Regular, Feminized or Autoflower
The time when you had to have the fortune of finding a seed in your bag of weed to grow your favorite strain is gone for good. Today there are seeds of thousands of cannabis varieties available. In fact, you can even choose whether you want natural seed from which both male and female plants will grow, seeds that only produce females or seeds from plants that start flowering by themselves, regardless of the circumstances. But which of these, then, should you get?
Regular seeds are obtained by normal pollination of female plants with male pollen. They usually produce large and strong plants with several phenotypes. As a rule, the seeds should yield 50% male and 50% female plants. With some luck there are 6-8 female plants in a pack of 10 seeds, but for the same price you might end up with a majority of males. When growing with regular seeds, it is important to remove the males in time, so some growing experience is required.
For most home growers, growing regular seeds does not offer any real added value, you put a lot of time and work into the plants, to find out that perhaps half of them are males you can't do anything with in the end.
For the preservation of special cannabis genetics, regular seeds are an absolute necessity. For the more experienced grower there are also good reasons to choose regular seeds. If you want to make cross-breeds yourself, you can obtain your male plants from regular seeds. If you also select the mother plants from regular seeds, this usually produces even better results, with particularly strong hybrid offspring.
The grower who wants to continue working with his favourite strain can also select a strong, vital mother plant from regular seeds, which can deliver cuttings for many years without compromising quality.
Feminized seeds are produced from female plants which, due to stress, themselves form male flowers, with which fertilization takes place. Because the genetics come from the same plant, the offspring are usually fairly uniform in appearance and effect. The most common practice is a treatment with colloidal silver, which produces almost 100% female offspring. Feminized seeds offer the grower the advantage that all the effort, time and money that is put into the plants also leads to more harvest. You don't have to worry that your weed is spoiled because you were too late with a male to take out of it. The ease of growing feminized seeds is such a huge success that they account for 90% of the global market compared to regular seeds.
In the previous decades, autoflowering seeds have also become increasingly popular and better. By hybridizing Cannabis ruderalis with strong sativas and indicas, varieties were developed that possess enormous resistance to diseases and pests, don't care about bad weather and bloom after a fixed number of days, rather than depend on reducing daylight to bloom. They stay smaller and also bloom faster, the fastest varieties are ready for harvest 70 days after germination. This makes them very suitable for beginning growers, outdoor growing and for people with limited growing space or a short outdoor season. Most autoflower seeds are feminized, but regular autoflowering seeds are also available.