Cannabis cultivation has seen a surge in popularity, with growers seeking impressive yields, faster growth, and a more straightforward process. One of the most exciting developments in this field is the rise of autoflowering cannabis strains. These plants offer a rapid life cycle, making them a favorite among both novice and experienced growers.
Looking to grow your own autoflowering cannabis strains? In this comprehensive guide, we explain everything you need to know about growing autoflowering cannabis strains, from choosing the right strain to harvesting and curing your buds. Get ready to become a successful autoflowering cannabis grower!
In this guide, we cover the following:
- Understanding the desired effects and flavors of the strain;
- Choosing a reputable seed bank for autoflowering strains;
- Providing adequate light and nutrients for each stage of the plant’s life cycle;
- Implementing training techniques;
- Monitoring for pests and diseases for optimal yield.
Choosing the Right Autoflowering Strain for Your Grow
Before you embark on your autoflowering cannabis journey, it’s crucial to select the right strain for your specific needs and skill level. Here are some key factors to consider:
Autoflowering strains come in various genetic backgrounds, including indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties. Likewise, they vary in taste and can come in fruity, earthy, or even spicy flavors. Research the strains’ effects and characteristics to match your preferences. Besides the intended effects, you should also consider which aroma and taste profile you prefer.
Consider the available space you have for cultivation. Some auto strains stay compact and are perfect for small indoor setups, while others can grow taller and may require more vertical space. The size of the container or pot you use can affect your plant’s growth. Smaller pots may result in smaller plants, while larger ones allow for more extensive root development. Additionally, consider the environmental conditions of your chosen space, as cannabis seeds require optimal air, light, and moisture levels for successful growth.
Photoperiod vs. Autoflowering
Autoflowering strains flower based on age, while photoperiod strains require specific light schedules. This is because autoflowering plants contain genes from Ruderalis plants, which allow them to flower automatically without relying on specific light conditions. The key to cultivating healthy autoflower cannabis plants is to understand their specific requirements for optimal growth and apply them systematically. Don’t worry, these are easier than those of regular strains of cannabis.
The Life Cycle of Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
Autoflowering cannabis plants have a unique life cycle that differs from traditional photoperiod plants. Here’s a breakdown of their growth phases:
During the vegetative phase, your plant will focus on developing its root system and establishing a strong foundation for future growth. This is when you need to provide adequate light and nutrient availability to support healthy vegetative growth. Autoflowers typically spend 2-4 weeks in the vegetative phase.
After the vegetative phase comes the flowering stage, where your plant starts to produce buds. Unlike photoperiod strains, which rely on changes in light cycles to trigger flowering, autoflowers enter this stage automatically after a certain amount of time. Most autoflowers start flowering around 2-4 weeks after germination and continue for about 6-8 weeks.
Autoflowering plants have unique growth patterns due to their genetics. They tend to be smaller in size compared to photoperiod strains but compensate by growing faster and producing multiple harvests per year. Auto-flowering cannabis growers can expect a total growth period of 8-10 weeks from seed to harvest.
Nutrient requirements change during each stage of the life cycle. Adjusting your feeding regimen accordingly will help maximize your yield and keep your plants healthy throughout their entire life cycle.
Essential Equipment and Supplies for Growing Autoflowering Strains
To ensure successful growth, you’ll need the right equipment and supplies:
- Light Source: Provide 18-20 hours of light per day during the vegetative stage and 12-14 hours during the flowering stage. Fluorescent and LED lights are a popular choice for indoor cultivation.
- Soil or Growing Medium: Choose a well-aerated, nutrient-rich soil or a suitable hydroponic system for optimal growth.
- Nutrients: Use a balanced nutrient solution designed for autoflowering cannabis to prevent nutrient imbalances.
- pH Testing Kits: Having pH testing kits and pH adjusters is vital to maintain optimal pH levels in the water or nutrient solution.
- Air Circulation: Proper ventilation and airflow are essential to prevent mold growth and ensure healthy plants. A fan helps strengthen plant stems through gentle movement while preventing stagnant air pockets
- Environmental Conditions: Maintain comfortable temperature and humidity levels within your grow space.
- Fabric Pots: Consider using fabric pots for their excellent water retention and aeration properties.
- Additional equipment: Consider purchasing trimming scissors for pruning purposes and trellis nets for supporting heavy colas during flowering.
Creating the Ideal Growing Environment for Autoflowering Cannabis
Environmental conditions play a crucial role in the development of autoflowering cannabis plants:
First, consider the light cycle. Autoflowers do not rely on a specific light schedule for their flowering stage, but they still require sufficient light during both vegetative and flowering phases. Make sure to provide them with at least 18-20 hours of light per day, as any interruptions can disrupt the growth cycle.
