Cannabis 12/12 From Seed

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12/12 from seed is an intriguing concept and one of the latest trends in the cannabis growing community. If you want to grow short and quick plants, read our 12/12 from seed guide, where we tell how to minimize the cons while enjoying the pros. 12/12 from seed has a big problem. Learn about a better alternative called "Sea of Green" that gives you bigger yields in the same amount of time! What do y’all think about starting seed on a 12-12 cycle from the beginning??

12/12 From Seed: Doing It Right

Some of the most sacred rules of cannabis growing tell us that in order to grow and successfully harvest photoperiod strains, you need to let the plants grow and gain mass during their vegetative period. Now, what if we told you that some rules are meant to be broken? Thanks to some daring enthusiasts who weren’t afraid to take a risk, we now know that even photoperiod strains can be grown 12/12 from seed – in other words, put straight into the flowering phase the day they germinate. Should you try it? Is it worth it? What about the yields from 12/12 from seed? In the true spirit of experimentation, we’re going to answer these questions and many more in this Herbies article, so read on!

12/12 From Seed: The Method Explained

We know, it’s exciting to find out that there’s a way to stop all the questions about exactly how and when to transition plants grown from photoperiod seeds into the flowering stage. With the 12/12 light cycle from seed, you give your weed plant 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness every day without exception, from the day the seed pops until the day you snip off the buds. That’s one problem less – but at what cost does this convenience come?

The Role Of Veg And Flower

Of course, if cannabis plants naturally go through both vegetative and flowering stages, they need these periods for certain reasons. During the vegetative stage, which lasts while photoperiod strains receive more than 12 hours of light per day, cannabis plants actively grow, become thicker and taller, and often reach their maximum possible height, signaling that they’re mature enough to procreate and make buds.

When the schedule is switched to 12 hours of light per day or less, the plant can still stretch a little, especially if it’s a Sativa, but from that moment on, it will direct all its accumulated power to making those sticky and smelly buds we grow cannabis for in the first place.

Apparently, however, you can skip the vegetative phase entirely and set your cannabis to 12/12 from seed. So, what are the consequences of skipping the veg?

Cannabis Light Schedule

What Happens When You Skip The Veg?

If you decide to skip the veg and carry out the 12/12 from seed grow at home, you need to understand that by switching cannabis plants to flowering straight after germination, you deprive them of the time and light energy they would normally use to grow, mature, and prepare themselves for developing buds. With the 12/12 light cycle from seed, your photoperiod cannabis plant will only reach the minimal mass and height that it can use to start procreating. As the result, plants grown on 12/12 from seed become extremely compact, and thus yield less than their counterparts that went through the standard vegetative period.

However, such a bold move proves that there’s still much to learn about cannabis growing. While we wouldn’t have dared to even think of skipping the veg before, we now know that cannabis won’t die, and indeed will still yield buds, if we use 12/12 from the day the seed pops. If you’re looking for proof, there’s lots of it in the special 12/12 from seed Growdiaries section, where growers share their experiences with skipping the vegetative period.

Now let’s move on to the pros and cons of this growing method. Give it a read-through and decide whether 12/12 from seed is worth it for you.

Is 12-12 From Seed Worth It?

Will the “12/12 from seed” cannabis growing technique give you huge yields? In a word, no… but there are benefits to initiating the flowering stage as soon as possible. Giving a 12/12 light schedule from seed germination is a great way to create tiny “bud stick” cannabis plants, which may be perfect for a small stealthy marijuana garden. When modified slightly, the same basic technique can create bigger plants and bigger yields while adding little to no extra time before harvest. And then there is the matter of genetics. Certain strains give better results than others.

The “12 /12 from seed” technique aims to initiate the flowering stage immediately after germination. Learn about cannabis light schedules.

This creates small “bud stick” plants that are typically ready to harvest in 3-4 months. Check out this beautiful example of “12/12 from seed” by Fuel.

