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how to grow autoflower

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.

If you’re unsure of any of these questions, you’re not yet ready to sow autoflowering seeds. Other types of plants allow you to plan things after sowing seeds, but for the love of God, don’t try that with autoflowers. The minute you soak seeds in the water, the clock starts ticking, so think through everything including the medium, container, ventilation, lighting, grow room and space before planting anything.

Autoflowers growing outdoors usually receive only 12 hours of proper sunlight, and you’re probably wondering if that’s enough. However sunlight is the most powerful light compared to artificial systems set up by humans, so autos take advantage of the situation and produce maximum yields outdoors.

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.

LST is a method that requires bending the stems of the plant so that the light penetrates to the lower parts of the plant. Generally, autoflowers tend to grow one main massive cola while the rest of the plant produces small budlets known as popcorn buds.

Autoflowers grow even when they get only 12 hours of light from seed to harvest. They are tough and adapt in any situation; however, they thrive when they receive 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. Some growers provide 24 hours of light from the beginning until harvest, but it’s not recommended because plants need some rest and time to recover like the rest of us.

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.

Feminized cannabis seeds will produce only female plants for getting buds, so there is no need to remove males or worry about female plants getting pollinated. Feminized seeds are produced by causing the monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant—the resulting seeds are nearly identical to the self-pollinated female parent, as only one set of genes is present.

However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.

What are autoflowering cannabis seeds?

Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out if a bagseed will grow. If you’re simply curious to learn and not as concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what happens.

This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:

Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

60–65 days from planting your seeds. Since many autoflowers won’t get taller than 50–70cm, they are ideal for growing indoors, where space is often limited.

Autoflowers don’t have all the time in the world to grow. Right after sprouting, your plant will need to spend a good amount of time establishing a healthy root system. When you administer a root stimulant immediately after placing your seed in the pot, this will support your plant in this crucial process. But don’t go overboard as your seedling will be very sensitive to overfeeding. Use only the minimum recommended dose of root stimulant.

TIP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS

Autoflowering cannabis prefers light and airy soil that contains lower levels of nutrients than soil for photoperiod strains. As most ready-made universal potting mixes may contain too much nitrogen or other nutrients, choose only a lightly fertilised potting mix for your autoflowers. Your autoflowers also want soil that is not too compact, as this may otherwise prevent the roots from accessing adequate amounts of air.

Many cannabis growers overfeed their cannabis plants. This isn’t too surprising, seeing that makers of cannabis nutrients want us to believe our plants require constant supplementation to survive and thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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.