How To Grow Autoflower Weed Seeds

What are the biggest mistakes you can make when growing autoflowering cannabis? Read the basics and find out how to take care of your strain's buds. Check out these tips to help optimise your indoor autoflowering cannabis grow-op. Avoid major mistakes, and provide plants with ideal environmental conditions. Autoflowering cannabis strains grow fast, remain compact, and offer great results. Use this guide to learn how to cultivate them week by week!

9 Mistakes To Avoid When Growing Autoflowering Cannabis

Autoflowers are too easy to grow if you avoid these 9 common mistakes. Find out if you’re growing autoflowering cannabis plants the right way in this article.

  • 1. Knowing the basics
  • 2. Time it right
  • 3. Germination
  • 4. Choose the right medium
  • 5. Choose good containers
  • 6. Do not transplant
  • 7. Over and under-watering
  • 8. Overfeeding and underfeeding
  • 8. a. Macro and micronutrients
  • 8. b. Ph levels
  • 9. Harvest at the right time
  • 10. Frequently asked questions about autoflowers
  • 11. In conclusion

Autoflower cannabis has always sparked debates among growers in the cannabis community. Due to a dearth of knowledge or experience, many growers avoid growing autoflowers. Beginners are expected to only grow photoperiod plants, and while the fear of something new and unexpected is understandable, you might discover something more amazing if you just try. Autoflowers are really easy to grow but there are basic guidelines you should know, just like when growing other plants or vegetables. All plants are different and even though you can successfully harvest the first time you grow cannabis, there are common mistakes that are better to avoid. If you’re new to autoflower growing and are looking for an autoflower grow guide or want to know how to grow autoflowering strains, here are a couple of tips to have you growing in no time.

1. Knowing the basics

To set things straight, let’s begin by saying that autoflowers are really easy to grow. In fact, beginners can try growing autoflowers with little to no experience as long as they understand the basics 1 . And this is true for all plants. Can you expect to grow tomatoes if you’re clueless about using nutrients? Or, can you harvest cucumbers if you don’t even know when to harvest them? No? Similarly, autoflowers need you to follow a few basic guidelines like other plants, and you’ll do just fine if you take the time to understand them.

But what makes autoflowering cannabis cultivars so easy to grow? Well, there are a few beginner-friendly traits that set them apart from their photoperiod cousins. For one, they descend from a type of cannabis—known as cannabis ruderalis—that adapted to the harsh conditions of Siberia. All autos possess Ruderalis genetics, which endows them with impressive hardiness, good pest and disease resistance, and rapid growing times. If you’re an indoor grower, you won’t even need to adjust the light cycle to get them to flower. Now that you’re more familiar with autoflowering genetics, let’s take a look at what mistakes to avoid to achieve the best outcome possible.

After all, a plant that gives you lip-smacking buds in just 2 months deserves some research, eh? Autoflowers may scare you at first, but if you avoid a few common mistakes, you’ll harvest much more than you can imagine, and it only gets better.

2. Time it right

Timing is everything if you’re planning to grow autoflowers outdoors. Since autoflowers don’t depend on light to flower, you don’t need to worry too much. But, planting too early will generate smaller yields and planting too late affects yields too.

Frost must be avoided at all costs. Typically, most growers begin planting when spring is just around the corner. Depending on where you live, you can plant the seeds as soon as the frost clears. If you reside in a location that doesn’t receive any snow, go ahead and plant when the temperatures range between 22°C to 28°C (71°F to 77°F).

If you live in a particularly cold region, there are steps you can take to protect your plants from the threat of late frosts. Of course, starting seeds indoors will help here. Plus, doing so will help to speed up germination times. Moving them out into greenhouses and polytunnels will add an additional layer of protection as the seasonal frosts begin to wane. If you have no choice but to move them outdoors under the sky, consider covering young plants with bell cloches and mulching the surrounding soil with hay or straw as a form of insulation.

You can also leverage timing to take advantage of successive harvests. Staggering sowings by two weeks till break up the work that awaits come harvest time. It will help you space out all of that trimming, drying, and curing into easily manageable portions. Bigger plants can tolerate much higher temperatures but tender seedlings will succumb to extreme temperatures. Remember to avoid rainy seasons since the plant doesn’t receive too much light. Of course, the timing doesn’t matter if growing indoors, so sow those seeds whenever you wish!

