Autoflowering cannabis plants are known for their remarkable ability to grow and flower faster than other cannabis strains. While many find them very interesting, growing autoflowering cannabis plants comes with a mix of advantages and disadvantages.
As a result, seasoned growers either love or hate them. On the bright side, a higher percentage of people love them, especially those who then to be impatient when growing cannabis!
If your curiosity has been piqued, then you're going to need to first find out if autoflowering cannabis plants is right for you.
What Are Autoflowering Plants?
A cannabis plant is a genetically flexible and diverse creature. Some species have developed and acquired different traits as a result of changes that have occurred in various parts of the world.
Called cannabis ruderalis, these species have evolved in the countries within the northern hemisphere, where the summer months are shorter. This means that there is less light available for the plants to absorb.
With the ability to adjust themselves to these harsh weather conditions, cannabis ruderalis flower based on their age and don’t rely on the photoperiod.
Pros of Growing Autoflowering Marijuana Plants
When it comes to autoflowering marijuana, there are three major advantages that you need to keep in mind:
1. You Can Expect Fast Harvests & Flowering Times
Auto strains usually grow faster than sativa and indica strains. Some auto strains can grow from seed to mature plants in just two months. Autoflowering plants typically take 8 to 9 weeks to flower.
More and more, autoflowering is captivating growers because they bloom faster than photoperiod strains and lead to quick harvest.
When it comes to growing regular cannabis plants, most growers keep their plants in the vegetation stage for 4 to 6 weeks. After that, they start the blooming phase when their plants reach the desired size or manifest signs of sexual maturity.
With autoflowering plants, you have no reason to worry about any of these stages. That’s because plants begin to bloom based on their age.
Everything is basically on the fast track because they even have shorter lifespans. In some instances, autoflowering plants produce harvest-ready buds in 6 to 7 weeks following the germination period.
2. They are Compact and Short
Auto strains are typically short and compact plants. This is due to their ruderalis genetics. They are also adaptive and hardy despite being thin and small.
The fact that they are smaller is a particular advantage for growers looking to maximize their grow medium and those located in harsher climates.
In most cases, autoflowering plants grow up to 47 inches tall (120 centimeters), while others only reach 1 foot (30cm). It’s perfect for a small growing space like a tent or closet. Due to their size, these plants are easier to hide behind the bushes or even in the middle of a grassy field.
Autoflowering strains may not require any support system for holding up long and lanky branches susceptible to bending or breaking as the buds swell or become heavier and fuller. While you can find auto plants with a strong or potent smell, many of them exude a milder scent compared to photoperiod strains. They may even grow with little to no air filtration.
3. No Need to Make Changed in the Photoperiod
Instead, they flower based on their age. These plants will flower automatically nonetheless of the light cycle.
Cons of Growing Autoflowering Marijuana Plants
As with anything, there are also a few disadvantages that you need to be aware of when it comes to autoflowering cannabis plants:
1. Their Size May Be Underwhelming
While their size is an advantage when it comes to your privacy, growing autoflowering plants means you should never expect a massive yield. It's for this reason that growers looking to collect a higher yield settle instead for other types of cannabis plants, such as pure sativa.
2. You Need to Maximize Lighting
Autoflowering plants should stay under increased lighting throughout the flowering stage. Additional lighting helps to maximize photosynthesis and energy production.
It's important to remember that grow lights may also increase your monthly electrical bill.
3. The THC Content Is Lower
Many cannabis users choose to grow cannabis plants on their own because of the possibility to obtain cannabis strains with a higher THC content, varying between 25-30%.
This factor alone may be a major deciding one for you and may also make you turn your back on auto strains. These cannabis plants genetically don’t have decent THC content – CBD content perhaps.
Should You Autoflower Cannabis?
Autoflowering plants might not be interesting for experienced growers, but the case is different for novices. These plants are much easier to grow for novices. Even the impatient cannabis growers consider adding them to their grow rooms. Auto strains may not be perfect, but they are still worth considering for many reasons.