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Tips For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis Indoors

Autoflowers are a class of cannabis that has only thrived on the commercial market in the last few years. Today, they are taking the market by storm with their ease of growth and great results. With these tips for growing autoflowers indoors, you can make the most of your autoflowering grow-op!

  • 0. Benefits of growing autoflowers indoors
  • 1. Tip 1: choose the right strains
  • 2. Tip 2: don’t repot your autoflowers
  • 3. Tip 3: use a root stimulant
  • 4. Tip 4: grow in light and airy soil
  • 5. Tip 5: use the right type of light
  • 6. Tip 6: try the sea of green method
  • 7. Tip 7: watch your watering
  • 8. Tip 8: control the ph level of your water
  • 9. Tip 9: cut the nutrients
  • 10. Tip 10: don’t top your autoflowers
  • 11. Tip 11: ensure good airflow, humidity, and temperature
  • 12. Tip 12: flush
  • 13. Tip 13: harvest gradually
  • 14. Tip 14: harvest all year round
  • 15. Conclusion
  • 0. Benefits of growing autoflowers indoors
  • 1. Tip 1: choose the right strains
  • 2. Tip 2: don’t repot your autoflowers
  • 3. Tip 3: use a root stimulant
  • 4. Tip 4: grow in light and airy soil
  • 5. Tip 5: use the right type of light
  • 6. Tip 6: try the sea of green method
  • 7. Tip 7: watch your watering
  • 8. Tip 8: control the ph level of your water
  • 9. Tip 9: cut the nutrients
  • 10. Tip 10: don’t top your autoflowers
  • 11. Tip 11: ensure good airflow, humidity, and temperature
  • 12. Tip 12: flush
  • 13. Tip 13: harvest gradually
  • 14. Tip 14: harvest all year round
  • 15. Conclusion

BENEFITS OF GROWING AUTOFLOWERS INDOORS

Autoflowering cannabis strains are great. Unlike conventional (i.e. photoperiod) plants, it is age, not light cycle, that determines when autoflowers switch to flowering. This makes growing autoflowers straightforward, as growers can just leave their plants under a fixed light schedule (such as 18/6) from seed to harvest. Autoflowers also grow faster and don’t get as big as photoperiod strains. Your buds will be ready for you in a short

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.

With all the benefits of growing autoflowers indoors, it’s not surprising that they are immensely popular, and not just among those new to cannabis growing. Here are some vital tips on how to best grow autoflowers indoors, so you can look forward to great harvests!

TIP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS

More than anything else, genetics will play the biggest role in determining the final outcome of your grow operation. But what makes the right strain? Well, let’s start with your personal preferences, for example, what type of effect you want from your cannabis. If you’re smoking to get blazed with the best and the latest, you can’t go wrong with THC monsters like the super dank and potent Royal Cookies Automatic or Royal Gorilla Automatic, our automatic variants of two popular strains!

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.

The other thing you should consider when selecting a strain is its growing characteristics. Some strains may be easier than others to manage, or are known to grow and flower exceptionally fast. If you’re still new to growing, or simply want to grow great bud in a very short time, you may want to take a look at our Easy Bud or Quick One.

TIP 2: DON’T REPOT YOUR AUTOFLOWERS

As the lifespan of autoflowering cannabis is limited, it is less forgiving when it comes to major stressors and mistakes. When plants experience high amounts of stress, growth stalls; while this may be fine for conventional cannabis that can be kept in veg longer to recover, autoflowers don’t have that luxury—they will flower regardless. As such, it’s best to start autos in their final pot right from the get-go to avoid transplant shock.

That said, you shouldn’t need very large pots for your autos as they won’t usually get very tall.
You should nevertheless choose a pot large enough so the plant doesn’t get root-bound, but instead has plenty of space to grow.

For germinating your autoflowering cannabis seeds, we recommend using the Autoflowering Starter Kit for best results.

TIP 3: USE A ROOT STIMULANT

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 4: GROW IN LIGHT AND AIRY SOIL

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.

The best solution is to make your own soil mix at home.

Recipe for DIY light and airy soil for autoflowers:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts compost
  • 2 parts perlite, moistened
  • 1 part vermiculite, moistened

You can find out more about making an optimal potting mix for your autoflowers in our blog **The Best Soil For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis.

TIP 5: USE THE RIGHT TYPE OF LIGHT

With autoflowers, you don’t need to worry about light schedules like you would with photoperiod plants. When growing autoflowers, you can just leave your lights on a 18/6 schedule (18h on, 6h off) for the entire grow, and can even grow them under 24 hours of light. Which schedule is “better” is open to debate. Many growers use the 18/6 schedule, as this gives good results while using less energy than a constant 24h cycle.

