WHAT ARE AUTOFLOWER SEEDS?
Autoflower seeds come from the Cannabis ruderalis plant, a subspecies of cannabis that has a unique trait – the ability to automatically switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. Unlike traditional cannabis plants, which depend on light cycles to transition into the flowering phase, autoflowers make this switch based on their age. This ability gives them the nickname 'autoflowering' and distinguishes them from their sativa and indica counterparts.
Types of Autoflowering Seeds
Autoflowering seeds don't only originate from ruderalis but can also be a hybrid of ruderalis and other cannabis species. The primary types of autoflowering seeds you'll encounter are sativa autoflower seeds and indica autoflower seeds.
Sativa Autoflower Seeds
Sativa autoflower seeds result from crossing ruderalis with sativa cannabis strains. Sativas are known for their uplifting, cerebral effects and are associated with promoting creativity and social interactions. The plants themselves grow tall and thin, with narrow leaves. Sativa autoflower strains tend to grow faster than their non-autoflowering counterparts, with shorter flowering times.
Indica Autoflower Seeds
On the other hand, indica autoflower seeds are a hybrid of ruderalis and indica strains. Indicas generally have a relaxing, sedative effect and are usually chosen for evening use. The plants are short, bushy, and have broad leaves. Like the sativa autoflower, indica autoflower seeds also benefit from reduced flowering times, making them an ideal choice for those looking for a quick harvest.
Pros and Cons of Growing Autoflower Seeds
Pros of Growing Autoflower Seeds
- Quick growth cycle: Autoflowers can be harvested in as little as 7-10 weeks from planting.
- Compact size: Their small stature makes them perfect for small spaces or stealth growing.
- Independent from light cycles: Unlike traditional cannabis strains, autoflowers don't rely on light cycles, making them easier to manage.
- Suitable for beginners: Thanks to their easy management, autoflowers are particularly suitable for beginner growers.
Cons of Growing Autoflower Seeds
- Lower yield: Autoflowers typically yield less than regular (photoperiod) strains.
- Less THC content: Autoflowers usually have lower THC content, potentially a concern for those seeking high potency.
- Less room for error: Autoflowers transition to flowering based on age, which leaves less room for error in their care. Any stress or damage can significantly impact the final yield.
Tips for Growing Autoflower Seeds
While growing autoflower seeds might be easier than their photoperiod counterparts, it still requires specific knowledge to get the best results. Below are some tips for growing autoflower seeds:
- Lighting and light cycles: Autoflowers are not dependent on light cycles, but they still need adequate lighting to grow. 18-24 hours of light per day is recommended for optimum growth.
- Nutrients: Autoflowers require less nutrition compared to photoperiod strains. Overfeeding can lead to nutrient burn. Using a specific nutrient schedule for autoflowers can help prevent this.
- Soil: Autoflowers prefer light and airy soil. Too heavy soil can stunt their growth. Perlite can be added to the soil mix to improve drainage and prevent waterlogging.
- Use LST training: Low-Stress Training (LST) involves gently bending and tying down branches to increase light exposure and improve yield. Since autoflowers have a short vegetative stage, it's best to start LST early.
- Avoid transplanting: Transplanting can stress the plant and reduce the yield. It's best to plant autoflower seeds directly in their final pot.
- Choose the right pot size: 3-gallon pots are usually sufficient for autoflowers. Too large pots can lead to overwatering, while too small pots can limit growth.
- Climate: Autoflowers are resilient and can tolerate a wide range of climates. However, they prefer a mild to warm climate for optimum growth.
Are autoflower seeds good for beginners?
Yes, autoflowers are great for beginners due to their resilience and independence from light cycles.
How long do autoflowers take to grow from seed?
Autoflowers usually take 7-10 weeks from seed to harvest.
Are autoflowers better than feminized (photoperiods)?
This depends on what you're looking for. Autoflowers are quicker and easier to grow, but they usually yield less and have a lower THC content than feminized strains.
What is the average yield of an autoflower?
On average, an autoflower plant yields between 1 to 6 ounces per plant, depending on the growing conditions and care.
How long do autoflowers spend in flower?
The flowering stage for autoflowers usually lasts 7-9 weeks.
Can you put autoflower seeds straight into soil?
Yes, it's recommended to plant autoflower seeds directly into their final pot to avoid the stress of transplanting.
How long does it take autoflower seeds to germinate?
Autoflower seeds typically germinate within 24 to 72 hours under ideal conditions.
What is the best autoflower light schedule?
While they're not dependent on light cycles, autoflowers generally do best with 18-24 hours of light per day for optimal growth.