Although cannabis seems like a straightforward product, there are various categorizations based on marijuana sex, type, strain, etc.
The regular weed users don’t concern themselves with such stuff; they just want to enjoy that amazing feeling that the plant provides. However, this information is crucial for new cannabis entrepreneurs and marijuana companies and seed banks.
One of the popular products on the market are autoflowering or autoflower seeds.
What makes cannabis autoflower seeds so specific?
Unlike your regular marijuana, autoflowering seeds can skip a blooming cycle. This means that a weed grower can get finished products much earlier.
Needless to say, it is an extremely viable way of doing business. Autoflowering seeds can produce a cannabis harvest after just 6 weeks, or in other words, you can get 3 to 5 yields each year.
But, their ability to mature quickly is just the start. These cannabis seeds have other amazing benefits as well. They also have some drawbacks.
In order to better understand cannabis autoflower seeds, we have created this article. We will focus on their advantages, drawbacks, and whether or not they’re viable for your marijuana business.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
What are autoflowering seeds?
Autoflower seeds are basically able to grow by themselves. They are quick-growing and resilient, making them an ideal option for pot growers who don’t know what they’re doing or who live in an area with a rough climate. However, everyone can use these cannabis seeds as they have some amazing features.
One of the first things we need to mention is that these seeds don’t need the same quantity of light as the regular seeds. This is an essential feature.
Most cannabis plants grow according to climate and weather conditions and flower during spring and summer. But, the specific nature of autoflowering seeds allows you to stretch that period even longer.
Although this light cycle is ideal for prolonged outdoor growing, these marijuana seeds can also be planted indoors. If you decide to do so, you will have to adjust lights to 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness cycles. During the weed flowering stage, that cycle is changed to 12 to 12.
And here is the best part. The regular cannabis plant will start developing buds as soon as the light cycle changes. Through these light cycles, plants can “detect” the change of seasons, which triggers the growth.
But, in case of autoflowering cannabis plants, you don’t need the light cycle change; the buds will start growing no matter what. Regardless of the weather conditions, the autoflower seeds can provide buds, which is truly awesome.
Why does this happen? Why do autoflowering seeds have this feature?
Keep in mind that we got these plants from areas with harsh weather conditions. The reason why they were able to survive is because of their high level of adaptability.
They don’t need the same amount of light but, instead, are able to flower no matter what. This resiliency can be seen through some other things: autoflowering cannabis is much more resilient to pests and diseases.
The main 4 reasons to use autoflowering seeds
Here are the best features of these weed plants:
1) They grow fast
The main reason why most cannabis growers plant autoflowering seeds is to get faster yields. As previously mentioned, it reduces the whole process for several weeks, allowing you numerous harvests during a year.
Basically, you can get the finished product after just 9 weeks from planting the pot seed. They are especially good for regions with volatile weather patterns as you will be able to get some yield regardless of the light cycles.
Due to their fast-growing ability and smaller size, it means you will be able to utilize space in the garden better.
2) The light is not an issue
Light is one of the most important things for any plant. Experienced growers know how to adjust light cycles, especially when growing plants in a closed environment. Unfortunately, this might be a problem for novice cannabis entrepreneurs.
No matter how much light an autoflower plant receives, it will still be able to produce buds. The fact you don’t have to watch light cycles allows you to save time. This is something that both experienced and inexperienced growers can benefit from.
It is especially important for big marijuana plantations that otherwise require a lot of manual labor. With autoflowering seeds, you can significantly reduce the efforts and, thus, the cost of weed seeds.
3) You can easily hide them
Marijuana carries certain risks that go beyond growing and harvesting. Given the nature of the plant (as well as its profitability), some people would be willing to steal your crops. Because of that, you can never have enough security.
While bigger companies are able to pay guards and install cameras, these costs can bankrupt small growers. This is why autoflowering plants come as an ideal solution. They are much smaller compared to other types of the plant and strains.
