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autoflower week by week

Learn How To Grow Autoflowers: Week-By-Week Guide

Autoflowering strains provide fantastic results in little time, often surging from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks. Both beginner and advanced growers will have a fun and easy time raising these varieties.

Learn to grow autoflowering cannabis.

  • 1. How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
  • 2. Light schedule for autoflowering strains
  • 3. A note on pH
  • 4. Autoflowering grow guide: How to grow autoflowers week by week
  • 5. Which autoflower to choose?
  • 1. How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
  • 2. Light schedule for autoflowering strains
  • 3. A note on pH
  • 4. Autoflowering grow guide: How to grow autoflowers week by week
  • 5. Which autoflower to choose?

Autoflowering cannabis plants are hardy, fast, and easy to cultivate in confined spaces. What’s not to love? Learn how to grow them week by week below.

HOW LONG DO AUTOFLOWERS TAKE FROM SEED TO HARVEST?

Autoflowering strains typically move from seed to harvest in 8–10 weeks. However, some varieties can take up to 12 weeks to fully mature. Strains such as Bubble Kush Automatic and Quick One fall towards the faster end of the spectrum, whereas varieties like Royal Creamatic and Royal Haze Automatic take a few more weeks to ready their buds for harvest.

Many growers elect to cultivate autoflowers because of their speedy growing rate. Their hardy genetics and forgiving nature also make them easier to grow and therefore more beginner-friendly.

Their impressive resistance to pathogens and pests allows them to withstand the challenges of outdoor growing.

However, their yields aren’t as spectacular as those obtained from photoperiod giants, but, the trade-off for brevity makes the decision worthwhile for most growers.

LIGHT SCHEDULE FOR AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS

As the name suggests, autoflowering strains don’t require a change in the light cycle to enter the flowering stage. Many growers choose to keep their autoflowers on a light schedule of 18 hours on and 6 hours off during the entire growing cycle. Other cultivators choose to keep their lights on around the clock in hopes of maximising photosynthesis and growth rate, however, this can get quite expensive.

Because of this unique trait, outdoor growers can achieve multiple harvests during a single growing season. By germinating seeds week after week in early spring, you can theoretically rake in your first harvest after

8 weeks, with subsequent weekly harvests when growing fast strains.

A NOTE ON PH

The pH value of your soil will determine how well your plants can access the nutrients within. If the pH becomes too high (alkaline) or too low (acidic), nutrient lockout will occur and deficiencies will set in. Cannabis plants thrive in a soil pH of between 6.0 and 6.5. Use a pH tester to track pH throughout your grow.

AUTOFLOWERING GROW GUIDE: HOW TO GROW AUTOFLOWERS WEEK BY WEEK

Follow the fail-safe week-by-week grow guide below for a quick and easy route to harvest time. We cover all of the parameters and variables you need to consider—at the correct times—to ensure your plants remain healthy, vigorous, and productive.

(Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4) (Week 5)
(Week 6) (Week 7) (Week 8) (Week 9) (Week 10)

WEEK 1: GERMINATION AND EARLY SEEDLING STAGE

Germination usually takes 1–3 days. During this time, your seeds will activate and send a root down into the soil and a shoot above the surface. To begin the germination process, you’ll need to prepare a suitable soil mix. Autoflowers don’t need as much nutrients as photoperiod varieties and prefer light and airy soil.

You can make your own potting mix using the following formula:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts compost
  • 2 parts perlite, moistened
  • 1 part vermiculture, moistened

After you’ve prepared the mix, add some Easy Boost Organic Nutrition to the blend. These pellets will slowly release adequate levels of nutrition into the soil, providing foundational elements and minerals for the entire growing cycle. Add some mycorrhiza to the soil to help your plants flourish later down the line. These symbiotic fungi will bind to the root system and help your plants uptake nutrients more effectively.

Next, poke a 10–15mm hole into a pot with your soil mix. Sow your seed directly into its final pot to avoid the stress of repotting later down the line. Transplanting causes plants to go into shock, and autoflowers grow so fast that they’ll struggle to recover. Place a seed in the hole and cover lightly with soil. You’ll see your seedling emerge in the next few days.

Environmental factors play a key role in optimal germination. Aim for the following to boost your success rate:

  • 70–90% relative humidity (RH)
  • 22–25°C air temperature

WEEK 2: LATE SEEDLING STAGE

Your seedling has now emerged and the process of photosynthesis has started. A 250W LED light will provide enough power to fuel an indoor grow. Using this setup, you’ll be able to grow one large plant per square metre. However, if you use low-stress training, you’ll be able to cultivate four plants under a light of this power.