As for the right type of light, LEDs are now replacing HPS lighting in grow rooms and tents everywhere. They may be more expensive outright, but they use a lot less energy than HPS, so you will save massively on energy costs over time. If you’re using an LED grow light, you may want to see whether it is also equipped with UV lights. Some growers say that UV light makes for better taste and potency.

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.

TIP 6: TRY THE SEA OF GREEN METHOD

The sea of green (SOG) method is really just a fancy term for growing a lot of smaller plants in your grow room for bigger yields. Autoflowers are ideal for growing in a SOG as they are already smaller by nature.

To carry out a SOG with autoflowers, you’d simply plant your seeds directly into even smaller containers that allow you to fit as many plants as possible into every square metre of space. How many plants you want to use for your SOG, as well as their exact pot size, will depend on the space you have available. This may also vary from strain to strain. Feel free to experiment to find the ideal pot size and number of plants that produces the best yields in your indoor grow space.

Note: Depending on where you live, there may be legal limits on how many plants you can grow for personal use, so make sure you know how many plants you can have.

TIP 7: WATCH YOUR WATERING

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 water cannabis properly? For starters, don’t water your plants on a fixed schedule, but instead only when they need it. You should always allow the soil to dry out between waterings. A good way to check if your plants need water is to lift up the pots. You should have a pretty good idea of how light a dry pot is compared to one saturated with water. As such, only water when the pot is light and the soil has dried out. Overwatering can be deadly, so it’s better to err on the side of caution.

TIP 8: CONTROL THE PH LEVEL OF YOUR WATER

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.

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.

TIP 9: CUT THE NUTRIENTS

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.

Autoflowering cannabis tends to be at its healthiest when given just the right amount of nutrients. In some cases, plants can go through the entire seedling and veg phases without any supplemental nutes, as most soil mixes already contain enough macronutrients and micronutrients to support these phases of growth.

After your cannabis plants have sprouted, don’t feed them for at least two weeks. Even then, you may only want to give nutrients if a plant shows signs of a deficit, like yellow leaves. Autoflowers grown in standard potting mixes should do well all the way to flowering with no additional nutrients. From here, you can start to administer bloom-specific solutions.

You can also grow your cannabis in organic soil. This will ensure your plants have everything they need for healthy growth all the way to harvest, and you won’t ever need to administer additional nutrients! Some growers make their own organic super soils, which are perfect for growing autoflowers. That being said, it’s important the soil is not too “hot” given the sensitivity of these cultivars.

TIP 10: DON’T TOP YOUR AUTOFLOWERS

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 11: ENSURE GOOD AIRFLOW, HUMIDITY, AND TEMPERATURE

Make sure to provide your autoflowering ladies with good airflow. A gentle breeze of fresh air from a ventilator ensures humidity levels in your grow room stay low, which helps prevent the growth of mould. If your plants have dried leaves, which is not uncommon in the later stage of flowering, remove them for some better airflow around the buds.

You also need to watch the temperature in your grow room. Cannabis does best at a moderately warm room temperature of 20–25°C. Any excess heat, but also cold spells or chilly nights, can stress your plants, slow their growth, and result in poorer yields.

TIP 12: FLUSH

“Flushing” is when you stop feeding nutrients, and only administer pH-adjusted water in the last 1–2 weeks before harvest. This gets rid of the remaining mineral salts that have accumulated. Without any nutrients remaining in the soil, the plant will draw stored nutrients from its foliage; this is why cannabis in late flowering turns yellow. The goal of flushing is to make for purer and better-tasting buds, as you don’t want to smoke whatever chemicals you’ve fed your plants. So flush them out before you harvest.

TIP 13: HARVEST GRADUALLY

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.

TIP 14: HARVEST ALL YEAR ROUND

More often than not, weed cultivators don’t just want to harvest once or twice per year. Wouldn’t it be great if you always had some plants ready to harvest? With the perpetual harvest method, you can do exactly that!

Essentially, this entails having multiple plants in different stages of growth at any given time. In this way, you can time things just right so that there is always weed ready to bloom and harvest. This gives you the potential for a never-ending supply that doesn’t require excess effort from you!

With conventional cannabis, this would involve at least two separate growing areas. Luckily, with autoflowers, you can squeeze plants in different stages of growth all into the same room. As autoflowers take about 8–10 weeks from seed to harvest, all you need to do to enjoy a constant stash is offset planting by 2–4 weeks. This way, when you harvest one plant, the next is already starting to flower, waiting patiently in line.

CONCLUSION

Autoflowering strains have a lot going for them, and make a great addition to any grower’s repertoire. Although they don’t really allow for advanced techniques or gigantic yields, there is a lot you can do to get the most out of your autoflowers when growing indoors.

