Improve your gardening skills with this autoflowering cannabis seeds guide.
You already know how much you love smoking cannabis, but do you think you can handle growing your own stash? Or, have you already started being a planter and are you still eager to find as much information as you can? For your autoflowering cannabis seeds guide, continue reading as we share to you our breeding knowledge we have gathered.
What Do We Mean by Photoperiod Cannabis?
Photoperiod is a scientific term that talks about how much light a plant requires every 24 hours so that it can produce the most yields. As cannabis has an extensive range of strains, each strain possesses a unique photoperiod, also depending on its current development stage.
Photoperiod cannabis strains usually require an 18/6 or 20/4 light cycle, which means they need 18 to 24 hours of lighting in order for it to grow. Usually, photoperiod cannabis strains take longer to flower, ranging from three to four months. But, photoperiods are known for their larger plants and greater yields. Photoperiods also tend to be stronger than autoflowers in terms of withstanding stress or abuse. They also respond better when treated with growing techniques like topping, cropping, or mainlining.
What is An Autoflowering Cannabis Strain?
In a simple explanation, autoflowering means that your cannabis plant will automatically flower contrasting from waiting for it for a specific time that it needs to develop. This type of breed generally blooms on their own after a short period of 14 to 40 days. This process is usually done when breeders use genetic characteristics of the Cannabis ruderalis. Biologically, autoflowering can be defined as a recessive gene trait.
Going Deeper with Cannabis Genetics
The Cannabis plant is classified as a diploid. This basically means that the plant gets two chromosomes with one from the father and the other from the mother’s ovum. As was observed in Lab Roots, humans have a similar genetic concept with a cannabis plant, as both species have X and Y sex chromosomes. Humans have 46, while Cannabis plants have 20. According to Science Daily, this plant has two genes, from mother and father, and each of those can be one of two alleles, having the ability to autoflower or not.
We can look at it this way, a photoperiod or light dependent can be assigned as uppercase P, while the not-photo dependent gene or autoflower can be designated as lowercase p.
A plant that is homozygous, meaning it has two identical alleles, will be written as PP (light dependent) or pp (not light dependent). This can happen to either parent or both.
If the case is that both parents will possess the true breeding genes of light dependency or PP, the offspring will never autoflower because they will inherit the dominant strain.
If the situation is that both parents will possess the true breeding genes of light independency or pp, the offspring will autoflower because they will inherit the recessive strain.
Creating Hybrids in Marijuana True Breeding
There can be a case when one parent is a standard photoperiod or PP, while the other is an autoflower or pp. All of the offspring seeds will be Pp, because they will receive one of the two Ps from the first parent, and one p from the second parent. Having both the allele P and the allele p makes them a hybrid. Since the dominant gene or P talks about light dependency, these hybrids will not autoflower, but they will receive a stronger trait. But, do not fret, these hybrids are not useless. You can breed them until you can get an autoflower strain or app.
Why Do We Need to Breed New Strains?
As the world continues to evolve, growers and cannabis enthusiasts will surely improve, too. Breeding is an exciting project because each new strain to develop has the potential to introduce something unique to the marijuana community that we have never seen or tried before.
Every cannabis plant is a little different from the ones before. Whenever you plant seeds, each of their seedlings will possess a mixture from their parents. As we continue to breed seedlings, combinations can yield exclusive and superb new lines of cannabis.
What Traits Can Be Affected by Breeding?
- Size of the Matured Plant. The next produced cannabis seedlings can grow short, tall, lanky or bushy.
- Length of Time before Harvest. The vegetative and flowering stage can be longer or shorter.
- Light Dependency. The seeds can be the standard or an autoflowering plant.
- Physical characteristics like smell or color.
- Potency, THC Levels, CBD Levels, and High Effects can also be affected.
Step by Step Guide for Breeding Autoflower with Photoperiod
Pick out your male and female plant.
Whatever method or purpose might have interested you to start breeding; you still need to decide first on the two plants you have decided to cross together. Make sure each of the parent plants is equipped with the traits you are interested in.
Separate the males from the females.
Upon choosing the plants to cross breed, keep the males away from the females throughout the growing process. Whatever happens, you have to make sure that males are separated when the small sacs of pollen appear. Be careful and check that no pollen will be received by the female plant. Contact may result in having plants with unknown genetic characteristics.
Collect pollen from your male plant.
You have to wait until the pollen sac has fully developed, then you can start taking the pollen from the male. A technique you can use is getting a clear zip lock bag; cover it around your plant, and then lightly shaking so the pollen can be released into the bag. It is advised to utilize the pollen within a month after collection. Breeders recommend that the fresher the pollen, the better.
Start pollinating your female plant.
A few weeks after your female has shown her white pistils, you can begin the pollination process. Pollinating the correct plant is crucial to make sure your area is not windy and isolate your female plant. Take the zip lock bag with the pollen and carefully place it to the stem with a healthy number of buds. Make sure the bag is properly sealed so no pollen will be able to escape. Cautiously shake the bag so that the pollen can spread over the buds. After an hour or two, rotate the bag then start shaking again. Only remove the bag after another two hours.
Begin giving your “pregnant” plant the best care
As a breeder, you should be able to provide your plants with nutrient formulas. You will be able to see seeds starting to form a few weeks after the pollination process.
Start planting seeds.
At the last step, start germinating the seeds. Remember that this is an experimental method and nobody knows how good or bad combinations are. Our advice is to take notes and record distinct characteristics of your new strain. If you find a particular one that you like, you can clone it to use it in your breeding activities.
Breeding is a one-of-a-kind adventure that varies from person to person. No matter how often you do it and which strains you choose to play with, asking for recommendations and doing research can help you improve as a breeder. We hope you enjoyed this breeding autoflowering cannabis seeds guide and that the seeds you breed will yield high-quality strains.