form, email address, chat service or phone number would suffice.
One way to know if you are buying top quality seeds is when the company has guarantees for their products. Look for germination guarantees, delivery guarantees and also quality guarantees because these add value for your purchase and makes a good impression to the company as well.
Top autoflowering feminized cannabis seeds
Blue Mystic is the product of a California and Oregon strain. This is a small, bushy plant that will grow a meter tall. Despite its height and size, it is a good strain for stealth growing indoors and in small areas like cabinets and tents.
Blue Mystic may be tiny but won’t disappoint when it comes to the many impressive features and characteristics. When grown indoors, consider topping or trimming your plants to enhance yields. This plant will be ready for harvest in eight weeks.
You will be surprised to the fruity smell but if you want a stonier high, harvest your plants at 10 weeks.
Special Kush is the product of a popular seed bank in Canada. Special Kush #1 is the best choice if this is your first time to grow cannabis. This is a strain that loves warm and sunny climates, therefore, it will grow well outdoors despite its size.
The problem with Special Kush #1 is that these plants have small and tight buds but with ample yield per plant. Don’t worry because the yield may be enhanced by topping or trimming.
When you consume Special Kush this will give you a strong-bodied effect and a hash-like smell and experience. It is easy to grow as long as you maintain its growing needs. Cultivate this strain indoors so you can monitor your plants’ growth and help them prevent pests and molds.
Northern Lights is the grandfather of some strains and is cultivated all around the world. Northern Lights in feminized form allows you to grow without the need to waste resources from growing male plants.
The history of Northern Lights is a mystery and many say that it is the result of the hybridization of its 11 varieties. Some say that this is a complex procedure which is why most seed banks have their version of Northern Lights. It is an indica dominant strain ready to give you a mind-numbing couch-locked effect. Growing Northern Lights means you must follow its strict growing requirements. Train your plants early so these can grow larger and denser buds with enhanced yields.
Fat Banana may have a funny name but it does not mean that its effects should be overlooked. This strain comes with high THC content which is why it can be very potent giving you a couch-locked experience.
Fat Banana was created by crossing an OG Kush and a Banana. This strain is capable of growing high yields with a powerful 25% THC content. Fat Banana is not for a beginner user. The effects of this strain can be very potent for a beginner but not a huge deal for seasoned smokers.
Cultivating Fat Banana is a challenge especially for a beginner. You must cultivate this indoors in the best growing environment for larger and denser buds. You can use training methods like topping, trimming or pruning your plants for better yields.
Bubble Kush is a delicious indica-dominant strain with a moderate 19% THC content. This is a relaxing strain which will take you to a tranquil state of mind. You will sit back and rethink your day and focus on your days ahead. Bubble Kush will allow you to meditate and just be relaxed.
It was made by using a Northern Lights, Skunk, and Afghan strain. This is a triple cross and thus it comes with a complex flavor, taste, and effects. It is not just a recreational strain and easy to grow indoor plant.
Bubble Kush gives you better yields outdoors at 450 grams per plant. If you want a compact plant with improved yields, and is easy to grow for a first-time grower then this could be the strain for you.
Royal Cookies is an indica from a popular seed bank in Europe. This strain has an aromatic, candy flavor that reminiscent of freshly-baked cookies. And because of its pleasing aroma and taste, this strain is the best for daytime use.
Royal Cookies has a sweet flavor with THC at a high of 23%. The high THC makes this a good one for relaxing and for stopping stress and blocking out pain. Growing Royal Cookies is easy because it grows indoors or outdoors plus will give you good yields as long as you follow its preferred growing environment.
Pineapple Kush is another classic available in feminized and autoflowering form. This was created by combining an OG Kush and a Pineapple strain. The genes coming from the potent OG Kush is responsible for this strain’s powerful effects but has taken from its parent Pineapple its sweet and pleasant ripe pineapple smell and taste.
The classic strain has a heady high that will linger after you have taken this strain. This allows you to relax or just have a good time with friends. Growing Pineapple Kush is one of the best ways to have an unlimited supply of this strain.
