Many questions often arise when one wants to grow a cannabis plant for the first time. For example: what is the difference between feminized and autoflowering plants? Which is better?
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Normally three different categories of cannabis varieties are distinguished: regular, feminized and autoflowering (also called automatics). These three are the most common, although there are also particular crosses between them (for example, a feminized with an autoflowering results in a 'quick' or 'early' genetic).
Each one comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. We explain it to you in a simple way in the following Dinafem video.
Regular cannabis seeds
Regular cannabis seeds yield a standard plant. They are not optimized by means of genetic engineering, so the entire growth process works just as it would in nature. Some experienced cannabis growers recommend this type of seed because it offers the inexperienced grower a better idea of the type of care that cannabis needs.
The disadvantage is that plants from regular seeds are only slightly more likely (approximately 60%) to produce a female plant rather than a male plant. And, if what you are looking for is the cultivation of consumable flowers, male plants should be discarded after months of growth, to prevent pollination.
Feminized cannabis seeds
Feminized cannabis seeds are intended to completely preclude the possibility of producing male plants. This means that growers no need to discard those plants that naturally turn out male. And they do not have to worry about any female plants being pollinated.
But plants still require the same care and specific growth conditions, as they are just as photodependent as regular ones: they only bloom when the hours of light they receive are reduced. With indoor growing, it is the grower who decides the change in the photoperiod, adjusting the growth period as he deems fit.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are the most popular among beginners, as they do not require the same level of care to produce an abundant crop. Unlike feminized plants, which begin to bloom as soon as they receive less sunlight (or artificial light), autoflowering plants begin to bloom depending on when they are planted.
And, as they are "programmed" to do so once they have reached a certain age and size (around a month of growth), so the producer does not have to adjust the lighting schedule (18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness are sufficient) or wait for autumn to arrive. In this way, in just three months one has an autoflowering plant, all ready to cut.
Therefore, growing an autoflowering plant is much easier and faster than a feminized one. And, in this way growers can harvest more frequently: up to 3-4 crops per year, conditions permitting. Autoflowering plants also have the advantage of growing shorter than feminized or regular ones, generally ranging from 50 to 100 cm. This is especially important when the crop has spatial limitations. Autoflowering plants are also more resistant to fluctuations in temperature, pests and mould, which results in less maintenance.
So, differences between autoflower and feminized?
The answer to the question Autoflowering vs Feminized depends on what you are looking for, the amount of experience you have, the location of the crop, and the yield you are after. Experienced growers are more likely to opt for feminized seeds, as yields are generally higher and of higher quality. But, you can also opt for autoflowering plants, depending on the circumstances of a certain crop; for example, on a balcony, where discretion is key, thanks to the limited height of the plant and the simplicity of its cultivation. It's up to you.