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difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds

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 vs autoflowering

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.

Characteristic

Autoflower seeds

Feminized seeds

Small to medium

2 – 4 weeks after planting

When a light cycle of 12 / 12 is applied

Average time from seed to harvest

Medium to large

Small to medium

Medium to large

Feminized seeds

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 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 autoflower plants.
  • 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:

Category: Feminized seeds

Autoflower 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;
  • You need less growing space;
  • Compared to female marijuana plants plants grown with feminized seeds, autoflowers are more resistant to temperature fluctuations, pests and fungi.

Find your seeds:

Category: Feminized 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 specific marijuana strains, 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.

Many new growers wonder: What is the difference between feminized and autoflowering seeds? Let’s explain it in a simple way. Check it out!

Autoflowering vs Feminized Seeds: Which Is Best for You?

autoflower vs feminized seeds

Autoflower vs feminized, engineered vs regular, trained vs untrained seeds. No matter how you slice it, there is a dizzying variety of seed types to select from when growing your own marijuana.

Which is better, which produces the dankest buds, which grows the fastest?, which is the easiest to maintain?

Well, that depends on a multitude of factors because, fundamentally we are all very different people with different goals and objectives in life.

open vs closed loop grow rooms

Translated to cannabis, the type of seed you should buy depends upon what your goals are as a grower.

Are you a hobbyist who enjoys the process of natural cultivation as much as you do getting high? Or are you a THC thrill seeker looking to grow the dankest, stickiest, highest yielding marijuana plant you can?

Well, before heading on over to your favorite online cannabis seed vendor and start buying seeds, make sure to read the following “choose your own ending” guide to determining which seed is best for you!

If you’re looking to buy seeds online ASAP we highly recommend checking out Seedsman Seeds simply because they have one of the largest inventories out there and offer competitive pricing even on more popular/high demand strains.

Growing cannabis is more than just setting yourself up with a solid stash. Growing is an art that rewards those who are willing to learn and are curious about everything that goes into getting a truly satisfying yield.

In this article, we’re going to give a simple break down of the differences between feminized and autoflowering cannabis seeds so you can know which one is right for you.

While you do not have to be a cannabis expert to be a successful grower, there is some basic knowledge you should be aware of if you want to avoid time-consuming and expensive mistakes! Let’s begin.

autoflower seeds pros and cons

What are Autoflower Cannabis Seeds?

Autoflower cannabis seeds are a popular choice for beginners as they bloom automatically, are easier to cultivate, smaller in size, and are quicker to harvest than feminized seeds.

They also require a simple lighting schedule and are more resistant to temperature fluctuations, pests and fungi, offering a perfect way for beginners to get into cannabis growing.

These days, just like feminized seeds, autoflower seeds will develop into female plants which deliver the smokeable cannabis that most growers are after.

What are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

While autoflowers require less attention and allow for quicker harvests, feminized cannabis seeds come with their own set of advantages. Needless to say, with feminized seeds, you don’t have to worry about producing male plants (which will not give you smokeable cannabis high in THC and CBD).

You can expect bigger plants and a greater yield with feminized seeds, with the smokeable cannabis often being more potent than cannabis grown from autoflower seeds.

Given the greater yield and the fact that feminized plants can be cloned (autoflowers cannot be, meaning you will have to buy new seeds every time), most serious growers choose to grow with feminized seeds and are not put off by the fact that they require more space, more care and attention, and a more demanding lighting schedule.

feminized seeds pros and cons

What are the differences in harvest time and lighting demands?


The length of the grow cycle is an important factor for many growers. If you are looking for multiple harvests a year all year round, then autoflowers are definitely your best bet. Generally, the average time from seed to harvest for an autoflower is between 8-12 weeks.

Feminized seeds usually require 12-20 weeks from seed to harvest and only begin flowering when they receive 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness a day, as opposed to autoflowers which flower based on age (usually 2-4 weeks after planting).

If you are growing feminized seeds outdoors, you will have to adjust your light schedule or wait until autumn to ensure that the plant gets the right amount of light to flower. However, this is not the case with autoflowers, making them much easier to grow and an attractive option for those who want a simpler, less involved grow process.

learn to grow weed at home

Which is better for indoor/outdoor cultivation?

Autoflowering seeds are more suitable for indoor cultivation while feminised seeds work better for outdoor cultivation.
Generally, feminized seeds grow plants that are bigger and taller than autoflowers. But remember: No matter what the seeds you choose to plant are – bigger pots generally make space for bigger plants and bigger buds.

Which seed type is right for you?

Now that we’ve seen the main differences between autoflower and feminized seeds, you should have an idea of which choice suits your preferences, resources and level of expertise.

If you’re looking for maximum potency and the greatest yield possible, then feminized seeds are definitely the way to go. If you’re just starting out growing or are limited in knowledge, experience, space and time, then autoflower seeds might be the choice for you as they provide the quickest and easiest way to a bountiful yield.

Keep in mind that your growing situation/farm design can impact what seed type you get. For example, growing outdoors seasonally is different then running a year-round grow operation indoors, say in a grow tent or grow cabinet.

Are autoflowers less potent?

When autoflower seeds first appeared around ten years ago, they were generally considered less potent due to the fact that the autoflower gene originates from the Ruderalis species of cannabis (which has very low levels of THC).

While much more than THC goes into how a plant looks, smells and ultimately smokes and the effects it has (like its terpene profile or CBN percentage). Understanding THC can be done at home using simple test kits and devices and can help you evaluate the quality of your seeds.

However, in the past decade, Ruderalis plants have been crossbred with strains extremely high in THC, producing autoflowering strains that are as potent as anything else you might find.

tCheck THC test kit

Are autoflowers leafier than feminized seeds?


Plants grown from feminized seeds tend to produce fewer leaves compared to autoflowers.

Autoflower seeds also have a tendency to grow denser foliage, meaning they are typically leafier and therefore have fewer buds.

However, this is not true if you grow autoflowering seeds in optimal conditions, without pruning them, and with sufficient time to complete their automatic flowering cycle without rushing or interfering with the process. If you do it right there is nothing to worry about!

HerbCEO Conclusion

Congratulations on informing yourself of the differences between feminized and autoflowering cannabis seeds! This is a critical decision in the grow process and both seed types have their unique advantages and drawbacks.

Generally speaking, autoflowers work well for beginners and those looking for a fast yield, while feminized seeds are the choice of more experienced growers who want maximum potency and quantity from their harvest.

It is worth mentioning that if your seeds are of a high-quality, you can expect a good yield of smokeable cannabis regardless of whether you have chosen autoflower or feminized seeds.

Most online sellers, From I Love Growing Marijuana to Seedsman Seeds will have plenty of variety for whatever seed type you end up deciding on planting and cultivating.

If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you’ll soon find that the more you learn, the more likely you’ll be to enjoy the grow process and get the kinds of yields you’ve been dreaming about. We hope this article has been helpful!

Choosing your seeds is the most important decision you can make when cultivating. Mess up this step and nutrients, light, air won't be able to help you. Learn about autoflowering vs feminized seed types.