Autoflowering cannabis varieties automatically switch from vegetative growth to the flowering stage based on age, as opposed to the ratio of light to dark hours required with photoperiod dependent/short-day strains.
Autoflowering cannabis is the third and smallest specie of the cannabis genus, which includes cannabis Sativa and cannabis Indica, this third specie is also called cannabis ruderalis/autoflower/auto cannabis/automatic cannabis.
So what does that autoflowering characteristic mean? It means that this variety of cannabis will automatically flower under almost any light, and because of that these plants don’t need the 12/12 light cycle to start producing flowers and they can grow under 24 hours of light from seed to harvest.
The Ruderalis plant is probably a wild variety of the cannabis Sativa and it is a small bushy plant that has adapted to automatically flower and it reaches full maturity anywhere from 8 to 11 weeks in harsh climates and almost any growing conditions. The first autoflowering plants were found in the former Soviet Union and they were some leftover hemp plants that had adapted to the harsh region. Now we can see ruderalis plants all over the world and these strong plants are well adapted to the diseases and insects that surround them and they do everything to flower as soon as possible and produce flowers and seeds faster than any Sativa or Indica plant can.cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis
Although the wild ruderalis cannabis plants contain little or no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) breeders from all over the world have produced some amazing autoflower strains by crossbreeding these wild varieties with some of the best commercial strains. After countless failures, those breeders managed to perfect that cross-breeding and now the market is flooded with new and exciting autoflowering seeds that start their flowering process after a certain time period. But the best part is that these smaller strains can be ready to harvest in 60 days from seed, stays between 50 to 100 cm and contain 20 to 30 % THC!
Automatic cannabis is becoming the next big thing in the grower’s community because it can be grown very fast and it doesn’t need the light cycle change and that eliminates the need for different growing rooms for plants that are flowering and those that are in the vegetative stage. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are perfect for beginner growers because this plant stays small and can be grown stealthily in small growing places and it is also very strong and resilient, so beginner mistakes won’t do any damage. That is why this ruderalis plant will most likely recover from things like Over or Underwatering, potbound roots, Temperature fluctuations, transplanting, and Nutrient burns as well as other stresses and mishaps.
The question “Why choose autoflowering seeds?” is discussed more and more as these strains expand their reach and become mainstream. Now we can find almost every commercially successful strain cross-bred to produce autoflowering seeds to have both the small ruderalis and regular plant traits in them.
If you ask – why so many people nowadays choose autoflowers over the regular Indica and Sativa strains?
There isn’t one correct answer to this question but there are many advantages to these autoflower plants as they have some traits that regular cannabis plants just can’t match.
Fast growth and short life cycle
The first thing why people choose auto seeds over the regular ones is their short life cycle. Fastest autoflower plants can grow from seed to full maturity in under 60 days and that gives limitless possibilities to indoor and outdoor growers.
For example, if someone plants regular seeds and autoflowering seeds side by side, then he can see that these small bushy plants are ready to harvest long before the regular strains start to produce flowers and that makes autoflowers less likely to be damaged by critters, bugs, diseases and even inexperienced growers and harsh weather conditions.
Indoors the short turnaround of autoflowering cannabis plants can be properly exploited to have some continuous harvest setups or even “Sea of Green”.
Outdoors these dwarf plants are harder to see because of their small size and that makes them more stealth and less likely to be found by other growers, law officials, tourists, or ripper gangs so they are perfect plants for stealth guerrilla grows.
Indoors small plants can have a big advantage to growers who have limited space for growing or growers who want to produce their bud stealthy. These short autoflowering seeds will produce plants that can be grown in almost any space and an empty closet or refrigerator will do just fine. But small plant growing doesn’t stop there and some growers are even growing these cannabis plants in their PC-cases and ice-boxes and this is called micro growing. Even if these cannabis micro growers don’t get much yield they are still growing cannabis and without autoflower seeds this just would not be possible.
Advantages of autoflower plants
The advantage that characterizes all ruderalis plants is that they can automatically flower under almost any light cycle. This privilege means that indoor growers don’t need separate grow-rooms for plants that are in the vegetative stage and those who are flowering. Commercial growers can even put some autoflower plants in their vegging room and get some fine bud before harvesting those regular strains.
Outdoors autoflowering seeds give growers multiple harvests every season and it also allows cannabis to be grown in climates where regular strains wouldn’t be able to mature in time.
Autoflower Breeding, seed production
Auto plants are easier to breed and produce seeds because they are small and their life cycle is short. By breeding autoflowers you can get about 250 seeds from a plant that is just 7 inches (17.78 cm) tall and you can get them in under two months.
Breeding autoflowering strains can be done much faster than with regular strains because where the regular strain takes 5 to 6 months from seed to harvest, at the same time period you can grow two autoflower crops from start to finish and therefore make more stable hybrids faster.
As you can see autoflowers are amazing in that they give us, growers, a completely new perspective, and advantages on cannabis growing. As the laws change and more and more people start to see the potential of this amazing plant then their first growing experiences will have to be small and those plants will have to be strong. And these autoflowers are just perfect for those situations!