They will grow up to 2 feet, which is laughable compared to Sativas’ potential height of 20 feet. So, as long as your garden is walled off, the neighbors will not even notice that you have marijuana in your backyard.
4) High resiliency
Based on everything that has been said so far, it is obvious that the autoflower seeds are quite durable. This can also be seen through their disease and pest resilience. They can survive through almost anything.
Unlike traditional cannabis, you won’t have to invest as much in pest control and other products that are meant to stave off diseases. The high resiliency also makes it easier to predict yields, which is very important for any agricultural company.
The main 2 issues with autoflowering seeds
These are the main two issues with marijuana autoflower seeds:
1) Lower yields and weaker high compared to traditional seeds
Everything good comes with a cost. Although you’re able to grow autoflowering seeds in almost any condition, that doesn’t mean they provide the same yield. Although you can make certain tweaks, the yields will often be lower compared to that of the standard marijuana.
In other words, if you have enough experience and your regional climate is good, you will be able to get more by simply using the normal cannabis seeds. The other big issue we need to mention is that autoflowering plants provide weaker highs.
2) Potential issues with lighting bills
In order to offset the lower yield, many cannabis growers ramp up lighting. And to be honest, this strategy can provide some outstanding results. At the same time, your electricity bills will go through the roof.
The other option is to grow autoflower seeds outside, but if your region doesn’t have enough sunlight, this might be an issue. It also somewhat beats the point of using autoflowering seeds of marijuana.
You have to decide what you want to do with these plants and whether or not they will be profitable enough to grow. We recommend that you at least try them and see the results. As previously mentioned, they can be a great option for new growers.
3 Top tips for growing autoflowering cannabis
Although autoflowering cannabis is rather easy to grow, that doesn’t mean it will grow by itself. They need a lot of care and attention like any other plant.
In fact, there are lots of different things you can do to improve the yields and receive better overall crops.
Here are three tips that will help you do just that:
1) The required amount of nutrients
Your autoflowering plants need to get the right amount of nutrients. This is especially important during the early stages as they are particularly fragile at this time. We recommend that you buy a growing organic mixture. As the plants start their vegetative phase, they will also need a lot of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. You should buy a mix that has a 10 nitrogen – 5 potassium – 5 phosphorous ratios. The mixture can even go to 20 – 10 – 10.
During the flowering stage, you will need to increase phosphorous and potassium ratio, so they become dominant substances. You can go with a 10 – 20 – 20 ratio. Keep in mind that it’s much better to have more nutrients than less. However, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. Experienced growers monitor the plants’ progress daily, and change/add things as they go.
2) Using the right techniques
It is also essential to utilize growing techniques that would maximize the yield. It is possible to pull the plants aside so they would start growing vertically. Keep in mind that most of these methods can also be used for other cannabis types, so even if you stop growing autoflowering marijuana, you can still use them for other products. These methods are usually used during the vegetative stage; if you utilize them during some other phases, there is a chance that you would harm the plant without attaining the required results.
3) Consider extreme weather changes
Even though autoflower cannabis seeds are pretty resilient, that doesn’t mean they will succeed in any weather. They cannot survive harsh winter conditions, for example. You will be able to get several harvests and grow it deep into autumn, but you won’t be able to do this during winter. You might be able to circumvent this by taking your plants inside so you can continue growing them in closed space. The last thing you want to do is leave them outside when the cold weather hits.
Should you use autoflower seeds?
You have to consider various things before you buy autoflower seeds.
First and foremost, these products are ideal for new businesses that don’t have vast experience growing marijuana from seeds. It can also be great for all those who don’t have the manpower to micromanage the process or who have big gardens to tend to. These seeds are also good for harsh weather conditions.
On the other hand, they don’t have the best taste, and marijuana connoisseurs will quickly notice the difference. You will probably get a lower yield as well.
Like most things in life, it is a tradeoff, and you will need to consider whether or not it’s worth it for you.