Check out these tips to help optimise your indoor autoflowering cannabis grow-op. Avoid major mistakes, and provide plants with ideal environmental conditions.

10 tips for autoflowering cultivation

Growing autoflowering cannabis varieties

Autoflowering varieties are the solution for many growers. These fast and discreet plants have earned a place in the garden of many houses, but we have found that some users grow them in the same way as normal ones.

In this article we are going to review the 10 most important tips to get a great yield with automatic flowering cannabis plants. Do you want to know which ones they are? Well, here they are….✍

1. Choose modern automatic genetics.

In general automatic genetics have evolved a lot since the first Lowryder. Thanks to selection and breeding of the populations with the best individuals, these plants increasingly resemble the normal photodependent ones, so the current ones are better than those of 10 years ago.

Years ago it was difficult to achieve a large production of tasty and potent buds with autoflowering seeds. Luckily this changed and nowadays it is relatively easy to get a good autoflowering crop with a lot of resin, THC above 20%, and great aroma and flavour, as with the Haze XXL Autoflowering.

2. Use a new, aerated and nutrient-rich substrate.

Autoflowering plants have a very fast vegetative growth cycle of just 3 weeks. Once this time has elapsed, they begin to flower spontaneously, regardless of their size or growing conditions.

The final production of an automatic flowering variety is directly related to the total size of the plant. This is why it is so important that during the first 3 weeks of life nothing slows down their development.

The key to achieving maximum growth and development during this time is to create a good root system, and to achieve this goal it is best to prepare a foamy, loose, aerated substrate to oxygenate well, and rich in nutrients.

image of a special soil for the cultivation of autoflowering seeds, fine-textured and foamy*

3. Final pot of at least 2,64 US gallons.

At this point there is some controversy, as there are growers who prefer to plant autoflowering seeds directly in the final pot, and others who choose to do transplants. We can tell you that you can achieve great performance in both ways, as long as you do things right.

Is it better to transplant autoflowering plants?

From our point of view it is, the nutrients of the substrate are better used making transplants. But be careful with this, if the roots are damaged during the transplant or the plant is stressed, the development in general can be stopped, and so that production is reduced.

When a photodependent variety is transplanted we can wait for the root system to fill the entire pot. This ensures that there is hardly any chance of damaging the roots, since you get all the roots bread compact. But with autoflowering plants we cannot wait with a small pot for the roots to fill it, because then we would be losing development and time. When the root system has not filled the entire substrate you have to be very careful with the transplant, some deep roots with few branches can break during the process. If you choose to transplant I recommend that you germinate in a pot of 0,8 US gallons, and after 20 days make the transplant to the definitive pot.

If we prefer not to risk in the transplant and to plant directly in the final flowerpot it is necessary to consider 2 important details. The first is not to overwater during the first few weeks. We have seen seedlings, or small plants of 2 or 3 pairs of leaves, in pots of 5,28 US gallons soaked, and this is not good at all. When you are not going to transplant, remember that you can water every day a little, but keep in mind that when the plant is small it has hardly any roots to absorb, so you only have to water around the stem, and gradually water a little more surface. Once we water the whole pot it is important to respect the dry cycle, as it is the only time that the substrate is oxygenated, and not water again until it has dried a little, which is the second detail we see frequently.

If you already have your plant in a small pot and need a solution, here’s the trick:

  1. Cut off the bottom of a “cup” or a 7-10cm pot.
  2. Place 5cm of coconut: wet perlite in the bottom of a 10 litre pot.
  3. Fill the wide part of the 10 litre pot with coconut perlite (dry)
  4. Bury the 7-10cm cup or pot halfway down in the 10 litre pot. Fill this with coconut-pearlite as well.
  5. Now plant your sprouted seedlings in the cup and water in the usual way.
  6. When watering your autoflowering plant, be sure to water ONLY in the small pot for the first 10 – 14 days. This will ensure that the seedling receives the water it needs (and depending on its age, the nutrients as well).
  7. Meanwhile the main root of the car will grow downwards, an accelerated growth outside the wet coconut-pearlite layer, just know that it is in the bottom of the 10 litre pot.
  8. The main root sends an extensive network of smaller root hairs that also seek that water source.

Scheme of an autoflowering transplant

4. Use Trichoderma and Mycorrhizae.

It is not essential, but it is so interesting that we always recommend adding microlife to both the substrate and the irrigation. These beneficial fungi and bacteria have several functions that help improve the performance of autoflowering plants.

The first advantage of using Trichoderma and Mycorrhizae is that they act as a root system protector against fungi and other external pathogens. These microscopic beings produce a mycelium that colonizes the entire substrate to prevent malignant mushrooms from being able to access.

The other great advantage is that through this mycelium it can help bring food to where the roots do not reach. Plants eat more and that affects their overall health.

