For instance, if your nutrient chart recommends 5ml/liter, start with 2.5ml or 1.25 ml (1/2 or 1/4 strength) and watch how the plant responds. Some autoflowers, like the Tangie ‘Matic or Gorilla Glue, for example, are voracious feeders and require a stronger dose, but make sure you start with big doses only after experimenting with half-strength nutes at first.
1) Prepare ahead
Due to a shortage of time, not every training technique working for other cannabis plants suit autoflowers. For instance, HST or High-Stress-Techniques work very well on photoperiod plants, but autoflowers prefer Low-Stress-Techniques or LST.
Most autoflowers start flowering in the third or fourth week, so start training only if the plants grow fast and remain healthy enough to be trained. If you’re unsure, it’s okay to not train the plants at all.
If you’re adamant on transplanting, though, make sure that the medium is exactly the same. For instance, if your seedling is growing in a potting mix of coco coir and compost, it should be transplanted to another container containing the exact same mix. Water the seedling container a few hours before transplanting to ensure that the soil is moist. There’s a high risk of hurting the roots when the soil is too dry or wet.
Growers produce good yields with 24 hours, but the quality isn’t as good as plants grown in an 18/6 cycle. The light setup also plays an important role here. Although autos grow well under different types of lighting, they prefer HPS or LEDs over CFL and fluorescent lights.
Containers must be proportional to the size of the plant. For example, medium-sized plants require at least 5–7 gallon containers whereas big plants need pots that are more than 11 gallons. Remember, the type of container you choose plays a major role as well. Autoflowers love aerated soil that drains very well, so use breathable containers like fabric pots that allow maximum drainage.
Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.
Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.
Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.
Can I grow a seed I found in a bag of weed?
If buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank, growing from seed is the best way to ensure your plants will have solid genetics and start clean, meaning they won’t come with diseases or pests.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.
Once cannabis seeds are mature, the female plant begins to die, and seeds are either dropped to the ground where they grow into new cannabis plants next spring, or the seeds are harvested for processing into seed oil or food products, or stored so they can be sown in the ground later and become the next generation of plants.
As previously mentioned, autoflowers are less forgiving when it comes to major or sustained errors, which means you must water your autoflowering girls properly.
How do you control your water and nutrient solution pH levels? A must-have for any grower are “pH Down” and “pH Up” products, as well as a pH meter. With these on hand, you can be in control of your soil’s pH.
Don’t top, prune, or pinch your autoflowers like you might do when growing conventional cannabis. With autoflowers, the only training method you should use is low-stress training (LST), where you carefully bend and tie down your plants so all bud sites are equally exposed to light. When performing LST on autoflowers, just stick with bending and skip the part where you’d top your plants. If you plan to do LST with your autoflowers as an alternative to a SOG, ensure that you start soon, but be gentle to avoid breaking your plants.
TIP 8: CONTROL THE PH LEVEL OF YOUR WATER
When starting your seeds, and for young plants, you can also use standard fluorescent lamps such as T5 lights. These use very little energy and don’t get warm, so there is no risk of burning your sensitive seedlings.
You don’t need to harvest your entire plant all at once! Chances are, the top buds may be done earlier than some of the lower buds further away from your lights. These buds may need a little more time to ripen. So instead of taking your clippers and collecting them all, take only the topmost buds and allow the others a few days more to finish.
Cannabis can only uptake nutrients when the soil surrounding the root zone has the right pH value. The optimal pH range here is 6.0–7.0. For growing in other media, such as coco, the pH should be lower, ranging from 5.5–6.5. If the pH of your water is not optimal (which is likely the case if you use tap water) and plants can’t uptake nutrients, this leads to sick specimens. The right pH is particularly important when growing autoflowers as they don’t have time to recover. You want to ensure your plants get all the nutrients they need during their short period of growth.
Then again, if you happen to be a medicinal cannabis user, or for some other reason choose not to get high, a low-THC, high-CBD strain like the excellent Solomatic CBD can be a good choice.