Your Complete Guide To Growing: How To Choose From Regular, Feminized, and Autoflowering Seeds vs. Clones
Growing good cannabis always starts from the seed.
As a grower, you’ll want to choose the best quality seeds possible because this greatly improves the chances you’ll grow top-shelf cannabis. But there are different types of seeds to choose from: regular, feminized, and auto-flowering cannabis seeds. You can also start with a clone. Each of these types of seeds presents its own benefits and advantages to the grower.
Choosing the right seed variety has a lot to do with your growing experience, desired flowering time, location, and the yield you’d like to get.
Regular cannabis seeds are just like your normal plant seed. They have not been altered or modified in any way such as genetic engineering to change how its grow process works. In other words, regular seeds will grow in exactly the way nature intended. For this reason, cannabis seeds are the easiest to find.
Regular cannabis seeds are derived from one female and one male parent. They can produce plants that are also either female or male. But there’s no way of really telling if a regular seed will produce a male or female one later on, until you get to the flowering stage. The calyxes of females resemble a teardrop, while male plants produce an oval pod.
Some growers prefer regular cannabis seeds and would recommend this variety to beginners. For one thing, regular seeds are the most inexpensive of all, and you’re likely to encounter several rookie mistakes as you learn to grow cannabis. If you work with expensive seeds straight away, you’ll only end up burning money if you end up with mistakes. Another reason is because regular seeds give a first-time grower a more thorough look into the plant’s complete life cycle, while teaching you exactly what it needs to thrive. Another advantage of using regular cannabis seeds is that these are necessary for developing new strains; growers interested in cross-breeding can use them as well.
Old school cannabis growers tend to prefer regular seeds, since they prefer to grow the plant in a way that it’s as close to nature as possible in all aspects. It’s also preferred by individuals who want to create their own seeds.
The drawbacks to regular seeds is that it doesn’t have other modified properties that the remaining two seed types have. They are also just a little more likely to produce female plants instead of males, and this unpredictability makes experienced growers prefer other types of seeds. If you are after a crop of consumable flowers, you need female plants; male plants only end up in the bin. Extreme care and attention to your growing environment can up the chances your seed will produce a male plant, but at the end of the day, you really have no control over the sex produced so even after a long time of caring for them, you might have to discard half the plants since they are males, which greatly reduces the crop’s potential yield.
Feminized seeds are exactly what its name implies: it’s meant to give you female plants. Growers no longer have to play the guessing game when it comes to the sex of the plants produced by feminized seeds. Although they are considered better than regular seeds, growing these seeds still requires the same kind of care and growing conditions that you would with regular seeds.
Female cannabis plants that have been prevented from becoming fertilized also end up producing seedless flowers. This is what most growers prefer. Simple and faster cultivation are the primary advantages to using feminized seeds. It also saves time because whereas regular seeds require you to identify the gender and discard male plants early in the flowering phase, feminized seeds eliminate this need since the plants are always female.
Since feminized plants produce only female flowers, there’s a really good chance that every plant produces consumable cannabis. This gives the grower a significantly higher yield, and it ensures that your growing space is maximized since it enables you to use it in a more productive way by eliminating growth of male plants. Additionally, many growers appreciate the uniformity of product produced by feminized seeds, even if it’s used in large-scale production.
However, creating feminized seeds is considered new technology. In some cases, they don’t work as planned; they may end up not germinating properly, or they may even end up producing male or hermaphrodite plants (cannabis plants with both male and female flowers). You can avoid these issues by working with a legitimate seed breeder. Ask if they used hermaphoriditic pollen in creating the seeds. Some breeders use colloidal silver and other chemicals. Either way, none of these methods will guarantee 100% that feminized cannabis seeds will always germinate properly, grow well, or be female. Keep in mind that if your goal is to produce cannabis seeds, feminized seeds are not the way to go.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds result in smaller plants, which are ideal for growing outdoors. Seasonal changes and a decrease in daylight hours are not necessary for them to flower. Because of this, autoflowering plants are low maintenance, which makes them a suitable choice for cultivators who don’t have the perfect growing conditions such as limited space, or an area that has a limit on plant height. You can even easily grow them discreetly, even in terraces or balconies. Its shorter height allows you to camouflage the plants by using other flowers and plants. Discretion made easy!
Cannabis plants typically flower by the end of the summer season, since days are shorter and sunlight decreases. Cannabis plants understand that maturation is necessary before winter. But with autoflowering plants, they start the flowering phase even if they are exposed to 24 hours of light. Their grow cycle is around 10 weeks, from beginning to end. Feminized autoflowering seeds provide growers with the best of both worlds: no need to identify plant genders, plus a quick harvest. Since autoflowering plants are small, it’s easy to plant several of them in every square foot.
Autoflowering seeds are the most popular among novice growers. They are so easy to use, grow quickly, and aren’t as complex as other kinds of seeds to produce an abundant harvest. These types of seeds are known to be resilient, and can protect themselves from pests, frost, and mold since they can grow anywhere you plant them, anytime of the year as long as temperatures aren’t too cold. Autoflowering seeds also generally produce shorter plants than others, usually around 10-23 inches, which is important for growers in a location that has a limitation on plant height.
On the other hand, the fact that autoflowering seeds yield smaller plants means that you get less consumable product. Some breeders have also noticed that their THC potency tends to be below 16%, and the average is usually at 20%. But while THC tends to be low in autoflowering seeds, the good news is that they are known to produce higher CBD levels, which is ideal for patients and medical users. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system, stimulating and activating our biological response to anxiety, stress, pain, and others. CBD can be used for a myriad of conditions including nausea, vomiting, seizures, psychosis, inflammation, depression, and neurodegenerative conditions to name a few.
Another factor to take into consideration is that autoflowering plants tend to have inconsistencies in speed of growth and size, even if you’re growing the same strain.
Clones are pretty much just a copy of another plant’s DNA. These seeds are made by cutting off a branch from a mother plant, and then forcing it to root. The result is a cannabis clone with the same DNA as its mother plant. If the mother plant was healthy, the clone will naturally have the same positive qualities, including resilience and resistance.
Some growers prefer to work with clones because they are effective ways of preserving a specific strain. For this reason, you may come across several strains in the market that are described as “clone only”. There’s just no way to recreate them. Other advantages of working with clones is that it has the potential to grow much faster than regular seeds.
But getting access to clones can be like pulling teeth, especially if you don’t live in a state where cannabis is legal. It’s important to get your clones from a reputable garden to make sure that you get the strain that you want. A reputable source is also critical because otherwise, you may end up introducing a clone that has existing diseases. This isn’t uncommon; sharing clones is one of the most common reasons why cannabis gardens end up with mold and pests.
Before deciding on the type of seed that’s right for you, it requires a lot of research on your end. Read up on the various strains and keep in mind that some cannabis seeds are made to grow best indoors, while others thrive outdoors.