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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.
4 months ago
6 min read
Can Autoflowers Grow In Winter?

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.

Generally, cannabis plants love temperatures that range from 20 to 28°C. 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 atuoflowers we see today were obtained by crossing the Ruderalis species with Indica and Sativa plants.

What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

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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.

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.

Californian Snow Auto
Californian Snow Auto
Genes
Mostly Sativa
Genetics
USA, Californian autoflowering
Flowering
9-10 weeks
Harvest
XL
Height
80 - 130cm
THC
High
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

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.

Here's a video of autoflowers growing in winter:

Can autoflowers grow in winter?

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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.

Smoothie Auto
Smoothie Auto
Genes
Sativa/Indica
Genetics
Somango x Blueberry
Flowering
10 weeks
Harvest
XL
Height
80-110 cm
THC
Up to 24%
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

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.

Can autoflowers adapt to different climatic conditions?

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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.

Gorilla Glue Auto
Gorilla Glue Auto
Genes
Sativa/Indica
Genetics
Gorilla Glue autoflowering
Flowering
9-10 weeks
Harvest
XL
Height
60-100cm
THC
Very High
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

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 18°C. Some growers claim that autoflowers grow when the temperatures are at 16°C, but it hasn’t been tested yet. Photoperiod plants struggle as soon as the temperatures go below 20°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.

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.

Thus, no matter where you reside, you can plant autoflower seeds and grow absolutely stunning plants as long as the temperatures stay in the range of 18 to 30°C.