The speed of autoflowers appeals to growers with a penchant for near-instant results. Waiting for a crop to ripen can be teasing at best and excruciating at worst. If you tend to fall on the impatient side, autoflowering strains are the way to go.
Autoflower cannabis varieties are queens of speed. This trait is another result of their adaptive prowess. Most autoflowering strains complete the entire growing cycle in the same amount of time that photoperiod strains take to finish flowering alone—around 7–10 weeks. Their speedy life cycle results from a brief vegetative phase and a fast flowering stage.
Autoflower strains have a long list of advantages over photoperiod varieties. Their short life cycle attracts growers seeking prompt gratification, and their hardy nature makes them suitable for beginner cultivators and veterans alike.
FASTER LIFE CYCLE
The very name “ruderalis” stems from the Latin word “rudus”, meaning rubble. The subspecies appears in urban settings thriving in broken ground, close to demolished buildings, and in roadside ditches.
Regardless of the schedule, the lighting demands of autoflower strains are easier to meet than those of their photoperiod counterparts.
Here are a few of the fastest autoflowers around:
For this reason, ruderalis abandoned the strategy of waiting for the seasons to change to trigger flowering. Instead, the subspecies developed an autoflower gene to ensure reproduction before the temperature plummets.
Indoors: No need to switch your lights to a flowering schedule like with photoperiod cannabis. You can keep your autoflowers on an 18/6 (18 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness) or 24/0 light schedule from seed to harvest.
Autoflowers also need much less time to grow. Some varieties are ready to harvest in a short 8 weeks after sprouting. Plus, autoflowers are compact, which makes them great for indoor growing. Because they are so convenient, autoflowers are (not just) ideal for beginners to cannabis cultivation. More experienced growers can also take advantage of the unique growing traits of autoflowering cannabis.
With autoflowers being smaller and having a smaller root system, they will also drink less than large feminized photoperiod plants. Don’t overwater, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Cheese (Royal Cheese Auto, Blue Cheese Auto, Fast Eddy)
It depends on the strain. But in general, autoflowers will be ready much quicker than feminized photoperiod cannabis. The average life cycle of autoflowers is about 10 weeks, with some strains ready as soon as 8 weeks after germination.
But autoflowers have come a long way since then. Modern autoflowers rival feminized photoperiod strains (and some even surpass them) in terms of potency, yield, and aroma. Yet, they still provide the same great benefits as mentioned above, along with having a reputation for being particularly stable and sturdy.
Renowned for their sweet berry notes is the famous “Blue” family of cannabis. Originally from the US West Coast, Blueberry has been infused into two popular RQS offerings: Haze Berry Auto combines Haze Berry and Blueberry Auto, while Bluematic is the automatic variant of the original Blueberry.
No list of good cannabis would be complete without the legendary Skunk family. Royal Dwarf blends ruderalis with Skunk, while Sweet Skunk Automatic adds autoflowering magic to Early Skunk and Critical. Spicy and skunky flavours galore!
Extra Growing Tips for Autos
Things have come a long way since the original low-potency “Lowryder” auto plants!
Which breeders can I trust for good auto-flowering seeds?
Note: The auto-flowering internal clock is why it’s recommended to never take clones from auto-flowering strains – clones will be on the same time clock as their mother. Learn more about why it’s not recommended to take clones from auto-flowering plants.
Do autos need a special light schedule to start making buds?