Autoflowers offer plenty of benefits to photoperiods, however, the main downside for many growers is that they do produce less bud. Of course there are autoflowering strains out there that are bred to produce lots of weed, but for those of you growing for shear size are autoflowers worth it and if so how much can an autoflower yield?
Yield is not just about genetics – lighting, nutrition, growth environment, and care all play crucial roles too. This article breaks down these factors, providing insights into just how much weed autoflowers are capable of producing and how you can maximize your autoflower yields.
We’ll also debunk some common myths, and provide practical tips from seasoned experts. The secret? It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach but a mix of careful planning, diligent care, and a dash of green thumb intuition. Stick around to discover how to get the most out of your autoflower crops.
What is the maximum yield of an autoflower plant?
First and foremost, let’s address a critical question: What is the maximum yield of an autoflower plant?
The answer to this question can vary significantly due to a multitude of factors. However, under ideal conditions, the average autoflower plant is capable of producing between 1 to 3.5 ounces (28 to 100 grams) per plant. These figures apply to both indoor and outdoor environments. Some strains, particularly those genetically designed for bigger yields, can produce even more, potentially up to 6 ounces (170 grams) per plant.
Keep in mind, these estimates represent an ideal scenario where the plant grows in optimal conditions with proper lighting, watering, nutrition, and care. In reality, a grower, especially a novice, may not achieve these maximum autoflower yields on their first few attempts.
While these figures might sound promising, remember that autoflowers typically produce less than their photoperiod counterparts due to their shorter growth cycle. Nevertheless, the convenience of autoflowering strains in terms of their quick growth and lack of need for light cycle adjustment makes them a popular choice for many cannabis cultivators.
Maximizing autoflower yield comes down to understanding the plant’s needs and ensuring these needs are met throughout the growing process. The following sections will guide you on how to optimize these conditions.
Wet vs dry yields – How yield is calculated
It’s essential to understand the difference between wet and dry yields and how this affects your autoflower yield calculation.
A “wet yield” refers to the total weight of the bud immediately after it has been harvested. At this stage, the plant material is still full of water, which significantly increases its weight. On the other hand, a “dry yield” refers to the weight of the cannabis after it has been properly dried and cured.
The drying and curing process is crucial for cannabis as it enhances the taste, potency, and overall quality of the product. However, it also causes a considerable reduction in weight, as much of the water content evaporates from the plant. As a general rule, you can expect the dry yield to be around 20-25% of the wet yield. For instance, if an autoflower plant produces 500 grams of wet yield, the dry yield would likely be between 100 and 125 grams after drying and curing.
It’s crucial to remember this distinction because the number you’re likely most interested in is the dry yield. This figure gives you the actual usable product you’ll have at the end of the process. So, when considering autoflower yields, always refer to the dry yield for a realistic understanding of your potential harvest.
What affects the yield of an autoflower?
To further understand autoflower yields, it’s crucial to look at the factors affecting the yield of an autoflower. Not all plants are created equal, and various conditions can significantly impact the quantity and quality of your harvest.
- Genetics: The genetic makeup of your autoflower strain is one of the biggest factors influencing your yield. Some strains are naturally higher yielding than others, so it’s important to choose the right strain according to your desired yield.
- Lighting: Light is vital for all plants, and cannabis is no exception. Autoflowering strains can typically handle more hours of light than photoperiod strains, leading to more energy for growth and, subsequently, larger yields.
- Nutrients: Autoflowers require a careful balance of nutrients from around the 2-3 week of their life. Starting with the very basics you should supply a blend of macro nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), that are vital for a plants health. Along with a blend of micronutrients that together help to support photosynthesis, enhance bud development, and strengthen plant resilience, maximizing autoflower yields.
- Pots: Pot size directly impacts autoflower yield as it determines root growth. Larger pots (15L for optimum yields) allow expansive root systems, enabling better nutrient absorption, healthier plants, and thus larger yields.
- Growing Medium: The substrate in which your plants grow can also affect yield. Soil, coco coir, or hydroponics all offer different benefits and can influence growth rate and overall yield.
- Watering: Too much or too little water can harm your autoflowers and decrease your yield. Regular watering without waterlogging the roots is key.
