Growing autoflowering varieties indoors, wondering how to grow autoflowering cannabis strains we explain all you need to know.
Check out these tips to help optimize your indoor autoflowering cannabis grow-op. Avoid major mistakes, and provide plants with ideal conditions.
Growing autoflowering varieties Indoors.
Autoflowering varieties are characterized by not depending on the photoperiod, which means that they can be grown at any time of the year when we can at least guarantee 5-6 hours of sun.
Its behavior is totally different from the photo-dependent varieties. The plants grow for approximately 3-5 weeks then regardless of the hours of sunshine they receive, they will begin to bloom. In many cases they are plants that from germination can be harvested in a total of 8 weeks, maybe a little less or a few more weeks depending on which genetics we use.
On the other hand, photo-dependent plants grow when the days grow, and they bloom when the days grow shorter and the nights begin to lengthen, usually a month after the start of summer.
That is why these plants can reach a large size and yield over 2 kilos with proper care, while autoflowering plants tend to be much smaller plants and yields that rarely exceed 200 grams. Logical on the other hand, since as we say, they have a growth period of sometimes only 3 weeks.
Instead, super-fast harvests are a relief to the grower who has an empty pantry and who otherwise has to wait to harvest his photo-dependent plants well past September. Also, its small size is an advantage for growers who wish to have stealth grow. They can be grown perfectly on balconies, terraces, small gardens, or guerrilla grows, where they won’t attract the attention of friends of others.
In every other respect, autoflowering plants are grown just like any other variety. In growth, they demand high doses of nitrogen, and in flowering, you use a good fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium, in addition to being able to use any type of root, growth, and flowering enhancement additive.
How long do Autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
It is also important to make sure that you don’t prune or top your autoflowers. As already said, most autoflowers after germination begin to flower in 3-5 weeks, and a realistic time to harvest would be a total of 9 to 11 weeks.
If, if necessary, the plants grow more than we had anticipated and are too close to the lamp, it will always be a better option to bend the tips than to top or prune. Using this method your harvest will hardly be affected.
Autoflowers can be topped to improve yield but this is strain dependent and can usually only be done on the strains which tend to be more sativa in stature.
How much light do Autoflower seedlings need?.
Something to also take into account is that autoflowering varieties are not depending on photoperiods, and can flower with more than 12 hours of light. Anyone who has been able to grow them outdoors will have found that the best date to grow them is the months of May, June, and July when the days are the longest.
Starting from seed, for example, it is practically impossible for a photo-dependent variety to be harvested in 8 weeks. With the right autoflowering variety, it is possible to get up to 6 crops per year indoors, something only possible with cuttings.
Indoors we can offer them even more hours of light than they receive outdoors, so a constant photoperiod of 18/6 or 20/4 (light/dark) will always be better than the typical 12/12 that is used in flowering with photo-dependent varieties. This way the plants will produce more buds.
Germinating The Seed Directly In The Substrate.
There are several methods to trigger the opening of our cannabis seed, from the simplest and rudimentary ones such as the use of a moistened paper napkin to the use of special kits aimed at encouraging and stimulating the exit from the shell of the first root called “Taproot”.
We recommend germinating the seed directly in the substrate. This technique is the simplest and most natural, eliminating the possible errors caused by improper use of the other germination methods, is also the most effective.
It is best to insert the seed at a depth of 1 cm, keeping the pot in a dark environment and with a temperature of about 20 °. When we water try to keep the soil moist but not wet. The substrate must be wet and not saturated.
Autoflowering plants respond better when they are grown in the same pot from start to finish. Transplanting or repotting a plant is a stressful situation, to which plants can react by slowing their growth for a few days.
The ideal and recommended way is to use a large pot with a substrate rich in nutrients from the beginning of the growth. This way the plants will grow without interruption until the flowering phase begins.
During the first 2 weeks, it is not necessary to add any nutrients while it is good practice to use water free from impurities throughout the life cycle. Just use rainwater or let tap water sit for 1 or 2 days in an open container.
The Seedling Stage.
Gradually, from the shell of the seed and in the opposite direction to the root, two small rounded leaves called “cotyledons” will emerge. In this embryonic stage, our plant is called a “seedling“.
This growth phase is considered a part of the vegetative phase even if due to its small size it needs more attention. Placing it outside, preferably in the south where the light intensity is greatest, it is advisable to protect it from predators and any bad weather.
We must provide the seedling as much light as possible because a stunted growth in these first weeks of life will mean a reduced harvest later in the seedling’s life.
Autoflowering plants have a limited growth period, any interruption in their development will only mean that when the flowering phase begins, they have a smaller size. And logically a 40 cm plant will produce a fewer amount of buds than a 60 cm plant.
