What Does Autoflowering Actually Mean?
A few decades ago, before the invention of the first autoflowering strains, Sativas, Indicas and their hybrids were highly dependent on light cycles – either natural or those recreated by growers indoors. Here’s how it works: when a cannabis plant (regular or feminized) begins receiving less daylight, its genes tell it that the seasons are about to change and it’s time to flower before it gets too cold to procreate. This how regular flowering starts. However, autoflowering cannabis strains are not dependent on light schedules and start to flower at a certain point of maturity, regardless of the amount of light the plant receives. Usually, their vegetative period is quite short, lasting about 2-4 weeks, after which time autoflowering marijuana plants start developing buds automatically. This wonderful ability became possible after Indicas and Sativas were crossed with Cannabis ruderalis. This plant, native to the colder regions of the world where less light is available during the year, has adapted to the harsh conditions and evolved to develop the ability to flower on its own terms.
The Key Benefits Of Autoflowering Seeds
The change in DNA that allowed for the creation of autoflowering cannabis strains from the regular ones has brought about more advantages to the beloved plant than just the autoflowering itself. In fact, this is only the tip of the iceberg – here’s what other features are hidden beneath the surface:
- Compact in size. Thanks to the genes of Ruderalis, a tiny yet sturdy plant that looks more like an actual weed than a tree or bush, autoflowering cannabis strains also stay compact in size from seed to harvest. It’s no secret that many growers prefer to see their beloved plants grow to an enormous 2-3 meters in size; a sign of a massive yield in progress. However, nowadays, when cannabis cultivation is yet to be made legal everywhere, the possibility of keeping cannabis plants discreet can be of top priority.
- Quick. Because of a quicker vegetation period that can be as short as 2-4 weeks, along with the ability to start flowering at a certain point regardless of the shift in the light cycle, all autoflowering cannabis varieties are extra speedy in comparison to their regular counterparts. Some of them are able to grow and flower at a pace only comparable to the speed of light, leaving their growers’ hands full of freshly-cut buds in a record 50 days from seed to harvest!
- Allows for multiple harvests in a single season. One of the biggest advantages that comes with the autoflowering cannabis strains’ ability to grow buds with age instead of a change in light cycle is that it allows growers to collect several harvests in one season. Simply start as early as the conditions become suitable for your plant, grow, harvest and start again! Independence from the climate also gives a chance for those who were late for the season with their regular seeds. Planting auoflowering seeds instead allows for a much longer period available for planting in the open ground.
Why Use Autoflowering Seeds?
If you’re still unsure if autoflowering cannabis varieties are a good choice for you, consider this: Ruderalis that gifted its genes to autoflowering strains is a typical representative of the flora of colder regions of North America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia, which means it’s highly resilient to harsher climates as well as many regular pests, diseases and infections. As a result, autoflowers are generally stronger, more forgiving to the mistakes of novice growers, and adaptive to cultivation in regions with higher latitude. Additionally, in regions where not only the climate but also the laws are harsh to cannabis cultivation, autoflowering cannabis seeds come in especially handy for their quick and stealthy presence – after all, an autoflowering plant that could be as short as 40cm and ready to harvest in as little as 50 days is much easier to remain unnoticed by unwanted eyes.
As growers are able to take more control over the light that feeds their autoflowering cannabis seeds, it’s common practice to maximize the seeds’ light intake. From seed to harvest, the light setup can work according to the schedule of maximized daylight – for example, 16/8. This method is perfect for boosting the amounts of energy accumulated within the plant that will later positively affect growth and increase yields.