Ideal environment


#1

Grow WWA indoor (no tent), 450w viparspectra LED 18/6. distilled water. Foxfarm ocean forest soil. Humidity dome used and fan for fresh air

So, I’ve read the ladies can grow in a wide variety of environmental factors but what are the IDEAL numbers for…

My listed light height
Humidity
Temperature
pH

For example Ive seen people comment on here no more than 75 degrees and I’ve seen articles from Robert that say 85 max degrees.

And my light mfg states to start seedlings at 36in and work down.
But again I’ve read from Robert that autos want more light than non.

So yes she may grow in a wide variety of conditions… But what are IDEAL numbers of my listed environment?


#2

@BrockSamson

Welcome to ILG
I hope this helps answer or question. It’s very large . Just copy and past it to your files

PART ONE OF TWO
Will

Autoflowering Cannabis
GROWING BOOK?

Growing
6000 word Complete Auto-flower Grow Guide

Peoples interest about autoflowering cannabis plants and how to grow them have been exploding in the recent years and will continue to grow more and more as new and even more potent and powerful autoflower plants reach the seed market. The Google trend shows us that in the last year alone autoflower searches have almost doubled and people want to know more about these magnificent plants.

autoflower google trend

I have been creating articles about auto flower growing for the past two years and now I want to post a complete autoflower grow guide with a bit of information about each subject with a link to the more detailed article.

Why grow autoflowers?

First of all you should know why to choose autoflowers over the regular photoperiod plants?
There is a complete answer on the homepage, but in short autoflowers are small, stealthy, they grow fast, produce big yields, have amazing mold, pest and insect resistance and as an added bonus can flower under any light cycle. These all are amazing possibilities every grower should see and think about but the main autoflower grower group are the newcomers as these plants are really easy to grow and can be a great starting point for those who want to cultivate their own weed!

Apart from the short strains there are also bigger, heavier auto strains that are almost as big as regular ones but will still flower automatically and these are called the “SUPER” autoflowering plants.

SUPER autoflower strains

These SUPER strains as I mentioned before are amazing as they are basically a regular Indica or Sativa strain with the added benefit of the autoflowering gene and additional mold/pest resistance. These strains were created with countless breeding cycles to get rid of the dwarf traits and get a truly high yielding autoflower plant.

You can read more about these SUPER autoflowers HERE

Autoflower Females vs Males

male and femaleRegular(non-feminized) cannabis plants are two gender species and any regular seed will get 50:50 chance of being male or female. This ratio is good for seed creators and autoflower breeders but not good for the regular growers as we need just the females. The feminized seeds will give you about 99 % female ratio and that means no more male removals or unchecked males pollinating the garden. Autoflowers are in no way worse than the regular cannabis when it comes to hermaphrodites but sometime they will come and you generally want to stay away from them unless you want to create female seeds as a female plant that shows some male pollen sacs is the way to create feminized seeds.

Indoor autoflower grow vs outdoor autoflower grow

Autoflowers can be grown indoors and outdoors and both places have their advantages, but it basically is up to you to decide the best growing environment. Here are some advantages to indoor and outdoor growing:

Indoors

1.Autoflowers can be grown stealthy in mini cabinets,

2.You don’t need to change light cycles,

3.You can grow them in the vegging room where regular photo-sensitive plants are growing,

4.You can get a harvest every two months from seed.

Outdoors

1.You can get multiple harvests in one season,

2.Autoflowers are adapted to resist pests and mold,

3.They stay small and won’t be noticed by unwanted eyes,

4.They can grow in any time of the year if the temperature is not below 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

How to choose seeds

Before growing these autoflowering plants you need to get some seeds because these plants are pointless to clone as I explained here.

So, when you want to start growing an autoflower plant you will have a broad choice of seeds and strains. Often all these different strain varieties can overwhelm you, but basically you need to think about your growing conditions and space as well as the THC to CBD ratios and the smell and taste you want.

You also need to think whether you want Feminized seeds or Regular ones as Feminized seeds are pricier but they will give you all females whereas the Regular Ones will give you a 50:50 chance of Males and Females.

If you have a small grow room then you need to get the smaller Indica autoflowers but if you want a taller one for outdoor or indoor grow operation then the Sativa dominant autoflowers will be good for you.

Regular autoflowering seeds are good for breeding purposes but the feminized ones will give you close to 100% female ratio and you won’t need to waste soil or growing containers/space to grow plants and then get rid of the males.

Growing medium

You can grow autoflowers in soil, soilless mix or hydroponically but for the purpose of this guide I will just give a small introduction on soil growing.

Basically there are two types of growing mediums: With and Without nutrients. The ones with nutrients can usually nurture your plant for the first weeks of its growth but the soil/soilless mix with no nutrients will need all the nutrients to be supplied artificially with fertilizers. The mix with nutrients usually has slow release of these nutrients so they get available slowly and won’t damage your plants but the soilless mix has a neutral PH and no nutrients!

If you want to learn more about autoflower growing in soil then visit this page.

Watering

t5 lights autofloerLike any other plant watering cannabis is necessary because water is the lifeblood of the plant and all the nutrients dissolve in water so then your plant can absorb them. Remaining(unused) water is evaporated through the leafs in the photosynthesis process and that evaporation is how these plats keep themselves cool even in the hottest of summers.

Each growth stage of the plants life requires a different approach to watering. In the vegetative and flowering phases you need to supply a lot of water as these plants will use up quite a bit of this stuff. In the germination and seedling phase you need to add a little bit of water with a hand myster or pour it directly around the plant. A cup of water should be enough and for the first days even a cup will be too much. As for the timing, you need to check the soil humidity with a soil humidity meter or by just checking it with fingers. If it is dry then it is time to water. In the vegetative and flowering stages you will typically need to water once every two days but it all depends on the temperature and pot size.
A good way to know how much and when to water is this: if the pot feels light then water it until there is a little runoff water at the bottom of the pot, then let your plant grow and use up all that water till your pot feels light again.

Over Watering and under watering can do some damage to your plants and in extreme cases you can irreversibly damage your crop. Signs of under watering is wilting and weak stems but overwatering can express itself as a yellowing of leaf tips and it is the most common autoflower growers mistake.

A complete article on watering can be found here!

Nutrients

Cannabis plants need nutrients to grow and produce leaves, stems, buds and even seeds, and without nutrients your autoflowering plants will die but with too little nutrients they will struggle to grow and will be pale, with small leaves and almost no yield. From the other side too much nutrients will stress your plant by producing nutrient burn and a severe case of this nutrient overdose can also cause plants death.

Basically cannabis plants need 3 main nutrients – Nitrogen(N), Phosphorus§ and Potassium(K). There are also some secondary nutrients and trace elements but almost all of the pre-mixed soils and fertilizers have those needed elements. If you are using soilless mix then you will need to supply your plants with nutrients using fertilizers, because they always have the secondary and trace elements. The main elements are expressed in the N-P-K ratio (for example 10-10-10) and the numbers presented mean how much percentage of that solution is each of those main elements. In the 10-10-10 example you would have a 10 % nitrogen, 10 % Phosphorus and 10 % Potassium and it would be an all around growing mix.

If you want to know everything about nutrients you can go to my most popular post about autoflower nutrients.

PH

If we are talking about the growing mediums and fertilizers I need to mention the PH scale and that autoflowers like a PH of 6.2 to 6.5 but some slight variations won’t affect your plants that much. If you don’t know what the PH scale is then you can read a detailed article on autoflower PH here!


#3

AUTO-FLOWERING

PART TWO OF TWO

Grow room design

When growing autoflowers indoors you need to also think about the Grow room design, ventilation, lights, humidity, temperature and other factors that could affect your plants growth.

First of all there is the space where your intended grow room will be and this can be anything from a PC case or a cabinet to a large scale room or office. In this guide I will only be talking about smaller grow rooms as usually large scale growers know what to do.

