A cannabis plant is the only plant that has the ability to auto flower. This ability is a genetic trait passed down via DNA. Not all cannabis plants can autoflower, but some do. Most plants need a certain amount of light or darkness per day to produce flowers, for instance, 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light.
Autoflowering plants don’t produce flowers based on the amount of lightness or darkness they get. These plants can produce buds and flowers according to their size and growth of the plant. Certain strains of the plant are bred to produce flowers from little light and darkness.
Cannabis plants receive one chromosome from its mother and one from its father. These types of plants are known as diploid. The parents of the plant consist of two different genes. Both genes are either non-photodependant or photodependant.
Non-photodependant genes are those that allow autoflowering, whereas photodependant genes don’t allow autoflowering. In simpler terms, autoflowering plants have a recessive trait. Both parents must contribute to the plant to autoflower.
Therefore, if one parent has the gene to allow autoflowering and the other one doesn’t have the gene, autoflowering doesn’t occur.
Autflowering plants make growing cannabis much easier, whether the plants are grown indoors or outdoors. It gives the newbie a chance to grow good-quality plants.
Autoflowering plants are typically ready to harvest within ten weeks from the time of germination, so growers can get the yield faster than non-autoflowering plants.
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Getting Seeds From Autoflowering Plants
The most common question growers ask is can I get seeds from autoflowering plants? The answer is yes. The autoflowering plant does provide seeds as long as they are not a feminized strain and are regulars. These seeds can be planted, and you can easily begin your cultivation journey.
If you want your own seeds, you will have to grow both male and female plants so that the male can pollinate the female plants. The female plants will then produce seeds. In the wild, this process takes place naturally. The male pollen is released from the pollen sack, and the gust of winds transfers it to the female flowers.
However, when you are growing the plants indoors, you have to play God and do everything yourself. This allows you to select the best male and female plants and manually do the pollination process.
This means you will have to apply pollen to all the female plants. If the process is done correctly, you will get fully matured cannabis seeds inside the autoflower plants that can be stored and used later.
With photo-sensitive plants, this is the end of the process. You can cross two strains of your choice, and the offspring will have genetic traits from both parents. However, with autoflowering plants, the process is a bit more extensive.
As mentioned earlier, autoflowering gene is recessive, which means you will need to do more research about gene inheritance to produce high-quality seeds.
Creating your autoflowering seeds is not that difficult. All you need to do is cross two stable autoflowering plants, preferably from the same species.
You will have stable offspring since no new traits are introduced. So, the plants’ characteristics would also be stable, and there would be no risk of multiple cross-breeding.
To create a completely new strain by crossing a stable autoflower strain with a regular photo-sensitive plant, then things can get a bit trickier. You will need to make many generations to stabilize the new strains.
It can be both time-consuming and expensive. However, if you have the time and energy to go through the process, then here is how you do it:
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When you cross the autoflower and photo-sensitive strain in the first breeding cycle, it results in 100% plant yield with both the dominant strains of recessive trait and photo-sensitive trait. It means the first generation will be unstable offsprings giving you all the photo-sensitive plants that can’t flower automatically.
Once you get the first offspring and crossed the best female and male plants in the second breeding cycle, you will get a more diverse genetic makeup. 50% of the plants will have first generation plants, 25% will be photo-sensitive, and 25% will be autoflowering plants.
In this cycle, you have to take the best female and male plants from 25% of autoflowering plants and cross breed them. This generation of plants will give offsprings that will be completely autoflowering plants.
Autoflower Plant Yield
How much an autoflower plant yields depends on the classification and the size of the plant. Standard plants yield anywhere between 10 to 50 grams per plant, whereas the super autoflower plants can produce between 100 and 200 grams per plant.
The massive amount of yield from the autoflower plant is a double-edged sword. For normal-level autoflower and manageable yield, grow in a small space, and for super autos, reserve bigger spaces.
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Do Autoflowers Require Nutrients?