3. Germination

For beginners, germinating the seeds is an important part of the entire process. To get better results, soak the seeds in plain water for at least 24 hours and wrap them in moist paper towels for a day or two. Use a ziplock bag to store the towels.

By soaking your seeds up to 48hrs and then keeping them in a moist paper towel you guarantee successful germination.

It’s important to keep the towels moist because the seeds can rot if there’s too much water. Similarly, the seeds won’t sprout if the towels are completely dry. Don’t make the mistake of directly planting the seeds, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Once the seeds show a tap root, plant the seeds in the final container. Despite having to keep the seeds in damp paper towels, make sure they are not completely wet, too much water can rot the seeds. The best way to identify this is by smell if the paper towels start to smell like mold, immediately take them out and change the towels.

Sebastian Good gives you all the essential information about germination of autoflowering cannabis seeds.

Depending on your experience, you can also germinate your seeds directly in the medium, just make sure you’re not overwatering it because you can end up drowning your seeds. As you can see in the video, germinating in the soil is easy and doesn’t require anything extra, just be careful and you’ll see a seedling coming out of the ground in a couple of days.

4. Choose the right medium

Growing plants in hydroponic setups seem very cool, but soil is your best bet if you have no experience. Avoid using clay soils that clump up because autoflowers thrive in well-aerated soil. A soilless medium of equal parts of peat moss or coco peat, perlite, some airy soil, and sand is the best potting mix for autoflowers. If you don’t want to bother about fertilizing at all, you can even try growing autoflowers organically. There are various ways to make your own organic soil, but you can buy some in your local store to start with. Organic soil is premised with nutrients, so it’s ideal for someone that doesn’t have a lot of time. For growers that don’t mind putting in the efforts, composting and building super soil is the best soil mix for autoflowers.

There are a variety of different techniques to create healthy compost loaded with organic matter and beneficial microorganisms. If you can get your hands on enough green (grass cuttings, food scraps, coffee grounds, manure) and brown materials (cardboard, paper, woodchips) to fill a compost bin immediately, you can create a hot compost pile that will produce an excellent growing medium in as little as a few weeks. Simply add 50% green material and 50% brown material, stack them in alternating layers, and turn and water occasionally.

If growing outdoors, till the soil well and amend it with organic nutrients to produce a happy, healthy plant. But, no matter what you do while growing indoors, stay away from old used soil or sterilize it before you plant seeds to prevent diseases. If you have the luxury of a garden, you can leverage biodiversity in your favor to produce incredible auto specimens. Consider sowing companion plants such as basil, chamomile, and yarrow nearby to attract beneficial insects that will help to keep pest species away. If you live in a hot climate, low-growing ground cover plants such as winter squash will help to cast a shadow over the soil and, in doing so, boost moisture retention and reduce the amount of watering you have to do.

5. Choose good containers

Please don’t stuff seeds in plastic containers that make life hell for the poor roots. Use porous containers such as fabric pots or even Airpots to help the plants grow as much as possible. Autoflowers are typically small, but they need containers that are at least 5-8 liters in size.

Roots also need oxygen, although they need water to absorb nutrients, a lack of oxygen can damage and kill your plants.

Bigger autoflowers need bigger containers, so make sure you check the description before purchasing seeds. Root aeration is often overlooked, but it’s an important factor in determining your yields.

The appropriate pot size can also help you control the height of your cannabis plants, usually, a 12L pot will allow your plant to develop to its maximum, an auto in a 7L pot will grow up to 70cm and in a 3L pot will grow around 40cm.

If you’re growing autos outdoors in a warm climate, your containers will dry out fast—especially during heatwaves. To help improve water retention, consider applying a layer of mulch onto the top of your growing medium. Straw, hay, or leaf litter helps to produce more of a natural growing environment—how much bare soil do you see when walking through the forest? As well as breaking down and feeding soil microbes over time, these materials shield the top layer of soil from the sun and reduce water loss via evaporation.

