FastBuds seedbank #1 with 9695 diaries and a rating of Growdiaries 8.8/10 on GrowDiaries
Growdiaries 8.8/10 with 9695 diaries on GrowDiaries

Are Autoflowers Worth it?

If you're confused about autoflowers, here are a few reasons that tell you why they are worth it.
10 June 2022
9 min read
Are Autoflowers Worth it?

Contents:
  • 1. Pros of autoflowers
  • 1. a. Helps in stealth grows
  • 1. b. Grows fast
  • 1. c. Harvest perpetually
  • 1. d. No need to change photoperiod
  • 1. e. Allows you to use maximum space
  • 2. Disadvantages of autoflowers
  • 2. a. Yield
  • 2. b. Cloning doesn’t work
  • 3. In conclusion

Many people grow cannabis because they are passionate about it, but there comes a time when you have to consider whether it’s worth all the effort. Autoflowers have become famous over the years, but some wonder if autoflowers are worth it. If you’re one of those, this article will help you understand the advantages of autoflowers

If you’re absolutely unaware of autoflowers, just know that it’s a species of cannabis that doesn’t rely on seasons to grow and flower. They flower automatically once they grow for a specific period of time. Meaning they flower based on the age of the plant, rather than waiting for seasonal changes. Hence the name “Auto”. They are fast, and yield good amounts of cannabis – something you need to consider even if you’re a commercial grower.

But, first off, before deciding if something is worth the effort, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages. This will help you figure things out and make a decision. Note that this comparison is between photoperiod or regular cannabis plants and autoflowers. Thus, if you’re already growing traditional cannabis varieties now, this comparison will help you understand if you can start growing autos as well.

1. Pros of autoflowers

Helps in stealth grows

Autos are small and compact. Not all of them, but some of them are truly small. For instance, you can easily grow a strain like Mimosa Cake Auto in your closet if you train it well. Most autos grow up to 4-5 feet, which is pretty manageable in small grow rooms. If you grow them outside, however, they grow a lot more. But, they are still small compared to other types of cannabis plants, which make them perfect for those looking to grow stealthily.

It won’t come as a surprise to hear that cannabis remains prohibited in many countries around the world. Although some nations have spearheaded legalization and have implemented relaxed cultivation laws, others remain far behind. Smaller autoflowering cultivars are attractive to growers in these areas because they help them to keep their horticultural hobby concealed—both indoors and outdoors. 


Indoor cultivation offers more secrecy in general. Growers can take genetically small autoflowering varieties and cultivate them in small grow tents or equipped cupboards. In the interest of stealth, some growers even go to the extremes of raising autos in converted buckets and computer towers equipped with lights and fans to minimize the chances of getting caught green-handed. 

While indoor growing helps to contain smells, many outdoor cultivators are taking advantage of guerrilla growing—the strategy of growing weed in outdoor spaces such as forest edges and meadows. Autoflowering varieties are perfect for this approach. Their small stature helps them blend in with the undergrowth and evade exploring eyes and their hardy genetics enable them to endure the elements. This quality also makes them ideal for growers with sizable gardens. Sure, they’ll still smell quite obvious, but they blend in perfectly with other plants in a polyculture. Plus, grow them alongside other aromatic species such as basil and tomatoes and you’ll cover the smell of their terpenes to a degree.

Mimosa Cake Auto
4 out of 5
When I grow autoflowers I prefer to harvest them after about 70 days but this one took 12 weeks. Otherwise I enjoyed growing it.
Kucinskas.
Verified customer
Reviewed 31 July
 

This is because Autoflowers are of the Ruderalis species that’s pretty small compared to Sativa and Indica species. Genetically, they aren’t as big. However, breeders have been able to pollinate Ruderalis with Sativa and Indica species to produce the autos we see today. The result is that although the plants are smaller, they perform pretty well.

Breeders have achieved this because all varieties of cannabis fall under the same umbrella of Cannabis sativa L. Although they possess morphological differences in terms of height and leaf shape, they all stem from the same genetic origins, which makes it possible to interbreed them. Ultimately, there are all subspecies of the exact same plant. 

Grows fast

Autoflowers are as rapid as you can expect. Most autos complete their entire cycle including vegetative and flowering stage in a matter of 10-11 weeks. It simply cannot get faster than this.

 

Are autoflowers worth it? grow fast

Autoflowers can grow from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks!
 

Many growers love growing cannabis plants, but not many have the patience to wait for plants that take about 5 months or 20 weeks to harvest buds. If you’re one of those growers, autos are tailored for you.

But why do autoflowering cannabis plants display such superior speed compared to their photoperiod counterparts? Well, it all boils down to natural selection and genetic mutations. Cannabis originally emerged in Central Asia before natural dispersion sent it across the planet. Some populations ended up in northern regions such as Siberia. Here, the short growing season made it hard for plants to reproduce and set seed before the first frosts. Naturally, those with longer growing times were eliminated from the gene pool and those with quick growing cycles flourished.

Eventually, these populations developed the trait of flowering based on age instead of seasonal light cues. Instead of waiting for the shorter days of autumn to begin flowering, the original autos began flowering according to an internal genetic clock that enabled these populations to adapt to harsh conditions. They also developed different morphological features that led to botanists grouping them into the subspecies Cannabis ruderalis. Eventually, breeders crossed these varieties with photoperiod cultivars that have the combined traits of rapid growth and attractive yields and cannabinoid profiles. 

Harvest perpetually

The biggest disadvantage of growing regular cannabis cultivars is that you can only expect to harvest twice a year. Even with a lot of planning and execution, you cannot harvest more than twice because they depend completely on the photoperiod to grow and flower. Of course, you can change lights if you’re growing indoors but you can only collect your bounty about twice every year.