So when you choose your grow space you should think about how much light you will have and how much plants you will be growing. If you choose smaller autoflowers that will only get 40 to 50 cm in height then you should be fine even with a small cabinet on top of your closet or any other place where you can safely install lights and ventilation equipment. Another cool way to grow your autos are the Space-buckets that are a home-made growing domes made from plastic buckets.

After you have chosen your grow room location you should first think about the Light you will be using. There are multiple choices for you that can be a bit confusing at first, but when you understand the principles then it is quite easy to select the best grow light.

There are LED lights, compact fluorescents, T5 , High pressure Sodium and Metal Halide lamps which all are able to grow cannabis from seed to harvest. When choosing a light you need to know that different lamps give off different light spectrum and Intensity as well as more or less heat!

All plants will soak up light though small molecules in their leaves called photo-pigments. These photopigments are of different shape and structure so each one can take in different kind of light spectrum (light wave length). Different light sources produce different wavelength light and you need to know which light-source to purchase in what time of cannabis life. In the nature plants have adapted to the natural sun light cycle so they soak up all the visible light spectrum, but there are two stages of plants life and two different light uses. Cannabis plants love light that is mainly in the Red or Blue spectrum and that means the 650 and 475 nanometer spectrum. In the early stages of plants life they need more of the blue light so you need to supply a bigger color temperature light and the best are somewhere around the 6500K scale. But as the weed plant starts to flower it will soak up more of the red light that is in the other end of the light spectrum line and usually is found in the 2700K lamps.

HPS

High pressure sodium lamps are the golden standard in cannabis growing community but not so much in the autoflower world as mainly small scale growers are growing autoflowers. HPS lights are usually made for big operations because they produce vast amount of heat but they are also the most efficient as well if we compare the lumen to watt ratios. HPS light are best for the flowering stages of autoflower plant as they give off intense light that is high in the RED spectrum so that the right photopigments can soak in more of the red light. HPS lights are usually large and they chew vast amounts of electricity but with them you will be able to grow amazing buds.

MH

Metal Halide lamps are the second choice of regular weed growers but they are regularly intermixed with HPS grow lights because these bulbs give off more of the BLUE spectrum light that plants need in the vegetative growth. You will be able to grow a complete crop with MH lights but you will do best if you change to a HPS light when the plant starts flowering. For this reason Metal Halide lamps are usually used for seedling and vegetative growth of the plant and then growers change over to the HPS or different light source. MH light as well as HPS will give off vast amounts of heat so they are not good for small scale growers. But they are very efficient and will grow dense buds.

CFL lights

beautiful autofloer budCompact fluorescent light are more well known for lighting up our homes not growing weed but you can most definitely grow cannabis with them. Compact fluorescent lights are not as efficient as HPS, MH or LED lights but they are good enough and for small spaces they are amazing because they give off small amounts of heat and you can spread them out around the plant to get an optimum light spread to all leaves and buds. CFL bulbs are also the cheapest ones to buy because you can simply go to your local DEPOT store, pick them up and start growing your own plants. There are also different kind of Color temperatures of the CFL lights but the most common bulbs are the 2700 K and 6500 K lights so use the 2700 for flowering and 6500 for vegetative growth, but it is best to supply both bulb types for the entire plants life so mix them up and your autoflower will be happy!

T5 lights

T5 grow lights are the long fluorescent tubes you can see in offices and warehouses, but they are actually very good grow lights! They can be great grow lights because they spread the light evenly, they don’t get so hot and they are more efficient than the regular CFL bulbs. They have the two distinct color Spectrum configurations as well and you should mix them up for the optimum growth.

More about autoflower growing with T5 lights here!

LED lights

LED lights are the new trend in the autoflower community as they produce low amounts of heat and each led diode will produce a specific color temperature light so they can be customized for optimum growth rates. LED lights are not more efficient than High Intensity discharge lamps but they are close! Comparing LED lights to other light sources I must admit, that they are perfect because they can produce specific light frequency that allows growers to pick specific LED lamps to meet their needs. That allows plants to better absorb the light and only the light that they absorb is created so the total efficiency for cannabis growth is higher than any other lamp. LED light bulbs have a very long life span and some manufacturers say their bulbs are rated for 50,000 hours but in the real life you will get a much greater life span with small intensity or efficiency losses.

You can read more about each specific light at the light section of this website.

Ventilation

After you have set up a light source, you need to think about the ventilation and buy some vent fans that will blow air inside your grow box as well as outside from it and even circulate the air inside the room. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a fan that is able to get all of the air out of the grow room in about one minute. All ventilation fans have a rating of CFM that stands for cubic feet per minute and if you measure your grow room and calculate what is the total volume then the fan need to be able to move all of the containing air out in about one minute. There are different kind of fans but basically they are different in just three things: size, sound and the amount of air they can move.

For small grow room you may need only two exhaust fans but for larger operations with more plants you will definitely need more as the air inside the grow room needs to circulate because plants will take up all the CO2 of the surrounding space. If the grow room is small then the fan that blows air inside it can supply this air circulation but for larger grow rooms you will need an oscillating fan that will mix that air and your auto plants will love the fresh breeze and will grow faster Also the little stress that the plants will endure from that airflow will make them more resilient and with stronger stems so they can withstand the pressure from those buds later in their lifetime.

For the intake and exhaust fans you need to position them accordingly as the hot air rises inside the grow room. The exhaust fans need to be able to ventilate the hot air outside at the top but the cold air needs to be supplied at the bottom!

When you are thinking about the ventilation you also need to think about light leaks and odor control as cannabis is a strong smelling plant and if the smell is not absorbed by some material it will be present in the surrounding area around the grow box / room. The only thing you can do to get rid of the pungent smell is to introduce a carbon filter to the exhaust fan. This filter will take the odor out of the exhaust air and you or anybody else won’t be able to smell your marijuana plant growing. Carbon filters are in different sizes and shapes and you can even make your own from activated charcoal but the best filters are the ones that can be bought at the grow shops. They are made exactly for the odor control and usually are pre-made to go together with a specific exhaust fan. These filters will subtract some of the fan power so it won’t be able to exhaust as much air from your grow room so it is best to get 30 to 40 % bigger CFM than you need.

More about the ventilation and odor control here!

autofloer seedling close upReflective material

After you have supplied your grow room with light and ventilation you need to think about how your light is reflected from the sides of your grow room. If you are using a pre-made grow box you will have a reflective material pre-installed that will reflect almost all light back to the plants. That will increase their growth and in essence increase the lamp effectiveness. But if you are creating your own grow room then you need to install a reflective material on your own. Many growers use the plastic gardening film that is white on one side and black on the other as the white side is about 50 to 70 % reflective and will increase the intensity of the light inside your growing room. This plastic is cheap but not every grow room is the same and a white paint will also reflect some of the light. If the paint is glossy it will be more reflective. But the best solution for you is to get a mylar sheet that is specially made for grow rooms. It will reflect 99 % of the light and it is completely light proof, no light photons will be able to get out of your grow room. There are also growers who use the ordinary mylar foil or even the thin foil but the thing with foils is that they are not 100% light proof so they are not 100% reflective and they tend to crumble up so there can be some hot spots where more light is reflected and the plant can get burned at those spot.

Humidity

Auto flowering cannabis plants grow best in certain humidity levels and any changes could decrease the yield or introduce some mold and pest problems. Basically at the early stages you need to supply around 70 % humidity so your seedlings can develop healthy. Later when the flowering phase starts and your plants are starting to show white hairs you need to lower the humidity to about 40 % but some variations will not greatly affect your plants. Too high humidity will increase the chances of fungus and mold penetrating your garden and the plants will also not be able to grow to their full potential and respire water in the air so easily and they’re development will most likely be stunned.