In general, autoflowering strains, having a relatively short life cycle, compared to the standard seedy you might usually grow and require as much sun or artificial light exposure as possible.
By keeping the soil moist and providing the right lighting, the development of our seedling will continue undisturbed until the first true pair of serrated leaves comes out.
Vegetative Stage: Develop A Healthy Structure.
Vegetative Stage: Develop A Healthy Structure.
From the birth of the seedling to the beginning of the flowering phase we speak of the vegetative phase.
During this period, our plant can reach considerable size, very close to the size it will have at the end of its flowering stage. In this stage, the structure will also develop, which will determine the size of the plant, affecting the quality and quantity of our harvest. A fragile and small plant cannot generate a good harvest.
One of the most frequent mistakes among inexperienced growers is caused by incorrect use of fertilizers. Plants, especially those in pots, require the correct amount of nutrients for proper development.
An enriched substrate will also guarantee a good root system and should mean you not having to use fertilizers during this phase. Although this will ultimately depend on the needs of the plant. We should not deprive them of nutrients whenever they need it.
The 3 elements that will need until the end of flowering are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in different proportions for each phase.
Like any other living being, the amount of nutrients necessary for proper development increases with the size of the plant. With the growth of the root system, a greater water supply becomes essential, therefore we must increase the frequency of irrigation.
Cannabis plants suffer from stagnation caused by an excess of water and it is more difficult to recover a drowned plant than to save a slightly withered one due to a slight water shortage. If you are unsure how much to water the soil or how many fertilizers to use, remember that “less is more”.
Pistils Show The Start Of The Flowering Stage.
The vegetative phase ends with the formation of the first buds, composed of white pistils inside a chalice-shaped sac, in the internodal areas, or the points where the branches and the stem divide. During this time the plant will begin to slow down its growth and will use its energy to flower.
This first part of the flowering stage is commonly called pre-flowering and from this moment we will provide to our plant a gradual intake of the other two elements: potassium and phosphorus.
Two weeks before the final harvesting phase it is helpful to eliminate all excess fertilizers by carrying out the “Flushing of the roots”. It can be done by simply watering the plant with ordinary plain water, without nutrients.
When To Harvest Your Plants.
Identifying the right time to harvest the buds is not easy. To understand when the time has almost come when our hard work will pay off, we need to consider the changes that occur in two very small elements. With the help of a magnifying glass, we can make the job easier.
Looking closely at the plant tips and the surrounding leaves, we will notice that, in addition to the pistils, and small transparent bumps which have the shape of a tiny mushroom, these are the trichomes, which have formed. They are the part that contains the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, and the terpenes.
Signs That Mark The End Of The Flowering Stage.
- 1. The color of the pistils which were originally white changes from yellow to orange to brown.
- 2. Trichomes lose their transparency and turn white and milky. Leaving the plant to mature further they will change to an amber color.
The hue of the trichomes will also influence the effect we will experience during consumption. By delaying the harvest time, the degradation of cannabinoids will generate a more sedative and relaxing effect.
Collection, Drying, And Curing.
We have reached the last stage of our cultivation cycle. We will have to harvest, dry, and cure our mature buds. The flowers attached to the branches and the stem have high levels of humidity so it is necessary to provide good ventilation during the drying process.
Collection And Drying.
There are several techniques for preparing the cannabis plant for drying. If the environment in which it will be placed in is humid, it is necessary to separate the branches from the stem by eliminating the larger leaves that do not have trichomes on the surface.
If the environment is relatively dry, we can leave the leaves and leaflets to guarantee a slow drying and remove them later.
In general, for our autoflowering plants, it is sufficient to cut the stem at the base by separating the branches from the stem and leaving them hanging on a string with the top facing down for about ten days.
If you don’t have an ideal place to dry the buds, we can arrange the buds in a cardboard box that we will drill in several points. It is very important that the environment is protected from direct or indirect sunlight. When the flowers are dry on the outside we will have finished the first part of the procedure.
Curing The Buds.
Curing cannabis will enhance the nuances of flavors and aromas in the final product and will positively influence the user’s experience if you follow our simple steps.
Once we have reached the right degree of humidity we will have to separate the leaves from the larger branches and place them inside a container that can be opened and closed. We recommend the use of glass jars, easily available in any supermarket.
Do not compress them inside the jars and air the contents at least one hour a day for the first week gradually decreasing the air change times.
After 3/4 weeks it is time to savor the fruits of our work. If you have followed our steps and dedicated love to your cannabis plant, we are confident that you will be rewarded with a fantastic final product.
Well cultivated, autos can be a viable option instead of growing normal photoperiod strains. Gone are the days of the first small autoflowers with moderate effects and poor yields, today they are a great option in the hands of any grower.
Buy Autoflowers from Fastbuds Here
Also, Checkout Autoflowers 10 Ways To Increase Yield