If you haven’t heard this term before, “12/12 from seed” means giving your cannabis seedling 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark each day from the moment of germination. Providing a 12/12 light schedule initiates the flowering stage and causes cannabis plants to start making buds. The idea of this technique is to get seedlings to start flowering as quickly as possible to reduce the time to harvest. Once a plant has started flowering, most strains are ready to harvest within 12 weeks. The sooner you get a plant to start flowering, the sooner you get to harvest.

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There’s just one major problem… 12/12 from seed often causes stunted growth and small yields. This results in yields that are often less than 1 ounce per plant, even under strong grow lights.

This seedling took nearly 4 months from seed to harvest under about 150W of fluorescent lights and yielded only 1/2 of an ounce.

I think it looks kind of cool, but 1/2 ounces is not a great harvest after waiting so long. I’ve found you can tweak the light schedule to double or triple your total yield per plant without necessarily increasing time-to-harvest or plant height. More on that below!

12/12 from Seed – What You Need to Know

Something that’s a bit confusing about 12/12 from seed is it seems like seedlings should start flowering immediately. They don’t. I’ve found that photoperiod seedlings won’t start flowering until they’re 3-4 weeks old no matter the light schedule. That means your harvest won’t come any sooner if you initiate 12/12 before seedlings are 3 weeks old. When you give the plant 3-4 weeks of 18+ hours a day, THEN switch to 12/12, you often get better results because plants are quite bigger when buds start forming, without adding much (if any) time to harvest.

Most seedlings won’t make buds until they’re at least 3 weeks old from germination. There’s nothing you could do to get this little seedling to start flowering.

You often get better yields by giving plants 18+ hours of light a day for the first 3-4 weeks. These plants got 18/6 until they reached this size.

I started the 12/12 light schedule right after the above picture. They ended up yielding a lot more than my plants that were given 12/12 from seed in the same setup. Yet they didn’t get much taller or take longer to harvest.

Here are those same plants a month later after they started making buds (plants double or triple in height after the switch to 12/12, especially young plants)

A few weeks of extra light, in the beginning, seems to achieve plants with longer and fatter buds (why was this plant defoliated?)

Plants reward you for giving them a little more time to grow. For example, a solid 4 weeks of 18/6 before 12/12 creates plants that are ready to harvest around the same time as a plant given 12/12 from seed (3-4 months, depending on the strain), but significantly bigger yields.

If you’re worried about plants getting too big, you can gain complete control of plant shape by topping and bending plants to stay flat when they’re young. This increases the amount of bud produced without raising the overall height.

Many people who give 12/12 from seed have chosen this technique to ensure plants stay as small as possible. That’s why it’s common to see these plants in very small pots (like solo cups). Just like with bonsai trees, restricting root space is an effective way to reduce overall plant size. Plants kept in solo cups rarely get bigger than one long bud stick, especially when given 12/12 from seed.

Restricting root size reduces plant size dramatically, especially when combined with 12/12 from seed. Look how big this plant is in relation to the lighter!

12/12 From Clone – When You Want TINY Plants

If you want to grow the absolute smallest plant possible, “12/12 from clone” may be a better choice than 12/12 from seed. A clone is a piece of a bigger plant that was removed and forced to grow roots. Since a clone is technically the same “age” as its mother plant, it’s pretty much a mini mature plant as opposed to a seedling. Because they’re already mature, clones start flowering almost immediately after getting 12/12. That can result in some REALLY small plants at harvest.

Unlike seedlings, clones will start flowering almost immediately after getting 12/12. If you start with small clones in miniature pots, you end up with short buds on sticks at harvest.

These “12/12 from clone” plants are cute and fun! Though not necessarily the most productive when it comes to actual yields.

Auto-Flowering Strains – When Time is of the Essence

Some growers want to use 12/12 from seed to get to harvest as soon as possible, but it’s not actually the best option for a quick harvest. If you’d like to be able to harvest plants even sooner than 3 months, consider giving autoflowering plants a try. Most autoflowering strains are ready to harvest just 2-3 months from germination. That’s less time than almost any photoperiod plant will take, no matter what light schedule you provide. Even better, autoflowering plants on average yield 1-2 ounces each (more if you care for them well), which is better yields than most “12/12 from seed” plants.