Its composition is basically Harzanium Trichodermas characterized by plants and stimulate benefit and therefore our crop yield….

5. Add root stimulator to the irrigation during the first 3 weeks

During the first 3 weeks of life, that is right, during the fast vegetative growth phase of automatic genetics. This point has to do with the previous 3, that is to say, with the objective of reaching the maximum development both radicular and aerial.

Ideally, an organic root stimulator should be used, so that it is compatible with microlife and can work in combination. Once the plant begins to draw pre-flowers it is time to stop adding the root stimulator, and start watering with flowering stimulator.

6. Do not prune the main tip.

It is not really very interesting to do apical pruning or F.I.M., since they do not take advantage of it to optimize production. In this case the opposite can happen, because of pruning development time is lost and instead of improving the crop can be reduced.

In indoor cultivation it is interesting to prune from low to autoflowering plants, especially the so-called Auto XXL. These plants grow quite a lot, and in many cases the light from the focus does not reach the lower parts well, interfering with their normal development. If you need help when making any kind of pruning in cannabis, I recommend you read this article that talks about it.

7. Continuous watering but with little water.

There is no unanimity on this point either, but we recommend moderate risks on a daily basis. With normal photodependent varieties I would tell you that it is better to water with more water, and then wait until it has dried before watering again. With autoflowering varieties we prefer to water with less water but more often.

We have to take into account what we saw before, the size of the pot in proportion to the size of the plant is the key factor to determine how much water is needed at any given time.

As long as the whole surface of the pot is not moistened there is no problem with the oxygenation of the substrate. No matter how much we water in the central part, around the stem, there will be no problems because the earth continues to oxygenate at the edges. But when the whole pot is moistened it is better to wait until it dries a little before watering again, as it is not good for the substrate to remain soaked for a long time.

8. High levels of E.C. in flowering.

They take in higher levels of nutrients than most normal strains, but that doesn’t mean you can give them all the fertilizer you want. During growth it doesn’t need more than the root stimulator and microlife, so when flowering arrives the substrate is still quite clean of salts, that’s really good.

When the first pre-flowers begin to appear we start to give them the flowering stimulator, at that time it is also good to start with the flowering base fertilizer. During this phase the plant continues to grow, but still does not need high doses of nutrients for its potent development.

Once the plant stops growing and focuses on fattening the flowers it is time to begin to provide fattening flowering, along with the stimulator and fertilizer base of this phase. Now they admit E.C. doses of 2.0 and even more, right at the key moment of cultivation.

image of a cannabis plant eating*

9. Photoperiod of more than 15 hours of light daily in indoor cultivation.

We know that automatic varieties do not rely on hours of light and darkness to grow or bloom. These plants can be maintained throughout the growing cycle with the photoperiod of growth, that is, 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.

This is a great advantage, because normally the more light the more production, so being able to flower with more than 12 hours of light will increase the weight of the crop. We must also bear in mind that the greater the photoperiod or light intensity, the greater the need for irrigation and food. The same variety cultivated with 12 hours of light or 20 hours of light is going to eat very differently, so it is necessary to combine it with a greater diet when cultivated with more hours of light.

10. Choose the best outdoor season for your crop.

As it happens indoors, autoflowering varieties grow and produce more when they have more hours and intensity of light, in this case the sun. We do start from the premise that when the sun shines most during the year it is at the beginning of summer, we already know when it is the best season for the outdoor cultivation of automatic flowering strains.

The ideal is to germinate the seeds one month before the summer solstice, which is almost the maximum number of hours of light, so that the flowering coincides with the best time of the year.

If you do several outdoor autoflowering harvests each year, it’s best to start the first one in early spring. This one ends almost at the end of this season, and at that time we germinate the second round, which will be cut almost at the end of summer, and if the weather in your area is not too harsh in autumn, you are still in time to germinate a third one.

The size of the pot must be adapted to the season, this means that a summer crop will always need more volume of pot than a crop in spring or autumn. But outdoors it would be nice to put at least a 5,28 US gallons, from then on, depending also on the discretion you need.

Summary

image of an infograph that represents the best way to cultivate autoflowering varieties*

Conclusion

The most important requirement to achieve the highest production with autoflowering is to get a large root system as soon as possible. From our point of view it is better to transplant, as long as it is done without causing stress to the plant. The final flowerpot indoors should be more than 2,64 US gallons, and outdoors more than 5,28 US gallons. The photoperiod indoors more than 15 hours of light, and continuous watering with little water.

Keep these tips in mind when you are going to cultivate autoflowering plants, follow them and then tell us how it went, and if you liked this article you do us a favor if you share it.🤗👍

Are you going to plant autoflowering seeds and not sure how to do it? ⭐ Do you want to get the best performance with autoflowering? ✨ Check this out.