You can grow Pineapple Kush indoors or outdoors. This will give you good yields as long as you grow it in the best growing environment. Pineapple Kush may be trained, topped and trimmed to grow well and give you good yields. Flowering can take time but it’s a guarantee that you’ll be happy with your yields.
Speedy Chile is a fast-flowering strain in feminized and autoflowering form. This way, you don’t need to worry about wasting male plants which can ruin your yields. This strain was created by combining a Chile and Green Poison strains, two very powerful strains with potent results.
This strain will make you buzzed and focused. You will be ready to do almost anything because you’re focused and alert throughout the day. And even if you’ve had a tired night before, this daytime strain save your day. You will be awake to do tasks and to get things done.
Growing this quick strain is easy but be sure to cultivate this indoors where you constantly check its development and protect these from pests and molds. This strain will give you average yields and will flower faster compared to other strains in this list.
Another popular feminized and autoflowering strain is OG Kush. This is the father to several numbers of strains grown in the US because of its stable genetics and potent effects. This strain comes with a fantastic flavor and odor which is the very first thing you’ll notice when you consume this impressive Kush.
OG Kush has a dank flavor which can smell for miles. Your neighbor can instantly smell this and reveal your stealth growing operations if you’re not careful. This delicious flavor will linger inside your mouth and in your head hours after you have consumed this potent strain.
And may this serves as a warning. OG Kush is not for the faint-hearted. This strain has a very powerful effect. Also growing OG Kush is a challenge. As long as you provide this with the right growing environment, the best nutrients and the right amount of water, you’ll be harvesting large and dense buds.
ICE stands for Indica Crystal Extreme. This is one of the most popular indica strains online and from local dispensaries. ICE has lovely frosty buds with a powerful aromatic flavor and taste. This strain can give you amazing yields from its delicious glazed buds in just 8 weeks.
ICE was made using a Northern Lights, Skunk and Afghan strains. This is why it can provide a strong and potent effect. ICE is not a high-yielding strain but its flavor and smell will surely make up for this flaw. This may be easily corrected by applying training techniques such as SCROG, topping and pruning to improve your yields.
ICE is not for the needs an experienced grower. It can survive outdoor and indoor growing but you need to take care of your plants better. You also need to protect your plants from molds and pests because it has large and dense buds that are too irresistible for molds and plant pests.
Royal Cheese Automatic
If you are in love with the smell of grilled cheese then Royal Cheese Automatic is for you. This strain has a unique smell and taste that’s similar to the real smell and taste of cheese. Royal Cheese Automatic grows fast in just 8 to 10 weeks and is capable of giving you high yields.
As long as you consider this strain’s ideal growing environment a Royal Cheese Automatic plant can give you up to 40 grams per plant. You can further enhance this strain’s yield by training this early and using the best fertilizer mix.
The effects of this strain can be strong to soothing making it a good strain for a beginner or seasoned growers. It also has a medical strain that can relieve pain, fatigue, and depression.
Royal Critical Automatic
Combining an indica, sativa and ruderalis strains will improve cannabis growth and boost yields. These are the reasons how Royal Critical Automatic came to be. It is perfect for cash cropping because these automatic and feminized strain will be ready for harvest as early as 9 weeks.
Aside from growing fast, expect lovely dense buds that will have a very powerful effect. You can harvest from 70 to 80 grams of weed in just one Royal Critical Automatic plant.
You can use this strain to relieve all kinds of pain including headaches and muscle pains. It may be the best strain that’s perfect for your growing experience.
White Widow Automatic
White Widow Automatic will flower in just 75 days and afterward, you’ll have sweet and sour buds and a rich aftertaste. This is a very popular recreational strain because of its impressive effects and is also a therapeutic strain as well. You can use White Widow Auto to deal with pain, headaches, stress, depression and many more.
When it comes to growing weed in a small space you‘ll get better yields because of this strain’s compact body. You can grow up to 5 small plants due to its size making this a perfect plant for stealth growing.
White Widow is not for first-timers. It has very potent effects and can cause strong side effects especially when you’re using it for the first time.
Royal Jack Automatic
Royal Jack Automatic strains are one of the best autoflowering plants because these can grow faster and earlier than 9 weeks. Aside from blooming fast, this autoflowering strain will give you around 40 to 70 grams yield per plant as long as these are cultivated in the best growing environment.
