What is autoflowering cannabis?

beautiful autoflowering cannabis plant

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 contains little or non 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 in small growing places stelthy 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 thing like Over or Underwatering , potbound roots , Temperature fluctiations , transplanting and Nutrient burns as well as other stresses and mishaps.

Why autoflowers?

ruderalis plant

The question “Why choose autoflowering seeds?” is discussed more and more as these strains expand their reach and become main stream. 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 a regular seeds and some 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”.

lowryder plant

Small size

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 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 marijuana

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!

So please look trough the website and get the best information on autofowers and if you have any questions do not hesitate and leave a comment! But if you do not know where to start you can check out the Complete Autoflower GROW GUIDE!

52 Comments

  1. Hello
    I suggest Admin can set up a forum, so that we can talk and communicate.
    Nancy

        • Automatically Sticky on

          I use an outdoor CFL @300 watt, 65 watts usable. 18/6 20/4 or 12/12 will work I have tried them all.

          • midowo

            Hi, tnx for the comment,
            Maybe you have some insight on what light schedule produces the best growth with that CFL?

          • Have you found any specific light source to be better then another?

          • midowo

            Hi,
            It all depends on the circumstances…

            If you need low heat output then LED lights are the best, but if up-fronts costs are an issue then T5 as well as CFL light can be a great bargain.
            HID lights are great for larger scale grow operations but they produce a lot of heat and that can be a huge drawback in small areas.

            The fact is that you can grow autoflowers with all of those light sources(HID,LED,T5,CFL) and the rest is up to you. Of course plants grown under HID or LED will have bigger buds and more weight than the ones grown under T5 or CFL but the quality of the product will not change!

  2. Awesome blog, it’s just like a game for me! It’s so infomative and usefull, thanks a lot! If you post more of this great stuff, I’ll visit your blog again!

  3. Great info on this site, gratz and keep it up!!
    Any chance you will be writing an article about pruning/trimming autoflowering plant leaves? I’m not sure if it’s good, and if it is, when, how, where, why 🙂

  4. Alma Walin on

    It’s some sort of shame you don’t employ a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant site! When i suppose for now i’ll are satisfied with bookmarking in addition to adding ones Rss feed to help the The search engines bank account. When i glimpse forward to help new updates and may share that webpage having the Facebook or myspace group:

  5. I think cannabis should be legal. Alcohol is much more deadly than a simple plant ! if everyone smoked weed the world would have less violence, it also stop drink driving, yeahh cannabis can be deadly when driving, BUT if you’ve smoked weed for a good while then you’ll have alot more control and will be able too drive, marijuana makes you lazy most of the time, so you literally will not want to leave your house, drinking makes you violent and stupid, cannabis makes you happy and hyperactive aswell as laziness, besides no one has ever died of cannabis over dose, don’t get me wrong, dealing it should be illiegal but growing and smoking it SHOULD NOT be a crime… Thank you 🙂

  6. Fandango on

    I just wanted to say thanks for the most informative” How To” site I have found on the internet and I have looked extensivley. I just wish this had been the first site not one of the last. This offers the most concise and understandable information one could hope for. Thanks Again

  7. Mr Timothy Daws on

    to produce good seeds , has a person got to have male and female plants . and how can you distinguish between the sex’s . ? ?

  8. OBSERVER on

    This is a great post, very informative without it being too textbook. I found myself ignoring the photos and being more interested in reading the material.(which is rare with photos of fine herb) I have gained some knowledge and found my favorite growblog for autoflower strains.THNX!! keep posting!

  9. Autorookie on

    20% – 40% humid? R u joking???? My ones look like grim reapers after such climate.

    • midowo

      Yes 20 % to 40 % humidity is right on the spot, but of course there are many factors that can influence and the main thing to look at is the temperature because if the temperature goes up the same % humidity can be much higher so maybe monitor your temperature closely, or maybe your particular plant likes lower humidity.