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The “modern” version of 12/12 from seed is simply using an autoflowering strain. They don’t need special light schedules and are ready to harvest in just 2-3 months from germination.

Autoflowering plants are typically given 18-24 hours of light a day their whole life, which allows them to get bigger in less time than plants under a 12/12 schedule.

Auto-flowering strains are ready in 2-3 months from seed, and yield an average of 1-2 ounces/plant. You can yield even more with low stress training (LST) and great care.

Use “Sea of Green” (SoG) to Maximize Photoperiod Yields

If you want to grow photoperiod strains (or can’t get your hands on autoflowering seeds) but still want to produce big yields as fast as possible, the “Sea of Green” grow style may be a good option. Sea of Green is simply the idea of growing many small plants instead of just a few bigger plants. It works great for photoperiod strains to produce a quick harvest and great yields. It’s kind of halfway between “12/12 from seed” and a typical grow.

For this grow style, growers usually switch to 12/12 when plants are 4-6 weeks old. Since adding a little extra time to the vegetative stage often increases yields, you need to find a balance between getting to harvest as quickly as possible versus harvesting the biggest yields.

For SoG, wait to switch to 12/12 until plants are about this size or a little bigger (note: young plants like this can and will double or triple in height after the switch to 12/12)

SoG in Action – Make sure to fill the entire space under the grow light with plants and you will get a sea of buds!

12-12 from seed??

Nice I got six I just started outside on a close to 12-12 cycle. The outdoor season usually will start to flower around end of month ,August September. So I’m hoping for something out of them. The four golden girls I moved indoor after being out all summer and put on a 12-12 cycle to speed up flowering time a little.

az2000

I’ve done 12/12 from seed. Growing this way implies a small growing space(?). I think an autoflower is a much better choice for that.

My 12/12 from seed was stretchy, produced 20g per plant. (I don’t recall. It wasn’t much). The plants didn’t look normal (they were lanky). They weren’t that small (they were tall for their proportions.).

Autoflowers would have been as tall (or shorter), but more fully formed. More like a bonzai version of a full-size plant.

The downside to autos is that people typically run 18/6 through flower. That’s 50% more energy and wear/tear on your light. You can do 12/12, but the yield will be reduced. Even at 12/12, I’m sure it would yield more than a photosensitive 12/12 from seed.

az2000

Update: I see from your 2nd post that you’re trying to get an early harvest (time-, not space-constraint which I responded to).

Autos are best suited for outdoor growing to get an early harvest. I think that and micro-growing indoors (implying no outdoor space, or wrong time of year) are the “valid” uses of autoflowers. (I put valid in quotes because many people just like to grow them. That’s valid too.). But, if you’re already growing outdoors, an auto would be perfect. Free light from the sun. It will be ready for harvest in 11 weeks. (A little longer than 12/12 from seed, I suppose.).

Mattyice

Yeah the girls indoor I started last Christmas inside then put outside for summer, then recently moved back inside to start flowering process. I just put some new ones outside to start and the light cycle will be close to 12-12 soon . I’ve done the autos before and liked them just have to do so many to get a big yield.

Seraphine

12/12 is good for sea of green method (SOG). I currently have an auto flower on 12/12 but that’s just because I had to throw her in my flower tent because of space issues.

OldManRiver

Fundamental response to “have you ever thought of” questions: We’ve been growing weed, lots of guys, for 40 years personally, and other guys longer than me. Methods that differ from the common methods, have undoubtedly been tried, and, if they worked, would have been adopted and become known and standard, if they worked better.

If your goal is to do well, it’s best to learn to rock the standard method before deciding to experiment too aggressively, IMO.

To your actual question, any plant needs vegetative size to create large flowers, which is what you want with pot. If the plant doesn’t have a certain leaf area, it can’t produce much bud. The leaf captures the sun’s energy, to convert into plant mass. Larger plants can produce more bud, because they have more leaf area to capture light to make plant stuff out of. Growing a plant in 12/12 from the start, the plant never enters the veg cycle to produce enough leaf area necessary to support a pleasing amount of bud.