See also  Taproot Weed Seed

6. Do not transplant

It’s important to start autoflowers in their final containers rather than planting them in smaller ones and transplanting them later. Sure, growing cannabis is like growing tomatoes, but autoflowers have a limited time period and can’t afford to lose days while the plant settles and searches for roots.

Some growers use small plastic cups to plant seeds. While this method may work with photoperiod plants, it’s not recommended for autoflowers. If you’re already committed the mistake of planting them in small containers, try to transplant the plant only when the soil is moist. If the soil is too wet, the roots tend to break, and if it’s too dry, transplanting becomes a pain. Of course, experienced growers do transplant autoflowers but it’s not really necessary.

7. Over and under-watering

Most plants die if you over or under-water them. Yes, autoflowers need water to grow, but it’s critical to supply it only when the plant needs it. It’s obvious that the timing is important even when the plants need water.

A way to check if the soil is dry is to use your index finger and stick it in the soil, if it comes out moist then the soil is still humid, although by doing this you won’t be able to know if the bottom is still wet so in order to get the timing right, lift the pots and check the weight. A dry pot will be easy to lift whereas container with lots of water will be heavy. The trick is to not let the soil go too dry or too wet, so water the plants only when the pot isn’t too heavy or light.

8. Overfeeding and underfeeding

Nutrients play a big role in growing autoflowering cannabis strains. Autoflowers are compact, so they don’t need loads of nutes in order to survive. In fact, autoflowers grow best when light fertilizers are used. It’s also important to feed the right nutrients at the right time.

Macro and micronutrients

For example, cannabis needs more nitrogen in the vegetative stage. In the pre-flowering stage, nutrients with more phosphorous are preferred, and in the flowering stage needs a lot more potassium than nitrogen or phosphorous. If you’re wondering what the term “N-P-K” printed on fertilizer bags means, it’s nothing but Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium. The plants also need other micronutrients along with calcium and magnesium, so it’s extremely important to get the dosage right.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of using Miracle Grow or any other fertilizer meant to grow vegetables. Autoflowers will grow well even if you do that, but since they have special needs, you might as well stick to nutrients that supply everything. From humic to fulvic acid to enzymes, you can do a lot to make the plants perform to the best of their potential.

Talking about nutrients, some growers try to make their own nutes. While it’s completely okay to do so, you should avoid doing it if you’ve never done that before. Nutrients are expensive and it’s tempting to make your own, but try to attempt that after you’ve gained some experience. Why? Because cannabis plants require a good blend containing all micro and macronutrients in exact concentrations to thrive. It’s not as simple as diluting a random fertilizer and feeding the plants. You not only risk burning the plants, but the yields will suffer drastically since the plants have no time to recover.

PH levels

So, if it’s your first time, stick to commercial nutrients. And, the topic on nutrients is incomplete if you don’t talk about pH. Depending on the medium 2 you choose to grow, the pH must be regulated accordingly. Cannabis plants love acidic soil, so the pH must be maintained between 5.5 to 7 in both soil and hydroponic setups. If the pH drops below 6, the roots will not be able to intake vital nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. Similarly, if the pH is too alkaline and goes above 7.5, the roots cannot take up micronutrients like copper, manganese, boron, etc. It’s very important to regulate the pH at all times to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Here’s a quick table to help you understand pH better:

Nutrient Ideal PH Level for Absorption
Nitrogen 6.0-8.0
Phosphorus 6.5-7.5
Potassium 6-8
Calcium 6.5-8.5
Magnesium 6-8.5

Sometimes, it just so happens that the plant refuses to respond even if you’ve done everything. In such cases, flush the plants with lots of water (at least double or triple the size of the container) to reduce any nutrient or salt buildup so that the plants can breathe again. Flushing is typically done at the end, but it doesn’t hurt the plant even if you do it in between because it reduces buildups to a good extent.

Some growers also flush during the pre-flowering stage, when the plants are transitioning from the vegetative into the flowering stage so they can start feeding from zero, as said above, this won’t hurt your plants but should be done properly.

9. Harvest at the right time

You’ve come all this way, and the end is almost near, so don’t screw this up now! Now you’re probably asking “how to tell if my autoflower is ready for harvest?” Well, after you’ve put in all the hard work, wait for the right time. Growers use microscopes to check the trichomes that usually indicate the right time, but you can harvest when at least 50 to 70 percent of the pistils are amber in color. While judging pistil colors works well for many growers, you can use trichome color as an accurate estimation for harvest time, too.