Too low humidity from the other hand will stress the plant by not allowing the stomata (cells that are responsible for water respiration process and gas exchange) to open and close properly so the plant will again struggle to bread.

The humidity is measured by a hygrometer and it ranges from 0 to 100 % and that means that it is the actual percentage from the total amount that the air can hold in this temperature. As the temperature increases the humidity drops as air can hold more moisture and the reverse is true when the temperature drops. Temperature control can be good for humidity but the best way to increase humidity is to introduce water in the form of vapor or liquid. If you insert an open top container in your grow room which holds water then that water will slowly evaporate and the humidity will increase, but if you want drastic changes spread some water in your grow room with hand myster or buy a device that is made directly for this purpose – electric humidifier. But if you want to get your humidity levels down you need to pour some salt in a container and set it inside your grow room. The salt will slowly absorb the water vapor and your humidity percentage will drop. There are also special dehumidifiers but they can be expensive to buy.

You can read more detailed article about humidity here!

Temperature

Temperature is another crucial part of cannabis life cycle as these small plants have adapted to grow in specific conditions that are present in the environment. Automatic plants grow best in temperatures that range from 24 C to 30 C but some variations to both sides won’t affect them as much. Autoflowers by their definition are tough and in the spring and autumn the temperatures can get pretty cold so these plants have an increased temperature resistance and they can grow in almost any conditions where the temperature doesn’t get below the 10 C mark. If it does, then they start to greatly diminish yields and even die. Inside growers will most likely be faced with too hot temperatures and they will need to instal more powerful fans for the hot air to be exhausted faster.

Basically the temperatures can be lowered by increasing the exhaust fan power or by changing the light source from HID to CFL or in the best case to the LED one. There are also solutions where growers introduce glass directly below the bulbs and seal that part off and install different exhaust systems for both parts of the grow room, but in this case they are losing some light power and you will need to evaluate, how the grow room is coping with temperature before knowing your best solution.

Here is the complete temperature article!

Light schedule

Autoflower plants will grow under any light cycle but because cannabis is a C3 plant it gathers energy only in the light period and so the best light cycle is where the plant is able to get the largest amount of energy. That means that for the best case scenario you should let the lights shine 24/0(all the time). Autoflowers will also grow with a dark period and if you want to save electricity then you can grow them under 18/6 or 20/4 light schedule, but those plants won’t be as big and they won’t have as much weight. These plants will also grow under 12/12 light cycle but that will greatly diminish the yield. But you can easily stick them in the vegetative or budding room and get fast, amazing buds!

For more information about the autoflower light cycle visit this post !

Pot sizes

Pot size is another important part of the whole grow operation as too small pots will hugely decrease the harvest but too large pots will be hard to maneuver and you will waste a lot of growing medium. Basically weed plants need a gallon of growing medium for every month they stay alive so for autoflowers you need somewhere from 1.5 to 3 gallon growing containers (6 to 10 liters). For the small plants, that can be ready in less than two months, there is no need to pot them in 10 liter pots because they won’t grow that long to utilize all that soil and expand their roots throughout the pot. But from the other hand those large SUPER autoflowers will need at least 10 gallon pots, because they can get huge and grow for 3 to 4 months and they will definitely utilize the whole pot! Pot size can also be a good way to manage your cannabis plants size if you want to limit the growth as plants grown in smaller pots will stay smaller and for small grow rooms that can be a great benefit.

More on the pot sizes in this article!

Training autoflowers

Training techniques are used to lower the plants profile and to get more light on all the lower branches to create an even canopy. Training techniques have been effectively used to increase yields and maximize the grow space or lower the amount of plants necessary for the same yield. There are two types of techniques and they are Low stress training and High stress training where in the high stress training a plant is hurt in one way or another but in the low stress they are just slightly bent. Autoflowers are time sensitive plants and they don’t use the light cycle as an indicator for their flowering stage so they cannot be vegged as long as growers want. This is why you can’t High stress train autoflowers as from these incidents the plant may need a day or two to recover and if it lives only for 80 days then 4 days would be 5% of its growth and the yield loss will be even more significant. Autoflower growers usually use the Low stress training methods like Tie down or SCROG (Screen of Green) where they bend the main branch downwards to get more light and vital fluids to the lower branches to increase their growth rates. This happens because cannabis is a plant that advances the main cola to the sun the most and it does this with the help of auxins that flow through the plant but are in the greatest quantities at the top! When the plants main shoot is bend down the surrounding ones increase growth and soon they will surpass the main shoot and again can be trained down. This process will give you an even canopy and you will be able to get more grams from the same light and you will be utilizing all of your grow space.

autofloer LST
To Read more about the Low stress training methods go here!

Seed germination & planting

Autoflowers life starts with a seed and that means you need to properly germinate them to get a great germination rates and not to waste any money on seeds that just doesn’t germinate. Cannabis seeds can be germinated in two distinct ways: Natural in the soil or without a growing medium in a container. Both of these methods work well but each one has its own advantages. For example in soil you let the seed germinate as it would in the nature so it is the least stressful way but the seeds that doesn’t germinate will take up pots and will waste your grow space. But seed germination without growing medium is more controlled and you can control all the aspects and affect them as you like so you could potentially get more results. This second method is most widely used by autoflower growers and it just means that you put a seed inside a wet paper towel or toilet paper and seal in some kind of a container that will hold the humidity. These seeds will sprout in a matter of days and then you will need to transplant them in their final growing medium. But the organic method is even easier as you just need to dig a hole twice as deep as the seeds length in a wet growing medium and let it germinate like the nature is intended to.

There is one stage of seed germination that is different and that is the pre-soaking process. This process usually is done with older seeds and some growers say that it increases the germination rate. To do this you need to take a glass of water and dip your seeds inside. At first they will float on the top but after few hours they will sink and start sprouting. You can take them out at the moment when they sink or when they are sprouted but don’t let them soak for too long as they can die.

You can find out more about autoflower seed germination here!

Transplanting

When I mentioned the seed germination I said that you need to put your seeds straight into the final growing medium and this is because you don’t really want to transplant autoflowers. These small plants are not made for transplanting as again any stress will lower the yield and transplanting shock can be from few hours to a couple of days and that again is time your plant could have grown and produced leaves/ stems/ buds.

But if you must transplant them you need to do it really carefully and put them inside the same growing medium which is pre-soaked with PH neutral water. If you have a dark period inside your grow room you need to do the transplanting exactly before the night time and let the plant rest, but if you run your light 24/7 then do it at the evening as in the night the temperature will lower a bit in the grow room even if the light are on and that will allow your plants to cool off and regroup for the full strenght growth.

Here is an extended look at autoflower transplanting!

autofloer seedlingSeedling growth phase

When the seed is sprouted and the first leaves appear out of the ground, the seedling growth stage starts. At this stage the plant is creating massive root growth and it puts all its energy inside the expansion of the roots so the leaf growth is slow. This phase is crucial, but your plant needs no added fertilizer at this stage as any stress can kill it easily. You need to be careful not to do anything wrong. Humidity needs to be increased and those little plants need warm conditions but the seedling phase is short and it ends when the first true leaves appear.

Pre-Flowering growth phase

In the pre flowering phase the plant is undergoing the vegetative growth stage where a massive leaf and stem explosion will happen. In this stage the plant will grow really fast and it will need added nutrients that will allow all those new leaves and stems to properly grow. In this growth stage you need to start introducing fertilizer, but do it mildly applying ? or ¼ of the recommended dose and slowly building it up to 1.2 the dose. The fertilizer needs to be rich in Nitrogen as this element is responsible for all the green growth and fluid transition in the plant. In this stage also the humidity needs to be lowered to 40 – 50 %. Small stress in the vegetative growth phase would not result in a plant’s death but it will result in diminished yield so as always be patient and care for your plants.

