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9 Myths Surrounding Autoflowering Cannabis Strains

Autoflowering cannabis strains have changed the way cannabis is grown around the world. However, some growers are skeptical about their quality and the internet is full of myths and rumours arguing, that autoflowers are less potent, hardscrabble, and so on.

In this post we look at some of the biggest myths surrounding autoflowering cannabis strains. For more articles like this, follow the RQS cannabis blog.

MYTH 1: AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS ARE LESS POTENT

This is probably the most common myth circulating among the cannabis community, and we’re glad to say it’s not true.

This rumour most likely generated around the time of the release of the original Lowryder strain. A cross between Northern Lights #2, William’s Wonder, and a ruderalis variety, this is often considered one of the first autoflowering strains to hit the market.

Lowryder is a medicinal strain designed to help relieve symptoms of stress, insomnia, and pain. It was released over 10 years ago, and was originally less potent than some of the other cannabis varieties on the market at that time, producing light cerebral effects, that had a characteristically slow onset.

However, a lot has changed since the days when Lowryder first hit the streets. Today, autoflowering varieties have significant cannabinoid profiles, which can be rich in THC, CBD, and a variety of other compounds just like their feminized counterparts.

MYTH 2: AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS PRODUCE LOW YIELDS

This is another common myth about auto cannabis strains, and again we’re happy to say that it is false.

Much like the previous myth, this one likely originated at the time when Lowryder was first released. Lowryder, as the name suggests, was designed to be a small plant similar to the cannabis equivalent of a bonsai for the discrete grower’s windowsill or balcony. It grew to heights of only about 40cm and hence produced much smaller yields than regular cannabis varieties.

Some other autoflowering cannabis varieties followed suite, also featuring genetics, that left them reaching lower heights and consequently producing less bud than regular plants whose heights could be controlled with light. This is because most autoflowering varieties were traditionally created with stealth and speed in mind.

Today, while some autoflowering varieties still display these traits, others have been expertly bred to produce notable yields of high-quality weed. Thanks to more advanced ways of breeding autoflowers, new varieties can grow just as tall as regular photoperiodic plants and produce similar yields. The main factors that’ll influence this is the genetics of your strain, the strength of your lights, and other factors of your grow environment.

MYTH 3: AUTO STRAINS CAN’T BE TRANSPLANTED

This myth is partially true. Transplanting autoflowering cannabis strains is a little more complicated than repotting regular varieties.

To avoid any complications during their grow cycle, cultivators are generally advised to plant their autoflowering seeds in a container they plan to use through to harvest time. However, it is possible to repot an autoflower, as long as you’re gentle and careful.

The biggest concern when repotting autoflowers is shocking the roots, which consequently stunts the plant’s growth for up to 7 days, which is significant, because most live only between 60-90 days.

However, letting your plants get rootbound can be just as detrimental to their growth. So, if you have an autoflowering plant sitting in a small container, that you think might get rootbound, don’t hesitate about transplanting it.

To minimize the negative effects of transplanting, remember the following tips:

  • Always transplant your plants into the exact same soil or soilless grow medium.
  • Transplant your plants before their dark period and when their soil is dry.
  • Always pre-soak the medium you’re planning to move your plants into.
  • Always ensure your transplanted plants aren’t sitting deeper in the soil than they were before. Transplanting them deeper can cause stem rot, which can further stunt their growth.

MYTH 4: YOU CAN’T TOP AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS

This myth is a hard one to tackle as it divides many autoflower growers.

Some growers swear by topping their autoflowers, arguing that it creates more colas per plant and ultimately increases their yields. Others argue that, with such a short lifetime, the time it takes for plants to recover from topping actually decreases their yields.

Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to this issue, as we’ve seen it go both ways. Whether or not you should top your autoflowers comes down to the genetics of your plants and your experience as a grower.

If, for example, you’re growing indica-dominant autoflowering plants like some Kush varieties, you probably shouldn’t bother with topping. These plants tend to have only a few internodes and minimal side branching, allowing them to develop big, thick pineapple-like colas.

Some sativa varieties on the other hand, like an autoflowering Amnesia Haze, might respond really well to topping. These plants can easily reach over 150cm and usually respond well to topping, especially during the early stages of vigorous vegetation, allowing for multiple colas and even light dispersion across the top of the plant.

If you want to experiment with topping your autoflowering plants, we suggests trying it out with some of our sativa varieties. You could easily invest in a pack of 3 seeds, leave one to develop without topping, and experiment on the other 2, giving them a top at different stages of the vegetation phase and taking note of the differences.

MYTH 5: RUDERALIS-DOMINANT STRAINS ARE CBD-DOMINANT

This is another extremely common misconception about autoflowering cannabis strains.

It is true, that all autoflowering strains contain ruderalis genetics, as that is what gives them the autoflowering trait. And it is also true, that Cannabis ruderalis varieties generally contain higher concentrations of CBD than THC.

However, just because a strain is ruderalis-dominant, that doesn’t mean it is naturally going to have a CBD-dominant cannabinoid profile. Thanks to advanced breeding techniques, breeders are now able to create strains, that are ruderalis-dominant, yet still contain higher levels of THC than CBD.

