Regular marijuana seeds
Standard marijuana seeds come from one male and one female parent, and can produce either male or female plants. It is virtually impossible to tell if a regular seed will turn out to be a male or a female later on. Of course, after you get to the flowering stage, it is much simpler to identify males and females. Males will produce oval pods while females will produce a calyx shaped like a teardrop.
The ratio for male-to-female growth with regular seeds is around 1-to-1 (approximately 66% female). When you start growing, it's in your best interest to just assume that 50% of the seeds will end up female. You should germinate a few extra seeds to make up for all the males that you'll discard later on during the early flowering period.
A number of different variables determine whether regular seeds are better suited to some growers than feminized seeds. The conditions of the grow, the amount of time and space available, one's preferred choice, and the overall level of expertise all come into play. If you want to breed cannabis and produce new seeds, then you need both male and female plants, which would require regular seeds. If you have no interest in breeding and you just want to have some outstanding bud, then feminized seeds might be a better choice.
Feminized marijuana seeds
By contrast to regular seeds, feminized seeds are bred specifically to eliminate male chromosomes, effectively ensuring that every plant in the crop is going to be female. If you're looking for fast and simple cultivation, then feminized seeds are perfect. Many growers could be wary of growing because it requires the identification of different genders and the removal of males early in the flowering stage. Feminized seeds effectively remove the need to identify genders because the plants will always be female.
Feminized seeds also make sense in other logistical ways. With regular seeds, growers tend to germinate extra seeds (up to double the intended amount) to account for unnecessary males. If you use feminized seeds, you only have to germinate as many plants as you need.
Another aspect at play is that cannabis is not strictly male or female. Any marijuana plant can produce flowers of either sex depending on certain conditions. Certain environmental factors can cause a plant to grow flowers of both sexes simultaneously. In general, this is a stress response that triggers a survival mechanism in the plant. Temperature drops, physical harm, issues with the light cycle, and other stressors can cause the plant to produce intersexual characteristics. The plant's response to these conditions is to recognize that chances of survival and ultimately reproduction are low. The plant has a built-in survival response to ensure that it can reproduce successfully. Under these circumstances, a female plant will produce male staminate flowers so that they can pollinate their own female pistil flowers. This allows them to produce seeds without the need of a male. In some instances, male plants will produce pistils, but this is rare.
Early on, feminized cannabis seeds were produced using two female marijuana plants. One of the plants in question would have had hermaphroditic tendencies (or, the propensity to create male flowers during stress). To stress the plant, growers would disrupt the light cycle or prune branches or leaves. The pollen produced from the hermaphroditic plant would then be used to pollinate the "pure" female. Unfortunately, the hermaphroditic plants used to pollinate the females could pass that hermaphroditic trait down to the resultant seeds. This essentially meant that the feminized seeds showed a stronger tendency to be hermaphroditic rather than purely female.
Over time, however, the process of creating feminized seeds improved and became more complex. With the help of different types of silver (find out how to produce feminized marijuana seeds using colloidal silver), it became possible to force even the purest females to create male cannabis flowers. Thus, the seeds created from these plants do not have any proclivity toward intersexuality. All of the feminized seeds on I Love Growing Marijuana are created with this method.
To put it simply, intersexuality or hermaphroditism is a natural part of the marijuana plant's genome. Depending on the genetics of each plant, they have a greater or lesser chance of turning hermaphroditic as a result of certain conditions. These seeds are also NOT genetically modified, meaning that genes are neither added to nor removed from the plant. The parent plants themselves could be considered "physically modified" by silver, but the seeds themselves are produced naturally through pollination.
Autoflowering marijuana seeds
Marijuana strains that autoflower are generally small and ideal for outdoor growth. The daylight hour decrease and a change in season are not necessary for these plants to flower. Most standard marijuana plants start to flower at the end of summer as days start to get shorter and the amount of light drops. Plants recognize that they need to start maturing before the onset of winter. Autoflowering plants are different. They will enter the flowering stage even if they receive a full 24 hours of light.
For autoflowering plants, it generally takes 10 weeks from start to finish. You can also find feminized autoflowering seeds which provide the dual benefits of a quick harvest and no need to identify plant sexes. These seeds can produce about 2 harvests throughout the span of a standard summer period.
Yield: With autoflowering seeds, you can expect between 50 and 500 grams per m2. This depends on how the plant is maintained and cared for.
Autoflowering plants stay rather small, so you can plant quite a few for every square meter. If you want to enjoy some outdoor grass in about 10 weeks, then using these seeds will certainly help. That being said, the yield and quality are not up to par with seeds that flower regularly.
With feminized autoflowering seeds, you should provide the plant with growth formula for the initial 2 or 3 weeks. After that, you can switch to the flowering formula.
Auto flower features
• Generally 12 to 23 inches tall (30 to 60 centimeters)
• Suitable for outdoor growth
• Starts flowering automatically after around 3 weeks
• From seed to harvest takes about 9 to 10 weeks