Autoflowering marijuana plants are fast-growing, fast-flowering cannabis plants with unique characteristics. These marijuana plants are unlike traditional cannabis plants because these will flower even without special lighting schedules.
Regular cannabis will need a 12 hour light and 12-hour darkness schedule to flower. The plant has this internal clock that will tell when flowering will commence and this is usually when it has sensed that the air is colder and there is less darkness than daylight. A grower mimics this inside the growing area using lighting that is scheduled to power on and off at 12/12 schedules daily.
Sounds pretty tedious right? With autoflowering plants, you can do away with these and just grow your plants according to whatever lighting schedule you want. Autos are seeds that have been “programmed” to flower at around 7 to 9 weeks.
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How Long Must you Wait till Auto Marijuana Plants are Ready for Harvest?
Usually, it would take just 9 to 10 weeks to harvest autoflowering cannabis plants. This is considering that the plants were grown in the best conditions and that their specific strains were considered. For instance, autos that are hybrid indica ruderalis strains will be ready for harvest earlier while sativa ruderalis plants can take longer. The difference between sativa and indica harvest indicators based on flowering time will be discussed later.
Commonly Used Harvest Time Hints
To identify if a plant is ready for harvest you need a keen and trained eye. You will be looking at structures that are smaller even microscopic so you need at least a good magnifying glass. You may also use a jeweler’s loupe to get the best results.
You may also get a photo of the bud and examine this on your computer. Magnify this or zoom in to get the best results.
Check pistil color
Locate the pistils on your buds, these are very tiny wispy hairs that protrude from inside the buds. When the pistils are 50% to 70% brown in color, your buds should be ready for harvest. You should also expect a very young weed with very light effects.
As soon as you see the pistils starting to become 70% to 90% brown this means that the buds are ripe and therefore it will start to develop potent effects. And if the pistils have become 90% to 100% brown, then this means that the weed has already developed a narcotic high and a very strong recreational effect. As much as possible use a flashlight and a magnifying tool to identify the color of the pistils better.
Determine trichome clarity
The clearness of the trichome is also an indicator of the readiness of your buds. The trichomes are the minute mushroom head-like structures that are found outside and inside the flowers. These will change color to indicate that the buds are ready for harvest time.
A magnifying glass can be used to check the clarity of the trichomes. Use a magnifying lens to compare trichome clarity and do this under good natural or artificial lighting.
If the trichomes are clear, then it is not yet harvesting time. You must continuously check the clarity until you achieve a whitish or amber-colored liquid. This means that you can harvest your plants. When all the trichomes are all amber-colored this means that the buds may have missed their harvest time because these are already overripe. Consuming buds that have reached this point will only be too bitter and won’t provide you with the recreational or medicinal effects you have been looking forward to.
To be able to get the best results, don’t just rely on one method but combine the two. Most growers use trichome clarity and pistil color for an accurate take on harvesting the best-tasting weed.
Therefore the pistils should be 70% to 90% brown with milky white or amber-colored trichomes. The buds will be ripe and heavy and will be ideal for recreational or medicinal use.
All about resin color
The resin of a cannabis plant changes in color as the plant matures. Resin usually starts out as clear and then turns opaque yellowish in color as days go by. You still need to use a magnifying glass to clearly check the resin color. Do this under bright lighting.
When the resin is sticky but clear, the buds are ready for harvest time. But as this becomes darker, you need to immediately harvest your plants. The darkening of the reason means that the compounds that make up the resin are being broken down. This is no longer good for recreational or medicinal use because it does not have any value.
Consider the flowering time
Another method that will help you identify if the plant is ready for harvest is to use its flowering time. This is not a precise method but still, it is easy to use and you won’t have to check anything under a magnifying glass.
The first step is to identify if you are growing an indica dominant hybrid or a sativa dominant hybrid. This is because indica plants will be ready for harvest in just 8 weeks meanwhile; sativa strains will be ready in 10 weeks. Auto-flowering plants can take 10 weeks from the seedling phase to the flowering phase.
Sativa has longer flowering times and grows taller compared to other types of cannabis. Indica plants are smaller and bushier and have a quicker harvest time. Ruderalis strains are very tiny plants and will be ready after 10 weeks.
Tips for Growing Autoflowering Marijuana
Always choose the strain that will grow in your area
Cannabis may grow anywhere but there are specific environmental conditions that the strains need to grow healthy and to develop better yields. For instance, cannabis strains that were from warm and humid climates like Afghani will also thrive in this kind of climate as well.
Tropical strains like Pineapple Express favors warm and tropical regions. You must do your best to provide the best growing environment for your plants; otherwise, these won’t reach their growth potential.
But if you insist on growing cannabis that’s not a match with your outdoor growing environment then settle with an indoor growing set up. Indoor growing will eliminate the risks and will ensure that your plants will receive the best care.
Auto plants and clones
Auto plants will only grow from seeds and not from clones. This is because it won’t retain its qualities as an autoflowering strain when grown as a clone. The plants will not remain in the vegetative stage when grown as a clone as well.
Where to Grow Cannabis Autoflowering Plants
You may grow autoflowering cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. These don’t need a specific lighting schedule to flower, therefore, you can cultivate it indoors to receive artificial light or outdoors for the best and the most radiant natural lighting.
However, most cannabis growers still agree that indoor growing is the best for autoflowering cannabis plants. In indoor growing, you will be able to cultivate your plants closely. You can monitor its growth and development and protect these from molds and pests.
Buying autoflowering cannabis seeds
You can purchase autoflowering marijuana seeds from local or online seedbanks. Not all strains come with their corresponding autoflowering cannabis strain so look hard. Check their product page for autoflowering strains.
And if there are no corresponding autoflowering seeds for the strain you are looking for, try other similar strains. If you are looking for a medical strain, you can purchase the right type of strain that can be used for a particular kind of medical condition.
Purchase seeds from reputable cannabis seed banks only
Transact business only from reliable online cannabis seedbanks. Despite the popularity of buying online, some growers are against it because they have no way of knowing what they will get from an online site. Therefore you must buy from reputable seedbanks to prevent dangerous scam sites.
Check out reviews of various seed bank sites and decide to depend on the positive or negative reviews that you have managed to check out. It is now getting harder and harder to identify scam sites. It is really up to consumers to be diligent and to shop smart to avoid ordering from scammers.
Regular Plants vs Autoflowering Cannabis
One of the most important things to consider when growing autoflowering cannabis is the cost of auto seeds. Autoflowering cannabis is among the most expensive products in cannabis seed bank sites as well as from local seed banks and not all seedbanks are fortunate enough to have this type of marijuana seed in stock.
These are the reasons why some consumers simply prefer to grow their own seeds. When you grow your own supply, you will have enough for years and years to come.
And although regular cannabis seeds are cheaper, the cost of growing these is very expensive. Because of autoflowering cannabis’ short lifespan, you’ll save a week or two’s supplies and resources. Most autoflowering varieties are also feminized seeds, therefore, you won’t have to grow more plants to compensate for male plants.