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What Are Autoflower Seeds?

Automatic

Autoflower seeds will produce yields in approximately 70 days. Originating from the Ruderalis, this is a type of plant that has adapted so well to harsh lighting and cold environments that it automatically flowers. The main benefit of automatic strains is that growers can now grow very generously yielding Cannabis outdoors even with challenging weather.

Ruderalis

Originating from southern Siberia and certain areas in Russia, Cannabis Ruderalis was the original miniature sized Cannabis plant. Before automatic seeds had real commercial value in Europe and across the world, the most popular automatic strain, Santa Maria, was often tested at 7% to 8% THC and the taste and effect was not the best. Thanks to modern day breeding and reliable genetics, automatic feminized cannabis seeds have taken the world by storm as growers continue to grow high grade buds with very little effort.

map of russia with circle around Siberia where autoflower seeds are coming from

The Advantages Of Autoflowers

Flowering Time

From the time of germinating autoflower seeds, a grower can expect good yielding plants that can be harvested in around 10 weeks. Many varieties can finish in less time depending on the lineage of the genetics. Indica hybrids tend to grow smaller and finish quicker than Sativa hybrids.

Height

Automatic feminized cannabis seeds are very popular for the fact that they stay small. This does not mean you will have a small yield, but that you will have a short, stocky plant. Some automatic strains will branch out and can become quite wide. Autoflower seeds can also be planted closely together and grown in a sea of green style. If you have space and wish to grow as many as possible, then research which strain is best for you.

small autoflowering plants
Stealth

Autoflower seeds are perfect for growing on a rooftop or balcony, preferably amongst other plants. Their short statured makes these plants very discrete and a pleasure to grow. The maximum height to be expected is around 70cm-90cm so keeping these plants well hidden is very easy. Growing automatics around other flowers and houseplants to provide cover is also a good idea. This way many growers who fear a police presence from helicopters can feel safe that these small low profile plants will blend in nicely.

cannabis plants hidden behind tomato plants

Autoflowers Are Easy

Autoflower seeds are possibly the easiest type of grow you can do, as these plants do not respond very well to cutting or training. While techniques like topping, supercropping and lollipopping can benefit your yields greatly using regular photoperiod strains, it is best to keep your autoflowering plants intact for the duration of the grow. Because autoflower seeds flower so fast, any damage to the plant will usually negatively affect your yield.

Ruderalis Genetics Are Strong

Due to the Ruderalis genetics, many autoflower strains are less susceptible to negative effects that are caused by cold, wet weather. Combined with the speed at which these varieties finish and their small size, problems like bud rot are much easier to avoid.

Multiple Harvests Per Year

Despite not being able to clone autoflower strains, the huge benefit is the fact you can harvest multiple times per year. If you can pull off a crop every 2.5 months it is possible to harvest up to 5 crops per year, depending on where you live. Many growers will plant automatic strains all the way through the months of April until September, with excellent results.

Trimming Autoflower Plants

Trimming autoflowering strains is a simple and quick process because they often produce only one cola. This should mean the grower can spend that extra bit of time cleaning up every leaf. If you are used to the laborious task of trimming large indoor or outdoor plants, harvesting a grow from autoflower seeds will be far less work.

photo of Ak automatic autoflower seeds

Practical Information On Growing Autoflower Seeds

One of the easiest ways to gain experience with growing Cannabis without wasting time or resources is by learning how to grow autoflower seeds. Even when taking a minimal approach and growing small plants on your balcony, you can grow quality buds in only a few months.

Best Time To Plant Autoflower Seeds

Autoflower strains perform best with 14-18 hours of sunlight. Of course this is not always the scenario for many people living in certain parts of Europe. For many outdoor growers planting during the spring and summer months is best. This means if you have great weather in the Mediterranean, plant the autos in May, June, July, August and September. If you live in a climate with less sun than the Mediterranean, then plant during June, July and August for best results.

Avoid Disturbing Your Plants

It is a good idea to disturb your plants as little possible once autoflower seeds have started to grow. This covers two different points, firstly do not re-pot autoflower plants as this will set their growth back significantly.

Secondly avoid moving the plants around to give them the best chance of settling into their environment, even if it means they get a few more hours of sunlight. From experience we find you can have happier plants if they are kept in one place, this way they can adapt to the specific lighting conditions in that spot.

Optimal Pot Size For Autoflower Seeds

The ideal pot size to plant larger strains of automatic seeds in is around 20-25 litres. Other ways are to plant up to 3 autoflower seeds in the same large pot. This way they will grow to look like one plant, so this is a good idea to anyone who is conscious of their plant count. If you grow automatic seeds in smaller sized pots, this will result in smaller plants as well. The flowers produced will be high grade but the final weight will be low. Make sure to grow in a good airy medium with all of the necessary nutrients and minerals your plants needs to flower.

Preparing The Pots

Automatic strains do well in media that are high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As the name indicates, these plants will flower quickly and need adequate minerals available in a ready to absorb form. Many growers need to constantly keep an eye on watering times in hot climates, especially during the summer months. A good mix of soil, perlite and bat guano works very well for autoflower seeds. The guano supplements and stem growth, whilst the roots benefit greatly from the rich source of phosphorus. Using liquid nutrient solutions also helps a lot towards the end of the grow, when the nutrients in your soil will be largely depleted.

Low Lighting

During a grow period where automatic feminized cannabis seeds have received less than 10 hours of sunlight per day, the grower can still expect to harvest high grade buds. However the yield under these conditions may not be as large as it would be with high levels of lighting, considered as anything over 12 hours per day. This does not mean the buds will not ripen or produce a good hard squeezable biomass.

very small autoflowering cannabis plant due to wrong light schedule

Tips For Growing Autoflowers

Cloning From Autoflower Seeds?

The one thing that makes autoflower strains different from phototropic plants, is the fact they cannot be kept as mother plants to take future clones from. The reason for this is that autoflowering strains will begin to flower after 21 days. This means that even if you are vegging the attempted clone under 18 hours of light, this variety of Cannabis will flower despite receiving more than 12 hours of light.

Autoflowers In Your Veg Room?

Automatic strains grown indoors under vegging times often produce amazing results. If you have an environment where indoor lights can be on for 18 hours a day, growing automatic strains in the same grow room as your other Cannabis plants can ensure a ready to harvest plant that has been receiving large amounts of lighting.

Variety

The variety of autoflower Cannabis seeds that is now commercially available is excellent and as a grower, the choice of flavour, high, effect and aroma has never been so good. Many seed banks will now offer Indica, Sativa, Kush, Haze, Skunk and more automatic versions of the original strains. Using autoflower seeds you can now grow your favourite strain outdoors all year around.

photo of outdoor grown ruderalis cannabis plants

Indicas

Indica based autoflower seeds are more reliable for those who may not receive lots of sunlight all year. A good example of some sturdy and reliable Indica hybrids are Lemon Cream Kush AutomaticDutch Automatic and Spliff Cheese Automatic.

What Strain Of Autoflower Seeds Is Best

Skill level is less important with autoflower seeds than when working with indoor strains. The most important factors that will lead to the optimum results are sunlight and nutrients. Sativa strains will grow taller whilst Indica strains are more suited for an even compacter grow. We also advise you to take a look at our selection of autoflower seeds to help decide which strain is best suited for you.