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Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide

Have a look at how Afghan Kush Auto performs throughout her life cycle: from initial grow stages to the flowering time
30 March 2022
12 min read
Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide

  • 1. Grow specifications
  • 2. Grow set up
  • 3. Germination and seedling stage | week 1
  • 4. Early veg | weeks 2-3
  • 5. Mid veg | weeks 4-5
  • 6. Transition (pre-flower) | week 6
  • 7. Early flower | weeks 7-8
  • 8. Mid flower (bulk phase) | weeks 9-10
  • 9. Ripening and harvest | week 11
  • 10. Yield and smoke report
  • 11. In conclusion

We couldn’t but include Afghan Kush Auto in our collection of seeds because this old-school weed strain has that unique hash taste that only heirloom Afghani genetics possess. Besides, it’s amazingly tolerant of cold, exceptionally fast, and very potent. Medical patients praise this classic as the ultimate cannabinoid-based painkiller.

This hardy and easy-to-grow strain will give no trouble even to first-time growers, but it wouldn’t hurt looking at other people’s experience with growing Afghan Kush Auto. Read our short but exhaustive week-by-week guide to get some tips and glean some hacks. Hopefully, it’ll help you grow this autoflower like a pro.

1. Grow Specifications

With 85% of Indica genes, Afghan Kush Auto is one of the purest Indica strains in our collection. The plant’s incredible flowering speed of only 8–9 weeks from seed to harvest makes it a perfect choice for cool and short summers or for those growers who are too impatient for a long wait. Most cultivars don’t grow tall, reaching 60–90 cm (24–35 inches) by the end of their life cycle.

Despite such compact size, Afghan Kush Auto is capable of bringing a respectable 400–500 gr/m2 (1.3–1.6 oz/ft2), especially if you grow in a SOG setup. Outdoors, these diminutive Christmas trees yield 50–130g (2–4 oz) per plant. Needless to say, the buds are super sticky, dense, and heavy, and their earthy, spicy, and sweet flavor is exactly the combination that hash-lovers seek. And 22% THC makes the smoke as potent as hell.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: Datasheet

Afghan Kush Auto datasheet.

2. Grow Set Up

For our Afghan Kush Autoflower week-by-week guide, we’ve chosen JohnnyBlaze who keeps churning out one great report after another. In one of his latest grow cycles, Afghan Kush shared a 1m2 area with three other autos. They all received light from just one 150W Mars Hydro TS 1000 LED, and their combined yield far surpassed the one-gram-per-watt target.

The grower used the hard-to-master but very efficient growing medium (85% coco + 15% perlite) and kept his autoflowers on a rich diet of organic and synthetic fertilizers and supplements, mostly by Advanced Nutrients.


Grow Space:1 m2 (10.76 ft2)Pot Size:11 l (2.91 gal)
Seed to Harvest:11 weeksMedium:100% coco coir
Flowering:6 weeksNutrients:Synthetic/Organic
Light Cycle:20/4pH Levels:6.2
Light Type:LEDDay Temperature:24°C (75°F)
Watts Used:150Humidity:60%

Afghan Kush Auto setup and grow specifications.

3. Germination And Seedling Stage | Week 1

There are many different ways to germinate cannabis seeds, and this grower used probably the most simple one—planting directly in the medium. It was a success as the bean sprouted in 3 days. The sprout was kept in an 11 l (2.91-gallon) smart pot from GardenMate and at a distance of 60 cm (23.6“) from the light.


Plant Height:2“ (5 cm)Humidity:60%
Distance to Light:23.6“ (60 cm)Water per Day:0.03 gal (0.1 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:300 ppm

Week 1 grow conditions.

We recommend every beginner grower not lower the light too close to the seedling because too much light may lead to stress and stunted growth. On the other hand, don’t let your seedling stretch to the point that she topples over. Adjust the light distance so that the seedling looks neither spindly nor stunted.

In the first week, a young plant doesn’t need much feeding. You can give her only fresh water when growing in soil, but in coco, very small doses of nutrients for the vegetative phase are necessary. It’s also a great idea to populate the medium with live microbes (bacteria and fungi) because they’ll later help your cannabis break down and absorb nutrients.

This is what this grower did, using the following Advanced Nutrients products:

  • Tarantula, to make little creatures in the root zone do all the heavy lifting,
  • Voodoo Juice, to enhance the branching of the roots, their density and mass,
  • Piranha, to provide beneficial fungi which bond to roots and extend them.

In the photo below you may notice that there’s no perlite visible in the medium. It’s because the grower used only 15% of it (to 85% of coco). Usually, people add more because pure coco tends to retain moisture which can lead to overwatering issues. With a greater perlite percentage, the medium retains less water but becomes more breathable.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A cut plastic bottle guarding the planted seed in coco and a 1-week-old weed seedling

Germinated directly in coco and under a humidity dome, the seedling looks great on day 7.

It’s up to you to decide on the proper coco/perlite ratio. If you’re okay with more frequent watering, more perlite will probably lead to healthier plants and better yields.

