What is an Auto-Flowering Cannabis Strain?
These strains are great for the novice as well as the experienced grower. For the early and even late outdoor or greenhouse harvests. They start to flower as they mature rather than when the days or light cycle shortens.
Making auto’s easier to manage for novice growers. You could simply just plant it in your garden and concentrate on water and feeding. The plant will take care of the flowering stage by itself. Now, this is not to say an experienced grower won’t want to plant any auto-flowering cannabis seeds.
Growing a few auto-flowering cannabis seeds alongside your regular feminized cannabis seeds, give the grower something to smoke during the late summer.
Where do Auto-Flowering Cannabis Strains come from?
As you all know by now, there are 3 subspecies of cannabis; Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis. Nowadays cannabis strains are most commonly referred to as Hybrids. However, that being said, Sativa dominant strains genuinely grow quite tall and lanky with potent fluffy buds. Indica dominant strains are bushier and are commonly known for more mellow stoned effect. Both of these will begin to flower towards the end of summer when the days start getting shorter. Their light cycle shortens.
But then you get Ruderalis, a small strange looking cannabis plant. Find growing in extreme places such as Russia. These extreme conditions developed a trait in the cannabis plant that makes it flower as it matures.
In theory, this trait sounds great. However, Ruderalis cannabis plants grown in the wild, do not contain much THC. Today, expert cannabis breeders cross Ruderalis plants with your regular Sativa and/or Indica strains. This is to combine the best of both worlds so to speak. A fast-growing potent cannabis plant.
5 Tips for Growing Auto-Flowering Cannabis Plants.
First and most important, Buy quality seeds.
Thankfully we’ve got you covered there. Medical Cannabis Seed Bank stocks top of the range Dinafem and Humboldt Auto-Flowering Cannabis seeds. Both are established companies that have a reputation to maintain and ensure their seeds arrive in their prime. The seeds are dried and stored at the optimum levels of temperature and humidity to ensure a high germination success rate.
Plant your cannabis auto-flowering plant in its finishing pot from the get-go. Remember to ensure this pot is big enough, you really don’t want to restrict the roots of an auto-flowering plant. This will impact the final size of the growth, and as it is, they don’t grow very big. Due to the fact that these plants grow faster and flower faster if their roots are restricted in any way it stops growing and begins to flower.
A minimum of 3 liters will do, but 12-15 liters is a good size pot. Always remember “more root = more fruit”.
As much as possible, consider light a nutrient just like any other food a plant needs. Easy if growing indoors, however, if you’re growing outdoors this will limit you somewhat. This is not to say you can’t grow all year round, but results will certainly show is the cannabis plant gets little light.
Indoor growers can put the light cycle on for 20 hours and give the plant a 4-hour rest each day whilst the light is off throughout the entire cycle. Remember the resting period is important for the health of the plant.
The roots need oxygen
Unlike leaves, which require carbon dioxide, roots need oxygen. Make sure your soil mix is well air-rated. It should be light and fluffy, and very breathable.
Mixing perlite into your medium will certainly work well. Perlite is an inert volcanic rock which provides the pockets of air cannabis roots need to help grow to its full potential.
Instead, rather encourage the roots to grow and stretch to fill your large pot. As stated in rule number 2 “more root = more fruit” so small roots will equal a small plant. let the soil dry a little between waterings. I found waiting until just before the leaves started to droop.
Overwatering also can lead to drowning your cannabis plant or even bring on root-rot. As stated in the above point, the roots need oxygen.
Remember that smaller pots need watering more often than large pots as they dry out faster.
Reference: Bill Griffin, Author of Easy Organic Weed