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explai cannabis autoflower seeds

Origins of autoflowering seeds by Philosopher Seeds

It is very important for Philosopher Seeds‘ team to offer detailed information about how we develop our marijuana strains. In this post we will discuss about the origin of modern autoflowering cannabis seeds and how did we manage to create our own autoflowering seeds . We will also analyze which are their main growing possibilities.

The main difference between this kind of seeds and the rest of them – regular and feminized – is that autoflowering seeds don’t depend on photoperiod (hours of light-dark) to grow and bloom, and finish their entire life cycle in about 70-90 days from germination, being suitable to grow during the whole year. This trait is inherited from Cannabis sativa ruderalis genetics.

Description of autoflowering strains by Philosopher seeds

Biologist Carl Linneo defined the marihuana plant in 1735

First of all, we should describe Cannabis sativa ruderalis. This subspecies is responsible for making marijuana plants to express the autoflowering trait, or preferably, for making them non dependant on photoperiod to grow and flower.

The first botanical description of cannabis was made in 1735 by Carl Linneo, swedish biologist and researcher. He defined the marihuana plant specie as Cannabis Sativa, which had three main subspecies or varieties:

  • Cannabis sativa sativa
  • Cannabis sativa índica
  • Cannabis sativa ruderalis

We must remember that the term ruderalis comes from Latin rudera, and its use refers to wild plant species which have been modified by either enviromental or human factors.

A large number of researchers don’t accept this botanical definition of cannabis since subspecies Cannabis sativa indica and Cannabis sativa ruderalis seem to be an adaptation of the Cannabis sativa itself, caused by enviromental factors during the years, generation after generation.

Other researchers, like Robert C. Clarke in his book Marijuana Botany, define the Cannabis sativa plant and two main phenotypes:

  • Cannabis sativa phenotype, with low THC levels and used for fibre production
  • Cannabis sativa phenotype, narcotic, with higher THC levels

In this second category we find:

  • Type “l” Russia – ( Latitude 35º N to 60º N )- Wild Cannabis ruderalis.

Development of autoflowering seeds by Philosopher seeds

Development of an autoflowering strain

To create a new autoflowering marijuana strain we must start with an autoflowering or ruderalis parental, and make a first crossing with a non autoflowering strain, like Heaven’s Fruit marijuana .

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We should have a few knowledge about plant genetics and the Mendel’s Laws to properly perform this task:

  • In this first generation we find individuals with traits from both parentals, none of them autoflowering.
  • A second crossing will fix the autoflowering trait in the next generation. In this generation we may find some autoflowering individuals with interesting traits for the next selection of parentals.
  • The next offspring, if this work was correctly done, will be 100% autoflowering, but with many traits from the non autoflowering parental.
  • This work can be improved if we introduce genes from the first crossing – auto strain with non auto strain – and make the next three crossing to fix again (100%) the autoflowering trait.

With this breeding technique we can achieve autoflowering strains with lots of botanical traits from their non autoflowering parental, but that we wanted to fix in autoflowering seeds. The result are high potency marijuana strains, like White Yoda Auto (White Russian x Lowryder) , with a 20% THC level.

Outdoor growing of autoflowering strains from Philosopher seeds

Fraggle Skunk Auto is perfect for outdoor crops

Autoflowering strains are perfect for outdoor crops due to their short life cycle. Many of these strains are ready to be harvested about 70-75 days after germination.

Their reduced size also helps to camouflage the crop, going unnoticed. Their small size and the possibility to perform several crops per year make autoflowering seeds the perfect candidate for outdoor cannabis crops.

We can perform 3-4 crops per year if we have properly scheduled them. Best productions and quality of buds will be achieved in spring and summer crops.

Spring crops: May-July Northern Hemisfere / November-January Southern Hemisfere

Summer crops: August-October Northern Hemisfere / February- April Southern Hemisfere

Off-season crops: November-January Northern Hemisfere / May-July Southern Hemisfere

Indoor growing of autoflowering strains

Cheesy Auto from Philosopher seeds

The autoflowering seeds scene has changed the last years. These strains have been noticeably improved and nowadays can easily compete with the rest of regular and feminized seeds. There are autoflowering strains which are very productive, like Fraggle Skunk Auto . They don’t need a previous growth period and they will finish their life cycle about 70-75 days after germinating.

