There are a lot of options to choose from when browsing our cannabis seed catalogue. One variety of cannabis that often gains as many questions as it does interest in autoflowering cannabis. In this article, we will explore what it is and what its pros and cons are.

AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS

The cannabis plant is a diverse and genetically flexible creature, having species that have developed entirely different traits as a result of evolving in different parts of the world. The species known as cannabis ruderalis evolved in northern parts of the world where summers are shorter and therefore less light is available annually. Having adapted to these conditions, cannabis ruderalis developed the ability to flower based on age, instead of a change in photoperiod. This is a stark difference from other types of cannabis, that all require changing hours of light in order to flower.

This characteristic is what has enabled and inspired breeders to merge ruderalis genetics with that of indica and sativa varieties of cannabis, creating hybrids that maintain the cannabinoid content of sativas and indicas, but that flower with age.

Ruderalis is rarely grown in its pure genetic form, as its yields are low and its cannabinoid content is far outweighed by its indica and sativa counterparts.

Autoflowering Cannabis Small

PROS OF GROWING AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS STRAINS

Let us first explore the advantages of growing autoflowering strains, of which there a quite a few.

RAPID HARVESTS AND FLOWERING TIMES

This is a massive advantage for growers who want to see their valuable yield as soon as possible. It is also a massive advantage to those growing in certain parts of the world where being stealthy and fast to harvest are essential requirements.

Autoflowering strains typically grow a lot faster than indica and sativa strains; some autoflowering strains can go from seed to harvest in as fast as two months.. Examples of such fast and efficient growing times include the autoflowering strain appropriately named “Quick one”.

Royal Dwarf is another fine example of a fast growing autoflowering cannabis strain, with yields that can be expected to be seen at around 8 to 9 weeks.

AUTOFLOWERING PLANTS ARE SMALL AND COMPACT

Another possible advantage of autoflowering cannabis strains - one that is highly subjective depending on the grower - is that they grow to quite a small and limited size. This factor is again due to the introduction of cannabis ruderalis genetics.

Sativa plants are known for their vast heights and slender leaves, capable of growing into enormous bushes outdoors if allowed to. Indicas, on the other hand, have a smaller stature, yet are broad which thicker, fan-like leaves. In contrast, pure ruderalis plants really do appear like weed. They are small and thin yet hardy and adaptive.

This trait makes autoflowering strains quite small and compact. This fact is a massive advantage to some growers who are either looking to make the absolute best out of their growing space, or those who live in areas that frown upon the growing of cannabis plants.

In fact, the rapid growth cycle and compact size of autoflowering strains make them the ultimate choice for stealth and covert growing spaces.

Examples of this small stature can be seen from the two autoflowering cannabis strains that have already been mentioned above. Quick One can be expected to grow from 50 to 60 cm indoors, and an increased 60 to 100 cm if grown outside. On the other hand Royal Dwarf can reach heights of 40 to 70 cm when grown indoors and large sizes of 50 to 90 cm when grown outdoors.

Autoflowering Cannabis Outdoors

NO CHANGE IN PHOTOPERIOD REQUIRED

One of the main advantages of autoflowering strains is that they do not require a change in the light cycle in order to flower. Instead, they flower with age.

Autoflowering strains will flower automatically regardless of the light cycle they receive. For example, they can be kept at a light cycle of 16/8, meaning 16 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness each day, all the way through both the vegetative and flowering stages. This differs from usual cannabis, which reuqires a change in light cycles in order to cause flowering.

This gives outdoor one major potential advantage - it is possible to grow multiple harvests per season. And if you forget to plant your cannabis seeds in time, you can still start late in the season with an auto and make harvest in time before the weather gets cold.

CONS OF GROWING AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS STRAINS

Next up we will delve into any possible cons or disadvantages of cultivating autoflowering cannabis strains. It is important to note that the disadvantages here are indeed subjective and will change depending of the views of different growers. What is seen as a disadvantage to some may indeed be viewed as an advantage to others.

THE SIZE OF AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS

As mentioned above, we once again find ourselves addressing the topic of the size of autoflowering strains. As we have discussed, autoflowering cannabis strains are indeed on the smaller side of the spectrum.

For growers with a huge grow room or private outdoor space, they may prefer to focus on strains that can grow to giant proportions with equally giant yields. Although a variety of strategies can be employed in order to maximise the yield of any auto cannabis strains, they are genetically smaller, and therefore cannot reach the massive yields of say, a monolithic sativa strain that looks more like a tree than cannabis plant.

Light Photoperiod Cannabis Indoor

LIGHTING

As we have stated, autoflowering plants can be kept under much more light during the flowering phase. This can be useful to maximise photosynthesis and therefore energy production within autoflowering cannabis strains. Having your lights on more will push up the electric costs, though. So some growers may find this to be a disadvantage.

LOWER THC CONTENT

As well as producing less of a yield than other types of strains, the cannabinoid content of that yield may also be less than a regular strain. Buds from autoflowering cannabis strains typically produce less THC due to their ruderalis genetics. They still back quite a punch, but for those chasing the highest amount of THC possible, autos may not fit the bill.

 

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