Photoperiod marijuana strains can be cloned, which means a grower take a cutting from the plant and grow more plants from a single seed. Autoflowering strains, however, cannot be cloned effectively.
The flowers of most autoflowering plants are ready to be harvested 2 to 3 months after they’ve sprouted from seed. This is because the vegetative stage of autoflowering plants is shorter, lasting for just a few weeks.
Interested in trying out autoflowering plants? Marijuana breeders incorporate the autoflowering genetics and shortened overall growing period from Cannabis ruderalis in an effort to make things easier for home cannabis growers.
Are Autoflowering Marijuana Strains Good for Users?
Need for Specific Light Cycle
If you’re growing your own marijuana, this also means you can have multiple autoflowering plants growing at different stages without having to worry about specific lighting needs for each plant. Autoflowering plants can also be more easily grown outside since you don’t have to worry about the time of year you plant or harvest your cannabis plants.
What makes autoflowering marijuana strains different? Autoflowering cannabis strains will begin producing flowers once they reach 4 weeks or so, no matter what’s going on with light and dark schedules.
By cross breeding ruderalis strains with indica or sativa varieties to bring out autoflowering characteristics, the new marijuana strain flowers on its own time without relying on photoperiods.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds produce plants that flower on their own after 2–4 weeks of growth. Growers don’t need to worry about switching the light schedule to initiate and maintain the flowering phase, like they would if growing feminized photoperiod cannabis.
These days, autoflowers can satisfy even the most demanding of users: Recreational users won’t have difficulties finding automatic varieties rich in THC, and holistic users can get autoflowers low in THC but high in CBD to benefit from the non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
Non-Photoperiod Strains: What Does It Mean?
Autoflowers also need much less time to grow. Some varieties are ready to harvest in a short 8 weeks after sprouting. Plus, autoflowers are compact, which makes them great for indoor growing. Because they are so convenient, autoflowers are (not just) ideal for beginners to cannabis cultivation. More experienced growers can also take advantage of the unique growing traits of autoflowering cannabis.
Outdoors: You are not as beholden to the natural seasons as with photoperiod plants. You can plant your autos at any time of the year, provided there is no frost. Harvest 8–10 weeks after planting. If you plant your autoflowers several weeks apart, you can achieve several harvests per year! Autoflowers are stealthy and compact. This makes them perfect for low-key outdoor operations.
For autoflowers, you want soil that is even lighter than that used to grow feminized photoperiod cannabis plants. If needed, amend your soil with perlite to increase airiness and drainage.
Autoflowering plants can start to flower within 2-4 weeks.
Regardless of grow environment, there’s no need to supplement plants with a high level of nutrients as autoflowering seeds work independently. If growing a potted autoflower plant indoors, make sure your pot has drainage holes to provide sufficient oxygen. Be aware that some autoflowering strains may grow up to 4 feet tall, so give your seeds plenty of space to flower.
What is autoflowering?
A characteristic that gives the cannabis plant the ability to start and complete the flowering phase as a result of the plant’s age without reducing daylight hours. The characteristics of autoflower seeds are theorized to be a result of plants containing ruderalis genes.
With age, autoflowering seeds of cannabis can switch from vegetative growth to the flowering stage.
To grow autoflowering marijuana seeds, first select an indoor or outdoor environment. An indoor environment will allow you to cultivate the seeds any time of year provided that they have access to at least 18 hours of light per day. An outdoor environment works best starting in the spring when natural light is plentiful.