Have you ever noticed that white frosty layer on the surface of cannabis buds? They might not look like much to the naked eye, but these are tiny mushroom-shaped glands known as trichomes that produce all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that underpin the effects, aroma, and flavor of different strains. Low-cost forms of magnification, such as jewelers’ loupes, offer an up-close and personal view of these little phytochemical factories.

By assessing their color, you can get a good understanding of the maturity of your buds. Clear trichomes indicate that flowers are still too young and lack adequate levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. Aim to harvest when at least 50% of the trichomes you inspect are milky and opaque. If you wait too long, these glands will start to display an amber color, signifying the partial degradation of THC into CBN—a byproduct associated with a more physical and stoning effect.

If you wait too much, the buds tend to produce a couch-lock effect leaning more towards the Indica side while buds harvested too early generate unpleasant psychoactive effects. Also, the main colas ripen faster than the lower portions of the plant. Often referred to as popcorn buds, the lower portions stay small. However, harvesting the main colas and leaving the popcorn buds on the plant for a week more will increase yields dramatically. Be patient, and let Mother Nature do the rest for you! If you avoid these common mistakes when growing autoflowering cannabis, you’ll soon be rewarded with potent resinous buds that will last a long time if stored properly.

10. Frequently Asked Questions About Autoflowers

What’s the average autoflower size and how tall can they get?

Most autoflowers reach a height of around 50-100cm but a plant’s size depends on the genetics and growing conditions. Also, all strains are different so you will find Sativa and Indica-leaning autos; Most Indica hybrid autoflowers will stay around the 80-120cm mark but Sativa-dominant autoflowers can reach up to 175cm tall.

Can I grow my auto on my window sill?

Yes, you can, although it’s not recommended if you want to get the best results possible but if this is the only way you have, make sure your plant gets at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight a day and that you’re using at least a 10-liter pot.

Do autoflowers grow normal or smaller because of the Ruderalis genes?

The size of an autoflower can be influenced by several factors, genetics being the main one. More modern autoflower breeders breed their genetics to contain as little as Ruderalis genetics as possible, focusing on the more appealing characteristics such as size, structure, potency, and yields.

But when compared to a photoperiod plant, an autoflower has a limited lifespan so things such as stress, damage, or a bad environment can ultimately affect your auto’s height, so it’s ideal to provide optimum grow conditions to get the best results possible.

When is the best time to plant autoflowers outdoors?

This solely depends on your climate, you need to remember that autos prefer dry sunny days so if you’re planning to have just one grow cycle, you can start them 1-2 weeks into Summer, and if you’re planning to have 2 harvests, start the next one right after finishing the first one.

What yield can I expect per autoflowering plant?

The yields depend on genetics, environment, stress, growers skills, and etc.. But in general, you can expect between 50-110 grams per plant.

How long will it take for my auto to start flowering?

In general, autoflowers stay for 4 weeks in the vegetative stage, so about 4 weeks. Then your auto will start developing flowers for 3 weeks, and fattening up the buds for the last 3 weeks.

Most autoflowers take around 10 weeks from seed to harvest but may take longer depending on the phenotype and growing conditions.

This may vary according to the genetics and growing environment, have in mind that it’s just to give you an idea of what to expect, some autoflowers may take less and others take longer.

Yes, you can, although it’s not recommended because it can affect the yields. To prevent shocking your autoflowers and consequently affecting yields, it’s recommended to transplant 7-12 days after germination and if possible, use rooting cubes to prevent damaging the roots.

Can you grow autoflowering cannabis in a greenhouse?

Of course you can, you can grow autoflowers in a greenhouse all year round as long as you keep the inside temperature to a minimum of 15°C and there’s enough ventilation, airflow, and sunlight.

See also  Weed Sunflower Seeds

11. In conclusion

Autoflowers (aka self flowering seeds) are suited for beginner growers but it’s crucial you know the basics if you want to have a successful harvest the first time you grow cannabis, although you can learn as you go, it can be disappointing if you waste time and money, and end up with nothing to smoke.