We recommend using autoflowering seeds in indoor growing spaces with the following characteristics:

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Autoflowering crops in reduced spaces: Autoflowering seeds are perfect for this kind of growing spaces where we often use low energy lamps (CFL) or LED lighting systems. If you control the plant size by using small containers (2-3 L) you will be able to grow in spaces from 60 to 100cm. The Cheesy Auto marijuana strain will hardly grow more than 1 meter tall.

White Yoda Auto is a high-yielder strain

Autoflowering crops in growing tents: Autoflowering seeds can be easily grown in growing tents. High yields will be achieved by using the Sea of Green (SOG) technique and 7-11L containers. For this purpose we recommend those auto seeds larger in size, like White Yoda Auto .

In next posts we will show you growing reports of all our autoflowering strains which will help you to plan your next outdoor crops, as well as indoor growrooms where you will see how Philosopher Seeds’ autoflowering strains grow under artificial lights. Thanks for your confidence.

Autoflowering Seeds: For the grower in a hurry

Autoflowering seeds are vastly different from feminized seeds and traditional cannabis seeds. Instead of a simple hermaphrodite to female breeding process to create feminized seeds, or male to female breeding for traditional cannabis seeds, autoflowering seeds are created from a different breeding process.

Autoflowering seeds and cannabis ruderalis

Cannabis ruderalis isn’t like traditional Afghanicas (indica) or Thai-based strains (sativa). Ruderalis grew most prevalent in the northern hemispheres, like central and eastern Europe, as well as Russia. Growing more north, the light cycle is much shorter. Over time, ruderalis adapted to enter its flower cycle with age, as opposed to light.

Whereas traditional cannabis follows photosynthesis and the light cycle to determine when to start flowering, ruderalis does not depend on it so heavily. This gives ruderalis a unique advantage over its counterparts when it comes to growth cycles. Obviously this gave breeders some ideas.

A cross of cannabis ruderalis with traditional cannabis sativas and indicas resulted in shorter, more compact plants, that flowered twice as fast as traditional seeds.

A new kind of cannabis

As autoflowering seeds started to grow in popularity, more people started to recognize just how useful the new breed could be. The ruderalis traits are extremely prevalent, shown by autoflowering plants’ compact size. Add to that the biggest benefit, the shortened growth cycle, and lack of dependency on light.

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While normal cannabis must be switched from a 16/8 light to dark cycle from a 12/12 to induce the flower stages, autoflowering seeds don’t need to be switched. They can stay in the 16/8 cycle, or the 12/12 cycle without it affecting the plant’s ability to flower. This means outdoor growers can grow later in the season, and fit in more harvests.

But not all of the ruderalis traits are positive. Ruderalis is easily the most “weedy” looking relative in the cannabis family. Due to its wild nature and lack of full-scale cultivation like it’s cousins, ruderalis has a much lower THC content than indica or sativa, which can result in autoflowering seeds producing less potent flowers.

Additionally, with the convenient, compact size of autoflower plants comes lower yields. So while autoflowering seeds may flower in half the time, they don’t produce the same yields, and what they do produce will almost always be weaker in terms of THC content compared to it’s traditional or feminized counterpart.

Not a sure thing

When it comes to autoflowering seeds, it is important to note that just because the seeds are guaranteed to “flower”, doesn’t mean they are female. A lot of seed companies will sell “autofem” seeds, which are feminized, autoflowering seeds. However, your average autoflower seeds may contain some males, which is why it is important to know your seed genetics!

This can cause some problems in the garden if you don’t know they’re male until they start producing pollen next your females. So, similarly to traditional cannabis seeds, make sure to keep a close eye on plants that start to show signs of being male. Luckily, with autoflowering plants, the plants will reveal their sex much more quickly than traditional seeds due to their shortened growth cycle.

Learn more about seeds from one of the most well-known breeders and seed experts in the world, Caleb, founder of CSI Humboldt and the Pirate of the Emerald Triangle. Hear him talk about breeding elite strains, feminized seeds and more on The Real Dirt Podcast! Listen to the full episode right here on the Real Dirt, or stream it on iTunes and Spotify!