Auto-Flowering vs. Traditional Cannabis Strains
Therefore, with auto-flowering plants, there is no special light schedule “needed.” The grower does not need periods of darkness to initiate the flowering stage and get plants to bud properly. You can grow an auto-flowering plant from seed to harvest even if you were giving just 12 hours or even 8 hours of light a day and it will still make buds and be ready to harvest. However, to get the best yields you want to take advantage of the fact that you can give autos a lot of light each day since more light each day = more growth = bigger yields.
Fortunately, a forward-thinking breeder realized that the auto-flowering capability and short growing period of Ruderalis strains might be useful to hobbyist cannabis growers, even though the wild Ruderalis plant wasn’t going to work all by itself. This unknown breeder started intermingling Ruderalis plants with famous strains of photoperiod (regular) cannabis in order to increase bud potency while carefully breeding plants to retain the auto-flowering capability.
Many growers do not recommend exposing autos to plant training methods that involve cutting the plant (topping, FIMing, main-lining, etc.) as the autoflowering vegetative stage is short and plants often don’t have enough time to recover before they begin flowering.
Auto-flowering cannabis strains are the descendants of a wild strain of hemp first identified as “Ruderalis” in Russia during the early 1940s.
Using the best yielding autoflower seeds, the most experienced hydroponic growers can routinely get autoflower harvests of 200g + per plant with techniques such as deep water culture. Skilled coco fibre growers with good quality LED grow lights and good nutrient management experience can expect to get 100g or more from the best yielding autoflower seeds. Experienced soil growers can expect yields of 75-100g, more in fully optimised conditions with high yielding auto seeds.
Autoflower seeds are regarded by many as the fastest and easiest way to grow cannabis. Most growers get great results from autos, but you may wish to consider variables such as pH and correct outdoor planting times for autoflowers.
Over-feeding and over watering cannabis plants are quite possibly the most common mistakes made by less experienced growers. The cannabis root system is easily burned by excessive nutrients. If your auto gets nutrients which are too strong it will permanently stunt future growth. This will result in reduced average autoflower heights.
What are the best yielding autoflower seeds?
One way that many home growers try to maximise the effectiveness of their light levels is to maintain a flat canopy where all the blooms are equidistant from the light and can bathe in optimised PPFD (light intensity) levels. With an even, flat canopy of blooms, shadows can be minimised and all the blooms can take their share of light. Growing with the SOG method (Sea Of Green) or SCROG (Screen Of Green) method is popular with many growers and is a way of maximising yields. The following step-by-step tutorials may be useful.
During early vegetative growth, lights rich in blue wavelengths are particularly effective. During bloom, lights rich in red wavelengths help the buds to pack on weight. If you have a light which is underpowered for the area it has to illuminate, you can expect to see reduced yields, restricted potency and reduced average autoflower heights.
When growing autoflower seeds outdoors it is important to select a warm and sunny 3 month growth period to get the largest autoflower size. If you put your seeds/seedlings outdoors too early the plants will struggle to grow due to the cold temperatures, and especially the cold nights. This can cause permanent stunting, reducing the autoflower height and the eventual autoflower size.
When growing in a decent amount of soil/compost, pH worries are less relevant since soil has a natural ability to buffer pH.
Many growers elect to cultivate autoflowers because of their speedy growing rate. Their hardy genetics and forgiving nature also make them easier to grow and therefore more beginner-friendly.
Because of this unique trait, outdoor growers can achieve multiple harvests during a single growing season. By germinating seeds week after week in early spring, you can theoretically rake in your first harvest after
LIGHT SCHEDULE FOR AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS
Follow the fail-safe week-by-week grow guide below for a quick and easy route to harvest time. We cover all of the parameters and variables you need to consider—at the correct times—to ensure your plants remain healthy, vigorous, and productive.
Autoflowering cannabis plants are hardy, fast, and easy to cultivate in confined spaces. What’s not to love? Learn how to grow them week by week below.
Next, poke a 10–15mm hole into a pot with your soil mix. Sow your seed directly into its final pot to avoid the stress of repotting later down the line. Transplanting causes plants to go into shock, and autoflowers grow so fast that they’ll struggle to recover. Place a seed in the hole and cover lightly with soil. You’ll see your seedling emerge in the next few days.