Now that you know the basics and what to avoid, you’re all set up to start your first autoflower indoor grow.

If you’ve never grown cannabis before and are planning on growing our autos, feel free to ask us anything in the comment section below!

Tips For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis Indoors

Autoflowers are a class of cannabis that has only thrived on the commercial market in the last few years. Today, they are taking the market by storm with their ease of growth and great results. With these tips for growing autoflowers indoors, you can make the most of your autoflowering grow-op!

Cannabinoids, terpenes, phytochemicals, organic cultivation

Contents:

  • 0. Benefits of growing autoflowers indoors
  • 1. Tip 1: choose the right strains
  • 2. Tip 2: don’t repot your autoflowers
  • 3. Tip 3: use a root stimulant
  • 4. Tip 4: grow in light and airy soil
  • 5. Tip 5: use the right type of light
  • 6. Tip 6: try the sea of green method
  • 7. Tip 7: watch your watering
  • 8. Tip 8: control the ph level of your water
  • 9. Tip 9: cut the nutrients
  • 10. Tip 10: don’t top your autoflowers
  • 11. Tip 11: ensure good airflow, humidity, and temperature
  • 12. Tip 12: flush
  • 13. Tip 13: harvest gradually
  • 14. Tip 14: harvest all year round
  • 15. Conclusion
  • 0. Benefits of growing autoflowers indoors
  • 1. Tip 1: choose the right strains
  • 2. Tip 2: don’t repot your autoflowers
  • 3. Tip 3: use a root stimulant
  • 4. Tip 4: grow in light and airy soil
  • 5. Tip 5: use the right type of light
  • 6. Tip 6: try the sea of green method
  • 7. Tip 7: watch your watering
  • 8. Tip 8: control the ph level of your water
  • 9. Tip 9: cut the nutrients
  • 10. Tip 10: don’t top your autoflowers
  • 11. Tip 11: ensure good airflow, humidity, and temperature
  • 12. Tip 12: flush
  • 13. Tip 13: harvest gradually
  • 14. Tip 14: harvest all year round
  • 15. Conclusion

BENEFITS OF GROWING AUTOFLOWERS INDOORS

Autoflowering cannabis strains are great. Unlike conventional (i.e. photoperiod) plants, it is age, not light cycle, that determines when autoflowers switch to flowering. This makes growing autoflowers straightforward, as growers can just leave their plants under a fixed light schedule (such as 18/6) from seed to harvest. Autoflowers also grow faster and don’t get as big as photoperiod strains. Your buds will be ready for you in a short ~60–65 days from planting your seeds. Since many autoflowers won’t get taller than 50–70cm, they are ideal for growing indoors, where space is often limited.

With all the benefits of growing autoflowers indoors, it’s not surprising that they are immensely popular, and not just among those new to cannabis growing. Here are some vital tips on how to best grow autoflowers indoors, so you can look forward to great harvests!

TIP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS

More than anything else, genetics will play the biggest role in determining the final outcome of your grow operation. But what makes the right strain? Well, let’s start with your personal preferences, for example, what type of effect you want from your cannabis. If you’re smoking to get blazed with the best and the latest, you can’t go wrong with THC monsters like the super dank and potent Royal Cookies Automatic or Royal Gorilla Automatic, our automatic variants of two popular strains!

Then again, if you happen to be a medicinal cannabis user, or for some other reason choose not to get high, a low-THC, high-CBD strain like the excellent Solomatic CBD can be a good choice.

The other thing you should consider when selecting a strain is its growing characteristics. Some strains may be easier than others to manage, or are known to grow and flower exceptionally fast. If you’re still new to growing, or simply want to grow great bud in a very short time, you may want to take a look at our Easy Bud or Quick One.

TIP 2: DON’T REPOT YOUR AUTOFLOWERS

As the lifespan of autoflowering cannabis is limited, it is less forgiving when it comes to major stressors and mistakes. When plants experience high amounts of stress, growth stalls; while this may be fine for conventional cannabis that can be kept in veg longer to recover, autoflowers don’t have that luxury—they will flower regardless. As such, it’s best to start autos in their final pot right from the get-go to avoid transplant shock.

