Planting autoflowering cannabis seeds. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are still a relatively new phenomenon. Strains with automatic flowering capabilities come from the combination of cannabis Sativa or Indica strains with the less popular cannabis Ruderalis. Autoflowering plants are different from the traditional photoperiod strains as these buds don’t require specific light and darkness requirements. Continuing to read through the rest of this page as we open up a guide you to planting autoflowering cannabis seeds and planting germinated autoflower seeds.
Intro to Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Planting autoflowering seeds. Photoperiod cannabis strains tend to require a normal transition of 16 hours of sunlight and 8 hours of darkness or 12 hours of both sunlight and darkness to encourage flowering. However, cannabis Ruderalis doesn’t require specific light and darkness signals to begin the flowering process. These strains will begin blooming in about four weeks from the beginning of the planting process.
The combination of Ruderalis traits with Indica or Sativa genetics will bring about strains with autoflowering characteristics. While the plants will automatically flower regardless of light and darkness requirements, these strains have lower THC levels as compared to photoperiod and feminized buds. Still, their quick harvesting times may become great testing grounds for novice marijuana gardeners.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Growing Autoflowering Seeds
There are a number of pros and cons to consider when deciding to grow autoflowering seeds in either indoor or outdoor environments. Let’s start with the pros:
Pros of Growing Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
- Planting germinated autoflower seeds outdoor plants don’t require a specific number of hours of sunlight or darkness. Gardeners don’t have to worry about light deprivation or excessive supplementation of sunlight which may be concerned in some climate conditions.
- In planting autoflowering cannabis seeds indoor requirements allow gardeners to take advantage of rapid harvesting times. It will generally take about three months for autoflowering marijuana plants to reach maturation.
- Marijuana gardeners who want to receive higher-than-average yields for planting autoflowering seeds should give the strains 12 hours of sunlight per day. The resulting buds are slightly bigger than the norm and will flower in lesser time as compared to just leaving the plants to bask in sunlight without additional maintenance.
- Autoflowering cannabis strains have small statures and have relatively stealthy designs. These characteristics make it an ideal choice for closet growing or outdoor cultivation that require gardeners to be crafty in hiding their crops so as not to alarm their neighbors.
Cons of Growing Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
- Since autoflowering plants are small in stature, they don’t produce large yields as compared to feminized or regular strains. In planting germinated autoflower seeds, gardeners can still take advantage of their fast maturation for early harvests but it may require large amounts of seeds to acquire sufficient and satisfying yields.
- In planting autoflowering cannabis seeds, gardeners who also want to use indoor growing methods for the cultivation of autoflowering plants may expect higher-than-average monthly electricity bills. Using lighting fixtures to shine the appropriate amount of light to indoor crops can increase power usage in the home.
- Indoor gardening for autoflowering cannabis plants will also generate some problems regarding their training. Clipping and maintaining the growth of the flowers may be difficult in some indoor locations which may affect final harvests.
A Guide to Planting Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Even though autoflowering plants require little maintenance as compared to photoperiod or regular strains, there are still some required precautions and preparatory assignments for gardeners. Not following proper precautionary methods may result in the early destruction of plants or unsatisfying yields by the end of the flowering period.
Step 1: Training the Autoflowering Plants
The best time to complete the training for autoflowering cannabis plants is during their vegetative stages. Gardeners should act fast as this stage will only last for a couple of weeks. Using Low-Stress Training (LST) methods like pulling the plants’ leaves sideways may help boost upward growth. Once the plants start flowering, trimming them once a week is an advisable option. However, never top the plants as the action may result in failed attempts at harvesting good crops.
Novice gardeners should always keep in mind that planting autoflowering seeds don’t require a significant amount of pruning as opposed to their traditional counterparts. All pruning actions should begin within the early stages of the plants’ life cycles. Failure to follow this precaution can hinder the growth of the plant which can result in less-than-satisfying yields.
Step 2: Search for the Best Lighting and Climate Conditions
Planting germinated autoflower seeds can start to automatically bloom late in the year like in mid-September. Sometimes these strains can also start to autoflower as early as March depending on climate, lighting, and weather conditions. Take note that these plants still require warmth to grow. Exposing the strains to significant levels of moisture can result in rotting.
Locations with tropical or wet climates are ideal for indoor growth for autoflowering cannabis seeds. Ideally, the plants should grow in an environment with average temperature levels of about 73 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with 55% humidity.
Marijuana gardeners do have a little more freedom regarding the flexibility of light scheduling as compared to growing photoperiod or feminized strains. For instance, giving the plants 18 hours of light should result in 6 hours of darkness afterward. Consequently, giving the plants 12 hours of light should also give them the same amount of darkness.
Experienced growers who can effectively maintain their autoflowering plants can even boost their light schedules to 21-3 cycles. However, it requires the aid of 120 Watt lights during the first few weeks. It’s also important to keep the lights about 70 to 80 centimeters away from the plants to avoid excessive amounts of light.
Step 3: Feeding the Autoflowering Plants
Just like typical plants, planting autoflowering cannabis seeds require nutrients found in food. Novice gardeners may go wild and overfeed their plants which may result in adverse effects. Ideally, growers should avoid giving the plants nutrients that have some root stimulants during the first 2 to 3 weeks of growth. Adding supplements like Bloom, Grow, and molasses is possible during the pre-flowering stages.
By the time the plants reach their budding stages, gardeners can slightly boost the amount of Bloom. Reduce the amount of Grow should also be done at roughly the same time. Keep in mind that autoflowering plants have short vegetative cycles. Hence, these strains don’t require excessive amounts of Nitrogen. Light feeding is still the best option for these cannabis strains.
Step 4: Time for the Harvest
Reports recommend harvesting autoflowering plants in a sequential manner. In other words, gardeners should harvest the colas first. Doing this process helps the lower buds to grow a bit before harvesting. Yields still depend on the entire length of the growing cycle. Being a bit patient in slightly extending the blooming period by 2 weeks will give harvesters more yields than gathering the yields at the end of the standard 10-week growth period.
The normal yield amount for autoflowering strains is 40 grams per plant. However, there are certain strains called “super” autoflowering plants that can yield about 500 grams per plant. Consider harvesting when about 50% of the crops’ trichomes turn amber. Waiting too long can result in the loss of potency. One essential tip to always follow is to stop watering the plants about 24 to 48 hours before harvesting. Keeping the plants dry during this period will ensure the nutrients stay during the gathering.
Step 5: Curing and Storing
Planting autoflowering seeds and regular strains share similar processes regarding curing, drying, and storing. Hence, gardeners can dry their acquired buds by hanging the yields upside down for a few days. Storing the harvests in airtight containers is still an ideal move to make but make sure there’s still a small amount of space left in each jar for the buds to “breathe” a little. Opening the jars once a day just for a few minutes will avoid spoilage.
After a week from the day of the harvest, opening the jars once every 2 to 3 days will keep the buds from spoiling. The yields will be ready for use after there’s little moisture left in the strains.
A guide to planting autoflowering cannabis seeds may be the ideal help you need to properly grow your chosen marijuana strains. Luckily, you’re here as we’ve shared with you our tips to help you get the most out of your seeds. The last step is for you to prepare the next crop so you can have a continuous flow of autoflowering plants growing inside or outside your home.