What is the Difference Between Autoflower vs Feminized Marijuana?

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by Morgan

Last update:

August 29, 2023

How To Choose The Right Lighting For Your Marijuana Grow Room

Choosing between auto flower and feminized cannabis seed is like trying to know which is better between an orange and an apple. Obviously, both are great, appealing, and possess unique benefits in their own ways, but each serves a different purpose (or taste bud).

The recent relaxation of the US cannabis law sporadically increased the number of weed lovers setting up their own indoor grow rooms from scratch. It’s not difficult to understand why many people prefer to grow cannabis from the comfort of their homes, especially with the sudden escalation of prices at weed dispensaries.

The question is, which is better for growing at home: feminized and autoflower cannabis seeds? Is it preferable to go for autoflower seeds or opt for the feminized seed? Let’s find out in this detailed article. At the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand:

  • Feminized seeds and their benefits
  • Auto-flowering seeds and their benefits
  • Which is suitable for you between autoflower cannabis seeds and feminized strains.

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What are Autoflower cannabis seeds?

Autoflower seeds are easy to cultivate and quick to harvest. Furthermore, their lighting requirement is minimal. They also require less maintenance.

Autoflower seeds can withstand pests, fungi, and temperature irregularities, paving the way for new growers to dive into the indoor cannabis growing industry.

Today, like its feminized cousins, autoflower marijuana seeds also develop into the female plant to create the smokable cannabis experience, which is loved by many growers.

What is the perfect time to grow an autoflower marijuana?

Obviously, you might be thinking about what time of the year supports autoflowering marijuana seeds growth.

Simply put, the early autumn and the late summer are the best. That’s because the red wavelength of the solar system is at its peak during these periods (please note that the red light is critical to the flowering phase development of the plant).

The flowering becomes visible at the summer end, which takes approximately 3 weeks. That said, what happens during the spring? During the spring, the blue wavelengths are usually more active to support the flourish of the vegetative phase.

So, keep this in mind if you’re looking to grow marijuana in the United States.

Are autoflower seeds not potent enough?

A few decades ago, when autoflower seeds were detected, many people questioned their potency. That’s because of the marijuana Ruderalis origin of the species, which many people believed to be less potent due to their lower THC content.

The look, smell, and smokeable property of a plant go far beyond the THC level (factors like CBN percentage and terpene profile plays irreplaceable roles). You can identify your seed’s THC level and overall quality level from the comfort of your home using simple test kits/devices.

However, professional growers in the past decade crossbred the Ruderalis plants with higher THC strains to produce decently potent auto-flowering strains. The subject of whether one autoflower or feminized plant is better than the other has splurged lots of argument among growers. And, unfortunately, there have been no concrete answers/conclusions so far.

That’s basically because the status of these seed strains only slightly influences their potency. Instead, factors like seed quality and planting conditions play a critical role, including growth factors like using the best LED lights for grow tents.  Hence, autoflowers can be as potent as their feminized counterparts. That said, let’s discuss the feminized seed.

What are Feminized Marijuana Seeds?

As the name implies, feminized seeds are female seeds with no male traits. This is a significant advantage because male plants or cannabis lacks the smokable property. There’s a 99% chance that feminized seed will yield female plants (which has the smokeable feature). The key benefit of the feminized seed is its higher probability of producing better yields because of its exclusive female plants (see also hermaphrodite plants).

Although typical (non-crossbred) auto-flowering seeds are easy to cultivate and demand less attention, the unique functions of the feminized seed pack lots of punches. Their potency is generally incomparable to the autoflower seeds.

Because of the better yield and the “clonable” property of these female cannabis seeds (you don’t need to buy another seed for the next planting session), these female plants remain the go-to for serious indoor growers regardless of the demanding maintenance attention and lighting requirements.

What is the perfect time to grow feminized seeds?

When it comes to the ideal grow timing for feminized seeds, you only need to maintain a flexible schedule. Doing this will help maximize your planting and harvesting time.

For example, those in the Northern hemisphere should have a planting time scheduled between March – June, and harvesting time scheduled for around September – October.

Autoflower vs feminized cannabis seeds – harvest time difference

When it comes to the difference between the male and female marijuana seeds, the growth cycle is a crucial factor most growers take into account. If you want to harvest your marijuana multiple times all year round, then the autoflowering seeds is your real deal. Ideally, an autoflower has an 8-12 week span between seed to harvest.

