What are the advantages of autoflower seeds?
Autoflowering seeds are typically a mixture of cannabis sativa or indica with cannabis ruderalis, a species native to Russia and Asia. People don’t grow cannabis ruderalis on its own because it typically lacks a high degree of THC content. But because this species flowers automatically after seven weeks and fares well in cold weather, these traits have made them desirable to use for interbreeding. An autoflowering cannabis strain switches from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage automatically instead of requiring closely timed hours of light and dark. Photoperiod flowering seeds start to bloom after the summer solstice, while autoflowering seeds flower after a specific phase of the development period. In other words, they grow automatically (hence their name, “autoflowering”) when they reach the right size.
Autoflowering cannabis plants tend to be smaller than other cannabis plants, especially in comparison to sativa strains (indica tends to be shorter, regardless if they’re autoflowering or photoperiod flowering). In comparison to regular photoperiod flowering feminized cannabis, autoflowering strains are better able to fend off mold and pests. Read more details and benefits to growing autoflowering seeds below.
The Pros of Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Faster Flowering Times
Autoflowering seeds tend to grow more quickly than indica and sativa strains, with some strains ready for harvest in as few as two months. It usually takes 30 days, or about a month, for autoflowering seeds to reach the flowering phase. During these first 30 days, make sure to make small lighting adjustments to avoid scorching the leaves. After you see pistils, you’ll only have to wait for another 45 to 60 days before the bloom cycle is complete and your plants are ready to be harvested.
Multiple Outdoor Harvests Each Year
Autoflowering plants don’t rely on the amount of light available each day to enter the flowering stage. This independence means you can harvest outdoor-grown mature buds several times a year. How do you do it? One way is to stagger your plants. Start a couple of plants a month or two before the rest. That way, you can harvest some plants while others are nearing maturity, and the harvest cycle continues. You could also start a few plants at the beginning of your outdoor growing season, and then plant a few more once the first few plants have finished. Because they grow so fast, there is plenty of time.
The Plants are Small and Compact
One of the biggest pro is their small size. Because of their cannabis ruderalis heritage, autoflowering marijuana plants tend to be smaller and more compact when compared to the ordinary sativa, indica, and hybrids of these two. This smaller size makes autoflowering cannabis plants suitable for growing in confined spaces, such as a garden or on your balcony. Their compact size also makes it easier to look after. It’s simple – if your plant grows past six feet and you can’t see the top of it, it will be harder to manage. Autos, however, rarely exceed 1,2m, so it is easy to trim, train, or otherwise care for them during the different stages of their growth.
No Change to the Light Cycle needed
Autoflowering cannabis seeds exhibit this attribute. They switch into a flowering mode as a result of their genetic programming rather than environmental factors, such as the amount of light they are receiving each day. Therefore, you don’t have to bother changing to a 12/12 light cycle to induce the flowering phase in autoflowering marijuana plants. Autoflowering strains in general require less maintenance, making them easier to grow.
They Are More Resistant
Another key benefit of autoflowering marijuana plants is an easy growing experience due to their ruderalis heritage. Because of their fast adaptation as detailed above, these plants are hardy and resistant to several adverse conditions. Ordinary cannabis plants can easily succumb to many diseases and pests, but autoflowering plants will stand up to such a threat and survive.
Similarly, autoflowering strains are also resistant to mold, overfeeding, and underfeeding, while regular photoperiod varieties will be adversely affected by these conditions. If you live in an area where the climate can change rather quickly, or you aren’t too particular about maintaining the ideal growing conditions for cannabis, then opt for autoflowering strains since these are more forgiving when conditions aren’t exactly right.
Many Autoflowering Plants Have CBD
Research into the medicinal value of marijuana is still ongoing, but we, so far, know a lot about the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). It is actually one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The ruderalis genetics in autoflowering cannabis seeds lead to plants that are relatively lower in THC content and higher in CBD. This means that those looking to enjoy the medicinal benefits of cannabis can easily obtain it from these easy-to-grow plants. However, if you are mostly interested in the high that cannabis can provide, autoflowers are still a good choice since many varieties offer high THC content (in addition to CBD).
Suitable for Beginners
People who are just starting out on the exciting journey of growing their own cannabis would be well advised to opt for autoflowering cannabis seeds. They are easier and less demanding to grow than photoperiod regular strains. For example, with regular strains, you need to monitor and change the light cycle so that the plants have 12 hours of darkness each day while in the flowering stage. Any light finding its way to the plants can make them halt their flowering and yield poor-quality buds. Light can also cause the plant to re-enter the vegetative phase and stay there for an indefinite duration.
Autoflowering strains are ideal for beginners because you don’t have to worry about lighting. They also grow much faster, leading to even faster rewards.
City environments don’t affect autoflowering strains
People who grow regular photoperiod cannabis plants have to go to great lengths to exclude light from their grow facilities, and this task can sometimes seem near impossible. This is because city or urban environments have artificial light that can “confuse” photoperiod plants into “thinking” that daylight hours are still more than the hours of darkness. The ambient light, therefore, tends to lower the quality and quantity of buds harvested from photoperiod cannabis strains.
However, autoflowering cannabis plants remain unaffected by the ambient light in cities, or the light which leaks into a grow facility when a tent tears or the grow facility gets damaged in any other way. The plants will, therefore, reach their full potential as long as you keep other necessary settings in order.