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Growing Autoflowering Cannabis: A Comprehensive Guide

Home Grown Cannabis In The Backyard

How to Grow Auto Flowering Cannabis: A Comprehensive Guide

Auto flowering cannabis is a type of cannabis that automatically starts flowering when it reaches 3-4 weeks of age, regardless of the light cycle. This means that you can harvest your buds in less than 10 weeks from seed, without having to worry about changing the light schedule or triggering the flowering stage manually. Auto flowering cannabis is derived from a wild strain of hemp called Ruderalis, which has adapted to harsh climates and short growing seasons. Breeders have crossed Ruderalis with other high-THC strains to create auto flowering varieties that combine the best of both worlds: speed, resilience and potency.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about growing auto flowering cannabis, from choosing the right seeds and setting up your grow space, to caring for your plants and harvesting your buds. Follow these steps and you will be able to enjoy your own homegrown auto flowers in no time.

Choosing the Right Seeds

The first step to growing auto flowering cannabis is choosing the right seeds for your needs and preferences. There are hundreds of auto flowering strains available on the market, each with its own characteristics, such as size, yield, aroma, flavor, effects and medical benefits. Some of the most popular auto flowering strains are:

Strain Description
Bubble Kush Automatic A sweet and relaxing indica-dominant strain that produces dense and resinous buds in 8-9 weeks.
Quick One A fast and easy strain that can be ready to harvest in 8 weeks or less. It has a citrusy and herbal flavor and a mild body high.
Royal Creamatic A creamy and smooth strain that offers a balanced high and a delicious caramel taste. It can be harvested in 8 weeks and grows up to 70 cm tall.
Royal Haze Automatic A sativa-dominant strain that delivers an uplifting and energetic effect and a spicy and fruity aroma. It takes 10-12 weeks to mature and can reach up to 150 cm in height.

When choosing your seeds, you should also consider the size of your grow space, the climate of your area, and your experience level as a grower. Auto flowering cannabis plants are generally smaller and more compact than photoperiod plants, making them ideal for stealthy and indoor growing. However, some strains can still grow quite tall and bushy, so you should check the expected height of your chosen strain before planting. You should also look for strains that are suitable for your climate, as some may perform better in warmer or cooler conditions than others. Finally, you should choose strains that match your skill level, as some may require more attention or care than others.

Setting Up Your Grow Space

The next step to growing auto flowering cannabis is setting up your grow space with the necessary equipment and conditions. You can grow auto flowers indoors or outdoors, depending on your preference and situation. Here are some tips for both methods:

Indoor Growing

Indoor growing gives you more control over the environment and allows you to grow all year round. However, it also requires more investment in equipment and electricity. Here are some of the things you will need for indoor growing:

  • A grow tent or a dedicated room with reflective walls
  • A ventilation system with an exhaust fan and a carbon filter
  • A lighting system with LED or CFL bulbs
  • A timer to control the light cycle
  • Pots or containers with drainage holes
  • A growing medium such as soil, coco coir or hydroponics
  • Nutrients designed for cannabis plants
  • A pH meter and a TDS meter to measure the acidity and nutrient levels of the water
  • A thermometer and a hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity
  • Scissors, gloves, jars and labels for harvesting and curing

The ideal conditions for indoor growing are:

  • Light cycle: 18/6 or 20/4 (hours of light/hours of darkness)
  • Temperature: 20-26°C (68-79°F)
  • Humidity: 50-70% during vegetative stage; 40-50% during flowering stage
  • pH: 6.0-6.5 for soil; 5.5-6.0 for hydroponics
  • EC: 0.8-1.2 mS/cm during vegetative stage; 1.2-1.6 mS/cm during flowering stage

Outdoor Growing

Outdoor growing is cheaper and more natural, but also less predictable and more vulnerable to pests, diseases and weather changes. Here are some of the things you will need for outdoor growing:

