As you know in todays cannabis strain world there are two main types of seeds and they are regular or photoperiod and autoflowering strains witch each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Photoperiod or “normal” strains as they are called are sensitive to light changes and will start flowering only when the light/dark cycle is switched to 12/12 (12 hour light 12 hours dark) but autoflowering plants will flower automatically under any light cycle and that means you can have one light schedule throughout their lifespan. Each of these varieties have their advantages as well as disadvantages and each individual grower should consider all these possibilities before choosing one of them.
- Will flower automatically under any light schedule weather it is 24/0 or 12/12 – That allows you to create just one light cycle and you won’t need to adjust your timer when you want them to start flowering. This light cycle also allows you to grow autoflowers inside the vegetative grow room and get some buds even before your photoperiod plants start their flowering process.
- Gan be ready to harvest in 60 to 70 days from seed – Autoflowering plants take only 60 to 70 days from germination till harvest and that means you can quickly get to the end as well as grow them outside in climates where summers are short and regular plants won’t get ready in time. Short life cycle means fast turnaround, fast breeding and fast bud! This short life span will also decrease the chances of many plant illnesses as the more time goes by the greater the chances that some molds or pests will infest your crop!
- Short height – Autoflowering plants usually don’t grow taller than 20 to 40 cm and that means you can easily grow them in small spaces and keep them stealthy. This short size also allows growers to produce stealthy plants outdoors and if you use LST then you can have a plant that is virtually undetectable.
- Have strong climate, bug, mold and pest resistance – Autoflowering plants are very strong plants and unlike their sativa and indica photo-sensitive cousins these small plants are very strong and will grow under very harsh conditions. Autoflowers can grow in cold climates, are very resistant to molds and bugs and can recover from very strong stresses. And that allows inexperienced growers to get some buds even if they manage to mess up their grow operation!
- Have small yield – Autoflowers usually have smaller yield if compared to photoperiod plants because they grow much faster and photoperiod plants need more time to mature and produce those buds. But if you would put both plants side by side in one grow room under 12/12 light conditions then probably both plants will have similar yields.
- Lower potency / THC content – Autoflowering plants usually have lower THC content that results in lower potency but over the years the difference between autoflowering and regular plants has virtually disappeared. These days autoflowers have almost as much THC content as regular plants and what is even better is that they have higher CBD and CBN concentrations and that is great for medical patients.
Regular photoperiod plants:
- Will flower only when the light cycle will be changed to 12/12 – That means you can keep these plants in their vegetative growth stage indefinitely and grow them as big as you like. And if you want smaller plants and want them to finish faster then you can just start the flowering light cycle right after your plants have sprouted.
- Cloning – One of regular photo period plants biggest advantages is that they can be cloned from a mother plant and because of that growers don’t need to buy new seeds every time they want to grow a new plant. Cloning is the method of choice for commercial and recreational growers that want a consistent crop with the same properties, taste and size as all plants that are cloned from one mother plant will be identical!
- Can be topped and fimmed – Regular plants respond well to topping and other High stress training methods because you can keep them in their vegetative growth stage for as long as you need and only when your plants have fully recovered then you can switch the light cycle and start the flowering phase. That means you have more control over them and you can create more bushy plants!
- Bigger yields – With regular photoperiod plants you can have way bigger yields than with autoflowers and that is because you can keep your plants in the vegetive growth stage for longer periods of time and allow them to grow bigger and more powerful. I have seen regular plants growing to unbelievable sizes and giving more than 80 ounces (2.2 kg) or dried buds!
- More varieties – Because photoperiod plants have been around for many decades there are thousands of strains available to growers but because autoflowers are relatively new and have only about 10 years of development there are much less varieties to choose from. Regular cannabis strains are bread to their full potential and have very stable genetics with higher THC contents but autoflowers are catching up to them so in a couple of years we should have almost as much autoflowering strains as we have regular strains.
Both automatic and regular strains have their place in the growers community and probably photoperiod plants will stay the industry standard but autoflowers are great plants for newcomers and they have their own advantages that regular strains just can’t match!