Which Seeds to Choose for Your Home Growing: Feminized vs. Autoflowering?

December 14, 2022

Walking into a dispensary and seeing feminized and autoflowering seeds on weed packets may be confusing. An idea of what they mean by these terms will help select the variety to grow. Each requires some conditions to grow, which helps select the seeds whether you are a beginner or a seasoned grower. 

Some time in the past growing weed was not accompanied by any of the hard terminologies and growing techniques we have today. You only had to grab your seeds and proceed to plant them. These days you have to start thinking about feminized seeds, autoflowering ones, and even photoperiod ones. Though the potency of modern-day marijuana has spiked, we cannot ignore that some aspects have become a little bit more complex.

When deciding to have a few plants indoors or outdoors, one of the first questions you need to ask is the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds. Dispensary attendants make a point to inform buyers of what they are getting, but sometimes they may be too swamped to answer all your questions. 

Types of Weed Seeds

In general, advancements in technology and science have influenced the agricultural sector in major ways. As a result, there are a variety of seeds that one can choose from, and we are not talking about the strains and species. Marijuana species, as you may well know, are three in number: indica, sativa, and hybrids. 

To get these final strains, you have to propagate the seeds or the clones. Clones are cuttings that are derived from the mother plant. The cutting will need two or three leaves and a sturdy stem for the clone to grow. This process is most common among seasoned growers with the expertise to cater to the seedlings.

On the other hand, seeds are easier to manage because, for the most part, they only need some basic components to grow. There are three main types of marijuana seeds. To begin with, you have the photoperiod. The other two are the feminized and autoflowering varieties. 

The resulting plant is close to the mother plant with each of these seed types. Depending on the growth conditions, you may get a plant with lower or higher THC and CBD. Cultivating weed from seeds will require different conditions for each of the seeds, as you will see when we discuss the differences. 

Differences Between Types of Cannabis Seeds

Photoperiod seeds are unique from the other two in regard to how they grow. These seeds develop into either female or male flowers. Pollination occurs when pollen from the male flowers lands on the growing flowers of the female flowers ending up with the smokable bud that you are aiming to get. With photoperiod plants, there is the need to have both females and males, which can confuse beginners. 

The feminized seeds have been modified not to require any male plants. They grow as female plants and can self-pollinate, resulting in the ideal buds. Similar to feminized seeds, autoflowering ones have also been modified, and there is no need to make plants. 

When it comes to differences, one of the first aspects to note is that where flowers in photoperiod and feminized seeds mature per the light exposure, autoflowering matures per the duration of growth. This means that with the first two, a certain amount of light is needed for flowering. From germination to flowering, the plants from the two varieties of seeds thrive when light is provided 18 hours a day and 6 hours of darkness. Around flowering, these features need to be changed to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. When grown outdoors, the plants can be seen to flower around Autumn when the days grow shorter. 

This is the major distinction between the feminized and photoperiod seeds and their autoflowering counterparts. With autoflowering varieties, the flowering of the plant depends on its maturity. If a plant were designated to flower around week 9, the lack of lighting would not affect the flowering. 

Best Variety for Home Growing

In analyzing which of the three is best for home grows, we will have to settle with either the autoflowering or the feminized. Photoperiods requiring a male and female plant can result in losses for beginners. Now that you know what feminized and autoflowering mean, you are closer to choosing the best choice. 

Our discussion of what is the difference between autoflowering and feminized seeds reveals that they each thrive in different conditions. When making the final decision, reviewing whether you can support the conditions would be helpful. Beginning with feminized variety, lighting is extremely necessary. In this case, the amount of lighting provided per day is also an issue that raises the question of maintenance. 

For indoor grows, LED lighting can be programmed to give the plant the 18/6 lighting it needs, and once it starts to flower, it can be changed to 12/12 hours of light and darkness. Some apps allow you to control the lighting remotely. With outdoor grows, you may want to consider the climate of your area. If they are prone to long days and short nights, then the feminized seeds will not fare well in the region. 

Autoflowering seeds, as you can deduce, are more lenient regarding home growth. They have been modified to the point that environmental and light conditions do not matter. Whether they receive the needed lighting, they will automatically flower around the time the manufacturers have estimated. They are suitable for indoor and outdoor growth because all they need is light, water, and nutrients. 

Depending on your resources and growing expertise, feminized and autoflowering seeds are the best for home grows.


Many people do not know what to make of the autoflowering and feminized labels on their weed seeds. These terms may be confusing, but once a person knows what they mean, their home grows into a walk in the park. With marijuana seeds, maturity is key, which is the main distinction between autoflowering and feminized varieties. While one needs light to flower, the other only needs time. Considering that people have varying resources and planting expertise, they can choose either of the two according to what they feel is easier. 


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