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The difference between feminized and autoflowering seeds
Growing weed doesn’t have to be difficult. Anyone can do it. But you do need some basic knowledge. For example, you need to know how to grow a cannabis plant and which seeds are most suitable for you. The most popular seeds among beginners and advanced growers are feminized cannabis seeds and autoflower seeds. But what is the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds? And which seeds are right for you?
Choosing between feminized or autoflower seeds
Cannabis seeds come in a huge variety of varieties and grow into beautiful plants where the weed differs in taste and effect. However, apart from the harvest result, there are also big differences in the way of growing and yield. For example, you have fast growers that need little attention (autoflowers) and cannabis seeds that require more time and knowledge (feminized seeds). On the other hand, the latter delivers a higher yield. But what are the differences exactly and are there other differences?
Difference between feminized and autoflower seeds
To make it easy for you, we have included the differences between the two species in a table. This gives you a clear overview and allows you to make the right choice between feminized seeds and autoflower seeds.
Easy to medium
Small to medium
Medium to tall
2 – 4 weeks after planting
When receiving 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness
Average time from seed to harvest
8 – 12 weeks
12 – 20 weeks
Low to medium
Medium to large
Small to medium
Medium to large
Feminized cannabis seeds are seeds specially grown to eliminate male chromosomes. In short, with feminized seeds you grow a female cannabis plant. Exactly what most growers want, because only the female cannabis plant provides smokable buds (weed!).
Taking light into account
When you growing cannabis outdoors, the plant will start flowering as soon as it gets less sunlight. This is towards the end of summer and the transition to autumn. Indoor growers will have to mimic autumn by (gradually) adapting their light schedule to a 12/12 hour light schedule.
Although adjusting the light schedule is not complicated, it does require some knowledge and effort.
Advantages of feminized seeds
- Feminized seeds develop female plants and produce smokable buds (cannabis).
- Plants from feminized seeds produce weed with a higher THC and CBD value which makes the effect more intense and lasts longer compared to autoflowering seeds.
- Feminized seeds are almost 100% hermaphroditic free.
- Female plants grown with feminized seeds develop higher yields compared to autoflowers.
- Plants grown from feminized seeds produce fewer leaves compared to autoflowers.
- Unlike autoflowers, female plants grown with feminized seeds are easier to prune.
Find your seeds:
Beginners often choose autoflower seeds. The most important reason for this is, as the name suggests, that these plants grow automatically without too much attention. Despite the fact that autoflower seeds have many of the same characteristics as feminized seeds, there are clear differences.
No light scheme needed
Where feminized seeds start flowering as soon as they receive less sunlight (or artificial light), an autoflower flowers based on age. The grower does not have to adjust the light schedule or wait until autumn (applies to outdoor growing). Growing an autoflower is therefore much easier than growing a cannabis plant from feminized seeds.
Advantages of autoflowering seeds
- Autoflowers bloom automatically and require little attention.
- Just like feminized seeds, autoflower seeds develop female plants and deliver cannabis.
- The cycle from seed to harvest is short, allowing growers to harvest 2 to 4 times a year.
- Because autoflower strains are crossed with the ruderalis plant, the plant grows less tall and requires less maintenance.
- Compared to female plants grown with feminized seeds, autoflowers are more resistant to temperature fluctuations, pests and fungi.
Find your seeds:
What’s better: feminized or autoflower seeds?
As you have read, both feminized seeds and autoflower seeds have their own advantages and disadvantages. Advanced and experienced growers choose feminized seeds more often because of their higher yield and quality.
Moreover, weed plants from feminized seeds are more flexible in growing. You can use cultivation techniques such as scrogging (Screen of Green) and topping. These techniques ensure a higher yield.
Beginners prefer autoflower seeds because it is easier and the seeds are less sensitive to external conditions (fungi, temperature fluctuations). After all, the plants grow by themselves so you hardly have to worry. Moreover, you can harvest faster and more often.
Are autoflowers less potent?
If you look at the difference in potency between the autoflower variant and the feminized variant of a specific strain, you will notice that the autoflower is almost always less potent. If you compare an autoflower strain with a feminized variant of a different strain, the autoflower is certainly not always less strong.