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Blog: Why your favorite strain to grow is probably not our favorite strain to breed.

  • Autoflowering strains continue to win home-growing market share over photoperiod strains.

  • Breeders working to improve existing strains or create new ones prefer photoperiods.

  • Photoperiods' greater stability, flexibility and vigor make for better working material.

The last decade has seen a rise in popularity of autoflowering strains, especially amongst home growers. While autoflowering strains have some properties that may suit a particular situation, us breeders are not particularly fond of them. Alphatype produced over ten million feminized autoflowering seeds in 2022 and is scheduled to produce twice that volume in 2023. But here’s why our team prefers breeding -and almost unanimously, growing- photoperiod strains:

Longer lifecycle.

Photoperiod strains typically have a longer vegetative phase than autoflowering strains, which gives us more time to select and stabilize when we’re working on developing new strains or making specific genetic crosses.

Blue Berry Auto data sheet with characteristics of the resulting plants

Greater genetic stability.

Photoperiod strains are often purebred or close to purebred, which means that they have a more consistent genetic makeup. This makes it easier to predict and control the characteristics of the resulting plants. In contrast, autoflowering strains are often created by crossing a photoperiod strain with a ruderalis strain, which can introduce a lot of genetic variation. This makes it harder to predict and control the characteristics of the resulting progeny.

Higher yields and higher THC levels.

Despite the rising popularity of autos, photoperiods remain the gold standard when it comes to genetic vigor and horse power.

Greater flexibility.

Photoperiod manipulation is used to increase yields and improve overall quality, and is particularly useful for grow area optimization and for adapting strains to different growing environments.

We will dedicate another blog post to explaining what you, an independent home grower, is getting when you buy autflowering seeds from a popular "seed bank" that is named after a traditional photoperiod strain, e.g. Blueberry Auto.


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