Autoflowering Cannabis

….and why the Vegetative Stage is so important.

We grew Cream Caramel on a number of grows, its a great smoke and makes a good yield for an auto. I would have to say though that you need to allow UP TO 100 days under LEDs rather than the advertised 35 days!! But we got between 40-100g /plant from these plants

We all know that Cannabis is a photo period plant, don’t we? (and for those who don’t, I suggest you read this article here) In order to trigger the plant into flower, we need to cheat it into thinking that summer is passing and that the days are getting shorter by restricting the number of light hours the plant receives.

  • This is not the case for autoflowering cannabis.

The life cycle of autoflowering cannabis is genetically determined by its strain.

An autoflower goes from seed to harvest in a predetermined sprint. Unlike standard cannabis plants, there is no room for mistakes: once the seed has germinated it is racing towards harvest and THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT!!

For that reason getting the vegetative stage right when growing autos is vital. Any food deficiency, or over watering etc cannot be compensated for by keeping the plant in veg until it is ready and healthy again. A mistake made at this stage will result in a much shorter plant than expected and definitely in a lower yield.

How to increase success of autoflowering

TIP!: If you are growing autoflowers indoors, encourage vertical growth by making them stretch up to the light. I know we tend to avoid this normally, but really with an auto you want to get the maximum height out of its veg stage that you can. This is especially true when growing autoflowers under LEDs as LEDs encourage short nodal space[/notify]

Can you turn a autoflowering cutting back into vegetative stage?

No!! We tried that .. and ended up with possibly the world’s smallest budded plant. By the time your auto has grown enough sets of leaves to take a cutting from, and that cutting rooted, your “mother” plant (and therefore your cutting too) is already thinking about flowering. There’s no turning back the clock on this one.

How much light should I give an autoflower?

There’s 2 schools of thought on this one. Because they don’t “need” hours of darkness in the same way that photo period cannabis does, they can be given 24 hours of light. Many growers (& I tend to agree with this) feel though that the plants appreciate 4-6 hours of darkness as a “rest period”. That said, for the last 3 weeks of flowering, when you really want to max out your bud potential, its often worth leaving the lights on for the full 24 hours.

When do I start giving flower food to an autoflowering cannabis plant?

Because you still want to get the most -and the best – vegetative growth you can, continue using veg nutes right up til the point when upward growth stops. As a rough guide, pre-flowering often starts around week 3, but veg growth may  continue until week 6. (This is obviously dependent on the strain).

How do I know when to harvest my autoflowers?

Well .. its the same as with any other cannabis grow really. Confusion arises because unfortunately, many autos DON’t fulfill the seed to harvest promise made on the seed packet. Our best advice is, as always, look at the plant and see if she says she’s ready!
AmScope Microscope USB Digital Camera $79.98 I haven’t got one of these yet .. but its sat there on my “wishlist” for a xmas present to myself. I do know someone who uses this model and it is FANTASTIC for taking zoom shots and even videos of lovely amber trichs just glistening with THC.

Suggested reading:

: Autoflowers: A Fad or the Real Thing? 

: Autoflowers in a Dutch Pot System (Big Bud x Northern Lights)

: Bulk Buy Auto Seeds Cheap!