How to Grow Regular (non-feminized) Autoflowers
Approximately 95% of the autoflower marker is made up of feminized seeds, meaning that 99% of these types of seeds are going to be female when they are grown out to maturity. Regular autoflower seeds will give you a mother nature’s mix of both males and females once they are grown to maturity. In this article, we will explain the differences between regular and feminized autoflower seeds. We will also discuss the best methods for growing out these regular seeds, and how to deal with both the males and females.
First off we would like to dispel some common myths about feminized seeds. There are some old and outdated thoughts about feminized seeds. Some used to say “they don’t have the same vigor” or “they aren’t as good as regular natural seeds.” We still see it from time to time, and this author can confidently say that couldn’t be further from the truth with my years of experience with cultivating cannabis. So, with that being said, we can move on to talking about regular autoflower seeds.
Another common myth that we see being talked about is that with autos you can only have one pot per plant. Again, this couldn’t be any more untrue. There is a well-known and widely used cultivation method known as “Multi Potting.” It was made known with autos by Mossy from the autoflower network. This practice seems to be more common overseas in Europe, and it still baffles us why more folks here stateside don’t utilize this method.
Multi Potting is the technique of planting multiple plants into one container. There are some things that you need to know about this method before we start. First is going to be having adequate container size. We do not recommend using this method in anything less than a 5 gallon pot (but please feel free to experiment), with 7-10 gallon pots being ideal. Having the proper container size when multi potting is key, mainly because the roots need adequate space to grow.
We suggest the following:
For each container plant at least 4 regular autoflower seeds, spacing them apart approx. 3
inches. You want to make sure they are all planted on the outside edges of the pots, this will
allow the roots adequate space to grow.
As the plants grow you will want to keep an eye on them for the first 3 weeks or so, this is to identify males. One thing to keep in mind when trying this technique is figuring out what you are going to do with the males before you start your grow. There are really only two options, 99% of people will just kill the males at the first sign of sexing (anywhere from 14-30 days for autos) this will ensure that you will have a seedless crop. Now for the other 1% who will be keeping the males, you need to decide if you are going to let them open pollinate or are you going to isolate them for breeding purposes.
If you plan on using the males for breeding you can either just let them grow au natural, which just means letting them grow alongside your females and the resulting flower will all have seeds. This is probably the least desirable way in our opinion. Unless your goal is seeds, you want to utilize the other method below most likely.
For folks that are planning on using the males for future breeding, the best way is to kill the other females in the pot, leaving only the male. Then separate and isolate it from all other plants, in a separate and sealed environment. If you try and put it on the other side of the tent or room, you will end up with full pollination. Once you have isolated the male, you want to get some tinfoil and make a pollen catching system. This is really anything that you can use to catch the pollen as it falls. We recommend a large cardboard box that is lined at the bottom with wax paper, parchment paper or tin foil. As the plant matures and drops the pollen you will be able to collect it off the paper or foil. Once a significant amount of pollen has dropped you can remove the plant and take out the liner. This will contain a mix of anthers (male pollen sacs) and pollen. The key to pollen is keeping it very dry, as dry as possible. So if you aren’t using the pollen immediately, keep the collected pollen in the driest place possible. Once pollen gets wet it is useless. Then when you want to pollinate a future plant just take the contents of the liner and put it on the pistils of any plant you would like seeds from. Keep in mind the seeds that are made from this method will also be REGULAR SEEDS!
Because you will never know the ratio of males to females, it is always best to plant at least 2 per pot, this gives you the best chance to get a female.
Now that we have decided what to do with the males, let’s talk about the females. These are what most people are after – the ladies! A decision needs to be made about what you want to do with the remaining females. One option is to go all survival of the fittest and simply kill the least vigorous of the remaining females. The second option is to leave all remaining females and treat them as a single unit. We see a lot of people that tend to think that having multiple plants in one container is a bad thing, that somehow these plants roots will “choke” each other out or somehow cause ill effects. We have not seen this to be the case, in fact we have seen lots of great yields over the years seeing multiple plants in one pot. Autos are very hardy, and they have a way of growing very close together in nature. Being that they are a ruderal species, they are extremely adaptable.
Hopefully, this will help you grow any non-feminized seeds that you get from
Thanks to Jolly Hashpants for letting us use your photo for our cover!