Autoflower or Photoperiod? Which one is right for me?
What is an Autoflower?
Autoflowers are a type of cannabis plant that will flower at a certain maturity and don’t depend on the changes in light cycles. To create an autoflower cultivar breeders cross indica, sativa or hybrid strains with the less know subspecies of cannabis called Ruderalis. Ruderalis is native to colder regions in Asia and areas of Eastern Europe. Autoflowers strains have developed the trait of blooming automatically to account for extreme climate changes where they grow.
What is a Photoperiod?
The term photoperiod means light cycle or light time. Photoperiod plants rely on darkness intervals to let them know when it’s time to start flowering. Photoperiod plants need at least 18 hours of light per day during vegetative growth and stay in that state until they get 12 hours of dark. Photoperiod plants take an absolute minimum of four months from seed to harvest.
There are several key differences between the two that should be considered when choosing auto-flower or photoperiod seeds.
Growing an auto-flower plant can be very easy. The ruderalis genetic makes strains very resilient and robust. If you give it the nutrition it needs, generally it takes 5 weeks to start flowering. Autos typically grow up to 5 feet tall and bring smaller yields due to the fact you can’t control how long they stay in the vegetative state but, you can have multiple harvests in one season that could potentially bring a bigger yield overall. Keep in mind that autos can be a challenge to new growers due to the fact that the plants don’t have time to recover from mistakes and cloning offers no benefits as the clone will be the same age as the mother and will start flowering almost immediately.
Growing a photoperiod plant can be quite easy as well if you can manage their growing environment to protect them against infestations and disease. You will also have to control its light cycle, to some degree, by either planting at the right time or growing indoors. Photoperiod plants can reach heights of 9-10 feet when grown outdoors and typically have a bit higher THC potency than autoflowers. Photo plants come in a lot more varieties than autos. They can also take high-stress training where the plant is intentionally wounded in order to increase yield. High-stress training should only be used on healthy plants as sick or weak ones can’t take the stress. Cloning your photoperiod plant usually works very well but not all cultivars will clone so it’s important to know a bit about the plant type you are growing.
When it comes to choosing between autoflowers and photoperiod cannabis strains, there is no right or wrong choice. It comes down to a matter of personal preference and resources.
Hopefully, now that you know the traits of each type of cannabis plant, you should feel ready and enlightened to make your choice. Good luck, and happy growing!
In-Stock Autoflower Seeds –
Humboldt See Company – Magic Melon (Autoflower) Seeds