What is auto-flowering cannabis?

In the world of cannabis cultivation, auto-flowering or automatic seeds have revolutionized the way many growers approach their projects. These unique and versatile genetics have gained popularity for their ability to flower automatically instead of depending on the traditional light cycle, in addition to having undergone a genetic improvement process that has led them to offer the great results of today.

In this article, we will tell you where auto-flowering cannabis comes from, from its origin and distinctive characteristics to the benefits and challenges of growing this type of strain. We offer you a complete guide that will help you better understand how to make the most of these fast-growing, high-quality plants. Get ready to discover the secrets of automatic seeds and take your cultivation to the next level!

 Automatic plants like this Gorilla PunchAuto from Philosopher Seeds are of a much higher quality than the first autos that were marketed
Automatic plants like this Gorilla PunchAuto from Philosopher Seeds are of a much higher quality than the first autos that were marketed

Where do automatic seeds come from?

Autoflowering cannabis strains originate from regions with extreme climates and short growing seasons, such as Siberia, central Russia, and northern European countries. Ruderalis genetics, one of the three main subspecies of cannabis along with Indica and Sativa, are the progenitors of modern auto-flowering strains.

This type of cannabis is known for its ability to flower automatically instead of depending on the light cycle, regardless of the hours of light or darkness received, an evolutionary adaptation to survive in the difficult climatic conditions of its areas of origin. Through selective crossing with indica and sativa strains, breeders have developed auto-flowering strains that combine the unique characteristics of ruderalis with the desirable traits of other subspecies, such as high cannabinoid content and distinctive aromas and flavors.

Over the years, and thanks to using the latest generation auto-flowering hybrids instead of Ruderalis varieties to create new auto genetics, breeders have been improving these types of varieties to reach levels unimaginable just a couple of decades ago, when these burst onto the market with force. The improvement in both cannabinoid content and terpene profiles of the plants has been spectacular!

 A photo with history: the first auto varieties barely grew and produced very few cannabinoids and terpenes
A photo with history: the first auto varieties barely grew and produced very few cannabinoids and terpenes

The first auto-flowering variety was Lowryder, created from cannabis sativa indica x cannabis sativa rudelaris genetics by the marijuana seed bank The Joint Doctor, today known as Doctor's Choice. Later, other genetics of this type appeared such as White Dwarf by Buddha Seeds, Road Runner by Dinafem, Auto Stoned by Autofem, Speed Devil by Sweet Seeds, Maxi Gom by Grassomatic, or Flash and Gnomo by Kannabia.

Characteristics of auto-flowering cannabis

Autoflowering strains are distinguished by several unique characteristics that make them very popular among certain types of growers. These features include:

  • Fast life cycle: Autoflowering strains have a shorter life cycle compared to photoperiod strains (indica and sativa). Typically, from germination to harvest, they can take 8 to 10 weeks, allowing for multiple harvests in a single year.
  • Automatic flowering: Autoflowering plants automatically begin flowering after a pre-established vegetative growth period, usually around 3 to 4 weeks from germination. They do not depend on changes in the light cycle to initiate flowering, making them ideal for growers with limited space or unpredictable weather conditions. Of course, they are a blessing for growers whose balconies or gardens have too much light pollution for the proper flowering of photoperiod varieties.
  • Compact size: Autoflowering plants tend to be smaller compared to photoperiod strains, making them ideal for growing in small spaces such as balconies, closets, or terraces. This also makes them less conspicuous and easier to hide for those who wish to keep their cultivation discreet.
  • Adaptability: Due to their origin in extreme climates and their resistance to adverse environmental conditions, auto-flowering varieties tend to be more resistant to diseases, pests, and climatic variations. This makes them ideal for beginner growers or those facing environmental challenges in their growing area.
  • Light Flexibility: Although auto-flowering plants can thrive on a light cycle of 18-20 hours of light per day throughout their life cycle, they can also tolerate shorter light cycles if necessary. This provides growers with more flexibility in terms of light scheduling and energy consumption, especially during the final weeks of flowering.


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Growing auto-flowering cannabis

Although their needs are basically the same as those of regular and feminized photoperiod seedsgrowing automatic seeds involves taking into account a series of aspects that will allow you to get the most out of your growing space. Here are some tips that will help you grow this type of seed without setbacks:

  • Photoperiod: As we have already told you, plants will autoflower independently of the hours of light and darkness received. Still, keep in mind that the more hours of light they receive, the more they will grow in size during growth and the more they will produce once in flower. Outdoors, locations with maximum solar exposure will be sought, while indoors they are usually grown with a photoperiod of 20/4.
  • Pot size: In most cases with automatic varieties, it is recommended to sow the germinated seed directly in the final pot, avoiding transplants. As with photodependent plants, the larger the pot the more the plant will grow and the more it will produce in final weight. However, as they are plants with a short growth period, there is no need to exaggerate the pot size. For indoors we recommend a maximum of between 11 and 15 liters per plant, while for outdoors you can use pots of about 30-40l, although as always the ideal would be plants directly in the ground.
  • Beginning of flowering: Auto plants begin flowering as soon as they have reached maturity, which usually happens about 3-4 weeks after being born. Logically, this period can vary depending on the genetic predominance of the plant, as we will see in more detail below. You will be able to observe the first signs of the beginning of flowering when you see that the nodes of the plants lose their symmetry and the first pistils begin to form on them. The flowering of this type of plants usually lasts between 6 and 8 weeks.
  • Nutrition: To achieve the best results, it is best to use microbial life to maximize the root growth of plants before reaching maturity, which will result in much more efficient nutrition. Use a nitrogen-rich growth fertilizer until you see the first clusters of pistils forming, at which point you can switch to flowering fertilizer, with much more potassium and phosphorus.
  • Type of genetics: Choosing the type of auto genetics is vital if what you want is to achieve the maximum possible performance. Indica-dominant auto varieties are delicious and provide a pleasant relaxing effect, although due to their natural size and having their growth period restricted to a few weeks, they are not usually the most productive as they remain relatively small in size, something that for Depending on the growers, it can be a great advantage. If you have space and want maximum performance, it is best to opt for sativa-dominant auto varieties or the so-called "Auto XXL", known precisely for reaching a considerable size and, therefore, ending up yielding more. Tropicanna Auto XXL or BCN Critical XXL Autoflower are excellent examples.

5 Auto strains that you must grow

It is the prefect time to start growing autoflowering strains and obtain your reward right before summer...In this article you'll find some of the most interesting auto genetics at this moment so you can plan your next grows.

When to germinate auto-flowering cannabis seeds?

Obviously, indoors it does not matter when you germinate your automatic seeds as they will always have the same conditions, although outdoors you must take into account the climate and the daily hours of light to achieve the best results. If you are going to harvest only one crop per year, it is best to sow a few weeks before the start of summer, at the beginning of June in the Northern Hemisphere, and at the beginning of October in the Southern Hemisphere.

On the other hand, if you want to get the most out of your growing space throughout the year, you can sow in mid-spring and do it again when you cut your first harvest, at the beginning of summer...you can even try a third harvest if The area where you live enjoys an autumn with good weather.

Happy harvest!

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.

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This is the official blog of Alchimia Grow Shop. This blog is intended exclusively for the use of adults over the age of 18 years.

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