Beginners to marijuana growing may feel excited after hearing information about auto-flowering strains. The ability to flower without the heavy assistance of photoperiod is an advantage many budding marijuana growers don’t want to miss. Veterans already know of the numerous benefits acquired from growing and harvesting auto-flowering plants.
Watch your auto-flowering feminized marijuana seeds grow and you’ll see why many cannabis cultivators are enamored by the mere presence of these strains. Auto-flowering strains provide growers the advantage of saving time, money, and effort. If you’re about to grow your first auto-flowering crop, here’s a beginner’s guide to help you out.
Auto-Flowering Marijuana Plants: A Brief Overview
Generations enjoyed several Indica and Sativa strains. Traditional marijuana plants have their unique sets of effects, advantages, and shortcomings. The marijuana industry came a long way since the discovery of the plant. Now, we can enjoy cannabis strains with Ruderalis genetics.
Marijuana plants with Ruderalis characteristics can auto-flower without the help of a photoperiod. It wouldn’t hurt the auto-flowering plant to give you a healthy yield even with the absence of proper light and dark period. These strains require low maintenance which can greatly benefit growers who don’t have the luxury of time.
The Optimal Light Schedule for Growing Auto-Flowering Marijuana Plants
While the traditional marijuana strain requires photoperiods1 of about 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness, or 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness, auto-flowering marijuana plants can survive even if you only give it as little as 5 hours of light per day. Still, if you want your plants to give you higher-than-average yield while attaining high peak potency, then it’s a good idea to offer over 18 hours of light per day.
The optimal light schedule to give you an abundant and healthy yield from your auto-flowering cannabis strains is a consistent 20/4 approach. 18/6, 20/2, and 24-hour schedules have their advantages. Outdoor growers may even leave their auto-flowering plants to their natural abilities as the natural light and darkness schedule allows you to provide little maintenance to your strains. For indoor marijuana growers, germinate seeds and grow seedlings under the right artificial grow lights for one week or two to gain the best results.
The Life Cycle of Autoflowering Feminized Marijuana Seeds
What’s better than growing auto-flowering marijuana seeds? Feminized variants2. Even though you already gain several benefits from growing auto-flowering cannabis strains, significantly increase the chances of acquiring female plants by using feminized seeds.
By now, it’s already apparent that the biggest difference between auto-flowering and traditional marijuana seeds is time. Auto-flowering strains flower at an earlier time period as compared to traditional Indica or Sativa plants. The vast majority of auto-flowering strains will have a post-germination life cycle of about 8 to 12 weeks. Again, auto-flowering plants don’t require the common 12/12 light schedule before it can transition to its flowering stages.
Most auto-flowering seeds will transition to its bloom phase within about 30 days. It’s essential to get healthy seeds from the start to avoid complications like wasting time and effort. Get your auto-flowering seeds to a strong and healthy start to significantly increase opportunities for successful cultivation. Numerous factors and events can take place during the course of one week as your auto-flowering plants start to grow.
Remember, only transplant your auto-flowering strains once; these plants have compact and slightly weaker builds as compared to their traditional counterparts. If you already have the perfect place for your plants, don’t mind transplanting them.
Prepare to make daily adjustments when you’re growing your auto-flowering strains in indoor environments. Adjust your grow lamp accordingly to avoid burning your foliage. Also, know that the optimal temperature conditions for auto-flowering plants are between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Auto-flowering strains don’t just have lower light and darkness requirements, but they also have lower nutrient needs as well. Many auto-flowering plants prefer a mildly fertilized growing medium with a well-aerated trait. Coco and lightly-mixed soils are ideal mediums for growing auto-flowering cannabis.
Enhanced Growing Speeds
It takes about 45 to 60 days for your auto-flowering plants to complete the blooming cycle as soon as you see the pistils coming out of the flowers. It’s at this time when you should ready yourself for the harvest. Do the necessary adjustments required for your plants to achieve healthy yields.
Replace the use of low to medium-strength nutrients found in vegetative growth fertilizers with base nutes. Use a Spartan feeding regimen whenever possible. You don’t need to alter your plants’ light schedule but you can do so if you want to slightly increase the amount of yield. However, you need to ensure the temperatures in your grow area don’t exceed 28 degrees Celsius. Pay attention to the distance between your grow lights and your plants.
Don’t immediately assume that all auto-flowering strains will have a small, squat, and shrub-like appearance. There are certain hybrids that can still accumulate space even though they don’t have the height of a few traditional Indicas or Sativas. The final week of the flowering stage should make you do thorough flushing of the medium.
Use a light flushing solution or pure water at this point. Once the majority of the hairs or pistils on your auto-flowering strains change from white to an orangey-red color, start flushing. Never skip this crucial final stage. After this process, you owe it to yourself to start enjoying the buds of your auto-flowering strains.
Growing auto-flowering feminized marijuana seeds is an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor growers. Gardeners who live in sunny climates will particularly enjoy lower maintenance routines when taking care of their auto-flowering plants. If you live in a location with a cooler climate, then you may want to grow your auto-flowering strains indoors3. Regardless of the choice, you make for your plants’ growing environment, cultivating auto-flowering marijuana plants is one of the simplest yet most enjoyable experiences for any cannabis cultivator, regardless of skill or experience level.