If you’re using commercial cannabis nutrients, give only ½ or ¼ of the recommended dose to your autoflowers. When using commercial potting mixes that are pre-fertilised, you will likely not need to feed until your autoflowers start to bloom, at about week 3 or 4.
In contrast, autoflowering strains flower based on age, independent of light hours, which means they are non-photoperiod strains. Autoflowers have several noteworthy characteristics:
The “mother of all indicas”, Kush is also well-represented in the autoflowers you can get at Royal Queen Seeds. Check out the fruity Bubble Kush Auto or Royal Kush Auto, both autoflowering variants of classic strains.
Optimal temperature and humidity for growing autoflowers
When growing in soil, the optimal pH level of your water/nutrient solution is 6–7. You can adjust your water to the correct pH level using natural pH “up” or “down” products.
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.
Plant training techniques such as topping, FIM, super cropping, and defoliation are not recommended for autoflowers. Any training that involves damage to your plants will temporarily slow or halt their growth and requires time for recovery—time that autoflowers don’t have (given their limited lifespan). You’d end up with greatly diminished yields.
In general, autoflowers are smaller than feminized photoperiod cannabis. Smaller plants require less nutrients than large plants.
This essential characteristic evolved as a necessity for survival in the harsh, inhospitable areas of central Russia where Cannabis Ruderalis, the original autoflowering strain that bred this almost magical ability, originated. Lacking the longer, warmer summers of the Indian continent or the tropical and equatorial zones where (respectively) Indica and Sativa evolved, their relative did not have the luxury of being able to wait for the change in light cycles that signal the beginning of summer to start flowering – the weather would become cold enough to kill the plants before pollination and seeding could take place. Instead, it had to begin flowering as soon as it was old enough in order to have enough time to complete the reproductive cycle and make new seeds. Breeders immediately saw the advantage of this for other strains, and began breeding seeds with this ability to ‘auto flower’.
In addition, these strains are a great choice for gardeners in less warm climate areas who wish to grow on open ground, or on a balcony or window ledge, but find themselves restricted by short summers.
Yield factors for autoflowering seed strains
Ideal for beginners
This is the first group of varieties to produce superior bud featuring elevated cannabinoid levels without the need for intense light during set, consistent periods of time. Whether using artificial light or sunlight, care and attention was always required in matters of timing the plants’ exposure to it, and ensuring that the hours of darkness really were dark. Light pollution from even minor sources has been known to confuse their internal ‘clocks’ as to whether they are supposed to be vegetating or blooming.
How is cannabis able to flower automatically?
Autoflowering seeds, on the other hand, are able to complete their life cycle regardless of how long the days are, although at least eighteen hours of light will give the best results. Unlike regular seeds, ‘auto’ seeds grow crops that do not need to undergo the usual cycle of 12 hours of light alternating with 12 hours of darkness in order to bloom successfully, whether they are indica, sativa or hybrid. They seem virtually immune to light pollution, tolerating irregular and unpredictable periods of light and darkness with impunity. Outdoor gardeners with short summers can wait until the warmest weeks to cultivate their automatic cannabis seed crop, safe in the knowledge that most of these hours will fuel the flower production, not the vegetation, period.
Got pesky neighbors? Need a way to keep your weed growing on the down low? If so, then autoflowering seeds are exactly what you need.
Since these plants flower quickly regardless of light schedules, they also tend to be more forgiving than traditional sativa and indica strains. This makes autoflowering seeds ideal for new home growers who don’t know the intricacies of the cannabis plant’s light cycles.
As the name suggests, autoflowering seeds flower automatically (duh). That means these plants go through a rapid vegetative stage before moving into the flowering phase. Besides their speed, many growers are attracted to autoflowering seeds because they don’t require set amounts of light/darkness and they produce short plants that are easy to hide.
Speed Weed: The Pros and Cons Of Autoflowering Seeds
In addition to being easier to hide, shorter autoflowering plants are fantastic for growers who don’t have a great deal of room to work with. If space is a premium in your growing area, then consider giving autoflowering strains a try.
It’s worth highlighting the pro that autoflowering seeds take away the stress of monitoring your plant’s light cycle every day. You could literally give this plant about 16 hours of light every day, and it will reach maturity with no issues.
Compared to regular marijuana seeds the plants produced from the series of autoflowering cannabis seeds are able to skip the slow blooming cycle and begin this phase within a timeframe of four to six weeks after germination; irrespective of the quality of light received.
As the autoflowering plant switches into a flowering mode, it’s time to ramp up the phosphorous count. Look for a fertilizer that contains a healthy N-P-K ratio like 5-10-10 up to 10-20-20.