- Training Techniques: Implementing certain plant training techniques like Low-Stress Training (LST) or High-Stress Training (HST) can maximize light exposure and potentially increase yield.
- Temperature and Humidity: Autoflowers prefer a specific range of temperature and humidity. Adhering to these preferences can result in healthier plants and improved yields.
- Pest and Disease Management: Keeping your plants healthy and free from pests and diseases is vital to maximizing your yield.
In the end, getting the highest possible autoflower yield involves a combination of these factors. A deep understanding and careful management of these elements will ensure that you get the most from your autoflower plants.
Genetics play a pivotal role in the potential yield of an autoflower. Certain strains have been bred specifically to have higher yields, leveraging genetic traits passed down through generations of selective breeding.
Strains with a high yield potential often have a genetic background that includes a mix of sativa, indica, and cannabis ruderalis genes. These hybrid strains carry the autoflowering trait from ruderalis, combined with the high yield and potency traits from either sativa or indica varieties.
It’s worth noting that high yield autoflower strains typically have a slightly longer flowering time than other autoflowers. This extended period allows the plant to produce larger buds, leading to a more significant autoflower yield.
Some popular high-yield autoflowering strains include:
- Big Bud Auto: Big Bud Auto, an autoflowering Indica strain, has 14%-17% THC, yields 400-500 g/sm, flowers in 8-10 weeks, and remains short (60-100 cm).
- Auto Purple Gorilla: Known for producing massive yields, this strain can offer up to 550g/m² indoors and up to 300g/plant outdoors. It’s a slightly more challenging strain to grow but well worth the effort.
- Auto Cinderella Jack: This high-yielding strain can provide yields up to 500-700g/m² indoors and 80-150g/plant outdoors. The strain is also known for its potent THC levels.
A crucial factor in the life cycle of any plant. When it comes to autoflowers, the type of light used and the light cycle followed can significantly affect the final yield.
Autoflowers, unlike their photoperiod counterparts, are not dependent on light cycles to initiate flowering. They will automatically flower after a set number of weeks, hence the name “autoflower.” However, the intensity, spectrum, and duration of light exposure directly influence their growth and development.
Most growers follow an 18/6 or 20/4 light cycle for autoflowers. Both of these schedules allow the plant to get plenty of energy for photosynthesis and growth while still allowing a rest period.
As for the type of lights, have a look at some of the most popular choices:
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights: These are the industry standard and include Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights. MH lights are often used during the vegetative stage, and HPS lights during the flowering stage due to their respective color spectrums.
- Fluorescent Lights (CFLs and T5s): These are popular for small-scale or beginner growers. They run cooler and use less electricity but are less intense, making them less suitable for larger, high-yield grows.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs): LEDs are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency, full-spectrum light output, and longevity. They can be more expensive upfront, but often pay for themselves in energy savings and yield increase over time.
- Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) and Light Emitting Ceramic (LEC): These lights are newer technology, offering a broad light spectrum, increased efficiency, and longevity.
Another aspect that can influence your the yield of your autoflowers is the pot size you choose for your plants. While it may seem like a minor detail, the size of the pot can significantly affect the plant’s root development, and by extension, its overall growth and yield.
Autoflower plants, by their nature, have a relatively short vegetative phase. This quick transition to the flowering stage leaves little time for extensive root growth. Therefore, they usually don’t require as large a pot as traditional photoperiod cannabis plants.
Generally, a pot size of 3 to 5 gallons (11-19 liters) is considered suitable for most autoflowering strains. This size provides enough space for the roots to grow and develop without wasting resources on unnecessary extra soil.
However, the optimal pot size can vary depending on the specific strain and growing conditions. For instance, larger autoflower strains might benefit from a 10-15L sized pot, while smaller strains can do well in a smaller pot.
It’s important to remember that once an autoflower is planted, it’s generally not recommended to transplant it into a bigger pot. The stress from transplanting can shock the plant and reduce its final yield. Therefore, it’s recommended to start autoflowers in their final pot.
When selecting the pot, also consider the material. Fabric pots or air pots are great options as they allow better oxygenation of the root zone and prevent issues like overwatering.
Ultimately, choosing the right pot size for your autoflowers is a balancing act. You want to provide enough space for healthy root development without wasting resources or space. By getting it right, you’ll encourage optimal plant health, which contributes to a better autoflower yield.
