Autoflowering cannabis plants tend to be smaller than other cannabis plants, especially in comparison to sativa strains (indica tends to be shorter, regardless if they’re autoflowering or photoperiod flowering). In comparison to regular photoperiod flowering feminized cannabis, autoflowering strains are better able to fend off mold and pests. Read more details and benefits (along with some potential challenges) to growing autoflowering seeds below.
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.
Pros and Cons of Autoflowering Seeds
Whether you are a large-scale commercial grower or a hobbyist, you can benefit from the space economy that autoflowering cannabis varieties provide. Since these plants are small, practically anyone can grow their own cannabis plants.
Let’s face it. While legalization has made growing cannabis easier, not everyone is pro-pot. Even in legalized areas, you still need to practice discretion . Autoflowering seeds are the best way to achieve this.
However, if you are mostly interested in the high that cannabis can provide, autoflowers are still a good choice since many varieties offer high THC content (in addition to CBD).
Here are a few of the stealthiest autoflowering strains available:
For this reason, ruderalis abandoned the strategy of waiting for the seasons to change to trigger flowering. Instead, the subspecies developed an autoflower gene to ensure reproduction before the temperature plummets.
Autoflower cannabis varieties are queens of speed. This trait is another result of their adaptive prowess. Most autoflowering strains complete the entire growing cycle in the same amount of time that photoperiod strains take to finish flowering alone—around 7–10 weeks. Their speedy life cycle results from a brief vegetative phase and a fast flowering stage.
Modern cannabis growers are spoiled for choice. There are more strains on the market than ever before, and many growers have taken a liking to the new and improved selection of autoflowers.
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 autoflower varieties are perfectly suited to this method.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Autoflower strains have a host of advantages, but they also carry disadvantages that turn some growers off.
You can easily grow autos on balconies and in hidden locations in your garden. They’re also popular among guerrilla growers—cultivators that grow cannabis in hidden public or wild locations. This method helps to keep crops out of sight and hidden from thieves.
Thanks to the great work done by breeders and the awesome autoflower.net these faults are now resolved.
And yet … there were some disadvantages.
Something drew me to autoflowers: they were quick to go from seed to harvest, with a vigorous growth unseen in standard cannabis plants. They were easy to grow, and outdoors I could get several cycles of crops in whilst my regular plants were still growing … and growing. Even in the indoor grow room autos were less demanding. They tolerated electric power cuts in stormy winters and flourished even in cheap not so light proof as they should be grow tents.
Autoflowers vs Photoperiod
Lets be honest. If you asked ten years ago: “are autoflowers worth growing?” my answer would be conflicted.
A small group of enthusiasts experimented with crossing cannabis sativa with its little known Russian cousin, cannabis ruderalis. Having had to adapt to short summers, these plants grew smaller than standard cannabis, and contain low THC levels. More importantly, they begin to flower upon maturity rather than the light cycle.
Spin back time by 15 years and autoflowers got a lot of bad press. The general consensus of most cannabis growers was that autoflowers were a fad, not worth the time, money and effort. The world of weed has changed a lot since then, so we ask “are autoflowers worth growing”.
Firstly, a little history. For thousands of years, cannabis has been a photoperiod plant. This means that it uses a photoreceptor protein, such as phytochrome or cryptochrome to sense seasonal changes in night length. Once days lengthen to above 12 hours, these chemicals induce the process of flowering. No matter when you plant a cannabis seed outdoors, it will continue to grow until the nights shorten. And of course indoor grow rooms exploit this fact by choosing for how many weeks cannabis is kept in growth and when to flip to flower.