Flowering growth phase

autofloer female floeringThe real miracles start happening when your plant goes into flowering phase which can happen anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks and at this point plants will start to show the first signs of flowering – preflowers. At this stage growers usually identify males and remove them to get the sensimilia (seedless) garden. At this growth stage you need to supply your now flowering ganja plants with a humidity below 50 % and the ideal range is from 35 to 45 %. Your plants will also need different nutrients than in the vegetative growth stage and they need more Phosphorus and Potassium that will increase the bud growth rates and will allow them to swell and swell. Usually budding fertilizers are lower in the Nitrogen and high in Phosphorus and Potassium but the secondary nutrients contents are the same. From the first day of the preflowers it can be from one to two months till the harvest so a lot of things can go wrong but in general at these growth phases you’re less likely to damage the plant as it just need proper fertilizer and room temperature/ humidity to grow. As this stage comes to an end the flowers start to really swell up and the hairs start to turn brown. The trichomes that are on the plants where the active ingredients are will start to turn amber and slowly die.

Harvest

Harvesting your ganja plant is the best thing in the world as all the great work you put into it is over and you can chop off those buds. This is true but many growers doesn’t realize that this is the most crucial stage of your growing experience as too early or too late harvest will ruin the active ingredients of the cannabis plant so it won’t be of any use. The best time to harvest an autoflower depends on the strain but in general you need to check the trichomes and when half of them are amber then it is time to harvest that plant! Some sativa-dominant strains won’t amber up their trichomes and you can harvest them when about 10 to 20 % of them are amber, but indica dominant ones will do this degradation process fast so your harvest window is short.

You need to cut off the water for the last day or two to get more dried up plants but before that you need to flush the plants to get rid of the excess nutrients in them.

The harvesting process is quite simple and you just need to cut off the plant from the steam and cut the buds off the smaller stalks. But before doing this you will need to get rid of all the big leafs and manicure the smaller “sugar” leafs as usually growers make hash, oil or edibles from them and use only the most trichome rich parts of the plant for immediate consumption. When the manicuring process is done you need to start drying your harvest. The drying process needs to happen gradually in the course of two to three weeks and too fast drying will ruin the taste of tour weed. In this process your buds will lose from 60 to 80% of their mass and you can get the time when they are ready by weighting them with precise weight scales or by trying to bend one of the streams. If it bends they are not ready, but if it snaps they are ready for curing.

harvest time

Curing

The curing process is the final process after the harvest and it is done to get the best taste from your plants. In the curing process the buds are sealed inside an airtight container that lets the moisture come out from the middle of the bud and evenly spread throughout it. This air tight container needs to be opened few times a day for the first couple of days and then gradually the open rate will need to decrease to where the buds will be completely ready for usage. This process can happen from two weeks to several month depending on the strain and bud density as well as amount but it typically is done in a couple of weeks.

Storing cured buds

When your harvested buds are cured properly there is a little bit of moisture left in them that will give you the great burn but won’t ruin the bud if left inside a sealed container. You can store weed for as long as you want but it is best to use it in the first couple of months to a year because by this time buds will have evaporated all moisture and will not burn so good and will not taste as good also. With time the active ingredient count decreases as they slowly decompose in different kind of molecules. This storage process is usually done in an air sealed plastic bag or a glass jar and once every two to three weeks the container is opened for more of the excess moisture to evaporate and after couple of month those buds can stay inside the container for years without any oversight. These completely sealed storage containers need to be held in dark, cold places like in the freezer or basement, and will stay viable for years but most often than not you won’t store them as long ?? !

So if you enjoyed this extended autoflower grow guide and found it helpful you can share it with your friends to spread the word about autoflowers!

And there You Have It.

Will


#4

Damn!!! I’ll be ready to move in the little growers retirement home by the
time I finish reading this.

Thanks @garrigan65 if I don’t come up for air. Send dabs… And candy!

Anyone else got their ideal grow stats?


#5

May i bump this?
I would love to hear opinions on my environment (ideal numbers) from @latewood @MacGyverStoner and any others are welcome!


#6

My listed light height – I’d agree with what the manufacturer claims for the most part, 36 inches. If you can find the specs of actually how many micromoles your light produces at various distances, you can figure out the max close distance for various grow stages.

Humidity –
Growth Week 1: 70%
Growth Week 2: 70%
Flowering Week 1: 65%
Flowering Week 2: 60%
Flowering Week 3: 55%
Flowering Week 4: 50%
Flowering Week 5: 50%
Flowering Week 6: 45%
Flowering Week 7: 45%
Flowering Week 8: 40%
Flowering Week 9: 40%

Temperature – Pretty much the ideal temperature for about all cannabis strains is between 68ºF and 78ºF (20ºC and 25ºC)

Ideal pH for Foxfarm ocean forest soil – 6.3 to 6.8 and 6.5 the ideal target pH

Happy growing,

MacG


#7

@garrigan65 AMAZING amount of info! There is more info here than in the grow bible. Is this something you wrote or is it online where I can look at the linked “read more” sections?

@MacGyverStoner I know that a big part of this hobby is looking and listening to what your ladies want and adjusting based on what she tells us, but thank you for helping narrow the numbers. MY OCD IS HAPPY (for now).

I am not so sure about the 36" light height, as the seedlings were stretching and seemed to have slow growth. I just started week3 - pics below.
Also attached is the micromole chart for my viparspectra 450w so then what umol/PAR is best for ladies (in general)?

Any thoughts on PAR meters? They seem pricey but I did see one on google shopping for $38. (is that too cheap to be reliable)

viparspectra-reflector-series-450w-height-chart

viparspectra-reflector-series-450w-par-value


(white spots on leaves are accidental too much DE)


#8

1,500 µmol/m2/s to about 2,000 µmol/m2/s is about the max you can use before you start getting “bleaching” or photoinhibition.

So if the graphic is correct for your light, you probably don’t want that light closer than about 8" to any part of the plant during flower.

So if you were to start seedlings under this light, then you might start at 36" and work your way closer and closer to not much closer than 8" during flower.

You can get away with about half max for veg, so about 700 to 900 µmol/m2/s or starting veg at about 18" in this chart, for a pretty good veg, adjust closer if you feel you are getting too much stretch.

~MacG


#9

@MacGyverStoner what do you think about the light meters… Can you recommend an affordable but good one?


#10

This is the one question I can’t answer for you, lol.

The last time I shopped for such a thing, any good quantum PAR meter was just way too expensive. And the low priced ones were just not accurate enough.

If anyone else has any good recommendations, I’d be interested too, ha ha.

~MacG


#11

So too much is possible. I’ve got two of the ViperSpectre 600W on 1 meter/5 ww autos. Learning something new everyday too. Tonight… 24/0 is best for autos. 8" during flowering. Only remaining question, pruning? What pruning is appropriate for indoor autos? Great read, I’d like to find the HTML version.
thanks
rd


#12

@rd420
I think there will “always be too much”

While I’m no grow expert (but i do play one on tv). I am on my 1st WWA (successful) grow. I’m still running light 18/6…what difference do you see?

Im only pruning off the leaves that have spots or dying, (quite a few, its a learning process) so they don’t use up valuable nute/water. But i do have several good size buds.

I’d like to see the html link also, in case I lose this.


#13

@garrigan65 great read. thanks


#14

@BrockSamson I’ve done 4 wwa grows. was so nervous I’d mess it up, budt I didn’t, next couple of grows was a pure joy. my current crop, I used to much fertilizer and burnt some leaves. but I will harvest in the next couple of weeks


#15

I ph to 5.8 what bad effects will this have?


#16

If you store buds in the freezer won’t they get soggy from the ice build up especially when you pull them out of the freezer they be like popsicles


#17

vacuum seal them before freezing


#18

top read, thank you…could you post the URL as I would like to CLICK HERE and read up on various subjects…thanx:eye:


#19

WHAT IS AN AUTOFLOWER?