  • A sunny and discreet spot with good airflow and drainage
  • Pots or containers with drainage holes
  • A growing medium such as soil, coco coir or hydroponics
  • Nutrients designed for cannabis plants
  • A pH meter and a TDS meter to measure the acidity and nutrient levels of the water
  • Scissors, gloves, jars and labels for harvesting and curing

The ideal conditions for outdoor growing are:

  • Light cycle: As much sunlight as possible
  • Temperature: 20-30°C (68-86°F)
  • Humidity: 40-60%
  • pH: 6.0-6.5 for soil; 5.5-6.0 for hydroponics
  • EC: 0.8-1.2 mS/cm during vegetative stage; 1.2-1.6 mS/cm during flowering stage

Caring for Your Plants

The third step to growing auto flowering cannabis is caring for your plants throughout their life cycle. Auto flowers have a short and fast growth cycle, so you need to be attentive and responsive to their needs. Here are some of the things you need to do to ensure a healthy and bountiful harvest:

Germinating Your Seeds

Germinating your seeds is the process of activating them and making them sprout. There are many ways to germinate your seeds, but one of the simplest and most effective methods is the paper towel method. Here is how to do it:

  • Soak your seeds in a glass of water for 12 hours.
  • Drain the water and place the seeds on a damp paper towel.
  • Fold the paper towel over the seeds and place it in a ziplock bag or a plastic container.
  • Keep the bag or container in a warm and dark place, such as a drawer or a closet.
  • Check the seeds every day and moisten the paper towel if needed.
  • Wait until the seeds crack open and a white taproot emerges, which can take anywhere from 24 hours to a week.
  • Carefully transfer the seeds to your pots or containers, with the taproot pointing down.
  • Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or medium and lightly water them.
  • Place the pots or containers under your lights or in a sunny spot.

Watering Your Plants

Watering your plants is one of the most important aspects of growing auto flowering cannabis, as it affects their health, growth and yield. You need to water your plants regularly, but not too much or too little, as both can cause problems such as root rot, nutrient lockout, wilting or stunted growth. Here are some tips for watering your plants:

  • Use lukewarm water that has been pH-adjusted and nutrient-enriched according to your medium and stage of growth.
  • Water your plants when the top inch of soil or medium feels dry to the touch, which can be every day or every few days depending on the size of your pots, the temperature and the humidity.
  • Water your plants slowly and evenly until you see some runoff coming out of the drainage holes.
  • Avoid watering your plants directly on the stem or the leaves, as this can cause mold or fungal infections.
  • Avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants, as this can stress them and reduce their performance.

Feeding Your Plants

Feeding your plants is another crucial aspect of growing auto flowering cannabis, as it provides them with the essential nutrients they need to grow and produce buds. You need to feed your plants regularly, but not too much or too little, as both can cause problems such as nutrient burn, nutrient deficiency, leaf discoloration or reduced yield. Here are some tips for feeding your plants:

  • Use nutrients that are designed for cannabis plants and suitable for your medium and stage of growth.
  • Follow the instructions on the nutrient label or use half of the recommended dosage to avoid overfeeding your plants.
  • Feed your plants every time you water them or every other time depending on their needs and reactions.
  • Check the pH and EC of your water before and after adding nutrients to ensure they are within the optimal range for your medium and stage of growth.
  • Flush your plants with plain water every few weeks or before switching to flowering nutrients to remove any excess salts or buildup from the medium.

Training Your Plants

Training your plants is an optional but beneficial technique that involves manipulating the shape and structure of your plants to improve their light exposure, airflow and bud production. There are many ways to train your plants, but some of the most common and effective methods for auto flowering cannabis are:

Low Stress Training (LST)

LST involves gently bending and tying down the branches of your plants to create a more even canopy and expose more bud sites to light. LST can increase your yield, prevent light burn and reduce stretching. Here is how to do it:

  • Start LST when your plants have at least 3 nodes or pairs of leaves, which is usually around week 2 or 3 of growth