Autoflowers are a great choice for both beginners and advanced growers. An automatic flowering plant is in fact easy to grow and you don’t need much for a successful breeding. Moreover, the new generation of autoflowers are increasingly producing weed and above all of high quality.
Autoflowering seeds grow, well, automatically when cultivated outdoors. Plant, water, and fertilize them, then let the sun and mother nature do the rest. Indoor growing is more technical, but just a bit. Whereas the Earth and the sun provide abundant soil and light, you’ll have to provide those for your plant. You’ll also need to pay a bit more attention to plant nutrition.
Autoflowering grow cycle
The autoflowering grow cycle differs from any other cannabis plant due to its hastened finish meaning shorter stages and fewer adjustments required for lighting. There are three different stages in the life cycle of an autoflowering plant.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Growing Autoflowering Cannabis
There are many reasons why you should consider autoflowering varieties for indoor as well as outdoor cannabis:
Autoflowering strains can cut as much of half of the expected grow time necessary when compared to their alternatives.
Smaller, More Compact Plants
Growers who only have a small space in which to grow will benefit significantly from an autoflowering strain. Since their overall life cycle is shorter, they do not usually end up as tall. The average autoflowering plant will reach a maximum of 1.5 feet tall.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are made by breeding hand picked strains specifically for qualities that include hardiness. The majority of DNA used in the making of autoflowering plants is from those grown in the northern hemisphere that have a much shorter growing period and much cooler temperatures making them easy to care for.
Autoflowering plants have a life cycle that lasts only a couple of months making them perfect for those wanting to pull off multiple yields each year with minimal effort and time.
Do Not Require Adjustment of Lighting
Autoflowering plants can get by on as little as five hours of daylight but prefer 18+ hours and can even do well in full 24 hours a day. This makes them useful for those who don’t want to have to keep track of an ever-changing light schedule.
The size of an autoflowering cannabis plant can be both a positive and a negative feature. A smaller plant quite often translates to a lower yield. Since an autoflowering plant doesn’t grow as long, it will not grow as high. This is not always the case as some choose autoflowering seeds for specific growing methods such as SCROG which can easily manipulate a small plant into producing plenty of giant buds that are short but bountiful.
Autoflowering seeds require more light than your average marijuana plant which can be costly when considering the unavoidable spike in utility bills from running lights so frequently.
If you were hoping to get an autoflowering seed that contains the genes of your favorite strain than you will be disappointed to learn that the number of strains available with this feature is few and far between. If you are open to trying new strains than this isn’t so important but for those wanting to grow a specific plant for its individual qualities than autoflowering seeds likely may not be an option.
-Difficult to Transplant
Since autoflowering cannabis has such a short life cycle, just one small interruption in its focus can be enough to seriously hinder its health. Transplanting should never be done beyond the first couple of weeks after germination if you don’t want to severely stunt your plant’s growth. This makes autoflowering plants unless for those who wish to begin by growing indoors to later transplant and finish them outside.
How to grow autoflowers indoors?
Autoflowers are very suitable choice for indoor cultivation. For example in a closer or small tent. However, there are a number of points of interest that apply. Besides, for a successful breeding it’s important to make good preparation. Of course you will need autoflowering cannabis seeds, but there is more. Below you find a step by step explanation on what you should pay attention to.
Pots and earth
Because autoflowers grow quickly and often flower after 30 days you have little time for repotting. It’s therefore advisable to place the germinated seeds directly in the final pot with a lightly fertilized, well-aerated growth medium. Think of earth mix or coconut. Air pots are the most suitable, but dark pots of 10 – 20 liters with drainage are also perfect.
Because in most cases autoflowers become a lot smaller and spend a shorter vegetative phase than photoperiod species, they also need considerably less nutrition so please don’t overfeed your plants. When you use the aforementioned soil it won’t be necessary to add extra nutrition.
Humidity and temperature
An autoflower grows and blooms best at a temperature of 20-25 °C and a humidity of 50-70%.
For growing an autoflower you have various options with regard to lighting. Think of LED, CFL, HPS or MH lamps.
Note: When the lamp is too close to the plant, leaves will burn. Because autoflowers often grow at a fast pace, you will have to keep an eye on your lights every day.
What is the best light scheme for an autoflower?
Autoflowers don’t need much light to survive. Indoor growers can light their autoflower with about 5 hours a day, but that is of course not enough for a good yield. For a good yield you need approximately 18 to 20 hours of light per day. That is why indoor growers mostly apply a 20/4 light scheme during their breeding. That means 20 hours of light and 4 hours of dark.
Best Indoor Autoflower Strains
- While on the larger side, Gorilla Glue thrives under all kinds of indoor lighting. This strain gives off a delicious piney flavor when smoked, and produces a social if somewhat sedating buzz, that’s perfect for chilling with friends or alone.
- Amnesia Haze Automatic brings autoflowering properties to this classical sativa variety. It contains around 50% sativa, 20% indica and 30% ruderalis genes. However, some may point out, that this may even be somewhat of an improvement. Every smoker loves a packed bowl or joint of sativa weed when a task needs doing, or when they feel their creative side emerging to write some music or paint something. The downside of some sativa varieties is the length of time it takes them to grow and eventually flower. Although some might have the meditative patience and may be void of the pressure of living in a region, that prohibits marijuana cultivation, others might be living in other conditions.
- Northern Lights Automatic is one of the best-known strains of cannabis in the world. This indica cultivar derives from Afghan genetics and was originally bred in the US in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the plant made its way to Holland. Northern Light Automatic provides a generous harvest and might be one of the highest-yielding autoflowering strains available. Growing to a height of around 90–120cm, it is quite a large plant for an auto, which explains its yields of up to 200g/plant outdoors and a whopping 550g/m² indoors.
- AK47 is classic strain of cannabis. This mostly Sativa strain is known and loved by many for its heavy-hitting effects and good yields. AK Automatic has been awarded with many awards over the years.
- Special Skunk Automatic is similar to standard and popular varieties such as Critical Domina. It is also productive in many different climates and soil types because it is self flowering. This trait is what gives it the name Automatic, and it means minimal handling from the moment it is seeded to the moment it is finally harvested.
Nowadays, the process of growing autoflowering cannabis plants has become more and more popular. This is a great method that helps you to harvest from a seeding within 2 months. This also requires only a small space to begin. Hope that our post today is useful for you. Have fun and good growing!