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Can Autoflowers Grow In Winter?

If you live in a location where it's too chilly, can you grow autoflowers? Find out now.
31 March 2021
6 min read
Can Autoflowers Grow In Winter?

  • 1. What is cannabis ruderalis?
  • 2. Can autoflowers grow in winter?
  • 3. Can autoflowers adapt to different climatic conditions?

Cannabis was one of the first crops cultivated by man. It grows well in any climate, but it does struggle in extreme temperatures. If you want to grow cannabis that adjusts itself to varying temperatures, your first choice must be autoflowers. There are many people that want to know if autoflowers can grow in winter. If you’re one of them, this article is just for you.


Sebastian Good tells you everything important about growing Autoflowering Cannabis during the Winter months.


Generally, autos grow in a range from 15 to 25°C and may be able to grow in colder climates depending on the overall conditions, so it's possible to grow autoflowers in winter. Cannabis plants love temperatures in that range, it helps even more if there’s a bit of wind. All plants love fresh air, right?

But, why are autoflowers special? And, how do they manage to adjust to colder temperatures? Well, to understand that, you need to know that cannabis plants can be divided into Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis varieties. The autoflowers we see today were obtained by crossing the Ruderalis species with Indica and Sativa plants.

What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

Ruderalis comes from the word “Ruderal”. Ruderal simply refers to a species that grows in different conditions despite several obstacles. For instance, Ruderalis was famous for growing in environments that was inhabited by man. It used to grow even when there was a lot of disturbances in the area it occupied. It even grew in areas where there was no disturbance regardless of the climatic conditions. 

Many people say that Ruderalis was nothing but an Indica plant that evolved to grow in harsh conditions. It also adjusted itself in such a way that the cold northern regions didn’t seem to deter it. The growing seasons were shorter, but the plants grew despite no encouraging conditions. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Ruderalis actually grew in an environment that would have been tough for most other cannabis plants.


Can autoflowers grow in winter: blackberry auto


Originating in the northern regions, Ruderalis is native to locations such as Eastern and Central Europe. Specifically, it thrived in Russia where chilly temperatures made it almost impossible for other plants to survive. Whether the area was inhabited or simply ignored, Ruderalis kept spreading everywhere. It’s also easy to discern why cannabis is sometimes referred to as “weed”. In other words, it spreads without any inhibitions, and Ruderalis did just that.

Although Ruderalis had captured the imagination of breeders and researchers, it was a scrawny plant. It adjusted to harsh conditions, yes, but it didn’t grow as big as its counterparts. It also produced very little yield. One also couldn’t ignore the fact that it wasn’t as good as other photoperiod plants.

Among the few advantages it had, the best part of Ruderalis was that it didn’t grow according to seasons. Simply put, it wasn’t dependent on the photoperiod like other cannabis plants. Cannabis plants usually grow when there’s a lot of light. This stage is known as the vegetative cycle.

And, as soon as the seasons change and the darkness period increases, the plants start flowering. This stage is known as the reproductive or flowering period. This is true for photoperiod cannabis plants. However, Ruderalis was different. It grew based on a specific time period and flowered automatically regardless of the light and environmental conditions.


Breeders recognized that it was a wonderful species. Imagine how amazing it would be to combine the best traits of Ruderalis and other photoperiod plants? Thus, Ruderalis was crossed with other species and the result is right in front of us today.

Considered as a wild species, Ruderalis didn’t have a lot of things going for it at the beginning. Not only was it short and tiny, the buds weren’t great either. And, since cannabis growers love plants that produce dank buds, Ruderalis wasn’t considered something you could grow. Nobody was going to go through all the trouble of growing plants producing low yields especially when they spent a lot of money on lights and other equipment indoors.

However, after several decades of crossing and pollinating Ruderalis with other species, it was evident that Autoflowers could actually beat photoperiod plants.

Can autoflowers grow in winter?

Generally, summers have longer days while winters have shorter days. In the wild, cannabis plants grow a lot more in the summer compared to winter. Even if you’re in the city and you grow plants outside, you’ll have more success in summers compared to winters. Cannabis plants planted in winters will not fare well because the daylight hours don’t provide enough light for the plants to complete their vegetative cycle. And, this is speaking about photoperiod plants.