LEDs are energy-efficient, produce less heat, and allow users to switch between light spectrums. Switch your light to the blue setting during the vegetative phase and set the timer to meet your chosen light schedule.

Now you should start applying nutritional formulas specifically designed for the seedling and vegetative phases. Easy Grow Booster Tablets provide everything plants need to optimise vegetative growth, and complement Easy Boost Organic Nutrition perfectly. Because autos don’t need as many nutrients as photoperiods, you’ll only need to use ¼–½ of the normal dose. Simply add half a tablet into 3–5 litres of water and administer the solution twice per week.

WEEK 3: VEGETATION WELL UNDERWAY

Week 3 will consist of low-stress training and maintaining optimal conditions. At this point, your autoflower will be well into the vegetative phase. You’ll notice new fan leaves forming, which will ramp up photosynthesis. Aim for the following environmental factors during week 3:

  • 50% RH
  • 20°C air temperature
  • 2x feed with Easy Grow (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

Your plant will be around 15cm in height at this point. Reposition your light so it hangs around 1m from the tip of the canopy. This will allow for optimal photosynthesis without risking light stress. Your plant will be thirsty enough to drink around 0.5l of water each day. However, only water once the top layer of soil has dried out.

When growing indoors, apply low-stress training during week 3 to boost productivity during the flowering stage. Simply tie a piece of soft garden wire halfway up the main stem, then gently bend the stem parallel to the ground and secure it in position by attaching the other end of the wire to the rim of the pot. This will flatten the canopy and expose more bud sites to the light source.

WEEK 4: LATE VEGETATIVE PHASE

During week 4, your plant will be nearing the beginning of the flowering stage. This week will consist of making some minor training adjustments and gearing up for flowering. Aim for the following environmental conditions for optimal growth:

  • 45% RH
  • 20°C air temperature
  • Light 70cm from the canopy
  • 0.5l water per 24 hours
  • 2x feed with Easy Grow (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

You may start to notice some pre-flowers forming at the nodes on your plant. With the flowering phase right around the corner, you’ll need to finish off any training to avoid stressing your plant during bloom. Use garden ties to pin down any additional growth to flatten out the canopy and keep all future bud sites at the same level.

WEEK 5: FLOWERING BEGINS

Flowering has begun! During week 5, you’ll start to see small sacs topped with hairs emerging at the nodes. These will gradually turn into sticky and resinous buds. This week, you’ll want to continue dialling in environmental conditions and adjusting the lighting. Your plant will be roughly 30cm tall at this point. Aim for the following parameters if you’re growing indoors:

  • 45% RH
  • 23°C air temperature
  • Light 65cm from the canopy
  • 1l of water per 24 hours
  • 2x feed with Easy Bloom (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

Change the settings of your LED light from blue to red. This spectrum of light encourages the budding process and helps plants stretch and expand during the early flowering stage.

Your plants will require amendments to their nutrition during the flowering phase. Higher demands for phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and less need for nitrogen, calls for Easy Bloom Booster Tablets. Simply dissolve ½ a tablet into 3–5 litres of water and administer the mix when watering your plants.

WEEK 6: THINGS START TO SMELL

Flowers will be proliferating at each bud site now. You’ll notice your training start to pay off as the even canopy develops a consistent spread of evenly sized buds. During week 6, drop the humidity slightly to minimise the risk of mould. Aim for these parameters:

  • 40% RH
  • 24°C air temperature
  • Light 45cm from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours
  • 3x feed with Easy Bloom (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

Keep an eye out for any odd banana-like structures protruding from buds. This signals that your plant is hermaphroditic and attempting to pollinate itself. Remove these from the grow space to stop them from pollinating nearby plants. Thankfully, hermaphrodites are rare, but they are still worth looking out for.

WEEK 7: ROUTINE CHECKS ARE KEY

The goal of week seven: maintenance. Focus your time and energy on keeping the grow room in balance. Be especially cautious of letting humidity get too high, as this can cause mould issues. Conduct routine checks with a magnifying glass to search for pests like thrips and spider mites. Continue to check leaves for signs of nutrient deficiency (which would likely be due to pH issues). Aim to maintain the following conditions:

  • 40% RH
  • 24°C air temperature
  • Light 45cm from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours
  • 3x feed with Easy Bloom (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

WEEK 8: FLUSH AND DEFOLIATE

Your buds will be looking thick and resinous at this point. Most autoflowers will be ready to harvest soon. If your plant appears to be lagging, don’t worry! Simply treat it as though it is still in week 7 and proceed after the buds have gained more size.