Just like any other plant, autoflowers do need nutrients but doing so is a delicate task. Overfertilizing the plants can have adverse effects, and so does feeding the wrong type of nutrients.
Choose fertilizers that are formulated for autoflowering plants and then use microdoses rather than pouring the entire bottle.
Fertilize the soil lightly for quality autoflowering seeds. Also, nourish the plants with supplements like enzymes, Vitamin B, and fungi.
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How To Grow Autoflowering Plants Seeds?
Now that the basics of autoflowering seeds have been discussed, let’s explore the growing process’s steps. The growth cycle is usually 10 weeks.
Germination – Week 1
Germination happens within three days and, in some cases, 24 hours. Choose a light soil mix or make your own by mixing compost, peat moss, moistened vermiculture, moistened perlite, and nitrogen-rich tablets as well as a good dose of fungi. The perfect environment for the seeds is 70 to 90% humidity and 70 to 85F degrees.
Put the soil into pots and poke 15mm holes in the soil. Place the seeds in holes and cover them with the soil. In the next several days, you will see the seedlings emerging in your pot.
Photosynthesis -Week 2
At the late-stage of your seedlings, add nutrients. Since you are growing autoflowers, use half the dose of nutrients indicated at the package’s back.
Vegetation – Week 3
Change up the environment for the vegetation stage to happen. Lower the humidity levels to 50% and temperature to 68% and start feeding the plant twice a week. During this stage, the plants should be six inches tall.
Late Vegetation – Week 4
In this stage, drop the humidity even lower, to 45%, and the temperature should be stable at 68%. Water half a liter everyday and feed it two times a week. By this stage, you will witness a few tiny flowers cropping up.
Flowering – Week 5
Sticky buds will start appearing in this stage and give you a preview of what’s to come. Increase the temperature to 71% while keeping the humidity stable at 45%. Start watering one liter and give the plants supplement twice a week. Use supplement tablets consisting of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The plants should be 1 foot tall by now.
Late Flowering – Week 6
Flowers will begin forming in each bud after two weeks of being in the flowering stage. Lower the humidity levels to 40% and the temperature to 68%. Increase the water to 1 and a half liter and start feeding the plants three times per week. After this week, your plants will enter the maturity stage.
Maintenance – Week 7
At this stage, you must be extra vigilant of harmful pests such as spider mites and mold to affect your plants. Monitor them frequently. Keep the humidity levels stable at 40% and maintain a strict schedule for feeding and watering. Your hard work will pay off soon.
Defoliation – Week 8 and 9
At this stage, you must stop feeding the plants. Flush with a lot of water and defoliate with shears. Defoliation will help the plant absorb a lot more light, while lowering the risk of getting damaged by mold. After two weeks of the defoliation process, the harvest time will start.
Harvest- Week 10
Once you see red-brown pistils and white trichomes on the buds, that means its time to harvest. Dry and cure them after harvesting the buds.
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Benefits of Autoflowering Plants
Autoflowering plants have been gaining popularity amongst the growing community because of how easy it is to grow. The very first strain was known as Lowryder and was introduced by The Joint Doctor, a Canadian company in the 2000s.
At first, the plant was met with a lot of skepticism, but more and more people preferred it over regular plants. Due to the high demand, more potent and stable plants started getting developed.
Today, autoflowering plants have become invaluable to growers with a small space. There are many benefits of the autoflowering plants, and these include:
Quick Harvest One of the most coveted traits of autoflowering plants is the time it takes to harvest. When the Ruderalis strain is mixed with Sativa, the plant can be ready for harvest within eight and ten weeks after the germination stage. Sativa, on its own, takes six months to harvest.
Autoflowering plants show incredible speed when it comes to growth. They transition from the germination stage to the flowering one only in two weeks. These traits are highly desired by the growers who need to yield a lot of harvest in a limited amount of time.
