Why are F2 seeds less expensive?

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Contributed by: Crazydevs

Why does one strain cost less from one seed breeder than it does from another?

Let’s start off by saying that in terms of seed prices, you normally pay for the strain genetics, but this is not always the case, some seed makers (breeders) will always try to charge more on a strain, simply because they seek a larger profit margin than some of their competitors. Also, some breeders have to pay premiums to the original, big name strain breeders, to be able to use the original copyrighted genetics strain name(s).

It’s also worth noting that just because you have grade A genetics, it does not always mean your going to get top grade plants. Growing conditions and experience can play a much bigger role in a plants end result than the strain genetics.

So why do some seed makers charge so little in comparison to others? Is something wrong with their genetics?

No, there is nothing wrong with the genetics. These seeds come from F2 stock, and are sometimes just fast knockoffs of the original strain(s).

What is F2 stock?

Ok, I’m not going to go into great depth here on just what an F2 stock of seeds is. Basically, you start of with homozygous strains. These are considered true breeding strains, and will show little variation in phenotype. When you start mixing true breeding strains you end up with heterozygous strains. The phenotypes in these will vary a little more than the homozygous parents. A heterozygous strain is considered to be a hybrid. An F1, F2, F3 etc are all hybrids!

F1 hybrid - is the first generation of a cross between any two unrelated seed lines in the creation of a hybrid. F1 hybrids can be uniform or variable depending on the parent stock used.

F2 hybrid - is the offspring of a cross between two F1 plants.

You can also get F1, F2 crosses etc, but I wont go into that.

Basically, all you need to know is that a seed bank will have a description of a strain and its characteristics. For F1 seed stock, most of the plants will remain true to that description, with little variance. F2 stock will vary more, your get maybe 3-4 plants out of 10 seeds that will be true to the seed bank description, the rest will be a little different.

So what’s this phenotype about?

A phenotype is a particular trait or characteristic of a plant. It could be high yield or berry like aroma, but a seed bank will often give you a description of a strain, normally listing the best phenotype. F2 stock phenotypes will vary more than F1 stock. And it gets worse as you progress to F3, F4 etc.

So basically, when you order an F2 stock of seed, be prepared for lots of different looking plants. However no potency or yield is lost between F1 and F2 plants.

When ordering F2 stock, the idea is to search out the better phenotypes, and clone them so in future you only work with the best genetics of the bunch. With F1 stock, you should have more uniform plants that all perform similar, and if the breeders done his job correctly, this should be as close to the original description that tempted you to buy the seeds in the first place as you can get!

So that’s why some breeders charge less for their seeds than others. Remember breeders prices will vary anyway, it’s always worth shopping around for a strain price.
  Last modified: 10:41 - Aug 16, 2002 

faq:1278 "Why are F2 seeds less expensive?"