As we all know, cannabis is a photo-period plant: it’s flowering hormones are triggered by changes in the light/dark cycle. Thus you can stimulate a 2 week old cutting to begin flowering by giving it 12 hours of darkness, yet a 4 month old plant grown outside will remain in vegetative growth until mid-summer has passed.

Autoflowers are a different breed altogether (quite literally!) and will flower according to the age of the plant rather than the light/dark cycle. This development has been obtained by crossing a ruderelis strain with a standard photo period plant. Unfortunately ruderelis is fairly weak in the desired thc levels so the first autoflower strain developers had to stabilise two dominant traits: the high thc level provided by the photo-period parent and the all important auto gene from the ruderelis strain. As you can expect, early attempts were generally disappointing, and as little as four years ago autos were viewed as unreliable with poor yields and low thc levels. Most sensible growers put them down as gimmicks for newbies.

Today if you see an autoflower seed for sale you can be (reasonably) assured that its THC content will be as advertised, and its auto gene stabilised.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR AUTOS TO GROW?

Now this is the big question. Most breeders claim 7-9 weeks, with some even boasting seed to harvest in less. It would be fantastic if one could get 50g per plant after just 39 days, but lets face it, its totally unrealistic. A plant doesn’t grow any faster for having an auto gene, and the dwarf autos that will harvest in ultra quick times are just that: dwarfs and thus yield is limited by size.

Of the 15 or so different commercial strains I have tried, not one of any consequence finished in less than eleven weeks – and the best ones can take anything between 3 and 5 months. If you think about it, this is not surprising: most standard autos start showing their sex at around 21 -28 days (super autos not included) – if you add on a flowering time of 8 weeks (average flowering time for a indica) then you would be looking at 11 – 12 weeks.

AND THIS ONE IS " VERY, VERY LARGE " AND IS PART 1 OF 2

Auto-Flowering vs. Traditional Cannabis Strains

Fastbud #2 auto cannabis strain - Plant #2

Unlike traditional (referred to as photoperiod) strains, autos don’t need any special
kind of light schedule to “tell” the plant to start budding. With a photoperiod strain,
a cannabis plant needs 12+ hours of darkness a day to initiate flowering.

When growing photoperiod cannabis plants outside, flowering naturally begins when
the days get shorter. For outdoor growers, this means that plants must be planted in
the spring, and they grower must choose strains that will finish in time before winter.

Indoor growers cultivating photoperiod strains can initiate flowering at will by
giving plants longer dark periods (usually by putting their grow lights on a timer).
For indoor growers, this means the grower needs to make a light-proof grow space to allow
for 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day while the plants are flowering.

For an auto-flowering cannabis plant, a grower doesn’t have to worry about light
schedules. Each auto-flowering plant starts blooming after a few weeks no matter
what light schedule is provided. For outdoor auto growers, there’s no need to match up
the strain with your local time zone or plant at the perfect time - simply plant autos
when you know you have at least 2-3 months of warm, sunny weather.

When growing auto-flowering plants outdoors, you don’t need to worry about light
schedules. You just need to ensure your plant will have 3 months of warm weather
(above 60°F) and your climate is likely suitable to grow auto-flowering plants. These
auto-flowering plants were ready to harvest before summer was even over:

Example of growing auto-flowering marijuana plants in a homemade greenhouse

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.

More Questions About Auto-Flowering vs Photoperiod Strains
How long until harvest?

What about auto-flowering yields?

Are auto-flowering strains potent?

Are autos a good choice for medical marijuana patients?

How big will each plant get?

Do autos need a special light schedule to start making buds?

Are autos good for growing outdoors?

Can I use plant training methods on autos?

Can I clone plants (make new plants by taking a cutting)?

How long until harvest?

Auto-Flowering

Generally, autos are ready to harvest sooner than photoperiod plants. Most autos are ready
to harvest 2-3 months after being sprouted from seed.

A horde of buds developing…

For the first few weeks, autos (auto-flowering plants) only make vegetative growth - stems
and leaves. After their short “vegetative stage” ends, the plant will start making buds
and continue to grow taller even while their buds are forming.

It’s only until a few weeks before harvest that most auto-flowering plants stop growing
“up and out.” At this point, auto-flowering plants put all their energy into fattening
buds, and buds can gain substantial weight during the last few weeks.

When purchasing auto seeds, good breeders will be able to tell you how long the strain will
take until harvest. It’s important to note that most strain breeders will tend to provide
the shortest time frame they can, and many autos will produce better yields and higher
potency if left for a week or two (sometimes even three) longer than recommended.

How do I know when to harvest my plants? - Basically in addition to the visual appearance of
buds, you can look at your buds under a magnifier to know exactly when to harvest for top
THC potency.

Photoperiod

Photoperiod strains usually take longer to harvest than autos. In general, photoperiod
strains are ready to harvest 3-4+ months after being sprouted from seed, though the
final time depends heavily on your grow style and which strain you choose. Even photoperiod
plants flowered from seed tend to take longer than an auto-flowering plant to be ready to
harvest, and the yields are much lower. Photoperiod plants do best when given some time in
the vegetative stage before they start flowering, and aren’t as well suited to quick harvests.

Learn more about how long it takes to grow cannabis plants

Auto-Flowering vs Photoperiod: Which Yields More?

Auto-Flowering Strains

Autos generally yield up to about 4 ounces of bud per plant when taken care of
throughout their life, but the amount of bud produced has a lot to do with the grow setup.

Many growers end up yielding 1-2 ounces per auto or even less, especially if starting
with poor genetics or when using a sub-par lighting setup. Like all cannabis plants,
autos need a lot of light to produce good yields!

In some cases, growers with a lot of experience, great starting genetics and perfect
conditions can yield up to 6 ounces per auto-flowering plant or more.

For example this indoor Dutch Passion AutoMazar plant yielded above 900g
(more than 30 ounces of dried bud) from just one plant under about 1000W worth
of light. Normal yield for this strain is about 100g, so this - admittedly extreme
example - demonstrates what a great setup and grow experience can do for your yields!

Dutch Passion Auto Mazar cannabis plant produces over 30 ounces of bud
View incredible grow review for this plant by “The King”

When considering yields, it’s important to remember that one of the advantages of growing
auto-flowering cannabis strains is most growers can produce several harvests a year
(since the lifespan of each auto plant is very short).

See auto strains recommended by experienced auto growers

Watch time-lapse videos showing Auto-Flowering plants

Photoperiod Strains

Photoperiod strains can have a lot more variation in yields than auto-flowering plants. This is due to the fact that photoperiod growers have a lot more control over the size and shape of the plant, which in turn has a huge effect on yields.

Outdoors, your yields depend a lot on your climate. Warm and sunny weather with many hours of light a day will produce plants with bigger yields.

Indoors, generally your setup is the biggest determining factor of your yields.

Learn more about indoor setups and what types of yields to expect

5 ways to increase yields indoors (with any strain)

?

Which is more potent? What about smell and taste?

This GHaze x Dieselryder auto cannabis plant was grown in soil - Click for closeup!While there are currently fewer auto-flowering strains to choose from, the potency for autos and photoperiod cannabis plants is comparable. Auto-flowering buds are not significantly less potent.

However, one major difference is that many auto-flowering strains tend to have higher amounts of CBD in their buds than photoperiod strains (because Ruderalis plants are high-CBD). CBD is a cannabinoid that is known for having medical properties as well as reducing anxiety.

But in general, a modern “Blue Cheese” auto has been bred to have similar bud characteristics as a “Blue Cheese” photoperiod plant.

Things have come a long way since the original low-potency “Lowryder” auto plants!

Smell, Taste and Visual Appeal - When it comes to smell & taste, the same rules apply. While there are fewer auto-flowering strains to choose from (though the list is growing each day), the smell and taste of each strain is similar to their photoperiod counterparts.

