My question is about auto-flowering seeds. Tell me more about these seeds, please. Are they 100% reliable, and how big will they get before they start to bud? How do they work to flower without having to reduce the light cycle? Do the buds get as big as a regular plant does?
Auto-flowering seeds are all the rage lately as they are easy to grow and finish as quickly as 80 days from planting. As for their reliability, this depends on the source. Seed companies that have been around for years are your best bet. Typically, auto-flowering plants grow to about a foot or two tall before they begin to flower but some newer sativa-dominant varieties, such as Haze Automatic from Dinafem, can grow up to three to four feet before they begin to bloom.
The reason the plants flower automatically, without a drop in the light cycle, is that the breeders have added ruderalis genes from regions with very short flowering seasons (Northern Russia) which have acclimated to their climate by developing the ability to flower regardless of photoperiod. These genes typically don’t produce plants with high levels of THC so the breeders must carefully work with them and test them to ensure that potency levels are maintained.
The buds from an auto-flowering plant will grow as big as regular ones, but you will have fewer buds and branches to choose from due to the shortened vegetative period. The plant can only get so big before it starts to flower and dedicates all of its energy to producing bud.