That said, you shouldn’t need very large pots for your autos as they won’t usually get very tall.
You should nevertheless choose a pot large enough so the plant doesn’t get root-bound, but instead has plenty of space to grow.

For germinating your autoflowering cannabis seeds, we recommend using the Autoflowering Starter Kit for best results.

TIP 3: USE A ROOT STIMULANT

Autoflowers don’t have all the time in the world to grow. Right after sprouting, your plant will need to spend a good amount of time establishing a healthy root system. When you administer a root stimulant immediately after placing your seed in the pot, this will support your plant in this crucial process. But don’t go overboard as your seedling will be very sensitive to overfeeding. Use only the minimum recommended dose of root stimulant.

TIP 4: GROW IN LIGHT AND AIRY SOIL

Autoflowering cannabis prefers light and airy soil that contains lower levels of nutrients than soil for photoperiod strains. As most ready-made universal potting mixes may contain too much nitrogen or other nutrients, choose only a lightly fertilised potting mix for your autoflowers. Your autoflowers also want soil that is not too compact, as this may otherwise prevent the roots from accessing adequate amounts of air.

The best solution is to make your own soil mix at home.

Recipe for DIY light and airy soil for autoflowers:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts compost
  • 2 parts perlite, moistened
  • 1 part vermiculite, moistened

You can find out more about making an optimal potting mix for your autoflowers in our blog **The Best Soil For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis.

TIP 5: USE THE RIGHT TYPE OF LIGHT

With autoflowers, you don’t need to worry about light schedules like you would with photoperiod plants. When growing autoflowers, you can just leave your lights on a 18/6 schedule (18h on, 6h off) for the entire grow, and can even grow them under 24 hours of light. Which schedule is “better” is open to debate. Many growers use the 18/6 schedule, as this gives good results while using less energy than a constant 24h cycle.

As for the right type of light, LEDs are now replacing HPS lighting in grow rooms and tents everywhere. They may be more expensive outright, but they use a lot less energy than HPS, so you will save massively on energy costs over time. If you’re using an LED grow light, you may want to see whether it is also equipped with UV lights. Some growers say that UV light makes for better taste and potency.

When starting your seeds, and for young plants, you can also use standard fluorescent lamps such as T5 lights. These use very little energy and don’t get warm, so there is no risk of burning your sensitive seedlings.

TIP 6: TRY THE SEA OF GREEN METHOD

The sea of green (SOG) method is really just a fancy term for growing a lot of smaller plants in your grow room for bigger yields. Autoflowers are ideal for growing in a SOG as they are already smaller by nature.

To carry out a SOG with autoflowers, you’d simply plant your seeds directly into even smaller containers that allow you to fit as many plants as possible into every square metre of space. How many plants you want to use for your SOG, as well as their exact pot size, will depend on the space you have available. This may also vary from strain to strain. Feel free to experiment to find the ideal pot size and number of plants that produces the best yields in your indoor grow space.

Note: Depending on where you live, there may be legal limits on how many plants you can grow for personal use, so make sure you know how many plants you can have.

TIP 7: WATCH YOUR WATERING

As previously mentioned, autoflowers are less forgiving when it comes to major or sustained errors, which means you must water your autoflowering girls properly.

How do you water cannabis properly? For starters, don’t water your plants on a fixed schedule, but instead only when they need it. You should always allow the soil to dry out between waterings. A good way to check if your plants need water is to lift up the pots. You should have a pretty good idea of how light a dry pot is compared to one saturated with water. As such, only water when the pot is light and the soil has dried out. Overwatering can be deadly, so it’s better to err on the side of caution.

TIP 8: CONTROL THE PH LEVEL OF YOUR WATER

Cannabis can only uptake nutrients when the soil surrounding the root zone has the right pH value. The optimal pH range here is 6.0–7.0. For growing in other media, such as coco, the pH should be lower, ranging from 5.5–6.5. If the pH of your water is not optimal (which is likely the case if you use tap water) and plants can’t uptake nutrients, this leads to sick specimens. The right pH is particularly important when growing autoflowers as they don’t have time to recover. You want to ensure your plants get all the nutrients they need during their short period of growth.

See also  Weed Seed Growing Upside Down

How do you control your water and nutrient solution pH levels? A must-have for any grower are “pH Down” and “pH Up” products, as well as a pH meter. With these on hand, you can be in control of your soil’s pH.