Learn how to improve the smell & taste of your buds

The one visual difference I’ve seen is that auto-flowering buds tend to be a little bit
leafier (grow more leaves among the buds) than photoperiod strains, which means they may
need a little extra care during trimming to get rid of all the leaves.

It’s important to note that some photoperiod strains grow in the same way, and I don’t
believe that extra leaves during the budding process is necessarily a bad thing. If
anything, the extra leaves seem to power the growth of buds, causing them to swell up
more in a smaller amount of time and less light that photoperiod strains.

Are auto-flowering strains better for medical marijuana?

Auto-flowering Northern Lights+ by Nirvana - grown by rollinsd

An important characteristic for medical marijuana patients is that auto-flowering buds tend
to contain higher levels of CBD than photoperiod strains.

CBD is a cannabinoid that is known for having medical and anti-anxiety properties. Most
photoperiod strains these days are high THC, low CBD, and it can be hard to find high-CBD
photoperiod strains. Learn more about THC vs CBD.

This makes auto-flowering buds an attractive choice for some medical marijuana patients who
are looking for higher CBD cannabis strains. There are also auto-flowering strains that are
bred principally to be high in CBD. It’s difficult for many growers get clones of one of the
famous high-CBD photoperiod strains, and auto-flowering strains can make it easier for some
patients to get access to CBD.

When I grew auto-flowering strains, the buds felt more medicinal (as opposed to recreational)
than the majority of strains I’ve grown. Even in higher doses, the effects weren’t as “racing”
as some of the really high-THC, low CBD strains. The buds all made me feel very pleasant and
helped melt away stress, without being overwhelming. I think some people might actually
prefer the effects of auto-flowering buds, even if they’re not patients, and I believe
autos may be a great choice for some medical marijuana patients.

How big will each plant get?

A lightly colored bud doing its thingAuto-Flowering

Autos tend to stay short naturally. In fact, in most conditions it is difficult to produce
very large auto-flowering plants because they have such a short lifespan. They only grow
bigger for about 1-2 months. The rest of their lives are spent fattening buds.

On average, autos grow 1-4 feet tall by harvest time; generally, auto-flowering plants
will stay under 4 feet in height. The final height of each auto depends a lot on the
strain you choose and whether you provide enough light. You can also use some non-stressful
plant training methods like bending tall branches over (low stress training) to help prevent
stretchy autos from getting too tall.

More tips on training auto-flowering strains to grow how you want

Photoperiod

Photoperiod strains can be trained to grow into almost any size or shape.

Do autos need a special light schedule to start making buds?

Do auto strains needs a special light schedule? In a way, yes!

Autos Should Get 18-24 Hours of Light a Day for the Best Yields

Why are light schedules important anyway?

Auto-Flowering Strains

Auto-flowering strains will automatically start flowering (making buds) after around 3-4
weeks, a time period dependent on the specific strain. You cannot change this; autos will
automatically start flowering due to an internal countdown. After they start making buds,
they will stay in the flowering stage until harvest time. Harvest is usually 2-3 months
from seed and depends almost completely on the strain.

Therefore, with auto-flowering plants, there is no special light schedule “needed.” The
grower does not need periods of darkness to initiate the flowering stage and get plants
to bud properly. You can grow an auto-flowering plant from seed to harvest even if you
were giving just 12 hours or even 8 hours of light a day and it will still make buds and
be ready to harvest. However, to get the best yields you want to take advantage of the fact
that you can give autos a lot of light each day since more light each day = more growth = bigger
yields.

One advantage of this internal timeclock is that auto-flowering strains can be grown outdoor
in a city environment where the ambient light at night may be too bright for photoperiod
plants to be able to make buds. Autos don’t care if they’re exposed to light at night. This
can also be used in warm climates to get plants to grow outside the normal growing season.
For example, as long as it’s warm enough you could start a plant in April outside and it
will be ready to harvest by July, which is much sooner than you’ll be able to harvest any
photoperiod plant (all of which are ready to harvest in mid to late Fall).

Note: The auto-flowering internal clock is why it’s recommended to never take clones from
auto-flowering strains - clones will be on the same time clock as their mother. Learn more
about why it’s not recommended to take clones from auto-flowering plants.

Photoperiod Strains

Photoperiod strains need to be on a 12-12 light schedule to initiate flowering. When growing
outdoors, photoperiod plants naturally start making buds as winter approaches and days grow
short. However, most indoor growers put their grow lights on a timer to initiate and maintain
a 12-12 light schedule during the flowering stage until harvest. This need for uninterrupted
darkness is why it’s important to create a light-proof growing environment when growing
photoperiod plants indoors.

The term “12-12” stands for 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark each day, and it “tells”
photoperiod plants to enter the flowering stage and make buds. During their daily dark period,
photoperiod plants need to receive complete darkness without interruption. This light schedule
initiates flowering, and must be maintained throughout the entire flowering stage until harvest.

If photoperiod plants receive too much light each day, or are exposed to light during
their dark period, they will either produce hermies (bad) or revert back to the vegetative
stage (stop making buds). If you will be unable to provide complete darkness to your plants
during their night period, it’s recommended that you choose to get an auto-flowering
strain, which isn’t affected by light at night.

Are Autos Easier to Grow?

Auto-Flowering Strains

In some ways, auto-flowering strains are more simple to grow than photoperiod strains, but
there are some additional considerations. For example autos do poorly if the grower runs into
major problems during the beginning of the grow because an auto jumps straight into the
flowering stage even it’s not doing so hot.

This auto-flowering cannabis plant was stunted by growing problems, and as a result it will
produce lower yields that its potentialThe 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.

Autoflowering strains begin making buds and continue on their short internal time-clock regardless
of their health. If you make a lot of mistakes, you will not have time to remedy the plant and
you may end up with a small stunted plant.

On the flip side, if your grow doesn’t go as well as planned, at least it will be harvest time
in just 2-3 months, you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll have the opportunity to try again. That
being said, autos are essentially very simple and a first-time grower can easily get a great
harvest on their very first grow. Plus, auto-flowering plants (and cannabis plants in general)
are hardy! As long as you give them basic care, they will reward you!

Photoperiod Strains

Photoperiod plants are able to recover from major growing problems in the vegetative stage when
grown indoors because the grower can give the plants as much time as needed to recover before
switching plants over to the flowering stage.

In some instances, photoperiod strains of cannabis may be easier to grow indoors if you are a
new grower because you can give yourself as much time as to fix problems in the vegetative stage.
During this stage, cannabis plants are hardy and can easily bounce back from problems. Even if
you make a lot of mistakes, you can still get big yields because unlike with autoflowering
strains you are in control of when the flowering stage begins.

Once the flowering cycle is initiated, your plants are more “set” as far as their overall
health and structure. Once a cannabis plant starts budding, there is basically a countdown
until buds are ready to harvest just like autos (this amount of time is mostly based on the strain).
Though the plant may have an initial last “stretch” of vegetative growth when the light
cycle is first changed over, as the plant approaches harvest towards the end of the flowering
stage, almost all growth halts except for the development of bigger buds.

Are autos better for growing outdoors?

Auto-Flowering Strains

Auto plants are suitable for growing outdoors in almost any climate that has at least 2-3 months of warm, sunny weather every year.

Requirements for growing auto-flowering strains outdoors are pretty simple…

Lots of direct light each day. Auto plants should receive 5+ hours of direct light each day.
More is better. In general, more light = bigger yields.
2-3 months of warm, sunny weather. When planting seeds, you should ensure that the weather
will stay warm and sunny for at least 2-3 months from when the seed is first planted.
Photoperiod Strains

When growing photoperiod plants outdoors, it’s important to make sure you plant your seeds at
the right time and choose a strain that is suitable for your climate.