Many growers choose larger space for growing plants because they can grow up to fifteen feet tall. These large-sized plants require a lot of water, nutrients, pruning, and attention during every growth stage.
However, the result is a highly potent and massive amount of buds. This type of plant is great for people who have bigger spaces and are willing to spend immense time and energy, but it’s not a good option for those with smaller growth areas.
When autoflowering plant seeds are mixed with regular plant seeds, the size becomes much smaller. They are ideal for smaller spaces.
Growing autoflowering plants will require smaller pots, less nutrients, water, light, and more. However, they won’t result in a massive yield of buds, unlike their photoperiodic counterparts.
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There are many benefits of autoflowering plants, and one of them is, as mentioned earlier, the short growing season. Besides that, another benefit is multiple harvests. This benefit is perhaps the most talked about when it comes to autoflowering plants because you keep reaping the benefits.
You can marvel in the joy of getting multiple harvests even if the plants are grown outdoors. Multiple harvests allow for maximizing the yield you get each year. You can grow new plants back to back, which allows them to yields 50 grams per plant every 50 to 70 days.
Unaffected By Change in Temperature
Other plants are easily affected by temperature changes, but an autoflowering plant is robust and hardy. It can withstand different temperatures, and that’s why an ideal indoor plant is.
The resilience of this plant is what attracts growers all across the globe. They can even grow outdoors in places that have short warmer days and long colder nights.
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Tips for Growing Autoflowering Plants
Growers who have experience with the regular cannabis plants are often dumb-founded by different growing strategies of an autoflowering plant.
Although many of the elements are similar such as nutrients required at each growth stage, there is still a huge difference between growing regular plants and autoflowering plants.
Without extensive research, you are bound to fail. Here are some crucial tips to help make your growing experience go smoothly.
Opt for the Best Strain
Genetics plays an important role in growing autoflowering plants. It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran grower if the plant’s genes are low quality, you will not get the desired result. You should first determine what you want from the plant and then grow it accordingly.
Keep in mind the characteristics of the plant. Some plants are easier to grow and can deal with inaccurate amounts of nutrients. They will still yield high-quality buds, whereas some plants might require vigilance.
There are some drawbacks of autoflowering plants. Despite blessing us with a myriad of benefits, some things are unforgiven by autoflowering plants, such as repotting the plant.
These plants don’t take well with that. Since they don’t have enough time to recover from broken limbs and damaged roots, repotting them can be very risky.
Autoflowering plants don’t require large-sized pots because they don’t need so much space to grow. Therefore, purchase smaller pots, plant the seeds in them, and then allow them to grow.
Use another small pot for your next batch. Use Air-pots for your plants. They have a breathability feature and are used by many growers.
When growing autoflowering plants, it is crucial to take care of the soil being used. Autoflower plants prefer airy and light soils that have plenty of access to air and easily penetrable roots.
This type of plant requires a lesser amount of nutrients than regular cannabis plants since the ratio of nutrients in the regular plants is not ideal for the late stage of autoflowering ones.
If average potting soil is used with autoflawering plants, it won’t have enough time to release all the nutrients due to the short growth time, and that will eventually harm the flowers at later growth stages.
Due to quick and multiple harvests, autoflowering plants do not get a lot of time to develop a robust and extensive root system. If the plants don’t have a sturdy root system, they will not produce good quality potent buds.
Therefore, it is recommended you use a root stimulant to establish healthy roots in the early stages. Doing so will maximize your plant’s yield.
Autoflowering plants are great and will produce as many seeds as the regular cannabis plant.
However, it won’t do well without your help. Growers who plan on breeding autoflowering plants will require both female and male plants for the pollination process. If done properly with the above steps and tips, the plant will produce hundreds and thousands of seeds provided the growing conditions are good.
However, the seeds have a merely 50% chance of being female. If you want to get quality seeds, you should focus on getting high-quality plants, so you don’t have to weed out any male plants. Source your seeds and plants from a reputable seed bank.
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I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.