Growing marijuana plants are not only considered meticulous, but it can also be time-consuming and would take too long before a grower can have any harvest. That’s why most pro growers, even beginners, want to take the challenge and grow autoflower strains. Compared to the traditional Sativa and Indica strains, autoflower strains grow and yield at a very short time, thus cutting off the long wait. However, these autoflower strains are a bit pricey, so it would cost a hefty amount when buying the seeds all the time. The good thing is, there is a way on how to get seeds from autoflowering plants, making it easier to cultivate the next plant without costing anything.
Being able to harvest more than once a year sounds like a good idea, but the cost of the autoflower seeds will make it unbearable. Since autoflowering plants can’t be a clone and won’t grow from clones, most growers prefer to let the autoflowering plants grow their own seeds. Once the process of growing seed is done successfully, the growers can have a steady number of seeds available for growth. This could even start a small business for a grower. A female marijuana plant can generally give hundreds of seeds every breeding, so one plant goes a long way. Truly, knowing how to get seeds from autoflowering plants will change the marijuana growing game for every grower.
Steps on how to get seeds from autoflowering cannabis plants
Breeding and getting seeds from an autoflowering strain may sound like a difficult and tedious job, but in reality, it is just as easy as growing a regular marijuana plant. It also needs a lot of care, attention, and essentials such as water, nutrients, light, and good airflow. When all these things are present, the growers will produce more than hundreds of autoflower seeds to grow.
The first step is to buy a normal and natural autoflowering seed and make sure that it is not a feminized seed. In order to get the best quality seed, make sure to buy from a reputable and legit autoflower seed distributor. The trick is to purchase a huge amount of seeds for a better possibility of getting the best male and female plants. A larger bag of seeds can give you a quantity of fifty percent each for males and females. If the growers can do this part well, there is no question for good autoflower seeds that will soon be available—having the best and healthy male and female plants is the first big step in reaching the goal.
Growing the seeds
The second step is to grow the seeds. There are seeds that may have specific instructions on how to germinate them better. Follow the steps and make sure the seeds get all the necessary light, clean water, and organic nutrients to ensure healthy and perfect growth. In a span of three weeks, it is expected that the plants will start and continue to grow until they reach the usual height.
Though growing outdoors can be good when it comes to letting nature do the pollination later, it is still recommendable to have these plants indoors where they are safe and easier to monitor for any signs of good growth or bad mishaps. Continue the usual care and attention, and in five weeks or more, depending on the kind of autoflower strains purchased, the growers will be able to distinguish the gender of the autoflower plants.
Knowing the plants’ gender
When the plants reach five weeks, the growers can find the plants growing healthy leaves and strong stems. Thus, it is now easier to know the gender of the autoflower plants. These are easy to find and will take no time to identify. To get to know what to look for, it is best to know the difference between male and female preflowers. Generally, a female preflower has a couple of pistils of tiny white hairs, while a male preflower looks like tiny balls.
For a better reference and visuals, it is best to research the kind of strain one is growing and see the specific differences between the two. Male preflowers are placed at the joints of the plant’s branches and stem, while female preflowers are located in the same places but are usually on the fourth or higher branch from the base. One aspect to observe to know the difference is to see the physical characteristics of the plants. Female autoflower plants are shorter and have more leaves, while male autoflower plants are taller.
Pick the best for pollination
Once all the plants are classified as males or females, it is now time to pick the best ones. It is fairly easy to identify the best ones. Take a closer inspection of the plants’ stems and leaves. If they look healthy and strong, then they are the right choice. Take a look at the preflowers, and make sure the chosen ones are abundant with them. Once done deciding which autoflower plants are the best choices, the growers can take them to a different room so they can start pollinating. However, if they are grown outside, the growers can put them at a safer distance away from the others. Take one male autoflower plant and several other female autoflower plants and take them to another safe and perfect place to continue the next process.
If there are unhealthy-looking growing plants, it is better to kill them rather than save them. These unhealthy plants may affect the other plants and could cause defective seeds in the future. So, better take away all the other defective and unhealthy male plants.
The last step on how to get seeds from autoflowering plants is to let the pollination process happen. This is a work of nature that could help the plants get offspring. This is easier done outdoors, where the wind can naturally move and carry the male pollen to the female ones.
The process usually starts when the male begins to flower, and the first flower unfolds, freeing pollen. The male autoflower leaves will turn yellow, which means the flowers are nearly about to open. Thus, any fans or strong winds should be turned off in order not to blow away the pollen from the plants. Maintain good airflow around the space, and while the male plant matures, the sepals will open and release pollen into the air.
Cutting the parts of the male autoflower plants will also help pollination. With a tweezer, cut the tip of the flower to let the pollen out. The flower must be mature, which is easy to determine because of the deep yellow color. The growers can put the flower into a bowl or container and let the pollen accumulate until all are out of the flower. The best thing about gathering pollen and putting them in a container is that growers can preserve the unused pollen for future use. Just make sure the pollen is sealed in a dry and tight jar and stored in a dry and cool place. Once the pollen gets damp, it will be ruined.
Now that the pollen is available, the growers can start controlling the pollination process. Once the female flowers are ready, then it is good to go. To know when, make sure the female flowers have developed into decent sizes and have fully-formed white hairs. The days from the flowering stage differ, so it is best to check and get to know more about the strain of autoflower used when breeding seeds. To do manual pollination, take a generous amount of pollen to sprinkle on the female marijuana parts using bare hands or even a brush. Do the process for a couple of days or more.
Make sure the pollen does not reach the lower part and buds of the autoflower plant. Avoid also pollinating the complete buds, but rather focus on those that have white hairs. Pruning the flowers will make all the difference so that the plants won’t spend too much nutrient and energy on other buds but those pollinated ones only.
Once the pollination part is successfully done, in a few days, the seeds will begin to grow in the calyx of the female autoflowers. These seeds will generally take four to six weeks before they mature or depending on the strain used. Once the flowering period ends, the seeds are ready for harvest. The seeds are now dark with brown or gray shades. The calyx starts to open, so the seeds are easy to take out. To test if the seeds are mature, try pinching them if they are hard enough. This ends the process of how to get seeds from autoflowering plants.
There is a fair reason why growers would want to plant autoflower cannabis strains. Though they are not as famous as the traditional ones, they don’t fall short on the number of advantages they can offer. The best thing about growing it is it can be easily bred to start growing seed, which is best for future use. This is also very helpful since autoflower seeds are expensive. With autoflower seeds, a grower saves time, and with breeding autoflower strains, the grower saves money. It is a win-win situation.
That is why learning the ways on how to get seeds from autoflowering plants can be helpful when a grower is ready for an adventure and the possibility of having more than enough seeds to cultivate and grow. The advantages are heavy and helpful that a grower will be too tempted to take the chance. It is relatively easy, with a few procedures and steps to follow. This is not different from growing other cannabis plants, except for the pollination stage, where it is the most crucial and most important, but others are just easy to do. So, the next time a grower is in need of a challenge or more seed to spare, breeding and learning how to get seeds from autoflowering plants is the best answer.