What are Autoflowing Cannabis Plants?
There are two types of autoflowering cannabis when it comes to flowering your cannabis plants. The first and most common form of flowering cannabis are called Photoperiod flowering marijuana. This type of cannabis plant will only flower if you place it in a dark space once the plant has matured. You will need to keep your plant in this dark space for 12 hours every day out of the 24 hours. You will need to provide light for the plant to grow and flower for the other 12 hours each day. This will cause the cannabis plant to go from a vegetive mode into a flowering mode.
An auto flowering cannabis plant on the other hand, will start to flower after a certain period of time. Typically, an auto flowing cannabis plant will start to flower in 30 to 40 days. The autoflowing cannabis strain will flower no matter what the light cycle, 12 hours or 24 hours per day the plant will start to grow cannabis flowers.
Why Do Autoflowering Cannabis plants start to flower automatically?
Cannabis plants that start to flower no matter what light schedule they are in, do this genetically. Cannabis breeders will take a normal photoperiod marijuana plant and cross it with a type of cannabis called Cannabis Ruderalis. They type of cannabis is a low THC variety subspecies, otherwise known as species of cannabis, that comes from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. The Cannabis Ruderalis cannabis plant was first discovered in 1924 in Siberia, and also can be found growing in the wild in Russia. Cannabis Ruderalis strains when crossed with C. Indica or C. Sativa will start to flower regardless of light schedule.
Why should you grow Autoflowering Cannabis?
Advantages of growing Autoflowering Cannabis
The main advantage to growing autoflowering cannabis seeds is their speed to harvesting. Since growers are able to keep an autoflowering plant under light 24 hours a day, they will grow and flower much faster than a typical photoperiod cannabis plant. They also have more hardy genetics due to their Cannabis Ruderalis genetics. This makes them easier to grow for beginner cannabis growers. With these genetics they are also great for growing outside as they have very good resistance to pathogens and pests. This type of cannabis is also very high in CBD cannabinoids which has excellent medical properties.
Disadvantages of growing Autoflowering Cannabis
Cannabis Ruderalis is very low in THC content, and when breeding with other high THC producing strains will bring down the quality of the cannabis flowers that are crossed with Ruderalis strains of cannabis. Autoflowering cannabis normally doesn’t grow as big of plants as your typical photoperiod cannabis plant, it will take some skill to get a high yield from Autoflowering marijuana.
Growing Autoflowering Cannabis
When growing this type of cannabis, you will need special cannabis seeds that have the autoflowering genes. You can buy these special seeds at most seedbanks, and they will normally tell if you they are autoflowering. The seeds will take the same amount of time to germinate, about 2 to 4 days. You germinate autoflowering cannabis seeds the same way as you would any other type of marijuana seeds.
When starting autoflowering cannabis plant it is best to start them in large pots, you don’t want to limit the plants growth. You will only have a set amount of time to grow the plant as large as possible, by starting the plant in smaller pots, and transplanting you will be delaying the plants growth cycle. This will create smaller plants and a smaller yield.
You can grow any autoflowering marijuana plant in the same growing mediums as any other cannabis plants. They are not picky when it comes to types of mediums to grow them in. As soon as the seed germinates it will quickly send down a large tap root (main root of the plant) deep into the soil, all other roots will grow from this tap root. The grower will want the tap root to grow as large as possible in these first couple of weeks of growth. The large your autoflowering plant’s tap root is, the larger harvest the plant can sustain.
While your cannabis plant is in the Vegetative stage of life (approximately 3 to 4 weeks growth) keep the relative humidity (RH) at about 45% to 50%, the temperature of the space should stay about 80F to about 84F.
Trimming Autoflowing Cannabis Plants
Time is of the essence when growing Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
When you grow this type of cannabis, it is important to remember that you only have 4 weeks to get the plant as big as you possibly can in the vegetative growing faze. For this reason, you will want to avoid any plant growth issues. Keeping up the plants optimal nutrition are of upmost importance, and keeping the root space as large as possible. Use a quality growing medium to reduce any PH issues slowing the overall plants growth before they start to flower. Autoflowering cannabis will stop growing larger as soon as it switches to flowering, the grower will be looking to grow the largest plant possible before this happens.
Flowering Autoflowering Marijuana Plants
At approximately 4 to 5 weeks, you plant will start to flower with no light changes. You will start to notice small white hairs coming from your plants, mostly from the node where the leaves meet the plant. When this starts to happen, you will want to switch over your environment quickly to get it into a flowering mode. You should drop your humidity down to about 40%, keep your temperature that same. If you have LED lighting you will want to turn up your lights to 100% so the flowering will have a maximum light supply to grow your buds.
At this point you may want to start to add a flowering organic nutrient to the cannabis plants, this will help trigger the plant to have more flowering sites. The plant will start to require a bit more phosphorus and potassium at this point and less nitrogen.
How important it is now to check on your Plants
Now that your Autoflowering are into the flowering period it is very important to check on them regularly. They will require more water, nutrients and time to look after. Keep a very close eye on humidity in the grow room, and outside (if you are growing them outdoors). High humidity can cause rot in your buds, and this can happen as quickly as overnight. If you catch the bud rot (mold) fast you can cut it out and remove it away from the grow room and your plants to stop it from spreading until you can harvest. Catch it too late and it will spread and destroy your beautiful crop.
Watch for any pests that may be on your plants, they can come quickly and also ruin your cannabis crop starting at the bottom of the plant. Keep feeding the plants with your high potassium nutrients until week until week ten (total plant growth or week six in flowering) after this they will have little effect on the plant flowering growth.
Final weeks of flowing your Autoflowering Cannabis
In the final weeks of flowering the plants will start to get more bulk in the flowering and start to fill out with bigger and fuller buds. This is the most important time to keep the humidity low, to stop mold from attaching your plants. If you can keep it at 30% this is the best in the final week of flowering. You may also start to trim off leaves from the plant this will help the plant to get more light to the buds and help them to finish a bit quicker, and allow for more air flow around your plants to also prevent mold in your buds.
Time for Harvesting!
Most Autoflowering cannabis will be ready to pick around week ten of total growth time. The best way to tell when to harvest your plants is by using a small microscope to check your trichomes. The trichomes should be all white in color with a few amber ones mixed in. This is the best time to harvest your plants for THC and CBD content.
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