      • A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This is a pretty good website and a lot of good info for newbies. However, before you make claims or give advice, it is prudent to make sure you are not miss leading people. Above you claim that 20-40% RH is the best for autos. I am very knowledgeable in the field of botany and can contest that this is utterly false. Most plants thrive in the 40 to 70% range. Cannabis thrives in this range as well but ideally in the 40 to 60% range. Where you can develop problems is when you have bud formation in the later stages of development. Because of the density of the buds and the foliage of the plant, pathogens and molds can form in a humid environment. So in the first 75% of the growth cycle, any RH between the 40 to 70% range will suffice. However, in the later 25% it is wise to try and keep the RH below 60% and preferably around 50%. That way you will not stress the plants with 20 to 40% RH and the problems associated with high humidity will be reduced.

        Second, you make another claim above that is re-writing the law of physics. It is a misconception that as temperature rises the humidity level rises as well. This utterly wrong. I invite you to show me anywhere the data to prove this claim. It is the EXACT opposite. As temperatures drop the RH falls. This is how dew-point works. Here is a page that explains it in detail and busts this common myth. http://weather.org.au/humidity.htm

        It is a common misconception and I too once thought this. That is until a meteorologist friend clued me in. I once headr a wise saying that I go by to this day. “when an honest person discovers they are mistaken, they either cease to be mistaken or they cease to be honest”. I prefer to cease to be mistaken.

        Keep up the good work on the site, but remember, there is no excuse with this day and age of the internet to be mistaken. Just be SURE that claims you make are accurate.

        So keep up the good work

        • sorry I made an error in typing. Above where I said that “as temperatures drop the RH falls” I meant to say that when temperatures drop the RH rises. Please correct my mistake for me as I do not wish to be misleading anyone. Thanks.

        • midowo

          Tnx Vince, You are absolutely right about the error I made!
          But about the RH percentage, I like to keep it lower because I have had some bad experiences with molds when the humidity was higher.

  10. dr.greenthumb on

    i think weed should just be decriminalized but remain illegal , just because there is a lot of crime involved in the manufacture aspect, I’m talking about the many drug cartels that make profit off of pushing it over the U.S. boards, to make weed legal might give these cartels reason than any to be more and more aggressive with trying to meet the demands of the U.S. after all most of the marry we smoke comes from cartel run farms right here on our own soil. so decriminalize YES , legalize HELL NO

  11. skittles on

    this site is a joke. I can tell cause you have people loke dr.greenthumb welcoming himself here. autoflower network is a much better source of information with real breeders who don’t rip people off and have been growing for 25+ years

    • midowo

      Why are you saying such a bad thing abut this website?
      I am not scamming anybody and autoflower network is a good place for information but you cant find 6000+ word articles on growing autoflowers there.
      I am trying to help any autoflower grower by giving them my growing experience and you are the first person that is complaining about it.
      Hope you can see that this is no scam and I am providing lot of value to autoflower growers community!

      • terry208 on

        The autoflower network is great but it doesn’t hold a candle to Autoflowering cannabis which is packed full of real info. you can use and easy for even the most advid smoker to understand.

        • midowo

          Tnx man, appreciate the kind words! If you have any questions don’t hesitate and ask here in the comments or send me an email !

  12. First I wanna say this is a great site.It has helped me learn the most I can learn about autoflowering plants.
    Midowo you have imformed me on so much in the last week that I have been reading this site,I was scraching my head
    trying to find out info on autos and now I have a place that tells me everything and I mean everything about autos.
    I’d like to send you a few pics of the plants I grew without the help of your great stie,And then send a few of my next grow
    with the help you have layed out for all the new guys trying to learn .So Thank You Very Much
    Rudedog

  13. Hello out there! Not sure how up-to-date this site is but im flying through my first Auto grow with amazing results! For a beginner like me! Someone hit me back I have some questions!

  14. smitth82 on

    waiting for my first autoflower seeds, cant wait to jump on it, learned alot from your autoflower story,Thanks…..