Environmental conditions for week 8:

  • 40% RH
  • 25°C air temperature
  • Light 45cm from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours

At the start of week 8, you’ll want to start flushing your plant. First of all, stop feeding your plants Easy Bloom at this stage. Next, simply flood the soil with as much water as it can hold and wait for it to empty. Repeat this process several times over the next two weeks. Flushing removes excess nutrients and gives your buds a smooth taste.

Now, reach for your trimmers and start defoliating. This method works really well alongside low-stress training to further enhance yields. Cut away the small fan leaves from the lower nodes and the shabbier fan leaves near the top of the canopy. This will help increase light exposure and further reduce the risk of mould.

WEEK 9: THE FINISH LINE APPROACHES

You’re almost there! Your hard work and dedication will pay off soon in the form of juicy, resinous buds. However, there are still a couple of jobs to tend to before this epic moment. You must strive to keep these environmental factors in balance to avoid any final infestations or other issues:

  • 40% RH
  • 25°C air temperature
  • Light 45cm from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours

You’ll also notice the fan leaves start to become discoloured and even drop off. Don’t be alarmed! This means that you’ve successfully flushed your plants and you’re one step away from harvest time.

WEEK 10: HARVEST!

Ready to reap the fruits of your labour? Many autoflowers will be ready to harvest during week 10! You will know your buds are ready to be snipped when the majority of trichomes are milky in colour and the pistils have taken on a reddish/brown hue.

If you notice that some of your buds are ripe and others aren’t, try a progressive harvest. You’ll most likely notice the buds closer to the top of the canopy finish first. Even if you trained your plant, some buds will naturally sit closer to the light than others.

Also, don’t worry if your plant seems behind or ahead at this point in the timeline. Some autos grow faster than others. Slower-growing strains such as Amnesia Haze Automatic might need a bit more time to mature, whereas others might already be finished.

After harvesting your buds, start the drying and curing process to ensure a tasty, top-shelf stash.

WHICH AUTOFLOWER TO CHOOSE?

With so many choices out there, things can get confusing. Check out our 10 best autoflowers in each strain category below to make this decision much easier!

Autoflowering cannabis strains grow fast, remain compact, and offer great results. Use this guide to learn how to cultivate them week by week!

How to grow autoflower seeds

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Contents

  1. What are autoflowers?
  2. How long does it take to grow autoflower?
  3. Pros and cons of growing autoflowers
  4. How much do autoflower plants yield?
  5. Do autoflowers need nutrients?
  6. How to grow autoflowering plants

Cannabis seeds seem to be available in limitless options and it can be confusing when you have to choose. Should you go with feminized seeds? What about autoflower seeds?

Growing autoflowers can significantly speed up harvest time while delivering an ample yield of marijuana. Here are some autoflower pros and cons along with some growing tips to help you decide if this type of seed is right for your cannabis garden.

Planting autoflower seeds can significantly speed up harvest time while delivering an ample yield of marijuana. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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What are autoflowers?

As the name implies, autoflowers automatically shift to the flowering period without intervention. Whereas the flowering of photoperiod plants is dependent on cycles of light and dark, autoflowers zip through this growth stage according to their age. Autoflowering cannabis seeds may mature in as little as seven or eight weeks from seed to harvest depending on the strain .

There are a staggering 200+ autoflowering strains on the market for you to peruse. Some popular strains include Cream Caramel Auto, Afghan Kush Ryder, and Autoflowering Blueberry.

How long does it take to grow autoflower?

The timing of autoflowering plants depends on their size and classification. On one end of the spectrum, there are dwarf varieties, which are short in stature and are often ready to harvest within 10 weeks. In contrast, there are super autos, which grow taller (more than 6 feet high in some cases) and may not mature for more than 100 days. But in all cases, the time frame for growing autoflowering cannabis is shorter than for photoperiod strains and represents one of the seeds’ most desirable distinctions.

Pros and cons of growing autoflowers

Autoflowering cannabis offers an array of benefits, including the highest possible yield in the shortest conceivable time.

Here are four of the top reasons to grow autoflowering cannabis:

  • Fast: The transition between the vegetative growth phase and the flowering stage can happen in as few as seven weeks.
  • Simple: One autoflowering plant can produce hundreds of seeds, simplifying the germination process and eliminating the need to purchase more seeds.
  • Flexible: Autoflowering seeds flourish in a variety of climates and environments. Even cities make hospitable environments for autoflowering cannabis seeds because artificial lighting doesn’t negatively affect them.
  • Prolific: Growing autoflowering plants outdoors can mean multiple harvests in one season, giving you plentiful weed to enjoy now or perhaps dry, cure, and store for future use.

