Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.
A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.
Pros and cons of growing autoflower
Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.
Cannabis can be either male or female—also called “dioecious”—but only females produce the buds we all know and love. For reproduction, males have pollen sacs and pollinate females, causing female flowers to produce seeds.
Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.
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 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.
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.
A NOTE ON PH
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.
Learn to grow autoflowering cannabis.
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.
8 weeks, with subsequent weekly harvests when growing fast strains.
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.
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.
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.
TIP 7: WATCH YOUR WATERING
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.
“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.
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.
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.