When growing photoperiod strains outdoors…

Plant in Spring. Photoperiod plants need to be planted outdoors in late Spring, after days
have grown long enough to support a vegetative stage. It’s safe to put plants outside in late
April for the Northern Hemisphere, and late October for the Southern Hemisphere.
You can start plants indoors. Photoperiod plants can be started indoors if it’s too cold to
put plants outside during your spring, or if you would like to grow bigger plants than would
normally be possible in your local environment. Just make sure indoor plants get at least 14+
hours of light each day.
Choose the right photoperiod strain for your climate. A strain suited to your environment
needs to be chosen with your climate in mind to ensure that buds are ready to harvest before
winter. What this means is you need to ensure the strain’s “flowering stage” is short enough
for your climate. The length of a photoperiod strains flowering stage is primarily determined
by genetics; outdoor photoperiod plants will start flowering when days grow short as winter
approaches. It’s important that you choose a strain with a flowering period short enough to
allow buds to mature before it gets too cold or rainy. Cannabis plants cannot survive freezing
temps or torrential rain, so you need to choose a strain that will be ready to harvest before
winter sets in. Generally, “Indica” strains have a shorter flowering stage and are more suited
to colder climates with short summers. “Sativa” strains are more likely to have longer flowering
stages, and are better suited to warm climates with long, sunny summers.
Make sure photoperiod cannabis plants are not exposed to light during their night period.
When growing photoperiod plants outdoors, being exposed to light at night can prevent them
from flowering, or cause them to have other problems. While moonlight or starlight won’t
bother your plants, it’s important they’re not grown near spotlights, street lights, or
other bright sources of light at night.
?

Can I use plant training methods on auto-flowering strains?

Can I Top an Auto? (full article with instructions)

Auto-flowering strains respond well to very light low stress training (LST) such as bending
the plants to “open up” lower branches to light.

How to LST an auto-flowering plant picture by Santacabrera
Bend too-tall branches down and away from the center of your plant

Plant training is a tactic that helps cannabis growers increase yields indoors by exposing
more buds to strong, direct light from the grow light.

When training autos, the idea is to use bending to open up the plant so it grows flat and wide

Auto-flowering cannabis plants at week 6 - cozy in their tent!

A view from the side so you can see how those plants were trained to grow flat and wide

Auto-flowering cannabis plants at week 6 - a view from the side

Training allows all the bud sites to grow directly under the light, so they get as big as possible

A view of the three auto-flowering cannabis plants outside their tent
See the full grow journal with these autos

Many growers do not recommend exposing autos to plant training methods that involve cutting
the plant (topping, FIMing, main-lining, etc.) as the autoflowering vegetative stage is short
and plants often don’t have enough time to recover before they begin flowering.

Because of the quick time schedule, it is important to avoid stressing auto-flowering plants
during their grow because the plants don’t have time to recover from problems.

However, when plants are fast-growing and healthy, many growers defoliate, top or FIM their
plants with great results. When is it okay to top an auto?

More tips on growing autos below

Photoperiod

Since photoperiod plants can be forced to remain in the vegetative stage for as long as the
grower wants, a grower can take advantage of a variety of plant training methods to shape/train
the plant during the vegetative stage, including LST, topping, FIMing, main-lining, ScrOG, etc.

Training methods along with a properly timed light schedule can be used to produce very
small or very large plants…whatever the grower wants!

Learn more about cannabis training techniques here

?

Can I clone auto-flowering plants?

Auto-Flowering Strains

A clone is when you take a cutting of a plant and allow the cutting to grow into its own plant.
Autoflowering cannabis plants cannot be cloned effectively because new clones are on the same
internal “time clock” as their mother, and therefore any clone taken from her will die when
she dies.

Because of this, auto-flowering clones live short lives and most growers strongly recommend
against cloning auto strains because they stay extremely small and will not live long enough
to produce good yields.

While autos can’t be used to make clones, it is possible to make seeds using a male to
pollinate a female auto-flowering plant.

Photoperiod Strains

Photoperiod plants can be cloned, which means that a grower can continue to make more and
more plants from a single seed. Cloning is a great way to get unlimited free plants which
are almost exactly the same as each other.

So, You Want to Grow an Auto-Flowering Plant!

These buds are weighing down their branches!

Which breeders can I trust for good auto-flowering seeds?

Which breeders can I trust for good auto-flowering seeds? These auto breeders have
dedicated themselves to developing auto-flowering strains in particular, and have
gained popularity for their consistency and quality.

Some Excellent Auto-Flowering Cannabis Breeders:

Dinafem

Dutch Passion

Mephisto <-- Over the last few years this breeder has really taken off with amazing
auto-flowering genetics, highly recommended

There are many other breeders that offer auto-flowering seeds, but the breeders listed have
become famous for breeding some of the best auto seeds when it comes to ease of growth,
potency and yields. Let us know if there’s an auto-flowering cannabis breeder we should
add to this list!

Pictures of Auto-Flowering Plants

Now here are some pictures of Autos (by various breeders and growers) to help give you an
idea of what to expect when growing an autoflowering strain of cannabis.

Dinafem & Dutch Passion - Three Months for 6.7 Ounces
by Nebula Haze

From left to right: Dinafem Critical Jack, Dinafem Sour Diesel, Dutch Passion Blue AutoMazar

A view of the three auto-flowering cannabis plants outside their tent

See the strain review for each of these plants

Using a small 250W HPS light, I harvested 190.4 grams, or about 6.7 ounces, between the
three plants. This was my first auto-flowering grow and I was blown away by the yields,
the time-to-harvest and especially the potency!


#20

PART 2 OF 2

Final harvest! This is all the buds stacked in their jars. There is about 6.7 ounces of bud
in these jars!

Lowryder Original
by hypermx

This was the final height of a “Lowryder” auto plant grown in a very sunny window. Lowryders
tend to stay the smallest of almost all auto-flowering strains. This plant ended up having
very small yields because it was grown in a window. It’s difficult to find a window that
gets 5+ hours of direct sunlight each day, and generally it’s recommended that most growers
avoid growing in a window if they want to get decent yields.

Lowryder Original Auto-flowering cannabis plant by hypermxLowryder Original Auto-flowering
cannabis plant by hypermx

?Fast Bud Auto by Sweet Seeds
by Santacabrera
(Check out Santacabrera’s simple soil autoflowering grow guide below)

These are my 4 x Fastbud #2´s (this strain has now been bred into Ice Cool Auto, which may
be even better). I chopped 2 a couple of nights ago and the others today. Day 65 from seed
under a mixture of 400 & 600W HPS.

Nutrients & Supplements: PH Perfect nutes, Voodoo Juice, Cal-Mag, B-52, Big Bud, Overdrive

I´m a bit confused by this strain. The buds are quite skinny but they have weight to them
and are dense as f*ck. Took a sample and quick dried and it’s a really nice smoke. Comes
on really buzzy, then mellows out and gives mad munchies.

They smell incredible. Fruity and sweet, and they are very sticky.

Total dry weight for the 4 plants was 145g plus about 25g popcorn so around 6 oz in total.

Fastbud #2 auto cannabis strain - Plant #1Fastbud #2 auto cannabis strain - Plant #2

Fastbud #2 auto cannabis strain - Plant #3Fastbud #2 auto cannabis strain - Plant #4

View full album by Santacabrera here:

Black Cream Auto by Sweet Seeds
by Santacabrera
(Check out Santacabrera’s simple soil autoflowering grow guide below)

These are pics of my Black Cream autos that are coming down early next week. They could
come down now, but I haven´t got time to do it this weekend.

Nutrients & Supplements: PH Perfect nutes, Voodoo Juice, Cal-Mag, B-52, Big Bud, Overdrive

Black Cream autoflowering cannabis plants - 1 week until harvest

View more Black Cream pics by Santacabrera:

Blue Mystic+ by Nirvana
by -Johnny5-

Note: Autos by Nirvana are marked with a plus + sign.

