It depends on the strain. But in general, autoflowers will be ready much quicker than feminized photoperiod cannabis. The average life cycle of autoflowers is about 10 weeks, with some strains ready as soon as 8 weeks after germination.
Optimal humidity for your autoflowers depends on your plant’s age. In the first few weeks, they prefer a more humid environment. Reduce relative humidity to 40–50% when your plants start to flower to reduce the risk of mould.
These days, autoflowers can satisfy even the most demanding of users: Recreational users won’t have difficulties finding automatic varieties rich in THC, and holistic users can get autoflowers low in THC but high in CBD to benefit from the non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
Use light, well-draining soil
Indoors: No need to switch your lights to a flowering schedule like with photoperiod cannabis. You can keep your autoflowers on an 18/6 (18 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness) or 24/0 light schedule from seed to harvest.
The autoflowers that first appeared on the market in the early 2000s didn’t really impress. They weren’t very potent, their aroma was lacking, and their yields were not great either.
Made from select Kush varieties from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Purple family of cannabis features plants with a gorgeous appearance. Purple Queen Auto is an automatic variant of Purple Queen, and Purplematic CBD has 17% CBD and only trace amounts of THC for a clean and clear high.
Feminized (photoperiod) cannabis plants flower depending on the hours of light they receive. Out in nature, they start to bloom when the days get shorter at the end of summer. Indoors, cultivators initiate flowering by adjusting their grow lights to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
Regardless of the schedule, the lighting demands of autoflower strains are easier to meet than those of their photoperiod counterparts.
Autoflower cannabis varieties are queens of speed. This trait is another result of their adaptive prowess. Most autoflowering strains complete the entire growing cycle in the same amount of time that photoperiod strains take to finish flowering alone—around 7–10 weeks. Their speedy life cycle results from a brief vegetative phase and a fast flowering stage.
You can easily grow autos on balconies and in hidden locations in your garden. They’re also popular among guerrilla growers—cultivators that grow cannabis in hidden public or wild locations. This method helps to keep crops out of sight and hidden from thieves.
SIMPLE LIGHTING DEMANDS
The speed of autoflowers appeals to growers with a penchant for near-instant results. Waiting for a crop to ripen can be teasing at best and excruciating at worst. If you tend to fall on the impatient side, autoflowering strains are the way to go.
Thanks to this adaptation, growers now enjoy the speedy growth of autoflowering genetics!
Autoflower strains have a long list of advantages over photoperiod varieties. Their short life cycle attracts growers seeking prompt gratification, and their hardy nature makes them suitable for beginner cultivators and veterans alike.
For this reason, ruderalis abandoned the strategy of waiting for the seasons to change to trigger flowering. Instead, the subspecies developed an autoflower gene to ensure reproduction before the temperature plummets.
How big will each plant get?
Training methods along with a properly timed light schedule can be used to produce very small or very large plants…whatever the grower wants!
Light Schedule is 20 on and 4 off (20-4). Used that light schedule for the whole grow. This is my first time growing. The plant ended up being just under 2 feet tall at harvest. Harvested on day 67 from seed.
The auto-flowering White Widow plant pictured to the right is sick and stunted. Because of the auto-flowering nature of this strain, the grower was unable to nurture the plant back to health before the flowering stage began. In this picture, the plant is 2.5 months old (started from seed like all autoflowering plants), and the buds are nearing their harvest window even though they’re still small and airy. As a result, the total yields from this plant will be very low (just a few grams). This can be discouraging as the grower must start over with a new seed in order to try for a bigger harvest.
For all growers in a hurry to harvest, an auto-flowering plant will almost certainly be ready to harvest more quickly than any other type of cannabis strain.