Training methods used
Training methods for cannabis plants are techniques used by growers to maximize the plant’s exposure to light and optimize growth, ultimately boosting the autoflower yield. Let’s discuss a couple of common training methods often used with autoflowers:
- Low Stress Training (LST): This method involves gently bending and tying down branches to create a more horizontal plant structure, which maximizes light exposure to the lower parts of the plant. It’s called “low stress” because, if done correctly, it doesn’t severely stress the plant. LST can lead to larger yields because it allows more buds to get sufficient light, leading to more growth.
- High Stress Training (HST): These techniques involve more drastic measures like topping or super cropping (pinching and bending stems until they snap). While these methods can potentially lead to higher yields, they also stress the plant more and can harm it if not done correctly. Because of the short vegetative phase of autoflowers, HST methods are usually not recommended, as the plants may not have enough time to recover.
- Sea of Green (SOG): This method involves growing many small plants close together to create a “sea” of green tops that absorb the light. SOG can be a good method for autoflowers due to their compact size and quick harvest times, allowing for several crops per year.
While these techniques can increase the yield of your autoflower plants, it’s essential to approach them with care. Remember, autoflowers have a limited vegetative phase, and any recovery time from stress can eat into their flowering time, potentially impacting yield. Therefore, LST methods, which involve less stress, are generally preferred for autoflowers.
How long does it take for an autoflower to yield?
Autoflowers typically take between 8 to 12 weeks from seed to harvest, though this can vary depending on the specific strain and growing conditions. This short cycle allows for multiple harvests within a single growing season.
Can autoflowers yield as much as regular cannabis plants?
Generally, autoflowers yield less than their photoperiod counterparts due to their smaller size and shorter growth cycle. However, the gap is closing as breeders continue to improve autoflower genetics. Also, the ability to have multiple harvests per year with autoflowers can offset the smaller yield per plant.
Can I use regular nutrients for my autoflowers?
Yes, you can use regular cannabis nutrients for autoflowers. However, autoflowers typically require less feeding than photoperiod plants, so it’s advisable to start with a half-strength nutrient solution to avoid overfeeding.
Do autoflowers need a dark period?
While autoflowers aren’t dependent on a light-dark cycle to flower, they can benefit from a dark period each day. Many growers opt for an 18/6 light cycle, giving plants 6 hours of darkness for rest.
Can I clone my autoflowers for a higher yield?
Technically, you can clone autoflowers, but it’s generally not recommended. Autoflowers have a set life cycle, and clones will be the same age as the mother plant. This means they’ll likely start flowering before they have time to grow, resulting in a significantly lower yield.
How much will 4 Autoflowers yield?
The yield from four autoflowers depends on various factors like strain potential, conditions, and care. Ideally, medium-sized autoflowers can yield 2 ounces (56 grams) per plant, totaling around 8 ounces (224 grams) for four. For beginners, a more realistic estimate could be 1 ounce per plant, summing up to 4 ounces (112 grams) for four plants. However, with multiple grow cycles per year due to autoflowers’ short life cycle, annual yields can be substantial.
What is the average yield per plant 600W light?
Under optimal conditions, a 600W light can yield approximately 1 gram per watt, equaling around 600 grams or 21 ounces per harvest. However, in less ideal situations or for beginners, yield could be closer to 0.5 grams per watt, about 300 grams or 10.5 ounces. Note this estimate refers to the total yield, not per plant. 1 single plant under a 600W light could yield up to 200 grams although it is rare that autoflowers produce this much bud.
How long do Autoflowers stay in flower?
Autoflowers typically flower for 5-8 weeks, although some strains may take up to 10 weeks. Unlike photoperiod plants, autoflowers start flowering based on their age, not light exposure, leading to a quicker 8-10 week seed-to-harvest cycle. This allows for multiple yearly harvests. Growers can identify the flowering stage by the appearance of pistils on buds, and harvest when these change from white to brown.
Autoflower yields hinge on factors such as strain, light, pot size, and care. Remember, optimal conditions could lead to larger harvests, with multiple cycles possible annually due to autoflowers’ quick growth. Use this knowledge to maximize your next grow’s potential. If you found this information valuable, don’t hesitate to like and share this article. Happy growing!