Can autoflowers grow in winter: strawberry pie auto


However, as mentioned earlier, autoflowers are different. While photoperiod plants need a minimum of about 16-18 hours to grow in the vegetative stage, autoflowers will grow well even if they receive only 12 hours. Thus, even if the temperatures are about 18°C with only 12 hours of daylight, the plants will still do well.

Despite being able to withstand colder climates, It’s better to provide the best conditions possible to achieve the best plant growth, so if you want to know, the best conditions for autoflowers are:

  • Seedling Stage : 20-25°C and 65-70% Humidity;
  • Vegetative Stage: 22-25°C and 40-70% Humidity;
  • Flowering Stage: 18-22°C and 40-50% Humidity.

Obviously, you won’t be able to maintain these exact conditions outdoors, so this is just a guideline to give you an idea of what you should try to achieve if possible.

Smoothie Auto
5 out of 5
It's such an easy going strain to smoke. Morning, afternoon, evening, I'd smoke it all the time if I could haha
Verified customer
Reviewed 28 September 2020

Can autoflowers adapt to different climatic conditions?

As you know, Ruderalis had and has the capacity to adjust and grow in many different climatic conditions. After it was crossed with Sativa and Indica species, it showed tremendous promise. There was a lot of buzz in the cannabis world when the first Autoflower “Low Ryder” was introduced. However, it fell short of expectations.


Can autoflowers grow in winter: cbd auto 20:1


Low Ryder didn’t produce great yields and wasn’t as big as its counterparts. But, now, the situation is different. Along with the advantage of growing without relying on the seasons, autoflowers also produce great yields! Yes, they are still not big as photoperiod plants, but they grow up to 4-5 feet outdoors without any maintenance.

If you grow them indoors, you can expect them to grow up to 3-4 feet. It will also help if you don’t have a large growing space because you can grow two autoflowers in the space required to grow one photoperiod plant.

Coming to the temperatures, you can expect amazing growth even if the temperature dips as low as 15°C. Some growers claim that autoflowers can grow when the temperatures are below 15°C without a problem, but will depend on the overall conditions. Photoperiod plants struggle as soon as the temperatures go below 15°C, but since autoflowers actually thrive even when the climate doesn’t support plant growth, you can grow autoflowers even if you reside in areas where it gets too chilly.

Gorilla Glue Auto
5 out of 5
first time ever growing and got some amazing colors from this strain with low temps ran it at about 58-64 for 2 weeks and got this color
Jackin Meoff.
Verified customer
Reviewed 26 December 2017

Due to its genetics, Ruderalis plants are very resistant to harsh temperatures. Since its growing cycle is short (2-3 months) you will be able to grow a few plants even in the winter. Of course, the yields will not be as good as the amount of buds you get during summer when light is abundant, but don’t you think it’s amazing to harvest even 100 grams of bud per plant during winters?

Ruderalis plants are also very resistant to mold and wet weather. The new generation of autoflowers also carry the same traits and you’ll see that they do well even if the climate doesn’t support growth and reproduction of seeds. Since the cycle is shorter compared to other cannabis species, you’ll not have to worry too much about pests and infections. Generally, it takes about a month for pest attacks to destroy plants, but they don’t do much damage with autoflowers because the plants reach their flowering period and you can harvest buds before the plant starts struggling.

Best Strains To Grow in Winter

StrainSeed to harvestTHC %Smell
Strawberry Banana Auto70-77 daysUp to 27%Banana, strawberry, fruits
Gorilla Cookies Auto70 daysUp to 27%Cookie, gas, earthy, kush
Strawberry Pie Auto56-63 daysUp to 26%Candy, strawberry, cookies
Purple Punch Auto63 daysUp to 24%Muffins, blueberry, spicy
Gorilla Glue Auto63-70 daysUp to 24%Pine, lemon, peppery
Blackberry Auto63-70 daysUp to 23%Berry, sweet earthy
OG Kush Auto63 daysUp to 23%Pine, herbal, peppery
Rhino Ryder Auto63-70 daysUp to 20%Cinnamon, earthy, fruity, peppery


Thus, there's no mystery in how to grow lowryder indoors or any autoflower, no matter where you reside, you can plant an autoflower seed and grow a stunning plant as long as you're growing the best ruderalis strain you can and as long as the temperatures stay in the range of 15 to 25°C.

31 March 2021