Grown in a Space Bucket using FFOF (Fox Farms Ocean Forest) soil, Big Bloom Nutes, 1 gallon
bucket, 135watt cfls, inside a Spacebucket.

The pics show the plant just before harvest on Day 62. (it probably could of went 2 more
days but too late now). It was untrained. I wanted to see how she grew naturally in the
bucket to see how I would need to adjust for the next grow. I was going to dry the bud in
the spacebucket about there was just way too much to fit all the bud in the bucket with
good ventilation and space.

She had really close nodes and it shows in my opinion! From day one I kept the plant right
on the lights and just lowered them down in the bucket as she grew. I think that help keep
the plant from stretching which was perfect in the bucket!

Blue Mystic+ auto-flowering plant day 62 just before harvest. Grown by -Johnny5-

Blue Mystic+ auto-flowering buds hanging after harvest - so begins the drying and curing
process. By -Johnny5-

View full harvest album by -Johnny5-: http://imgur.com/a/sp7SZ

Bubblelicious+ by Nirvana
by -Johnny5-

Note: Autos by Nirvana are marked with a plus + sign

Grown in a Space Bucket. From the Grower: These f*cking SpaceBuckets are awesome.
Finally, Day 75, I pulled this plant down for harvest. She smells so freaking good
it’s ridiculous. Berry/fruity type of smell, really sweet. She “was” standing at just
around 18 inches. Grown in a 1 gallon pot, with FFOF (Fox Farms Ocean Forest Soil) and
Big Bloom Nutes. This plant received around 134 cfl watts for 18 hours a day. ZERO
Training! (will train the next grow, she was hitting the top of the bucket). The pic
on the right is the main cola up close.

Bubblelicious+ Auto by Nirvana on Day 75 from seed - just before harvest. Grown in a
space bucket. Grown by -Johnny5-Bubblelicious+ Auto by Nirvana on Day 75 from seed -
main cola. Grown in a space bucket by -Johnny5-

View Full Album by -Johnny5-: http://imgur.com/a/LJUW8

Northern Lights+ by Nirvana
by rollinsd

Note: Autos by Nirvana are marked with a plus + sign

This is my second grow but my first grow with auto flowering plants. I have the lights
set on 18:6. They are in 5 gallon pots with Promix soil. I am also using technaflora nutrients.

Final yield was about 1.5 ounces.

Auto-flowering Northern Lights+ by Nirvana - grown by rollinsdAuto-flowering Northern Lights+
by Nirvana - main cola drying in tent. Grown by rollinsd

View full album by rollinsd: http://imgur.com/a/fQ3PH

White Widow Auto by Pyramid Seeds
by GorillaMass

Setup:

Grow Lights: used a total of 6 CFLs, two on each side plus two under the reflector lamp.
6 x 23w 6500K for veg. and 6 x 23w 2700K for flower.
Happy Frog Soil
FloraNova Grow/Veg and Bloom Nutrients
2 Honeywell fans
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.

Auto White Widow plant by Pyramid Seeds just before harvest - Grown by GorillaMassMain
cola of Auto White Widow plant by Pyramid Seeds right after harvest - Grown by GorillaMass

View full harvest album by GorillaMass: http://imgur.com/a/43VNJ

Time-Lapse Videos of Auto-Flowering Plants - What to expect?

Dutch Passion (a leader in developing auto-flowering genetics) has released a few
Youtube videos showing time-lapses of some of their popular auto strains. I believe
these help new growers gain an understanding about what to expect when growing an
auto-flowering strain.

Dutch Passion Polar Light #3

Final Yield: 114.6 grams (~4 ounces)

Dutch Passion StarRyder

Final Yield: 121 grams (~4.2 ounces)

Dutch Passion AutoMazar

Final Yield: 117 grams (~4.1 ounces)

Dutch Passion Auto Blueberry

Final Yield: 81.6 grams (~2.9 ounces)

Simple grow guide for growing auto-flowering plants in soil

by Santacabrera

Auto-flowering cannabis plants growing in a tent using Santacabrera’s simple
soil guideThis simple guide to growing autos indoors uses…

BioBizz Lightmix Soil
11-liter (3 gallon) pots
Adjustable digital 600W HID grow light (Learn how to set up your exhaust)
pH/PPM meter or pH Test Kit
Extra Growing Tips for Autos

Low to Medium Nutrient Needs

Whether you grow in soil, coco coir, or a full hydroponic setup, auto plants tend to
prefer relatively low levels of nutrients compared to many other cannabis strains.

When it comes to adding extra bottled nutrients, start at ¼ strength of the recommended
dose or less, and only add higher levels of nutrients if needed. In hydro use “vegetative”
nutrients until you see the first signs of flowering (pistils / white hairs) around 3-4 weeks.
In good soil, you don’t need to add any nutrients during the vegetative stage. After the
first signs of buds, start adding “flowering” nutrients at very low strength (¼ or less to start)

View simple guide to growing autos in soil by Santacabrera

Potted Auto Plants

Potted auto plants tend to do best in an airy potting mix with lots of drainage (plenty of
drainage holes, and something like perlite to help add more drainage to your growing medium).
This helps makes sure roots get plenty of oxygen so plants grow as fast as possible.

If growing in soil avoid choosing a “hot” (lots of nutrients) soil mix. BioBizz Lightmix
soil or Fox Farms Happy Frog are good choices that don’t have too many nutrients to start.
With any soil mix, it’s recommended to add about 30% extra perlite for increased drainage.

Read more about a simple soil grow guide for autos

How I use coco coir to get faster growth than soil

Size & How to Control Height of Auto-Flowering Plants

The final size of your auto plants is largely dependent on the strain you get. Some strains,
such as Lowryders, have been bred to grow extremely short - less than 1-2 feet. Other strains
can grow taller, up to 4 feet tall or even more.

As a general rule of thumb, auto plants tend to double or triple in size from when they
first start showing signs of flowering/budding (usually when plants are about 3 weeks old from seed).

There are also some plant training methods that are effective for giving you more control
over the final size and shape of your auto-flowering plants.

The most important thing to remember with autos is to avoid using any plant training
method that involves cutting the plant. When reading about cannabis training techniques
that involve cutting the plant such as topping, FIMing, or main-lining, please remember
that these techniques were developed for photoperiod plants and are not well-suited to
auto-flowering strains.

Instead, the best way to control height and size with autos is to use low stress training
(LST) which involves bending tall branches and using gardening wire or soft ties to hold
down the branches.

Here’s a great LST example by Santacabrera showing how to gently bend the middle colas of
an auto-flowering plant down and away from the center without cutting or harming the plant.

How to LST an auto-flowering plant picture by Santacabrera
Bend too-tall branches down and away from the center of your plant

When growers LST auto-flowering strains of cannabis, the general idea is to gently pull
branches away from the middle of the plant, so that the plant looks like a star when viewed
from above. This helps expose the lower branches to more light, while also keeping plants short.
It’s important to only bend stems that are young, when they’re still soft and flexible.
Older stems become woody and hard to bend.

This technique can be used on auto plants that are getting too tall for your setup, or for any
stem that is growing taller than all the others. Most indoor growers want to keep a flat,
even canopy when growing indoors to get the most from their grow lights.

Best Light Schedule for Autos

Most indoor growers report getting great growth rates when keeping light schedules on an 18/6
light schedule (18 hour of light and 6 hours of dark each days). 20/4 is another popular light
schedule for indoor auto plants. Some growers will give 24 hours of light to auto plants, but
others believe that auto plants develop better when given at least a few hours of darkness each day.

When growing autos outdoors, basically you just want to give your plants as much direct
sunlight as you can each day. Other than that, you don’t need to worry about light
schedules When growing outdoors, more hours of direct sunlight = bigger yields. It
is almost impossible to give plants too much light when growing outdoors (as long as
heat is under control).