However, autos don’t have that disadvantage. Since they can be harvested in a mere 11-12 weeks or 3 months, one of the great advantages of autoflowers is that you can harvest perpetually. Another fact is that you can’t include other plants in your grow space if you’re growing regular cannabis plants. Why? Well, it’s because once the plants reach their flowering stage, other smaller plants that are still in their vegetative stage cannot be placed in the same space under the same lights.

But, there’s no such restriction with autoflowers. You can place all plants no matter what age they are in the same grow room and reap maximum benefits. This also gives you a chance to harvest as many buds as possible without having to think about lighting, plant growth cycle, etc.

No need to change photoperiod

This one is amongst the biggest advantages of autoflowers. Photoperiod plants require a lot of maintenance. They grow in the vegetative stage for an indefinite period as long as they receive at least 18 hours of sunlight. However, as soon as you switch the light cycle and they receive only about 12 hours, they begin to flower.

 

Are autoflowers worth it? light cycle

Autoflowers grow from seed to harvest under any light cycle.
 

If you’re growing outdoors, you need to plant seeds and plan everything according to seasonal changes. But, if it’s indoors, you need to change the lighting. If you somehow fail in doing that, the plants don’t grow properly. Even if there’s a light leak, you’ll face the same issues.

However, autos grow according to their age. As soon as the plant reaches a particular age, the plants begin to flower. And, there’s no need to interfere because they do fine on their own. Whether you provide 24 or 12 hours of light, the plants will perform the same. Of course, they grow more if there’s more light, but there won’t be a difference in their life cycle. You can grow autos under:

  • 12/12
  • 18/6
  • 20/4

But obviously, the more you give, the more you get so it’s not recommended to grow under 12/12 unless needed.

Wedding Glue Auto
5 out of 5
Easy grow and she wants to live calmag poisoned her and two others I was on to it quick she is super sticky starting week 9 time of photo
Desaulniers.
Verified customer
Reviewed 18 April

Allows you to use maximum space

Since autos are compact, you can cram several plants in one room. Don’t overdo it, though. If you plan properly, you’ll be able to use all the space you have to its maximum capacity. This also improves the chances of producing greater yields with a much smaller space at the same time.

2. Disadvantages of autoflowers

Yield

Since autoflowers are smaller compared to regular cannabis strains, they don’t produce as much as them. However, the fact is that you can grow two autoflowering strains in the space required to grow one regular photoperiod plant. If you compare the yields, they will end up more or less the same. Thus, you can’t really treat this as a disadvantage. But, if you compare the yield of a single autoflowering plant with that of a photoperiod strain, the yield is slightly less.

Cloning doesn’t work

Commercial growers don’t bother purchasing seeds because they keep cloning the strains they love. They dedicate two grow room setups to do this and place the cloned plants in one room while the mother plants are allowed to continue growing in another grow room. This is possible if you’re a commercial grower. Plus, you need to have space. But, it can be difficult for small-time growers.

 

Are autoflowers worth it? cloning

Even though you can clone autos, clones won't yield much more than 2-3 grams.
 

Coming to cloning autoflowers, it is indeed possible to clone them. However, the fact is that the resulting plants end up as tiny plants and don’t yield much. But, why does this happen? Well, it’s because autos grow and flower based on their age. So, if you clone a mother plant at, say, day 30, and produce small plants, the smaller plants or offspring will also be the same age as the mother plant. Since the offspring don’t have time to grow, they end up looking scrawny. Not that you can’t clone autos – you can, but it’s not worth your time.

Strawberry Banana Auto
5 out of 5
it made me very very relaxed and sleepy with a nice happy vibe i think ill get the perfect sleep medicine once curing is fully over
Fucci.
Verified customer
Reviewed 21 July
 

To overcome this problem, most commercial growers pollinate two different or similar autoflowering strains to produce seeds. By doing this, you can save time and money. Cloning photoperiod plants is indeed a great idea but you will lose time while doing it. Instead, you can quickly grow and harvest autoflowers in the same period of time.

So, are autoflowers really worth it? What do you think? Apart from the disadvantage that cloning doesn’t produce much yields, they are as good and even better than photoperiod strains in many aspects. The most important factor is that you save time while growing autoflowers. And, if you go by the adage “time is money” you’ll definitely find that autoflowers are certainly worth it!

3. In Conclusion

So, are autoflowers really worth it? What do you think? Apart from the disadvantage that cloning doesn’t produce much yields, they are as good and even better than photoperiod strains in many aspects. The most important factor is that you save time while growing autoflowers. And, if you go by the adage “time is money” you’ll definitely find that autoflowers are certainly worth it!

Autoflowers can definitely give you an advantage, especially if you want to grow top-shelf weed faster while using less space, less water, less light, and less nutrients. Autoflowers can save you around 30% time per grow cycle, making it possible to have up to 4 grow cycles per year. But always keep in mind that in order to be able to benefit from all of this you need to start with high-quality and resilient genetics. By using the best auto genetics you will avoid any possible issues and get the following benefits:

 

Advantages of Autoflowering Strains
Seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeksSame yields in less space
Perpetual harvests in 1 single grow tentSave water and nutrients
No need to change the light cycle to trigger floweringAutos can grow perfectly in harsher climates

 

So if you want to grow top-shelf autoflowers make sure to look for reputable seed banks with client reviews that can vouch for the genetics. Fast Buds offers a catalog with more than 50 different autoflowering strains that provide indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse growers what they need to get excellent weed in no time! If you’re a beginner and need help with your first auto grow cycle, feel free to contact our support team and we’ll be more than happy to support and guide you from purchase to harvest.


If you’ve grown autoflowers before, feel free to share your experience with fellow growers by leaving a comment in the comment section below!

10 June 2022