What is an Autoflower?
An autoflower is very much what its name implies, a cannabis strain that flowers automatically after a period of time has passed. Autoflower strains do not require a change in the light cycle to prompt flowering and do not require external prompts to produce resinous buds. The autoflower cannabis flowers on its own after two to four weeks of growing. This is different from photoperiod cannabis, which does require a light cycle shift to flower.
An autoflower also does not need much time to grow, with some types ready for harvest after eight weeks from sprouting. They are also compact, making them a good fit for indoor growth.
How Are Autoflowering Cannabis Strains Created?
Growers create autoflowering strains by crossbreeding indica or sativa plants with ruderalis, a subtype of cannabis found in the wild that grows in areas where the summers are short but there are many hours of sunlight. The ruderalis cannabis does not require sunlight to grow, which makes it appealing to crossbreed with indica or sativa cannabis to make them autoflowering.
The traditional feminized, or photoperiod, cannabis plant flowers based on the light it receives. Growers must adjust their grow light schedules when cultivating plants indoors to assist their flowering. But this is not necessary with autoflowering strains, which flower based on age.
What Are the Characteristics of Cannabis Autoflower?
Cannabis autoflower has come a long way since it emerged in the early 2000s. Today, autoflowers have potency, yield and aroma characteristics that are similar to the feminized photoperiod strains.They also have earned a reputation among growers for being sturdy and stable plants.
Autoflower cannabis has the following characteristics:
- Plants flower automatically in two to four weeks
- Harvest occurs about 10 weeks on average after planting
- The seeds are feminized, so growers do not need male plants
- Several crops each season can be harvested
- Considered strong and resilient strains that are ideal for indoor growing
Why Are Autoflowers Important for Cannabis Growers?
Growers like cannabis autoflower because they do not have to worry about changing their grow light schedule to start and keep the flowering phase when cultivating indoors. This makes the cultivation process easier than working with feminized photoperiod cannabis.
The cannabis autoflower is convenient and easy and it produces a quick harvest with good yields. Because of the compact size of cannabis autoflower, they are considered among the most ideal plants to grow in smaller, indoor areas, such as micro-grows or growing for personal use with a plant on an outdoor terrace or balcony.
The convenience of cannabis autoflower makes it a great option for those cannabis cultivators who are just starting and who do not have a lot of experience. The cannabis autoflower also appeals to more experienced growers because of its special traits for growing.
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