Autoflower hemp seeds are trending among many farmers for the benefits they offered versus standard seeds. But what exactly are autoflower hemp seeds, and how do they differ from traditional hemp seeds? We hope you’ll find our guide to autoflower hemp seeds useful.
Autoflower means just that…the seeds will automatically flower, rather than depending on light cycles with periods of darkness, like regular cannabis plants. Autoflower hemp seed genetics are crossed with the subspecies cannabis ruderalis, known for autoflowering characteristics and a short stature. Genetically removing the reliance on periods of light to grow, the autoflower hemp seeds are set on ‘auto-pilot’, and flower on its’ own time.
While less work and controls to worry about may sound like a good thing, it’s imperative to know the differences so you can grow autoflowers successfully.
Brush up on our beginner’s guide to autoflower hemp seeds, before you dive into auto-flower growing.
Plant Size, Content and Yields
Whether an advantage or disadvantage, due to the original size of cannabis ruderalis, autoflower hemp seeds grow smaller and more compact plants. While this may help alleviate space in your indoor room, or concealment growing outdoors…it can obviously affect the yield of the plant’s final harvest, as well.
But, this doesn’t mean your buds will be any smaller. Accepting over 12+ hours of light means autoflower hemp seeds can create bigger buds in less amount of time – just fewer in quantity, considering the plant’s maximum growth size.
As research and development in autoflower hemp seeds increases, there are methods and techniques that nurture plants in creating reputable levels of compounds or content. Autoflowers from experienced breeders, have recently shown levels of THC as high as 20-28%.
Labor & Location
The automatic nature of the autoflower hemp seeds cause a rapid turnaround. One strain appropriately named ‘Quick One’ can go from seed to harvest in just 2 months. The quick development of autoflower genes will increase the amount of harvests per year – indoors or outdoors.
In weather dependent locations, autoflower seeds can also be a savior to those growers planting late in a season. For indoor growers, autos are often referred to as the “the perpetual harvest” due to the fact that they can be kept in the same light and space as veg plants.
Regardless of the quick nature in growth, autoflower hemp seeds will require some labor in the short time span they mature. Success in many autoflower hemp seeds has resulted from Low Stress Training (LST) in the vegetation stage, while others recommend no training at all to avoid stress altogether.
Too much stress can quickly stunt the growth of autoflower plants, more so than regular cannabis plants. Original Content Source: discountpharms.com – Low stress methods like bending can decrease vertical space, increase light usage and can ultimately maximize your final yield. Depending on the strain, some autoflower plants will require topping, too.
Lighting & Climate
As the research into autoflower hemp seeds grows, so does the information regarding the proper light cycles and climates. Two very important factors in growing any type of cannabis plant.
Generally, autoflower hemp seeds can receive over 12 hours of light per day, and survive on as few as 5 hours per day. For the highest levels of potency, and heavy harvests, 18+ hours of light a day is recommended. No matter the amount of light your strain requires, what it won’t need is a light deprivation schedule like normal cannabis plants. Keep in mind, for indoor spaces this will increase electricity bills.
In outdoor spaces, growing autoflower hemp seeds can begin as soon as spring in most climates. You’ll need fairly warm, sunny weather for 2-3 months. When growing without a greenhouse or covered area, be aware too much rain can cause autoflower buds to rot more rapidly.
Feeding & Nutrients
Autoflower hemp seeds require less feed due to their shorter growth cycles, and minimized vegetation stage. It’s recommended to feed seedlings only water, for up to 2 weeks. Autoflower strains prefer airy, loose soil with a lower amount of growth nutrients, since the seed itself is on ‘auto-pilot’.
Once you can introduce feed, some growers recommend a combination of micronutrients and microbes that can help supplement the growing plant’s health. Together, they stimulate root expansion, absorption of minerals, and stronger top growth. Do all feeding lightly at first, increasing over time until the plant reaches its’ flower stage, where adjustments can again be made.
Like any type of Cannabis, watch your autoflower plants carefully and adjust nutrients at any stage, to address issues in the visual output of your plants.
Setup for Success
Although autoflower hemp seeds can be more costly per unit, their benefits may outweigh the increased initial cost. Set your grow to succeed, and explore the automatic nature of autoflower hemp seeds.