How To Grow Autoflowering Cannabis
I’m sure most of us have seen autoflowering seeds around and have thought about growing them. However, are they different from regular seeds? Do they need to be grown differently? Do they need special treatment or a special environment? Not to panic, growing autoflowering seeds is extremely simple and can be picked up by novice growers as well as the more advanced. Today we will have a look at what exactly autoflowering seeds are, their pros and cons, how they grow and what they need.
What Are Autoflowering Plants?
This is a simple one, autoflowering plants flower automatically. This just means that rather than needing a light cycle to flower like regular seeds, they will just go ahead and move from vegetative to flowering after a certain amount of time. This mainly shortens the flowering time of the plant and makes life easier for growers. Autoflowering plants also tend to be shorter and more resilient than regular plants. This makes them pretty much ideal for growers who are low on space or who are trying to grow a large number of plants at once.
- Autoflowering plants don’t need a change in their light cycle.
- The plants are small and compact so they don’t take up too much space.
- They are resistant to disease, pests, intense weather, mould, underfeeding, overfeeding, and the list goes on.
- They have much faster flowering times which means growers can manage more than one harvest a year.
- Because the plants are smaller sometimes the yields can be smaller as well.
- The faster flowering time can mean it’s hard for new beginners to catch mistakes in time to fix them.
- A lot of autoflowering strains have lower THC than regular strains.
As with any other type of cannabis plant we need to start by sorting out the growing space. Whether we are growing indoors, outdoors, with a soil medium or hydroponically we need to plan for the specific strain we are growing. As we’ve already stated autoflowering plants don’t need as much room as regular plants. This means we don’t have to plan for as much vertical space and can probably squeeze an extra plant or two into our garden. We also don’t have to be as officious about protecting our plants from pests, mould or viruses as they are more resilient. These plants can easily be grown indoors, outdoors, in a greenhouse or hydroponically so that side is really up to the individual strain and the grower.
One of the primary differences between growing autoflowering seeds and growing regular seeds is the light cycle. Autoflowering strains don’t need to change their light cycles to bring on the flowering stage. This means that the amount of light provided is really up to the grower. Of course, like most plants, autoflowering strains still need light to be happy and healthy. This means that growers can leave the lights on the plants all day if they want to. It also means that when grown outdoors they will be happier in environments that would normally mess up regular plants. Even if they don’t get a lot of sunlight, or if the sunlight is unreliable, they will still be fine. Essentially we still want to help the plants photosynthesise but we don’t need to worry as much about the dark period.
How To Grow Autoflowering Plants
This bit goes along a bit faster than usual and on average autoflowering seeds will germinate in 3 days. The seeds can be germinated in the same way one would usually germinate seeds. There are a few different ways to do this, but all can be easily found with a little research. When the seeds are ready they will need to be transplanted into the growing medium, for this example we will use soil and indoor growing.
- Late Seedling
This is after the seedling has been planted and is starting to sprout, looking for light. For indoor growth LED lights are usually best. They don’t give off too much heat which can be a little intense, especially for baby plants.
- Vegetative Stage
Now that the plants are growing happily and we need to ensure that keeps happening. Listen to the plants and respond with what they are looking for. The babies are starting to produce more leaves to take in more light and they will need plenty of nutrients. Give them plenty of light, food, water and ensure the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much in the evening. Growers can start training their plants at this point to help them take in plenty of light and form perfect buds.
- Flowering Stage
Without any change in lighting and at around week 5 the plants will start to develop buds. Here we do want to lower humidity so that the buds don’t start to trap moisture and go mouldy. We also want to make sure we aren’t watering too much or allowing the soil to get too wet as this is the best time for the plant to fall to pests or mould. Again make sure the plants are getting all the light and nutrients they need.
At around week 7 – 8, all we need to do is keep an eye on the plants and make sure they stay happy and healthy. We must monitor humidity, temperature and anything else that could easily cause mould or a pest invasion. Check the soil is free from insects and eggs, they will devour the plants in a matter of days. This is also a good time to flush out plants if growing nutrients or sprays have been used, to prepare for harvest and drying. A little bit of pruning and trimming wouldn’t go amiss towards the end.
Then once the plants are ready to harvest it all works just like it would with a normal crop. Separating the buds, drying and curing for as long as possible and then the plants are ready to smoke.
Remember: It is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws to the letter. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.