Royal Jack Automatic also has a compact and bushy body and because of its appearance, it can grow in small spaces like an indoor growing room, cabinet or growing tent. When it comes to its natural effects, you can count on Royal Jack Automatic for an uplifting effect that will make you energetic and creative. You’ll be indulging in all kinds of creative projects as you enjoy its pleasing high.
And you’ll love the taste and smell of pine that goes with this strain. This smell and aroma will last for a long time lingering in your mouth and nose. If you’re new to taking Royal Jack Auto, consume this moderately to avoid some potential side effects like restlessness, headaches and dry eyes and mouth.
Royal Creamatic is a creamy and sweet strain also popular for its sweet caramel aroma. The effects are potent and will linger after you consumed it. This strain makes a perfect strain to take while relaxing or just lazing around the weekend. But the effects are not just the only thing impressive about Royal Creamatic.
This feminized and auto-flowering strain is ideal for growing indoors because it is a compact and small plant. It will give you 80 to 110 grams per plant as long as you grow this in the best soil and growing environment.
Just like traditional autoflowering strain, you can expect Royal Creamatic to bloom in just 8 weeks. This could be the best strain to grow even if you live in a small home.
And for people new to the effects of Royal Creamatic, don’t overlook its effects. It smells and feels creamy and delicious but it can give you a potent high that you might find too overwhelming. So take this in moderation.
Royal Haze Automatic
Royal Haze Automatic is a relaxing strain with a naturally uplifting effect. This grows short with a bushy, compact appearance and thus it may be grown indoors or outdoors with ease. You’ll harvest from 80 to 100 grams per plant especially when this is cultivated in the right growing condition.
The Royal Haze autoflowering strain is for growers because it’s ready for harvest in just 10 to 12 weeks. If you want to cash in on your efforts then this is your strain. Not only will you enjoy a relaxing high, but you’ll also get more yields per plant with Royal Haze.
Royal AK Automatic
The Royal AK Automatic is a powerful hybrid hence its name. This strain was made by combining a Mexican, Columbian, Afghani, and Thai strains which are potent ancestral strains. There are many reasons why you should consider cultivating this good hybrid strain at home.
It can grow in any environment from a warm climate to a place with a chilly breeze. This can give you very high yields of 70 to 120 grams per plant. You can bet that it grows fast and in nine weeks, you’re ready for harvest.
Consumers also enjoy Royal AK Auto’s cool, smooth and sweet taste that will make you feel happy for hours. But be cautious when you’re new to its effects. You might end up taking too much and have problems with its unwanted side effects. So, consume Royal AK auto moderately.
Royal Dwarf is probably the smallest and the most compact plant that will make your home growing activity worthwhile. This tiny autoflowering cannabis plant comes with tight buds with small yields but when trained and feed with the best nutrients, the buds can grow and develop rich resin.
Despite the size of the Royal Dwarf, you can get at least 60 grams yield per plant. It flowers in just eight to nine weeks so you’ll grow even two crops a year if the conditions are right. Royal Dwarf comes with a very strong and pleasant aroma together with its mild and relaxing effects.
Northern Light Automatic
Northern Light Automatic is probably the most popular strain in the world. This is considered the genetic backbone of so many strong strains not only in North America but also in Europe. Northern Light auto flowers almost automatically and will be ready for harvest in just nine weeks. You can grow this indoors because of its size but it may also be cultivated outdoors.
Northern Light Automatic can give you the best yields for your efforts. It can produce up to 200 grams per plant which is unexpected for a small autoflowering cannabis plant. Northern Light comes with a sweet taste and a relaxing effect. You can also use this for pain, anxiety, and stress.
How to look for the best autoflowering cannabis seeds
When shopping for autoflowering or feminized cannabis seeds, take your time. Buy only from a reputable supplier or dispensary for the best quality seeds. Go for dispensaries and seedbanks that provide guarantees for the germination rates of their seeds.
Compare different sites, read reviews and look for anyone who can recommend the best seed bank to purchase autoflowering seeds. If you can buy seeds from a local seed bank then this will be easier for you. There’s no need to pay for shipment or delivery fees when you buy your seeds directly.