What is the best autoflower nutrient feeding schedule

Autoflowers are much smaller than photoperiod cannabis plants, and therefore they require a lot less nutrients. So its vital to understand how how much nutrients to give your autoflowers and when.

So, what is the best feeding schedule for autoflower nutrients?

This article will break down the three growth stages of autoflowers: seedling, vegetative, and flowering and provide you with a week-by-week guide on how much nutrients your plants need, and when.

What is the best feeding schedule for autoflowers?

Nutrient timing for autoflowering cannabis plants can make or break your harvest. Unlike their photoperiod cannabis plants, autoflowers have a shorter life cycle and they are much smaller, this means they are more sensitive to nutrients and there is less room for error. So, let’s get down to the specifics of feeding schedule and dosage.

Here is a basic feeding schedule that will work with almost all autoflowering strains. You should also adjust the NPK ratios schedule for your autoflowers throughout their growth stages.

Most store bought autoflower nutrients will give instructions for how much to feed an ordinary photoperiod plant. Because autoflowers are smaller this will need to be adjusted to avoid nutrient burn in your plants. Below is a good guide that will work for most autoflowering plants.

Growth StageFeeding Schedule for Autoflowers
Seedling stage No nutrients
Early veg stage1/8 veg nutrients for 1 week, 1/4 veg nutrients for 1 week
Vegetative stage1/2 veg nutrients until preflowers start to show
Preflowering stage1/4 veg nutrients and 1/8 bloom nutrients
Early flowering stage1/8 veg nutrients and 1/4 bloom nutrients
Flowering stage1/2 bloom nutrients cutting back to 1/4 nutrients 1 week prior to flushing
Flushing stage (last week)No nutrients required
Feeding schedule for autoflowering plants throughout their growth stages

Should I use nutrients every time I water?

The short answer is no. Overfeeding can lead to nutrient lockout or toxicity. Start by providing nutrients every other watering, and monitor your autoflowers closely for signs of nutrient deficiency or nutrient burn.

It is very easy to overfeed autoflowers because of their size so take a ‘less is more’ approach, it is much easier to increase the amount of nutrients you are giving them than to reverse over feeding.

What do you feed autoflowers during the flowering stage?

The flowering stage is a critical period for bud development. During this phase, phosphorus and potassium become essential. These nutrients aid in bud growth and resin production. Cut back on nitrogen, as excessive amounts can inhibit bud formation. Look for specialized flowering nutrients (often called bloom nutrients) with higher ratios of phosphorus and potassium to give your plants that final push towards bigger and denser buds.

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Do autoflowers need a lot of nutrients?

Autoflowers don’t require a lot of nutrients because of their compact size and shorter growth cycle, they typically need less than their photoperiod counterparts. Overdoing nutrients can easily lead to problems like nutrient burn or lockout, so exercise caution.

When should you start to give autoflowers nutrients?

For the first few weeks, your autoflowers can usually get by with just the nutrients present in your soil. After that, you’ll want to introduce half-strength nutrients and gradually increase to full strength based on the plant’s response. It’s better to start slow than to overload your young plants with too much, too soon as this will only lead to stress and stunted growth.

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What soil nutrients do autoflowers need?

Soil rich in organic matter is an excellent start for autoflowers. They generally need a balanced mix of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), commonly abbreviated as N-P-K. When it comes to micronutrients, elements like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are also important but in smaller quantities. Specialty cannabis soils often come pre-loaded with these essentials, making your job easier.

If you use a soil that is made up of things such as bat guano, worm castings and compost there will be enough nutrients naturally in the soil to sustain an autoflower. It may now grow huge, but if you want a low maintenance organic grow then this is the way to go. If you want to grow completely organically, you can also add nutrient rich amendments such as bone meal and fish meal to the soil.

What should I do if I overfeed my autoflowers?

Ideally you should only be feeding your autoflowers every other time you water them. However, always pay attention to your plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses and adjust your schedule accordingly. If you spot any signs of nutrient burn or nutrient lockout, you should imediately stop giving them any more nutrients and flush your weed plants with just pH adjusted water until you see the signs reversing. Wait until any signs of nutrient burn have completely cleared up before giving them anymore nutrients.

What does Epsom Salt do for autoflowers?

Epsom salt is primarily magnesium sulfate, beneficial for correcting magnesium deficiencies in cannabis plants. It aids in chlorophyll production, nutrient absorption, and overall plant vigor. However, use it sparingly and only when needed. A tablespoon per gallon of water is generally sufficient. Adding Epsom salt when your plants don’t require it can disrupt the nutrient balance and lead to issues.


Finding the optimal nutrient feeding schedule can be a game-changer for your next autoflower grow. You’ve learned the importance of when to feed your autoflowers, how often and how to not overfeed them. So now its time to put this to practice and get growing! Don’t forget to like and share this article!

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