If you’re confused about what type of cannabis seeds to purchase for your new indoor grow space, auto-flowering seeds should definitely be on your list. Auto-flowering cannabis seeds are beloved by both beginner and seasoned growers alike, offering potent harvests in just a few weeks. Let’s take a look at more of the benefits of using auto-flowering cannabis strains.
What Are Auto-Flowering Strains?
Auto-flowering strains are the descendants of a wild cannabis plant called Ruderalis which was discovered in Russia in the 1940s. These plants were able to produce buds even under the harsh conditions and limited sunlight of a Russian winter.
They stood out from other cannabis plants because they didn’t need alternating periods of dark and light to start flowering. They just started producing flowers automatically after about three or four weeks of growth. Hence, why they’re called auto-flowering strains.
A Fast-Growing and Potent Breed
These early plants went into flower quickly and did not require the careful lighting schedule that so-called photoperiod plants need. On the downside, their buds were small and contained very small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Today, growers are breeding strains of those early plants that have the same early flowering but also have high levels of THC.
Auto-Flowering Strain Benefits for First-Time Growers
- Produce large buds with high levels of THC
- Start producing flowers in the first month
- Ready to harvest in about three months
- Don’t require specific light schedules to start working
- Can grow as easily outdoors as indoors
Standard, photoperiod cannabis plants require a period of darkness followed by sunlight to start budding. Auto-flowering strains have an internal clock that tells them when it’s time to start budding.
Auto-flowering plants are more sensitive to mishandling than photoperiod plants. That’s because their quick flowering gives them little to time to recover if they get stressed during their flowering period. Because of this, you need to ensure your soil, nutrients, watering schedule and light sources are all in place before you plant your cannabis seeds.
Growing Auto-Flowering Strains Indoors
Although auto-flowering strains don’t require a lighting schedule, they do respond to long stretches of sunlight. In fact, the more light they get, the bigger they grow.
Auto-flowering plants need at least eight hours of sunlight a day. For really great results, give them 18 to 24 hours of light. Photoperiod plants don’t respond well to excess light, but auto-flowering strains can thrive on it.
Growing Auto-Flowering Strains Outdoors
To grow these strains outdoors, you need two things:
Sunlight: Auto-flowering strains require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Warm weather: These strains must be exposed to warm, sunny weather for at least the first three months of their growth.
If you’re a first-time cannabis grower, you can try out auto-flowering strains for your first harvest to make things a bit easier on yourself. With just a little care in the initial growth stages, you can produce healthy plants that flower quickly and produce large, potent buds in just a few weeks.