As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.
Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.
It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.
“Flushing” is when you stop feeding nutrients, and only administer pH-adjusted water in the last 1–2 weeks before harvest. This gets rid of the remaining mineral salts that have accumulated. Without any nutrients remaining in the soil, the plant will draw stored nutrients from its foliage; this is why cannabis in late flowering turns yellow. The goal of flushing is to make for purer and better-tasting buds, as you don’t want to smoke whatever chemicals you’ve fed your plants. So flush them out before you harvest.
Make sure to provide your autoflowering ladies with good airflow. A gentle breeze of fresh air from a ventilator ensures humidity levels in your grow room stay low, which helps prevent the growth of mould. If your plants have dried leaves, which is not uncommon in the later stage of flowering, remove them for some better airflow around the buds.
Autoflowering cannabis prefers light and airy soil that contains lower levels of nutrients than soil for photoperiod strains. As most ready-made universal potting mixes may contain too much nitrogen or other nutrients, choose only a lightly fertilised potting mix for your autoflowers. Your autoflowers also want soil that is not too compact, as this may otherwise prevent the roots from accessing adequate amounts of air.
TIP 13: HARVEST GRADUALLY
Many cannabis growers overfeed their cannabis plants. This isn’t too surprising, seeing that makers of cannabis nutrients want us to believe our plants require constant supplementation to survive and thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth.
With autoflowers, you don’t need to worry about light schedules like you would with photoperiod plants. When growing autoflowers, you can just leave your lights on a 18/6 schedule (18h on, 6h off) for the entire grow, and can even grow them under 24 hours of light. Which schedule is “better” is open to debate. Many growers use the 18/6 schedule, as this gives good results while using less energy than a constant 24h cycle.
How do you control your water and nutrient solution pH levels? A must-have for any grower are “pH Down” and “pH Up” products, as well as a pH meter. With these on hand, you can be in control of your soil’s pH.
You can find out more about making an optimal potting mix for your autoflowers in our blog **The Best Soil For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis.
When using auto-flowering cannabis seeds, make sure your plants have as much support as possible throughout the process. Ideally, you will begin your autoflower grow indoors with artificial lights you can control. This tactic reduces the likelihood of error and increases the possibility of a strong start.
The latest generation of auto-flowering plants are more prominent than their predecessors and produce a bigger yield. As a result, they need more nutrients than their first-gen counterparts. Even so, on average, an auto-flowering plant still requires fewer nutrients than photoperiod plants. Make sure you water them for the first two weeks as they begin to grow.
Training Your Autoflowering Weed
24-hour lighting will result in fast initial growth. However, it usually slows down after a few weeks because the plant is without adequate rest. The 18/6 schedule offers a delicate balance of plenty of light with ample rest. You also save money on your energy bill! In one month, for instance, using an 18/6 schedule against a 24/0 schedule saves you 180 hours’ worth of light!
As the name suggests, autoflowering marijuana strains flower automatically rather than waiting for a specific light cycle. These plants produce buds when they are ready, which means there is no reason to mess with your lighting. While the yield and potency of photoperiod weed remain higher, the gap is closing. As breeding techniques become more advanced, it is now possible to produce autoflowering marijuana strains with significantly increased levels of THC. They also produce far bigger yields.
After a week, opening the jars once every 2-3 days will suffice. Your bud is ready for use once there is only a small amount of moisture left. Transport your weed to a sealed container and use it within a few months.