I suggest you don’t crop or bend too much when you grow auto, they are made to grow by themselves, and a stress coming from a cut is not something they like (less than feminized ones).
If you have roots issues that you have difficulties to watch, make sure you rince well the plant with few waterings without fertilizers (a flush solution if you have), so all the nutrients will leave the plant, and hopefully, the reason of the issue!
On the other hand, I suggest that in your everyday watering, you wait until the soil is well dry, in order to “push” the roots to expand themselves looking for water. Following just this tip, you’ll put all the chances no to end up with a dwarf plant.
From what I experienced, basically, the more light hours you give to the plant the more it will be productive, but i’m talking here of 20 hours light a day, everyday. I know it seems a lot, but at least 16 hours average in order not to suffer from big production capacity compared to feminized or regular seeds.
I don’t know if I responded all your inquieries lol but I stay around this thread if you need