Autoflowering strains have been gaining popularity among the cannabis community. These seeds take half the time it takes for regular ones to grow into a bud producing plant.
What makes an autoflower seed different from regular ones? We answer that question with our definitive guide on autoflower plants.
Where Automatic Cannabis Plants Come From
Automatic plants have the ruderalis plant genetic. The name comes from the word ruderal, which means a plant that can grow in areas that no other plant can thrive in. Ruderalis plant has adapted to the hazardous environment in the northern regions of Asia by shortening their growth cycle. This allows the plants to live long enough to produce offsprings.
The original plants have little to no THC content, or their flowers barely have the same effects as dried bud strains. However, breeders see the beneficial traits of the ruderalis plant. They crossed the plant with different sativa and indica strains to create an autoflower plant that produces high-inducing buds.
Automatic Cannabis Traits
The standout feature of cannabis plants with the ruderalis genetic is its automatic nature. Regular marijuana strains are dependent on the light cycle of the sun. When the daylight hours shorten around autumn, it sends a signal to the marijuana plants to start production of their buds. Indoor cultivators need to match the lighting of their garden with the sunlight schedule to have their cannabis plants flower at the right time.
Auto cannabis strains will enter the flowering phase of its growth cycle regardless of the light cycle. Even if it is under 24 hours of daylight, auto plants will follow its own schedule in producing buds. This trait allows indoor cultivators to provide the plant with as much light as possible to produce quality yields.
Another popular trait of automatic plants is its short growth cycle. The average time it takes for an autoflower seed to turn into a bud producing plant is around eight to 12 weeks. This is half the average time for a photoperiod seed to grow into a mature plant.
The short growth cycle is great for creating a new type of marijuana plant from two different automatic strain. The process involves generating several generations of seeds until one of them obtains the trait that you want. Creating a new strain out of two photoperiod strains can take years because you need to wait for one generation to mature and produce their own offspring. Autoflower plants halve the processing time thanks to its fast growth cycle.
The third trait of all automatic cannabis plants is its short nature. Nearly every auto plant grow less than 4 feet high. This is great for indoor cultivation since the plant can fit into compact spaces such as grow cabinets or tents. These spaces allow you to control the auto cannabis plant’s environment and lighting at a fraction of the cost that it takes for cultivating sativa strains.
The compact size of the plant can also benefit you if you grow them outdoors. Their size allows you to hide the plants from anyone sight. This can help you avoid unwanted attention to your home, including criminals looking for unguarded marijuana plants.
Growing Autoflowering Plants
Cultivating autoflowering plants requires the same kind of care that you give to the regular cannabis plant. Auto plants can grow their best when you plant them on a suitable medium with the proper aeration or air ventilation. Ventilation is needed within a medium to transport oxygen and other gasses to the roots. It also allows for the drainage of excess water within the medium to prevent waterlogged roots.
Autoflowering plants also need the three basic nutrients that cannabis plants need for their growth cycle. This includes nitrogen, which is important for the plant’s development of its branches and leaves. Without nitrogen, it will lack the structure to grow colas where the plant produces its buds.
In addition, automatic plants need phosphorus and potassium for various biological functions. This includes the production of their flower.
There are limitations that come with cultivating autoflowering plants. This includes cloning automatic plants since this involves taking a significant portion that will grow into a secondary plant.
As the name suggests, clones allow you to double your yield by having another plant grow and enter the flowering phase as the mother plant. You bypass the germination and seedling phase with a cloned plant.
Cloning is a stressful experience for any plant. This is not a problem with regular cannabis plant since they have plenty of time to recover from having a large branch taken from them. On the other hand, autoflower plants do not have the luxury of time. You run the risk of your autoflower plants to become undeveloped as they enter the flowering phase, which results in low yields.
You now have a good grasp on the traits of autoflower plants that makes them different from regular marijuana strains. Regardless of which type of seeds to cultivate, they still provide the same beneficial buds. Autoflower seeds are a great way for beginners to try their hand at producing their own strain at home.
As Francis Young said in a 1988 ruling “According to medicine, cannabis is much safer than certain foods we consume. It is definitely safer than eating more than 10 uncooked potatoes due to its toxic components. Cannabis provides a natural treatment for many medical conditions.” Growing automatic seeds can help you produce your own natural treatment.