  15. smitth82 on

    IM USEING A 400 HPS TO GROW MY AUTOFLOWER,DO YOU THINK THAT WILL DO ME ,I GOT A 600 HPS COMEING,BUT IF THE 400 WILL WORK I WILL KEEP IT,thank you,need to know soon ok !

    • midowo

      That depends on how much plants do you want to grow and what is your growing area. If you are planning to grow just a couple of small autos then that 400W HPS should be fine but if you want to grow larger super-autoflowers then 600W would be better!

  16. Hello there fokes, well good info on this site!!.. this is the first time I have had a go at autos.. av got a few problems hopefully someone can point me the right way? Got low humidity in my room will it stop the growth by much? It’s about 20% tyred putting bolws of water in room etc..got a kettle in at the minute works well but can’t keep it on.. will they be still OK to grow?

    • midowo

      Hi Bonus,
      I have grown autos in low humidity environment(less than 15%) and they did great.If your plants have survives the seedling phase in a low humidity environment then the vegetative and flowering phases should pose no problem. Autos are very rigid plants and that is why many new time growers start their growing with them!

  17. I can’t get any auto flowering seeds where I live but I would love to try a few I have to use bag seeds but I love reading what you guys are doing so keep doing it for people like me that can’t get them

    • midowo

      Autoflowers are becoming more and more widely available and I hope you can soon get some AF seeds to try them out for yourself. But tnx for the kind words.

  18. irishmick on

    can i buy food for auto flowering in a all in one bottle if so can you tell me name of it cheers

    • midowo

      Hi, You can use any fertilizers that is created for cannabis growing as well as some general nutrient solutions. It is best to get a “Grow” as well as “Bloom” nutrient but because autoflowers have a very short vegetative growth phase you can also use only a flowering nutrient solution(cactus fertilizers also work great).

  19. Hello. Nice website 🙂

    I think i made a misstake with my plants.. I have 2 big flowering plants, and they thrive. But i started 3 lil dwarf auto plants in the same room, at 12/12 light cycle. They are still seedlings, sprouted 1 week ago. They will do ok with that 12/12 light cycle? Or i HAVE to find a way to put them under 18/6?

    Thanks!

    • midowo

      Hi Franck,

      Those 3 autoflower plants will grow under 12/12 but their yield will be smaller than usual. I have grown autos under similar light cycle and they did just fine!

      If you have only one grow room and don’t want to construct another then don’t swet about it and run those plants in the same room but if you want to maximize their yield then you can construct a seperate grow room just for those 3 dwarfs.

      I hope this helps!

  20. It help a lot ! And thx for your fast reply. Tomorrow after my job i will move my 3 seedlings to my kitchen, under 2 t5s. And when i will harvest my 2 bigs, i will bring back my 3 dwarf into my grow room 🙂

    Cheers 🙂

  21. One more question; i cannot install a timer in my kitchen for this temporary grow space, it will be ok if the lighting cycle is not exact? I mean +/- 15/20minutes ? I will open/close the light manually, and im not sure if i will be able to close my tubes everydays at the exact same time. But it will be always around 18/6. The seedlings will struggle ?

    By the way the genetic is dwarf low flyer. They only have 3 weeks of veg before flowering.

    Cheers

    • midowo

      That should not be a problem, but if you don’t have a timer maybe the best course of action is to run those lights 24/7? That will remove the need to manually switch those lights on or off and won’t harm those lowryder plants.

      • Mhmm ok. 24/7 sounds good i will do that 🙂

        As soon i notice white hairs i put them back with my other plants under 12/12?

        Thanks for your time by the way !

        • midowo

          No, you can run them under 24/7 for the entire life cycle.
          Low Flyer plants are autoflowers and they don’t need a light cycle change so you can get more yield under that 24/0 light cycle compared to 12/12.

  22. Do many people run into a lot of there autos being males. I know you can get feminized ones but I didn’t have that option and just nervous I’m going to have males.

    • midowo

      If you are getting regular(non-feminized) autoflowering seeds then you have a 50:50 change of getting either a male or a female. How much seeds are you planning to germinate?

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