Whether you're new to growing cannabis or you've been growing pot for years, autoflowering strains are possibly the best way to go. You could be growing autoflowers indoors in soil, or setting up a hydroponic autoflower grow, it doesn't matter. Autoflowering seeds are ready for harvest in just eight weeks, while still producing potent effects.
For the most part, growing autoflowers indoors or outdoors is the same as growing regular marijuana, except it's a lot easier. However, to grow the best cannabis, you need to do more than know how to grow autoflowering seeds. You'll also need the best supplies. Don't worry, A Pot for Pot has you covered.
Grow autoflowering cannabis seeds
Planning for your garden
Autoflowering seeds are a great idea because they grow faster than regular seeds. They're also preferred by many marijuana growers because they are easy to grow.
How fast a specific auto flowering strain takes to reach harvest can depend on the type of strain. However, it generally takes 8-10 weeks for most strains. Some strains require up to 12 weeks.
The fact that autoflowers can grow so fast means they spend less time fighting off pests and viruses. On top of that, many autoflowering strains are bred with strong genetics to fight off these risks. The end results are plants that are incredibly easy to grow, even if you plan on growing autoflowers outdoors.
The downside to an autoflower grow is that the yields will not be as large as traditional seeds. However, a smaller yield on something you are nearly guaranteed to be successful at is better than no yield from something a bit harder to grow. If it's your first time growing these quick-growing seeds, try using an autoflower grow journal to document your journey. This way, there's a record of your work, and you can improve upon it in the future.
Autoflowers and Lighting
Autoflowering seeds do not need a change in their light cycles like regular marijuana seeds. Now, that doesn't mean autoflowering marijuana plants don't need light. It does mean, however, that they will continue to grow whether or not the light source is ideal. If you want to make it better for your plant, you can provide as much light as you wish. You could even buy marijuana grow lights and shine them on your plants all day long – but you don't have to.
That is the point.
This characteristic makes growing autoflowers outdoors perfect when you want to take advantage of mother nature's natural light source. Whereas most plants can only grow during a specific season, autoflowers can successfully pull off two to three seasons instead of one. As long as you germinate your seeds by the beginning of spring, protect your plants from extreme temperatures (the 90s and above), and the humidity stays between 70 and 90%, you can enjoy a very long outdoor growing season.
How to Grow Autoflower Plants
Use this step by step autoflower grow guide to go from seed to harvest
Week 1: Germination
It takes usually 3 days for autoflowers to germinate. This process is when the seeds come alive. The root travels into the soil and leaves sprout above ground.
To start germinating your seeds, you will need the proper soil mixture. In general, autoflowers will need fewer nutrients than regular seeds; still, they will need rich potting soil to help support their rapid growth.
A typical do-it-yourself potting soil recipe includes compost, perlite, and peat moss, and perhaps a small amount of vermiculture. The easiest option, however, is starting with A Pot for Pot's Complete Kit. It includes our Seedling Pot and Pellet, which is perfect for germinating autoflower seeds.
Once your seeds have sprouted, you'll need to transplant them into their potting soil. If you aren't using A Pot for Pot, you will need to carefully remove your seedling from its current home and place it in another. This process, unfortunately, can lead to shock. With a separate seedling system, such as the Seedling Starter Kit, this risk is reduced.
Week 2: Late seedling phase
At this point, your seedling has begun creating energy from its light source. If you are growing indoors, you'll want to use LED lights to give your autoflowering plant some light. Choose LEDs – they save energy and direct less heat. Plus, they are affordable. You'll only need a single light to grow a large plant in an indoor autoflower grow setup.
If you’re growing outdoors, you don't need to use an LED light, although you can. Our Light for Pot can convert nearly any space into a suitable spot for growing autoflowers indoors.
Week 3-4: Vegetation is flourishing
Yay, your plant has reached the vegetative stage. That means you should be focusing on creating the best environment. This is when you'd add the reinforcements. Wait, you don't have that? If you started with the Complete Kit, you would.
This week is when the important stuff starts to happen. The fan leaves are sprouting, enhancing the photosynthesis process, and increasing your plant's ability to create potent flowers. You should be focused on keeping your plant watered (but not too watered!), maintaining a constant temperature, and making sure it has light (if growing indoors). Trust us, this is not the time to be figuring out fertilizers.
If you are growing autoflowers indoors, this is also the time for starting low-stress training, if you're into that sort of thing. Training is helpful; however, it can also be risky and should only be done during the early part of the vegetative stage. Training helps forming buds receive the most energy from their light source – and that is definitely a good thing.
Related Article: The Cheapest Way to Grow Pot Indoors
Week 5-6: Flowering
In week 5, small, 'hairy' sacs start to form on the nodes. These will become sticky buds.
As the flowering stage proceeds, you'll want to continue lowering the humidity if you are growing indoors yet keep your plants well-watered. It is very easy to develop mold during the flowering stage, and that can ruin all of your hard work. That's why you need to pay attention to the amount of water in the air and soil. A watering can helps you keep track of how much you are giving your plants. We include one in our Complete Kits.
Week 7 - 8: Monitor and prepare
We're almost done! See how easy an autoflower grow can be? In week 7, you're going to focus on maintaining the environment. If you have your plants outside, make sure it's not too hot or wet. If they are inside, check the humidity. You should be near 40% humidity instead of the 70% you started with during the vegetative period.
You also want to look at the soil. Use a magnifying glass to identify any pests. Look at the leaves for signs of nutrient deficiency. If you'd like to be really precise, you can use the Smartphone Camera Lenses that are included with A Pot for Pot's grow kits.
If you used any nutrients, you'd want to start the process of flushing on week 8. This means you stop giving your plants anything other than water. You don't want any of that stuff in your final harvest. Flood the plant's soil so that any excess chemicals are cleared before the plant can eat any more of them. This will prevent those chemicals from remaining in the plant when it's time to harvest. Repeat the flooding process multiple times for up to two weeks, but don’t overdo it. Allow your pot to dry out between flushings.
Finally, it's time to do a little trimming. Find some trimmers and remove the small fan leaves from the bottom nodes. You can also cut off any of the fan leaves near the top that don't look that great. This process will help your plant get more light and reduce the chance of mold developing.
Week 9: It is almost harvest time
You have finally reached the point where your time and energy are about to reap good results. Before you officially get there, you must maintain the perfect conditions, so your plant remains infestation free.
Continue following the lighting, temperature, humidity, and watering guidelines that you've been following since the beginning of week 7. If you flushed your plants, the fan leaves might look rust-colored or otherwise discolored, this is perfectly normal.
Week 10-12: Harvest time!
You've reached the best part of this autoflower grow guide – the end. Depending on your specific strain, you may be ready for harvest anywhere from 10-12 weeks. You'll know it's time when most of the trichomes are whitish, and the pistils are brownish-red.
Keep in mind regardless of how much you trained your plant, some buds automatically position closer to the light, and as a result, will finish ripening first.
Especially when growing autoflowers indoors, your results can vary depending on the strain and the quality of the seeds. If your plant seems to progress slower or faster than others, don't let it bother you. Come harvest time, you may find that you were worrying about nothing.
Related Article: Step by Step Guide to Grow a Small Weed Plant
Growing autoflowering marijuana plants is already easy, but it's even more so with A Pot for Pot. We don't just provide the best pot, we also provide the best soil, nutrients, and tools for maintaining your marijuana garden. And we provide step-by-step instructions in our Complete Grow Guide and ongoing online grow support. If you want it easy and fast, growing autoflowers indoors in soil (or outdoors, weather permitting) with a Pot for Pot is hands-down, the simplest way to go about it.