Advancements in modern technology and breeding techniques have brought about new types of cannabis seeds. Of course, this all stems from the fact that more and more people are now using and growing marijuana because of the increase in information and studies related to its use for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
Because of how there are now a lot more types of seeds, growing cannabis has now become easier as the playing field is now more competitive than it has ever been. Growers now turn to different types of seeds and growing techniques to try to stand out from the rest of the pack. And, for those looking for a quick and easy way of making a profit out of marijuana, they turn to autoflower cannabis seeds.
What are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?
It is widely believed that there are two main types of cannabis species: indica and sativa. Most of the things we know about marijuana usually revolve around those two types of strains as we usually only talk about the effects of a certain type of weed more than how it is grown and cultivated.
However, a third species actually exists although it is not as prominent as indica and sativa. It is called cannabis ruderalis, a plant that has grown and existed mostly in cold northern regions that have shorter days and comparatively little sunlight.
Due to how cannabis ruderalis has adapted to its environment in the thousands of years it has existed, it has learned to switch to the flowering stage from the vegetative phase through the passage of time instead of the photoperiod that indicas or sativas rely on. That means that these types of cannabis plants will flower regardless of the amount of light and dark hours they get.
Over time, breeders have discovered the benefits of cannabis ruderalis’ ability to auto flower as it matures. They would use its genetics to form entirely new types of cannabis seeds by breeding them with the plants of existing strains. These new types of strain are what we call as autoflowering cannabis seeds because they will grow up to become plants that will flower regardless of how much light and dark hours they get.
Why Grow Autoflowering Seeds?
- Time is the determining factor of their flowering period
As mentioned, common indicas and sativas will move from the vegetative state to the flowering period depending on the photoperiod. However, autoflowering plants do not need to depend on such a factor as they will flower through maturity. This means that time is their determining factor instead of light. Such a trait makes them easier plants to grow as you no longer have to monitor their light and dark hours or grow them in an environment with ample sunlight.
- They grow faster
One common characteristic among autoflowering cannabis seeds is that they grow faster than normal ones. Some would even only need six to seven weeks to be ready for harvest. The great thing about this is that you can harvest them a lot more times in a single year compared to other strains that take about nine or so weeks to mature.
- You get to use fewer nutrients
Crystal Wilson says that autoflowering cannabis seeds are not as demanding as most strains when it comes to nutrients. All they need is to get as much water as possible. They do not even need a lot of sunlight in the first place. This means that you can get to save a lot of money on the nutrients and on the electricity that grow lights tend to use up.
- They are resilient plants
Because cannabis ruderalis grew for thousands of years in harsh northern climates, they have become very resilient plants. This means that autoflowering seeds will end to become plants that can resist the harshest of environmental conditions and the most annoying diseases and pests that plague cannabis
Most autoflowering seeds are known to become plants that are quite shorter than most other strains. If stealth is an important factor for you as a grower (especially if you live in an area where it can make or break your operation), then autoflowering seeds are best for you. And even if you do not care about stealth, these seeds can still benefit you especially if your indoor grow space is so limited.
How to Grow Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
While autoflowering plants are generally easier to grow, you still need to make sure you are well prepared as they might surprise you with their rapid growth. Follow these tips to make sure you get the most out of your autoflowering cannabis seeds:
- Train them early and often
Training means physically manipulating your plants while they grow so that you can maximize their yields. You usually train your cannabis plants while they are still at their vegetative state. The tricky part here is that autoflowering plants only have a few weeks before their vegetative state ends. That means that you have to train them in a two to three-week timeframe. Follow the common training tips to make sure you get the highest yield possible out of your autoflowering cannabis seeds.
- Use the correct soil
While autoflowering seeds are not very demanding when it comes to nutrients, you still need good soil. There are plenty of pre-mixed soils on the market but it does not hurt to prepare it on your own. Autoflowering cannabis plants love it when the soil has peat moss, compost, vermiculite, and perlite. You can also ask your local dispensary to know what kind of pre-mixed soil you can use for your autoflowering seeds.
- Other nutrients
Autoflowering seeds usually only need water during the early stages of their lifespan. However, once they begin to move from the vegetative state to the flowering period, you may need to use nutrient-rich solution. Add the nutrients regularly but do not overfeed the plants because autoflowering cannabis does not tend to use up a ton of them. Try to go easy when feeding them with nutrients.
- Consider the climate
Even though autoflowering plants do not need a lot of light to flower, you still need to consider the fact that they still need an ample amount of light. Warmth is also an important factor and you need to be able to grow them in an environment that can provide the heat they need to grow properly.
- Harvest as much as possible
Autoflowering cannabis plants can be harvested more times in a single year because of their rapid growth rate. To make sure you get the most out of their buds, try to check on them regularly. Harvest the buds as soon as possible so that they will be able to dense up again in time for another harvest.