At the same time, breeders are also using the naturally CBD-rich traits of traditional ruderalis varieties to create strains with huge medical potential with high concentrations of CBD, like Fast Eddy (10% ruderalis, high in CBD and 9% THC) and Stress Killer (10% ruderalis, high in CBD and 11% THC).

MYTH 6: AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS DON’T FLOWER IN TIME

This is myth is an easy one to debunk.

Obviously, the flowering time of each strain varies. Most autoflowering varieties will be readay for harvest in between 60-90 days. When grown in a natural environment, any quality autoflowering plant will be ready for harvest when it should be.

However, the simple variables of a grow environment change that. A slight change in temperature, nutrient dose, or water availability can have a big effect on the way an autoflowering plant develops. Meanwhile, transplant shock, draught, or shock from topping can obviously have even bigger effects on a plant’s growth cycle.

These factors can easily stunt a plant’s growth by anywhere from 7 to 10 days, which will then push back your harvest. Hence, it is really important to minimize the risk of any of these factors or deal with them quickly and effectively, should they occur.

MYTH 7: AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS NEED 24H LIGHT CYCLES

This myth isn’t entirely true and depends a lot on the individual strain you’re growing.

It is true, that some autoflowering varieties perform better under 24h light settings and you should definitely keep up these conditions if you’re working with one of these strains.

However, it is widely known that photosynthesis works just as effectively in the darkness, and some strains will make that all the more obvious. In fact, the good old 12/12 light regime might even decrease yields and growth in some varieties that prefer longer dark periods.

While it usually isn’t recommended to flower auto strains in less than 16h of light, it ultimately comes down to the individual strain you’re working with and the individual results you’re getting.

MYTH 8: AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS CANNOT BE CLONED

This myth isn’t true. It is possible to clone autoflowering varieties by taking a small branch from a mother and letting it grow under a 24 hour light cycle. However, no one really bothers to do this, as the clones will usually produce lower yields than the mothers. That is why autoflowering seeds are created from previous seeds, not clones.

MYTH 9: AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS BUDS ARE TASTELESS

Some growers are quick to argue that autoflowering cannabis strains are “all smell”, lacking both flavour and effect. This is definitely not true.

Buds from a decent autoflower created by a reputable breeder will have just as many complex aromas and flavours as those from a non-autoflowering variety. It all comes down to the individual strain and the skills behind the breeder who has created them.

At Royal Queen Seeds, we pride ourselves in creating top-shelf autoflowering cannabis varieties that, unless you grew them yourself, you couldn’t tell apart from regular photoperiodic plants.

To see for yourself, visit our store and browse our autoflowering strains today.

A-Pinene

Anti-Inflamatory
Bronchodilator
Aids Memory
Anti-Bacterial Also found in pine needles

Linalool

Anesthetic
Anti-Convulsant
Analgesic
Anti-Anxiety Also found in lavander

Beta-Caryophillene

Anti-Inflamatory
Analgesic
Protects Cells Lining The Digestive Tract Also found in black pepper

Myrcene

Contributes To Sedative Effect Of Strong Indicas
Sleep Aid
Muscle Relaxant Also found in hops

Limonene

Treats Acid Reflux
Anti-Anxiety
Antidepressant Also found in citrus

A-Pinene

Anti-Inflamatory
Bronchodilator
Aids Memory
Anti-Bacterial Also found in pine needles

Linalool

Anesthetic
Anti-Convulsant
Analgesic
Anti-Anxiety Also found in lavander

Beta-Caryophillene

Anti-Inflamatory
Analgesic
Protects Cells Lining The Digestive Tract Also found in black pepper

Myrcene

Contributes To Sedative Effect Of Strong Indicas
Sleep Aid
Muscle Relaxant Also found in hops

Limonene

Treats Acid Reflux
Anti-Anxiety
Antidepressant Also found in citrus

There are countless rumours about autoflowering cannabis varieties. In this post we debunk some of the most common myths about autoflowers.

How Long Do Autoflowers Take From Seed To Harvest?

Autoflowering cultivars changed the way that Cannabis could be grown indoors or outdoors, without being dependent on specific light cycles. From seed until the point of harvest, autos will begin to flower despite the various seasons during the year, making these low maintenance and highly resistant plants a grower’s best friend. So, if you’re wondering how long does it take for weed plants to grow? In this article we explain what to consider when growing autos, the benefits associated, the life cycle broken down week by week including our grow tips.

1. The Life Cycle Of Autos

The following guide is based on an autoflowering cultivar that takes 10 weeks from seed until harvest.

Week 1

During the earliest stages of growth, the seedling will only grow as tall as one inch, producing its first set of leaves. By this time, the tap root of the seedling will grow downwards anchoring itself to the base of the pot. If grown in soil, seedlings can be fed plain water or a mild nutrient solution root booster.

• Grow Tip: The first week is a very delicate time and seedlings should be given extra care and attention, especially if planting directly outside in a hot or cold climate.

Week 2

After 7 days the seedlings will begin to grow taller increasing the size of the fan leaves. During this time the plants are in a vegetative state so they will rely on Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium as well as trace elements to aid in foliar development, stem production and root production.