TIP 9: CUT THE NUTRIENTS

Many cannabis growers overfeed their cannabis plants. This isn’t too surprising, seeing that makers of cannabis nutrients want us to believe our plants require constant supplementation to survive and thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Autoflowering cannabis tends to be at its healthiest when given just the right amount of nutrients. In some cases, plants can go through the entire seedling and veg phases without any supplemental nutes, as most soil mixes already contain enough macronutrients and micronutrients to support these phases of growth.

After your cannabis plants have sprouted, don’t feed them for at least two weeks. Even then, you may only want to give nutrients if a plant shows signs of a deficit, like yellow leaves. Autoflowers grown in standard potting mixes should do well all the way to flowering with no additional nutrients. From here, you can start to administer bloom-specific solutions.

You can also grow your cannabis in organic soil. This will ensure your plants have everything they need for healthy growth all the way to harvest, and you won’t ever need to administer additional nutrients! Some growers make their own organic super soils, which are perfect for growing autoflowers. That being said, it’s important the soil is not too “hot” given the sensitivity of these cultivars.

TIP 10: DON’T TOP YOUR AUTOFLOWERS

Don’t top, prune, or pinch your autoflowers like you might do when growing conventional cannabis. With autoflowers, the only training method you should use is low-stress training (LST), where you carefully bend and tie down your plants so all bud sites are equally exposed to light. When performing LST on autoflowers, just stick with bending and skip the part where you’d top your plants. If you plan to do LST with your autoflowers as an alternative to a SOG, ensure that you start soon, but be gentle to avoid breaking your plants.

TIP 11: ENSURE GOOD AIRFLOW, HUMIDITY, AND TEMPERATURE

Make sure to provide your autoflowering ladies with good airflow. A gentle breeze of fresh air from a ventilator ensures humidity levels in your grow room stay low, which helps prevent the growth of mould. If your plants have dried leaves, which is not uncommon in the later stage of flowering, remove them for some better airflow around the buds.

You also need to watch the temperature in your grow room. Cannabis does best at a moderately warm room temperature of 20–25°C. Any excess heat, but also cold spells or chilly nights, can stress your plants, slow their growth, and result in poorer yields.

TIP 12: FLUSH

“Flushing” is when you stop feeding nutrients, and only administer pH-adjusted water in the last 1–2 weeks before harvest. This gets rid of the remaining mineral salts that have accumulated. Without any nutrients remaining in the soil, the plant will draw stored nutrients from its foliage; this is why cannabis in late flowering turns yellow. The goal of flushing is to make for purer and better-tasting buds, as you don’t want to smoke whatever chemicals you’ve fed your plants. So flush them out before you harvest.

TIP 13: HARVEST GRADUALLY

You don’t need to harvest your entire plant all at once! Chances are, the top buds may be done earlier than some of the lower buds further away from your lights. These buds may need a little more time to ripen. So instead of taking your clippers and collecting them all, take only the topmost buds and allow the others a few days more to finish.

TIP 14: HARVEST ALL YEAR ROUND

More often than not, weed cultivators don’t just want to harvest once or twice per year. Wouldn’t it be great if you always had some plants ready to harvest? With the perpetual harvest method, you can do exactly that!

Essentially, this entails having multiple plants in different stages of growth at any given time. In this way, you can time things just right so that there is always weed ready to bloom and harvest. This gives you the potential for a never-ending supply that doesn’t require excess effort from you!

With conventional cannabis, this would involve at least two separate growing areas. Luckily, with autoflowers, you can squeeze plants in different stages of growth all into the same room. As autoflowers take about 8–10 weeks from seed to harvest, all you need to do to enjoy a constant stash is offset planting by 2–4 weeks. This way, when you harvest one plant, the next is already starting to flower, waiting patiently in line.

CONCLUSION

Autoflowering strains have a lot going for them, and make a great addition to any grower’s repertoire. Although they don’t really allow for advanced techniques or gigantic yields, there is a lot you can do to get the most out of your autoflowers when growing indoors.