However, for feminized seeds, the flowering stage begins when the feminized seed receives 12 hours of light and darkness every day, unlike the autoflower seeds which reaches the flowering stage anywhere from 2-4 weeks after planting.

What are the lighting requirements of autoflower and feminized marijuana seeds?

If you’re planning to grow feminized seeds outdoors, then you need to get your lighting schedule right or hold on until it’s autumn to ensure that your plant receives enough light to reach the flowering stage. However, the case is different with autoflowering seeds, which means they are easy to grow and perfect for anyone looking for a stress-free cannabis growth process.

Which is better for indoor/outdoor cultivation?

Simply put, auto-flowering seeds are perfect for indoor cultivation, while feminized seeds support outdoor cultivation. Ideally, plants from feminized seeds are generally taller and larger than autoflowering seeds. However, keep in mind that regardless of your choice of seeds, bigger pots tend to have space to create bigger plants and buds.

Which is the leafier between Autoflowers or feminized seeds?

A cannabis plant produced from auto flowers tend to pack more leaves than their feminized cousin. Auto flowers grow more foliage, making them comparably leafier and with few buds.

Choosing between feminized or autoflower seeds

So, since we’ve been able to iron out the differences between both seed types, next is to determine which one will suit your resources, requirement, and expertise level. If potency and large yield top your priority list, look no further than the feminized seeds.

But if you’re a beginner cultivator looking to get your feet on the marijuana cultivation ground, then autos is undoubtedly the perfect choice. Also, keep in mind that farm design and growth conditions can also determine (or twist) your choice of seed.

For instance, growing outdoors seasonally is different from growing indoors in a grow tent all year round. Cultivators generally argue that feminized seeds tend to yield larger results compared to autos.

Comparatively, it’s reasonable to factor in the time it’ll take for the bud to be properly ready. While autoflowering cannabis seeds have smaller yields, their yield is typically faster than the photoperiod strains.

In the end, if you have excess time, space, and more patience on your side, feminized seeds are a fantastic option. But if you’re time-pressed, go with the auto seed. You’ll be happy you did!


Let’s take some of our most frequently asked questions.

Are feminized seeds better than regular seeds?

It all comes down to what you intend to achieve with your growth. Many growers prefer feminized seeds because of the high yield size and ease of growth.

What’s the estimated seed-to-harvest time for auto flowers?

Autoflowering seeds usually take anywhere from 9-11 weeks from seeding to harvesting.

Do feminized plants produce seeds?

Feminized plants produce buds, not seeds. But you can easily clone the female plants.

Are autoflowers weak?

When it comes to potency, the bud produced by auto-flowering seeds typically has fewer THC contents. But when it comes to resilience, auto flowers are just as strong as ever. As long as the seed is high quality, you can be sure to get high-quality cannabis, whether they are auto flowers or feminized.

Summary – What is autoflowering vs feminized seeds?

Hope you now know the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds! As a recap, the decision of which one to choose between auto and feminized seed is critical for the cannabis growth process. Remember that both have their benefits and downsides.

Although autoflower seeds are easy to cultivate and demand less attention, feminized seed’s unique functions pack lots of punches. Their potency is generally incomparable to the auto flower seeds. Conclusively, if you’re just kick-starting your cannabis growing journey, you’ll discover that the more you study and experiment on both seed types, the higher your chances of enjoying the growth process and achieving your dream yield.

Your preferences will change as you continue to grow and experiment. Many indoor cultivators currently prefer the feminized seed because they can be cloned and yield high results. Well, if the benefits of both seeds excite you, you might decide to try out both types.

Which one do you prefer between feminized and auto-flowering seeds? Share your thoughts in the comment session.

🌿  Join my "growing" community 
of 5000+ happy
cannabis farmers! 👩‍🌾

Receive my weekly articles in marijuana growing,
from seeds to smoke! 
— Morgan, 420GreenThumb 🌱

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About the author 


I discovered the benefits of Cannabis at a young age in 2002, with years of trial and error, my knowledge grew just like my plants. As my love for cannabis unfolded I began to teach and learn, trying to gain as much information and practical growing experience.

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