In the cannabis industry, there have been two great important seed revolutions with the introduction of feminized seeds in 1998 and the emergence of autoflowering seeds in 2008. Although these are relatively new seeds, the truth is that their origins can be traced back to the Ruderalis variety over 100 years ago. In this article, we will give you brief information on the history of these two seed varieties and then explain their pros and cons for growers.
Key facts from the history of seeds selection
Today, you can easily find both the autoflower and feminized cannabis seeds online, and buy them in theseedfair.com store. However, to understand the differences between these two varieties, you should know the key facts from their history:
- Ruderalis varieties were classified as “weeds” by their discoverer in 1924. It was a variety of cannabis that was found growing wild in the cold and dry climate of Asia. However, the biologist found that this plant is largely influenced by external climate factors;
- It was discovered that the flowering cycle of Ruderalis seeds was not directly related to photoperiods. Additionally, they had a good ability to grow and flourish in very unfavorable climatic conditions (below 0 degrees);
- Over the years, it has become possible to create “off-road” seeds that combine the strength and ability to flower regardless of photoperiod with the strength, flavor, and aroma of cannabis. For this reason, autoflowering strains have been around for quite some time, but their commercialization only began in 2008.
Autoflower seeds gradually gained a lot of popularity among growers until they became one of the preferred strains due to their advantages over feminized and regular strains. Automatic seeds give a high-quality harvest because they have the possibility of flowering without changes in light cycles or elimination of male seeds. The ease of automatic seeding makes them very attractive to beginners.
Over time, autoflowering seeds have overcome various barriers and suspicions of many cannabis growers to position themselves as one of the most in-demand seeds along with feminized ones. In the past, they were only the choice of consumers who wanted to plant in very cold areas or in adverse weather conditions. It was not very productive, nor did it have a high activity or organoleptic qualities.
Today, this is a variety that is very well perceived by all flower growers. This is due to the great evolution of the seeds since nowadays, they allow obtaining more and more productive crops with higher quality, both in terms of effects and aromas and tastes. On the market, you will see an extensive catalog of autoflowering seeds with an incredible variety of flavors. In fact, the new seeds incorporate classic plant genetics. So, the list of advantages of the autoflowering seeds looks as follows:
- Due to the short flowering period, they allow you to grow a variety of crops during the year. In fact, there can be up to 4 yields during the year;
- They can be grown outdoors even in cold climates;
- Plants cultivated from automatic seeds are very strong and have great resistance to fungal infections, mold, insect pests, and even excess/lack of irrigation and nutrients;
- Autoflowering cannabis seeds include genetics made up of different strains, providing an endless amount of different types of flavors, aromas, and effects.
- Normally, the number and quality of buds produced by growing autoflowering strains are quite good. However, they still cannot be equated to the quantity and quality you get from feminized seeds;
- Less effectiveness, taste, and smell compared to feminized seeds.
Pros and Cons of feminized seeds
The abbreviation “Fem” means that the seeds were obtained from adult female plants. In the total mass of seedlings, breeders select females and leave them to ripen without pollinating. The opposite to feminized seeds are considered regular varieties: those that have not been specially selected or processed. When sown, about half will grow male and the rest – female. This affects the overall performance and yield. By buying fem hybrids, growers are sure that they will get a good harvest and the result of their efforts will be fully reimbursed. Thus, fems have the following advantages:
- They are less demanding for the soil quality, its composition, and climate;
- Resistant to diseases and pests;
- The plants have a higher content of THC and CBD than regulars;
- They accumulate more resin, while their fruits are large and heavy.
Germinating fem cannabis seeds is a bit more difficult than growing autoflowers. To do this, one should be patient and monitor the condition of the seedlings at all stages of the process. Breeders may encounter the following problems during the cultivation, as the plants suffer from:
- Drying or waterlogging of the soil – it is imperative to use the correct irrigation regime;
- Yellowing of leaves and drying out – this is the result of an overdose of nitrogen and other fertilizers;
- Poor growth – lack of vitamins in the soil;
- Drying and wilting from overheating with lamps or in the sun;
- Problems with germination due to improper lighting.
As you can see, growing fem seeds is a bit troublesome, but it brings impressive results in the long run. In this regard, autoflowers are easier to cultivate, but fem seeds give better yields. Choose the option that better meets your expectations and enjoy the result!