Monitor the temperatures in your growing space. Autoflowering strains thrive in temperatures ranging from 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures of around 65°F (18°C) at night. Maintain proper ventilation and airflow to prevent heat stress or excess humidity.
Maintain appropriate humidity levels, especially during the flowering stage, to prevent mold and mildew. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot or stunted growth. Instead, water your plants when the top inch of soil feels dry, ensuring that any excess water drains out properly.
Additional Conditions for Larger Yields
To maximize yields and train your plants into desired shapes, consider implementing low-stress training techniques such as bending or tying branches gently. This helps increase bud sites and promotes even canopy development. Lastly, be mindful of the available space and environmental conditions in your growing area. Ensure there is enough room for your plant’s roots to expand by using appropriately sized pots or containers.
Nutrients and Feeding Schedule for Autoflowering Plants
When it comes to nutrients, there are two main stages: vegetative and flowering.
- Vegetative Stage: During the vegetative stage, your autoflowering plants need a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to promote leafy growth. Look for fertilizers specifically formulated for cannabis or use a balanced NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio.
- Flowering Stage: As your plants transition into the flowering stage, switch to a bloom-specific fertilizer with higher levels of phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients will help stimulate bud development and increase yields. Remember that autoflowering plants have limited time to grow before harvest, so it’s crucial not to overfeed them.
Signs of Nutrient Deficiency
To determine the right feeding schedule for your autoflowering plants, closely monitor their leaves for any signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses. Watch for discolored leaves, slow growth, or other signs of nutrient deficiency and adjust your feeding schedule accordingly.
Training Techniques for Maximizing Yields in Autoflowering Strains
Training techniques allow you to manipulate the plants’ growth patterns and promote better bud development. To achieve impressive yields, consider these methods:
Low-Stress Training (LST)
LST involves gently bending and tying down the branches, creating an even canopy that receives equal amounts of light. This encourages more bud sites to develop, resulting in higher yields. This technique is quite simple but requires you to be delicate.
High-Stress Training (HST)
On the other hand, HST involves more aggressive techniques like topping or pruning. By removing the main cola or cutting off the top part of the plant, you force it to grow more branches and create multiple colas. This technique increases overall yield but requires careful consideration as it puts stress on the plant.
HST involves the following
- Pruning: Trim excess leaves and branches to improve airflow and focus energy on bud production.
- Topping: Carefully cut off the top growth tip to promote bushier growth and more bud sites.
Common Pests and Diseases in Autoflowering Cannabis and How to Prevent Them
When growing autoflowering cannabis strains, you may encounter pests such as aphids, spider mites, and fungus gnats. These can cause damage by feeding on the leaves or sucking sap from the plants. Additionally, diseases like powdery mildew, gray mold (botrytis), and root rot can also pose a threat to your autoflowering cannabis plants.
To prevent pest infestations, make sure to keep your grow area clean and free from debris that might attract them. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pest activity and take prompt action if necessary. Use organic pest control methods when needed.
To prevent diseases, maintain a clean and sanitary grow environment. Use fans or vent systems to allow for proper air circulation in your grow space. Avoid overwatering the plants as excessive moisture can create the conditions for disease development.
Harvesting and Curing Your Autoflowering Cannabis Buds
To ensure the best quality and potency of your autoflowering cannabis buds, it’s important to properly harvest and cure them.
Autoflowers typically have a shorter flowering time compared to photoperiod strains. Harvest time for autoflowering seeds can vary depending on the strain, but generally, it occurs around 8-12 weeks from seed to harvest. When your cannabis plants reach their peak maturity and the trichomes turn cloudy and amber, it’s time to start the harvesting process.
The Curing Process
After harvesting, it’s crucial to begin the curing process immediately. This involves drying your buds slowly in a controlled environment with proper ventilation. Curing your buds in glass jars will substantially enhance their flavor and potency.
Hang your buds upside down in a dark room with temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C) and humidity levels around 50%. Allow them to dry for about 7-10 days until the buds are crisp on the outside but still slightly moist inside.
Once dried, place your bud into glass jars that have been sterilized with rubbing alcohol. Seal the jars tightly and store them in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. This curing process allows for further development of flavors and aromas while also improving overall smoothness when smoked or vaporized.
Buy Autoflower Cannabis Seeds online
Growing autoflowering cannabis strains offers a rewarding experience with the potential for impressive yields in a shorter time frame. By selecting the right strain, providing optimal conditions, and mastering training techniques, you can become a successful autoflowering cannabis cultivator.
Ready to take the first step towards growing your own cannabis? Seeds Bros has got you covered! Our top-notch autoflower seeds online service delivers the seeds you need right to your doorstep, giving you the power to cultivate cannabis from the comfort of your own home. Explore a wide selection of autoflowering strains, each with its unique flavor, effects, and growth characteristics.