• Grow Tip: Organic soil will have all of the primary nutrients and trace elements a Cannabis plant requires during the early stages. Bottled nutrients will also work well as long as you follow the recommended guide.

Week 3

By week 3, the plants will have grown tall quickly, with shoots between the internodes, that will develop into hardwood branches. The fan leaves will be large-sized and depending on which autoflowering cultivar you are growing, the growth structure will be bushy or one main central cola.

• Grow Tip: Now is a good time to perform plant training techniques such as tying down, super-cropping, pruning, and in some cases topping and fimming.

Week 4

Once autoflowering plants are 28 days old, they will have grown to a height between 30-45cm in some cases. The growth structure will be well established with internodal spacing stretching out more as the weeks go by. It is during this time when the plants will go through a hormonal change inducing flowering.

It is best now to reduce the amount of Nitrogen you are giving the plants, as their primary focus will be Phosphorus and Potassium. It is the P and K that encourage the plants to grow pre-flowers and strong stems and side branches in preparation for a heavy harvest. Sativa dominant hybrids should be tied down here if the height is an issue.

• Grow Tip: It is a great idea to add support such as bamboo stakes or a net trellis around the plants. Over the next 5-6 weeks they will focus on producing as much weight as possible.

Week 5

Now you are halfway through your growth cycle and will notice the growth structure and appearance of the plant will be growing tall, bushy, and with high resistance to strong winds.

Pre-flowers will be growing in abundance with resin production forming around the pistils, calyxes, and surrounding leaves. Depending on the cultivar you are growing, your plants will be as tall as 60-80cm, with new, fresh foliage being grown at every internodal site.

• Grow Tip: On the basis, you have trained your plants or used a screen, plant height can be easily controlled.

Week 6

By day 42, the plants will begin to fill out and take on a stacked and chunky appearance. The internodal spacing will become filled with flower sites, and the height of the plants will begin to slow down, as all energy is spent on flower production. The resin will begin to form very quickly covering the buds, with the aroma and terpenes making themselves well known. Plant height will range between 70-125cm

• Grow Tip: Now the plants will depend on frequent amounts of nutrient solution, and using supplementary boosters and enzymes is an option to increase flower and resin production further.

Week 7

Once your autoflowering plants approach day 49, the structure will be very dense and compact, with buds swelling at every internode. The aroma will also become much more enhanced and when you squeeze a bud, your fingers will be stuck together with a layer of sticky resin. The total height of your plants now is 70-150cm depending on cultivar and climate.

• Grow Tip: Some cultivars are more nutrient hungry than others, so do not overfeed your plants just because you are close to the harvest. Check how the plants look and respond between waterings.

Week 8

The buds will begin to fatten up and show signs of swelling up, with a prolific resin production. During weeks 8 is when the plants will be fed their last nutrient solution, as they will now be responsible for using up their reserve nutrients that have been stored over the duration of the plant’s life cycle. The plant’s appearance will look chunky, heavy, and full of weight with tightly packed sugar leaves surrounding the buds.

• Grow Tip: The white hairs on the plant will begin to fade to brown showing she is close to maturity. Do not judge the harvest date on the color of hairs, and use methods such as trichome development, bud density, and terpenes as a guide.

Week 9

As the plants get closer to the harvest date of 10 weeks, it is wise to encourage the plants to use up their nutrient reserve. The final two weeks are known as the flushing period, meaning that the plants will use up their reserve amounts of N-P-K and trace elements. It is normal to see deficiencies begin to form as this is a good sign the excess nutrients are being used up. The calyx of the bud will now bulge and swell with a round and pointy appearance. Trichome development will be at the peak maximum and now is a good time to start checking the maturity of your trichomes.

• Grow Tip: There is no need to add more water than normal, or water more frequently, simply stick to the routine you have been using .

Week 10

Once you have hit the 10-week mark, your autoflowering plants will be fully mature and ready to harvest. The buds will be as thick as golf balls and should have filled every branch and internodal spacing. The terpenes will be the most aromatic, they can be, with the buds encrusted with trichomes, including the surrounding leaves. At this point, you are ready to get your trimming scissors out and begin harvesting the plants.

• Grow Tip: By this point, the plants will display lots of different colors from deficiencies to end of seasonal colors, such as purples, pinks, and magentas.

2. The Advantages of Growing Autos

If you are new to growing autoflowering Cannabis, then you may not be aware of all of the advantages associated. In comparison to photoperiod strains that require 18/6, and 12/12, autoflowering cultivars are the opposite and will flower with any light cycle making them extremely versatile to all climates.

Here at Fast Buds we pride ourselves on producing the fastest flowering autos on the market. Our strains will range between 9-10 weeks, which is extremely quick making them perfect for commercial growers, including novice to expert.

3. In Conclusion

Thanks to the toughness and high resistance to powdery mildew, mold, hot and cold climates, autoflowering Cannabis plants are the best way to grow top-shelf flowers from beginner growers to expert commercial farmers.

Autoflowering cultivars changed the way that Cannabis could be grown indoors or outdoors, without being dependent on specific light cycles. From seed until the