Autoflowering cannabis seeds provide an easy harvest of high quality cannabis that can flower without the need to change light cycles or remove males. For these reasons they are also known as Automatic seeds, since much of the work of achieving a crop of unfertilized female flowers has been done before they are even germinated. The simplicity of autoflowering cultivation makes it a highly appealing option for many novice growers. In addition, these strains are a great choice for gardeners in less warm climate areas who wish to grow on open ground, or on a balcony or window ledge, but find themselves restricted by short summers.
The advantages of automatic cannabis seeds
Grown outside, automatic seeds can produce two or more crops in the course of a normal summer. Under lights, ‘autos’ can go from seedling to fully mature plant in as little as 10 weeks. As an added bonus, most are also very hardy and resistant to fungal infections, mould, pests and even frost, due to their extremely robust, northern Eurasian genetic lineage – the Ruderalis – that evolved the ability to flower at will in order to survive. Seeds that automatically flower can be grown indoors, out of doors or in a greenhouse. In addition, all seeds in this category are feminized and from a wide range of genetics, offering different kinds of flavour, aroma and effect.
Yield factors for autoflowering seed strains
In terms of turnover, these seeds are capable of producing reasonably sized yields even with a less intense light source. However, the general rule that the greater the light intensity, the better the results, holds true here too. It should also be remembered that how much these types will give is governed by the final size of the plant – a windowsill crop of virtually dwarf cannabis is never going to produce as much as it would in large pots under high-intensity light. In general, however, the amount of bud eventually gleaned from seeds in this section is favourably comparable with that of regular or feminized seeds from the same variety.
Higher THC levels
This is the first group of varieties to produce superior bud featuring elevated cannabinoid levels without the need for intense light during set, consistent periods of time. Whether using artificial light or sunlight, care and attention was always required in matters of timing the plants’ exposure to it, and ensuring that the hours of darkness really were dark. Light pollution from even minor sources has been known to confuse their internal ‘clocks’ as to whether they are supposed to be vegetating or blooming.
Autoflowering seeds, on the other hand, are able to complete their life cycle regardless of how long the days are, although at least eighteen hours of light will give the best results. Unlike regular seeds, ‘auto’ seeds grow crops that do not need to undergo the usual cycle of 12 hours of light alternating with 12 hours of darkness in order to bloom successfully, whether they are indica, sativa or hybrid. They seem virtually immune to light pollution, tolerating irregular and unpredictable periods of light and darkness with impunity. Outdoor gardeners with short summers can wait until the warmest weeks to cultivate their automatic cannabis seed crop, safe in the knowledge that most of these hours will fuel the flower production, not the vegetation, period.
How is cannabis able to flower automatically?
This essential characteristic evolved as a necessity for survival in the harsh, inhospitable areas of central Russia where Cannabis Ruderalis, the original autoflowering strain that bred this almost magical ability, originated. Lacking the longer, warmer summers of the Indian continent or the tropical and equatorial zones where (respectively) Indica and Sativa evolved, their relative did not have the luxury of being able to wait for the change in light cycles that signal the beginning of summer to start flowering - the weather would become cold enough to kill the plants before pollination and seeding could take place. Instead, it had to begin flowering as soon as it was old enough in order to have enough time to complete the reproductive cycle and make new seeds. Breeders immediately saw the advantage of this for other strains, and began breeding seeds with this ability to ‘auto flower’.
Ideal for beginners
Complete novices to the art of gardening who wish to start with cannabis as their first attempt are advised to consider the benefits of autoflowering seeds. The filters can be used to easily view them according to the yield, flowering time, height gain, price, indica or sativa dominance, and so forth. Seeds are available in 5 and 10 seeds per pack sizes, and some kinds can also be bought in 3 per pack and 25 per pack sizes.