The disadvantages of growing autoflowering cannabis are more debatable, with some people claiming the harvest is lower quality. Others are concerned with the quality of the seeds before harvest and the possibility of purchasing those that do not in fact autoflower. Finally, some dwarf strains may produce disappointing yields, sometimes as little as half an ounce per plant.

How much do autoflower plants yield?

Just as harvest timing depends on the size and classification of autoflower plants, so does the amount of cannabis they yield. Regular plants tend to yield between 10 and 50 grams per plant, while the next level up, the super auto, can produce yields between 100 and 200 grams per plant. The abundant yield of a super autoflower can be a double-edged sword if you are working within the confines of a small space. So, use small spaces for regular autos whose yields are more manageable, and reserve larger spaces for those impressive super autos.

Do autoflowers need nutrients?

Like any other living plant, autoflowers do require nutrients, but administering them is a delicate balance. Going overboard on fertilizer can have adverse effects on cannabis seeds, just as feeding the wrong kind of nutrients can. Be sure to choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for autoflowering strains and then micro-dose rather than pouring on liberally. Lightly fertilized soil is optimal for autoflowering seeds and as long as you’re nourishing the plants with supplements such as vitamin B, enzymes, and fungi.

In addition, autoflowers need at least 15 to 18 hours of sunlight or LED light each day to thrive.

How to grow autoflowering plants

Now that you know the basics of autoflowers, let’s explore each step in the growing process. The following guide covers a typical 10-week growth cycle and highlights milestones for each week.

Week 1

Germination: This initial stage occurs within three days, sometimes as soon as 24 hours. Choose a light potting soil mix or blend your own with peat moss, compost, moistened perlite, and moistened vermiculture, along with nitrogen-rich tablets containing other essential nutrients — plus a dose of good fungi. The ideal planting environment for your cannabis seeds has 70 percent to 90 percent humidity and is 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour the soil into pots and poke 15-millimeter holes in the soil. Plant a seed in each hole, cover with soil, and watch for a seedling to emerge in the next several days.

Plant a seed in each hole, cover with soil, and watch for a seedling to emerge in the next several days. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Week 2

Photosynthesis: Add more nutrients to your late-stage seedlings. Since you are growing autoflowers and not regular seeds, use only half the usual dose indicated on the package.

Week 3

Vegetation: Change up the environmental conditions with low-stress training. Reduce the humidity to 50 percent, lower the temperature to 68 degrees, and feed twice per week.

The plants should be about six inches tall at this point.

During the vegetation stage, the plants should be about six inches tall at this point. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Week 4

Late Vegetation: In this second vegetative phase, drop the humidity to 45 percent and keep the temperature stable at around 68 degrees. Water with half a liter every day and keep feeding twice weekly.

You may see some tiny pre-flowers crop up at this time.

Week 5

Flowering: Sticky, resinous buds will make their first appearance during week five, giving you a preview of the bounty to come. Keep the humidity consistent at 45 percent but increase the temperature to about 71 degrees. Increase the water to a full liter each day and add supplement tablets twice a week. Look for those containing phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

The plants should be at least a foot tall now.

During the flowering stage, sticky, resinous buds will make their first appearance during week five. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Week 6

Late Flowering: Don’t be surprised to see a flower forming in every bud after two weeks into the flowering stage. Drop the humidity to 40 percent and reduce the temperature back to 68 degrees. Water with 1.5 liters and feed the plants three times a week.

After this week, you’re in the home stretch of raising autoflowering plants to maturity.

Week 7

Maintenance: It’s crucial to stop harmful intruders such as mold and spider mites, so check your cannabis plants daily and keep the humidity low at 40 percent. Maintain the watering and feeding schedule established in week six.

Your patience and care will pay off soon — harvest time is in the near future.

Weeks 8 and 9

Defoliation: Stop feeding the plants. Instead, flush them with a flood of water and then defoliate with a pair of shears . Defoliation helps the plants absorb more light while limiting the risk of damaging mold.

At the end of this two-week period, the eagerly anticipated harvest time will begin.

Week 10

Harvest: Milky white trichomes and red-brown pistils on the buds indicate they are ready for harvest. Drying and curing comes next, then you can finally sit back and enjoy the sweet fruits of your labor.

Milky white trichomes and red-brown pistils on the buds indicate they are ready for harvest. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How to grow autoflower seeds Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What are autoflowers? How long does it take to grow autoflower? Pros and