When choosing a cannabis strain, it helps to know exactly what you’re looking for. There are plenty of variables, but one of the most important is whether your chosen strain is autoflowering or photoperiod. But what does this mean? And how do you decide which is right for you?
Well, the differences are really quite simple.
What is an Autoflower?
Autoflowering strains have been bred in such a way that, after a plant has been growing for a certain amount of time, it will automatically begin to flower.
This makes them perfect for beginner collectors, and why so many in the Seedsman community collect autoflowering cannabis seeds.
Additionally, they’re more compact and easier to care for, can better handle pests, and are ready to harvest sooner in legal markets.
Autoflowering seeds are a Seedsman speciality; we were the first to sell autoflowering cannabis seeds to the public. Check out our conversation with The Joint Doctor, the first cultivator of autoflower genetics here.
More Differences Between Autos and Photoperiod Strains
The other main difference that needs to be taken into account when deciding which of these two varieties is right for you is the size of the plants, and the subsequent yields. Whilst it wouldn’t be true to say that autoflowering strains are necessarily smaller than photoperiod, it’s certainly the case more often than not, so if you’re looking to grow large plants and harvest as much bud as possible, it’s usually recommended that you go for the more traditional, photoperiod strains.
Linked to this is the time it takes to get from seed to useable harvest. Because autoflowering strains begin to flower earlier than their photoperiod counterparts, it naturally takes less time to get to harvest, and you will have your hands on the final product more quickly. But, again, you will more than likely have less of that final product to play with, so when making your decision you need to weigh up which is more important to you – speed, or yield.
There are more nuanced differences to consider as well, such as the fact that autoflowering strains cannot typically be cloned, whereas photoperiod strains can. This means that if you choose to grow autos, you’re going to have to buy new seeds for every crop, which some people consider a waste of money when photoperiod plants can be cloned again and again, producing genetically identical plants every time.
As with most things, your decision to choose autoflowering or photoperiod strains will essentially come down to your own personal preference.
With that in mind, we’ve produced this helpful table which you can use to weigh up the pros and cons of each variety before you make your choice. We have hundreds of autoflowering and photoperiod strains available to buy now at Seedsman.com.
|Flowering time||Seed to harvest in 2-3 months||Avg time from seed to harvest is 3-4 months|
|Cloneable?||Not impossible, but not easy||Yes|
|Yield||Usually 1oz per plant||Varies on strain but usually more on avg that an auto|
|Suitable for beginners?||Yes||Less so – more opportunity for things to go wrong|
|Plant training methods||Responds well to Low-Stress Training but not really to topping and firming||All techniques available|
|Feminised?||Always||Available as both regular and feminised|
|Medical usage||Yes, many CBDV and THCV strains available in auto form||Strain dependent|