Learn How To Grow Autoflowers: Week-By-Week Guide

Autoflowering strains provide fantastic results in little time, often surging from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks. Both beginner and advanced growers will have a fun and easy time raising these varieties.

Cannabinoids, terpenes, phytochemicals, organic cultivation

Learn to grow autoflowering cannabis.

Contents:

  • 1. How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
  • 2. Light schedule for autoflowering strains
  • 3. A note on pH
  • 4. Autoflowering grow guide: How to grow autoflowers week by week
  • 5. Which autoflower to choose?
  • 1. How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
  • 2. Light schedule for autoflowering strains
  • 3. A note on pH
  • 4. Autoflowering grow guide: How to grow autoflowers week by week
  • 5. Which autoflower to choose?

Autoflowering cannabis plants are hardy, fast, and easy to cultivate in confined spaces. What’s not to love? Learn how to grow them week by week below.

HOW LONG DO AUTOFLOWERS TAKE FROM SEED TO HARVEST?

Autoflowering strains typically move from seed to harvest in 8–10 weeks. However, some varieties can take up to 12 weeks to fully mature. Strains such as Bubble Kush Automatic and Quick One fall towards the faster end of the spectrum, whereas varieties like Royal Creamatic and Royal Haze Automatic take a few more weeks to ready their buds for harvest.

Many growers elect to cultivate autoflowers because of their speedy growing rate. Their hardy genetics and forgiving nature also make them easier to grow and therefore more beginner-friendly.

Their impressive resistance to pathogens and pests allows them to withstand the challenges of outdoor growing.

However, their yields aren’t as spectacular as those obtained from photoperiod giants, but, the trade-off for brevity makes the decision worthwhile for most growers.

LIGHT SCHEDULE FOR AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS

As the name suggests, autoflowering strains don’t require a change in the light cycle to enter the flowering stage. Many growers choose to keep their autoflowers on a light schedule of 18 hours on and 6 hours off during the entire growing cycle. Other cultivators choose to keep their lights on around the clock in hopes of maximising photosynthesis and growth rate, however, this can get quite expensive.

Because of this unique trait, outdoor growers can achieve multiple harvests during a single growing season. By germinating seeds week after week in early spring, you can theoretically rake in your first harvest after ~8 weeks, with subsequent weekly harvests when growing fast strains.

A NOTE ON PH

The pH value of your soil will determine how well your plants can access the nutrients within. If the pH becomes too high (alkaline) or too low (acidic), nutrient lockout will occur and deficiencies will set in. Cannabis plants thrive in a soil pH of between 6.0 and 6.5. Use a pH tester to track pH throughout your grow.

AUTOFLOWERING GROW GUIDE: HOW TO GROW AUTOFLOWERS WEEK BY WEEK

Follow the fail-safe week-by-week grow guide below for a quick and easy route to harvest time. We cover all of the parameters and variables you need to consider—at the correct times—to ensure your plants remain healthy, vigorous, and productive.

(Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4) (Week 5)
(Week 6) (Week 7) (Week 8) (Week 9) (Week 10)

WEEK 1: GERMINATION AND EARLY SEEDLING STAGE

Germination usually takes 1–3 days. During this time, your seeds will activate and send a root down into the soil and a shoot above the surface. To begin the germination process, you’ll need to prepare a suitable soil mix. Autoflowers don’t need as much nutrients as photoperiod varieties and prefer light and airy soil.

You can make your own potting mix using the following formula:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts compost
  • 2 parts perlite, moistened
  • 1 part vermiculite, moistened

After you’ve prepared the mix, add some Easy Boost Organic Nutrition to the blend. These pellets will slowly release adequate levels of nutrition into the soil, providing foundational elements and minerals for the entire growing cycle. Add some mycorrhiza to the soil to help your plants flourish later down the line. These symbiotic fungi will bind to the root system and help your plants uptake nutrients more effectively.

Next, poke a 10–15mm hole into a pot with your soil mix. Sow your seed directly into its final pot to avoid the stress of repotting later down the line. Transplanting causes plants to go into shock, and autoflowers grow so fast that they’ll struggle to recover. Place a seed in the hole and cover lightly with soil. You’ll see your seedling emerge in the next few days.

Environmental factors play a key role in optimal germination. Aim for the following to boost your success rate: