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The Art of the Autoflower, and Best Places to Buy Seeds

autoflower seeds
Written by Sarah Friedman

Every plant is different, and matures by way of its own genetic code. Some know its time to mature based on an internal timer, some take a cue from the environment around; like temperature, or sunlight. Most of the cannabis we use matures based on the light scheme that it grows in. However, newer options are now offered for autoflower seeds, and these create plants that don’t care exactly how much light they get.

Autoflower seeds provide a newer way to grow weed by using the genes of the ruderalis plant, which doesn’t require light changes to grow flowers. Thanks for stopping by our news publication. We focus on the cannabis and psychedelics fields, and cover all topics within. You can follow along by signing up for the THC Weekly Newsletter, which will give you immediate access to offers on cannabis products, including vapes, edibles, and other products. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!

Light and growing cannabis

I’ve done it before. In a closet of a room I was staying in, in a friend’s house. It took us a while to get the lighting right, but we ended up with a few cute little plants, that produced some powerful and vibrant flowers. Maybe the plants could have been bigger, but it wasn’t bad for a first try. The whole thing was quite a process, starting with germinating seeds, and ending with the flowers hanging in a dark closet to dry out over weeks of time. Maybe you’ve done a home-grow too at some point. Maybe you’ve had more or less luck than I did.

Whether you’re growing Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa, the two well-known species under the genus ‘Cannabis’, you’ll need to get a few things down right. You can pick whatever strain you want, and the growing medium of choice (soil, hydroponic, aeroponic), the nutrients you want to use, and the lights you prefer – LED, fluorescent lights, (LECs) light emitting ceramic, or high intensity discharge lights (HIDs) like metal halide (MH) and high pressure sodium (HPS) lights.

Though you can choose what lights to use for growing, the one thing for sure is, your plants are going to need a lot of it, and it should be on a pretty strict schedule. In fact, one surefire way to stress plants out, is to give them uneven lighting. The reason cannabis plants are so reactive to light, is because they’re photoperiodic, meaning their entire growing schema is dictated by the amount of light they get, and when.

cannabis lights

The light pattern changes throughout the growth of the plant, and the grower can decide when to move the plants to another stage of growth, simply by changing the lights. This is because in nature, the plant changes due to seasonal changes that result in different light patterns. Some like to give a full 24 hours of constant light in the flowering stage, while others go for a more standard 16-18 hours of light during this time. A plant can be held off from maturing, by nothing more than not changing the lights.

Getting this light is monumentally important for getting good flowers, and if there isn’t enough light, the flowers will be smaller, possibly seedy, and overall of lesser quality. In fact, if the lights get screwed up enough, the plant might not flower at all. Getting lighting correct is one of the most important aspects of doing a successful cannabis grow.

Though some will swear by one over another, the kind of light used is less important than the amount of light given. Choosing the type of light might even depend more on other growing conditions. You’ll need to consider if there’s an exhaust system, how much room there’ll be between the plants and the light, and the temperature of the growing space. For example, HID lights can’t be used in an area without ventilation, whereas LED lights can be.

The difference of autoflower seeds

When it comes to autoflower cannabis seeds, the growing situation is a bit different. Autoflower means the ability to go from the vegetative state to the flowering state, by way of an internal calculation instead of as a reaction to the light cycle outside. It’s more akin to what we as humans do, starting puberty based on a genetic code, and not based on the grade of school, time of year, or the height we are.

The thing is, indica and sativa seeds don’t have this ability. Plants that create autoflower seeds are less dependent on outside factors being perfect, and this ability implies a certain level of sturdiness in a plant. Indica and sativa seeds are too fragile for this, and no standard indica or sativa plant will put out autoflower seeds.

However, there is a third species of cannabis, Cannabis ruderalis. This shorter, stubbier, species is native to colder areas like Central Europe and Russia, and therefore is hardier than its cannabis half-brothers. Ruderalis plants are used to such difficult growing situations, that they don’t depend on getting enough light in order to start flowering. Ruderalis is the only species of cannabis with this ability.


Cannabis ruderalis isn’t spoken about much because its rarely used directly. It is naturally low in THC and is sometimes high in CBD, which opens the door for medicinal use. As of right now, however, more popular options exist on this front, though this could change in the future. Even on the industrial hemp side, the smallness of the plants make them less preferable to the bigger species that create more product.

But ruderalis plants have some pretty cool genes, and these genes get hybridized with other cannabis seeds so that the ruderalis genes are integrated into indica and sativa plants. Besides autoflowering naturally, ruderalis plants also offer more resilience to pests and disease, the ability to grow in colder climates, a way to make plants smaller if that’s preferable, and a shorter growing time.

As ruderalis plants are fully mature and ready for harvest in 10-14 weeks, hybridizing them with indicas and sativas that normally take 3-8 months, make for new plants with a shorter growing time. This is not necessarily automatic, but with the right amount of genetic tweaking, the resulting hybrid can be grown and ready for use, in significantly less time.

Where to get autoflower seeds

Most retail locations that sell cannabis seeds have a decent variety, and these days this includes autoflower seeds. They can generally be found in nearly every category, so no matter what kind of plant you want to grow, scientists have already been hard at work creating a hybrid that has autoflower capability.

My top five picks for cannabis seed banks with autoflower seed options, are the following: Seedsman, I Love Growing Marijuana, MSNL, Crop King Seeds, and Seed City. If your goal is to purchase autoflower seeds, just go to the heading on the site of choice for autoflowers, (if there is one), or do a site search for autoflower varieties. They have become so standard that finding them is very easy. If you’ll notice, many of the options are said to be high-CBD strains. This is on account of the mix with ruderalis plants, which along with the autoflowering gene, also tend to have more CBD.

All of these sites have discreet delivery, and offer different payment methods including bitcoin. I suggest reading further reviews to make sure that your retailer of choice can get you what you want, the way you want it, and that they ship to your location. If autoflower seeds are what you’re going for, you’re already setting yourself up for a substantially easier grow.

cannabis seeds

The other way to get autoflower seeds, is from an autoflower plant. If you or a friend has done a grow, or happens to have seeds taken from a plant, you can use those too. Autoflower plants produce autoflower seeds, so this is also a good way of procuring a selection, if you have access to the mother plant. Best to keep in mind, that though autoflower plants produce autoflower seeds when pollinated by an autoflower male, whether those seeds are male or female is not known until they’re grown, and the grower will have to pay attention to weed out any males.


Growing cannabis is its own artform, and everyone who’s taken a stab at it has some advice they can pass on. Whether you’re looking to grow standard seeds or autoflower seeds, a good amount of work and patience are involved. At least with autoflowering seeds, you can rest assured that even if you mess up a little with the lights, you’re still likely to get a good plant.

There are already tons of autoflower seed options out there, as this is now an important part of growing cannabis. However, if you do not see a strain you like, rest assured that in the near future, more options will become available.

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.