A utoflowering strains usually don’t exceed 1–1.2m in height, which is a big advantage for both indoor and outdoor growers. If you grow inside with limited space or restricted height, an autoflowering plant might just be what you want. If you grow outdoors and want a stealthy, well-hidden plantation, you should also look to autoflowering genetics. Their short size makes them suitable for growing in cupboards, on balconies, or in garden beds among other plants as well.
A utoflowering strains make use of the cannabis subspecies ruderalis to produce plants that grow and flower independent of the light schedule or photoperiod. This means they flower depending on their age and not on the hours of light and darkness they receive (hence the name). This is due to ruderalis originating in Central Asia, where the light conditions are a bit different.
H ere’s another thing that you have to worry about with photoperiodic strains: light leaks during the dark cycle. This can lead to diminished harvests or longer growing times. This is true for indoor light leaks in a tent, for example, but also for outdoor grows where city lights in the night confuse cannabis nowadays. With autoflowering genetics, you don’t have to worry about such things. Autoflowers can tolerate all forms of light leaks, be it in the grow room or in the city. If you experience problems with light in the dark cycle of flowering, opt for autoflowering strains to sidestep the issue altogether.
6. MORE SUITABLE FOR STEALTH GROWING
A lthough you can’t keep an autoflowering strain as a mother plant to produce clones, they are still very well-suited for perpetual harvests. Flowering independent of the hours of light they receive, you eliminate the need for a mother, as well as a veg and flower room. You can have plants of all growing stages in the same room. For a perpetual harvest, start with some plants, and when they begin to flower, add more plants to the room. Shortly before the first ones are harvested, you plant the next seeds and so on. The number of plants depends on your grow space, of course. This way, you can harvest up to 4–6 times a year!
A utoflowers have a significantly shorter life span than photoperiodic strains. Depending on the strain you grow, photoperiodic cannabis can take up to 4 months+ to reach maturity. In contrast, autoflowering cannabis is usually ready for harvest 8–10 weeks after germination of the seed. This means you don’t have to wait as long to enjoy those precious buds. Furthermore, this really comes into play when you consider growing sativa strains. Photoperiodic sativas can sometimes take 5 months to grow or more. If you opt for an autoflowering sativa, the sooner harvest time is really an asset. This is true for both indoor and outdoor grows. Outdoors, the shorter life cycle makes even more of a difference because you can grow several runs instead of one.
T his plays into the easy-to-grow advantage, but should be emphasised as its own point as well. Autoflowering strains are known for better withstanding colder climates and having a greater resistance against diseases of all kinds. Be it mildew, pests, mould, fungi, or pathogens, if you experience trouble with these things, maybe consider growing an autoflowering strain the next time. You could really save yourself some worry and stress! The plants get toughened up and are more hardy thanks to the ruderalis genetics, which makes them not only ideal for novice growers, but growers of all levels. They also tolerate under/overfeeding better.
T his goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned advantage: If you want a well-hidden, stealthy plantation, go for autoflowering strains. Outdoor gardeners especially want to hide their crop from the police, curious neighbours, thieves, etc. With a 2m-tall sativa tree, this will likely end in a disaster, with you getting busted as the worst outcome. A 1m-tall autoflowering plant, however, can be hidden among tomatoes or other plants, even when you grow on your terrace or balcony. Moreover, these characteristics make them very interesting for all the guerrilla growers out there. Overall, one could say that they are very discreet to grow.
For example, with regular strains, you need to monitor and change the light cycle so that the plants have 12 hours of darkness each day while in the flowering stage. Any light finding its way to the plants can make them halt their flowering and yield poor-quality buds. Light can also cause the plant to re-enter the vegetative phase and stay there for an indefinite duration.
Ruderalis plants provide many of the desirable traits of autoflowering plants, but they also produce one noticeably undesirable one. The buds of autoflowering plants tend to be less potent in terms of their THC content . THC is responsible for giving marijuana users a “high,” so lower THC concentrations in a plant mean that you will not get as high as someone who has used buds from a plant with a higher THC content.
The Pros of Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
It usually takes 30 days, or about a month, for autoflowering seeds to reach the flowering phase. During these first 30 days, make sure to make small lighting adjustments to avoid scorching the leaves. You should also ensure proper soil aeration so that your cannabis flowers on time. To do this, you can use our Coco Bricks. They come in our Complete Grow Kit and help aerate the soil and regulate moisture.
How do autoflowering seeds grow?
Another key benefit of autoflowering marijuana plants is an easy growing experience due to their ruderalis heritage. Because of their fast adaptation as detailed above, these plants are hardy and resistant to several adverse conditions. Ordinary cannabis plants can easily succumb to many diseases and pests , but autoflowering plants will stand up to such a threat and survive. Similarly, autoflowering strains are also resistant to mold, overfeeding, and underfeeding, while regular photoperiod varieties will be adversely affected by these conditions.
Autoflowering strains do away with this inconvenience. They don’t rely on external cues to start producing resinous buds. Instead, they flower after a certain amount of time has passed.
Autoflowering strains are the go-to genetics for beginner growers and those looking for a fast return. But they’re not perfect. Find out what makes them great, and where they run into issues.
AUTOFLOWERING VS FEMINIZED
If you’re looking for the stealthiest possible way to grow, give micro-growing a go. The goal here is to keep plants as small as possible while still achieving a reasonable yield. It goes without saying that autoflowering varieties are perfectly suited to this method.
Life Cycle: 8–9 weeks
Flowering Time: 5–6 weeks
Autoflowering cultivars typically reach a height of between 60–100cm. Their compact size and impressive speed enable clandestine cultivators to set up and dismantle their operation in as little time as possible.