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BloodShot
OldManRiver
BloodShot

Good to know, so SOG can’t be accomplished from seed?
edit: doing a bit of research I have found that is more common to use clones in a SOG.
Personally, I like the idea of using clones.

MIMedGrower

Fundamental response to “have you ever thought of” questions: We’ve been growing weed, lots of guys, for 40 years personally, and other guys longer than me. Methods that differ from the common methods, have undoubtedly been tried, and, if they worked, would have been adopted and become known and standard, if they worked better.

If your goal is to do well, it’s best to learn to rock the standard method before deciding to experiment too aggressively, IMO.

To your actual question, any plant needs vegetative size to create large flowers, which is what you want with pot. If the plant doesn’t have a certain leaf area, it can’t produce much bud. The leaf captures the sun’s energy, to convert into plant mass. Larger plants can produce more bud, because they have more leaf area to capture light to make plant stuff out of. Growing a plant in 12/12 from the start, the plant never enters the veg cycle to produce enough leaf area necessary to support a pleasing amount of bud.

In my experience that depends on strain and phenotype. I have grown quite a few different plants from seed 12/12 and with good light and a vigorous sativa leaning hybrid I have matched the yield of 30-45 day vegged plants of the same strain. Up to almost 5 oz on some heavy hitters.

Difference was the vegged plants had stronger branches every time and grew bushier. The 12/12 plants grow fewer leaves and much thinner branches. So they needed a lot of support to grow big buds.

Squatter indica wider leaved hybrids did not do so well. Maybe 2.5 oz on those.

Slow vegging plants will do like you say. But they need more veg time anyway.

I tried clones i eas running too. Pretty much the same results. Short veg fast growing plants like diesel crosses worked great and berry indica type plants much less growth and yield.

Thats my experience anyway.

aletheus

Im considering 12/12 from seed and giving her the colloidal sliver treatment. Since all im wanting is pollen from her, she doesnt need to get HUGE, but i may wait a couple weeks under 24/0 just to get her going before i put her under the flowering lights

dward

Every guide I’ve read always says grow it in veg for 2 – 4 weeks or until it has a at least 2 node branches. I was thinking of starting a 12/12 grow from seeds as well but like u said its only good to grow out a batch of seeds for different phenotype and breeding. U will lose yield though, but for hybrids that grow vigorously in hydro, it could work well.
I would give them 1/4 strength nutes or less but depends on the light u got. It could be even faster than an auto if its a fast flowering strain.

Mattyice

The little one is rutaral. All were started outside on a 12-12 cycle. Loving the weather I’ll take some updated pictures when the suns coming up

Smithygreen

Okay.
12/12 from seed.
It can be done very successfully.
If in soil or coco yields are gonna suck. Straight up.
DWC,RDWC, NFT or Flood table’s. Combined with a SOG is the way to go, 2 to 4 plants per sqft.
You have to take advantage of the faster and more vigorous growth rates to pull it off.
Use a transition mix of hydro nutes for the first 10 to 14 days after that use straight bloom nutes.
Do not forget CO2. Its really important to give your plants all they need doing 12/12 from seed.
Autos do way better than Photos using 12/12 from seed. When done right there is not much need for trimming, topping or anything else. Saves a lot of time and money and you will get good yields. I have done this. I changed my tech a bit. Now I use monster crop clones from my traditional grow that I just reveg in my cloner as its very large and then right back into flower under 12 and 12, SOG at 2 per sqft in a home made RDWC system that I made for SOG. I use indica doms for that setup. It holds 100 plants in a 50 Sqft canopy area and I am using 3x 600 watt Gavita E series that I overdrive with a EL1 controller to 125% beginning week three of flowering. I am getting about 3.25. Lbs dry per run and after I got my clone cutting time right with the reveg time I am pulling that down every 55 to 60 days. My new cuts of MC clones are rooting well and I am getting ready to fill my system back up again. I will post some pics when I get it all running again. Right niw just waiting on clones.

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