Another thing that you may notice in the photo is the humidity dome. Cannabis seedlings love high RH. If you can’t raise it in the whole room, raise it locally with something as simple as half of a plastic bottle.

4. Early Veg | Weeks 2-3

This point in the timeline requires only slightly bigger amounts of nutrients. The day temp may be kept at a comfortable 75°F (24°C) or a couple of degrees warmer. While seedlings love high humidity, you should lower it to about 60–65% for a plant in her vegetative phase.


Plant Height:3-5“ (8-13 cm)Humidity:60%
Distance to Light:23.6“ (60 cm)Water per Day:0.08-0.11 gal (0.3-0.4 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:300 ppm

Weeks 2-3 grow conditions.

Weeks 2 and 3 mark the change of pace in a plant’s development. At first, it is slow. You will notice the growth of only one pair of true leaves at a time. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your seedling. It’s just that most of the progress is happening in the root zone.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A healthy 2-week-old marijuana seedling

On day 13, the progress is good but nothing to write home about.

But at some point, the development becomes noticeable “upstairs” too. You will see some new growth at the nodes (which are the places where petioles of fan leaves attach to the main stalk). This new growth is future side branches, and once they start to develop, the progress becomes very rapid.

Naturally, this is the perfect time to start low-stress training (LST) your cannabis. LST means basically tying down the tallest branches. By doing this, you not only direct the growth horizontally but, more importantly, stimulate the side growth. It results in a bushier plant with a greater number of future bud sites.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A 3-week-old autoflower trained using the LST method

LST made Afghan Kush fill out visibly in week 3.

5. Mid Veg | Weeks 4-5

Over the last two weeks of the vegetative stage, the grower steadily upped the doses of nutrients while keeping everything else unchanged.


Plant Height:5-8“ (13-20 cm)Humidity:60%
Distance to Light:23.6“ (60 cm)Water per Day:0.13 gal (0.5 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:450-500 ppm

Weeks 4-5 grow conditions.

In the later part of veg, about one month from seed, healthy cannabis demonstrates explosive growth—when every day brings new changes in the overall height and girth and the thickness of foliage. This can be an issue indoors—if your setup doesn't have enough vertical space. And this is just another reason to train the hell out of your autoflower to make it nice and short.

In this particular life cycle, the grower easily achieved this goal with the simple tie-down method.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A bushy, branchy weed plant LST'd in week 4 and 5 and showing first pistils

The magic of LST in weeks 4 and 5.

In the vegetative phase, cannabis needs a nitrogen-rich diet while the other two macronutrients—phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)—play only a minor role. For this Afghan Kush Auto, the main source of nutrients was the 2-component pH Perfect Sensi Coco Grow formula, and here’s the complete schedule for weeks 1 through 5.


Nutrients, ml/lWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5
Voodoo Juice1.52   
Nature’s Candy0. 
pH Perfect Sensi Coco Grow A0.
pH Perfect Sensi Coco Grow B0.

Afghan Kush Auto feeding schedule for the vegetative phase.

The first three in the list are the inoculants meant to colonize the medium with beneficial microbial life. Nature’s Candy is food for microbes, serving them a rich meal of amino acids and carbohydrates (sugars). B-52 (a seaweed kelp extract) stimulates the growth of roots and stems, and Cal-Max is essential for the cultivation in coco because otherwise your grow will be plagued with calcium and magnesium deficiencies.

6. Transition (Pre-Flower) | Week 6

By the end of the vegetative stage, cannabis has an extensive root structure that can well handle higher doses of nutrients. So the grower raised his TDS readings to 900 ppm. You can feed your cannabis each time you water or alternate giving it nutrient solution and fresh water. The latter method works best in soil, the former in coco. Just watch the leaves and make sure they’re neither yellowish (hungry) nor burnt at the tips (overfed).


Plant Height:8“ (20 cm)Humidity:60%
Distance to Light:23.6“ (60 cm)Water per Day:0.2 gal (0.75 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:900 ppm

Weeks 6 grow conditions.

The grower marked week 6 as the first of the flowering stage. It would be more correct to call this period in the timeline pre-flowering stage. This is when you notice that the smallest leaves on top begin to look thread-like and a bit on the yellow side compared to the deeper green further down. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal. Next, you’ll see a lot of white hairs (pistils) appear on every top. This is the first sign of future buds.

At the beginning of cannabis flowering stages, the upward growth continues or even picks up pace. We call it the flowering stretch. It might catch you off guard as you can quickly run out of vertical space. To avoid this with autoflowers, use smaller pots.

The right container size is very important for the success of the grow.

This was hardly an issue with Afghan Kush Auto because the strain is short by nature. If anything, the grower actually hoped she would stretch much bigger before she reached her final height. He even worried a little that she was so small, and he didn’t feed her as much as other autoflowers of the same age.

Anyway, the girl looked gorgeous—to the point that the guy decided some defoliation might do her good. But he defoliated only sparingly—to let the light penetrate all the way down to the lower bud sites.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A compact bushy weed plant with first flowers on tops before and after heavy defoliation

Week 6 from seed. Before and after defoliation.

7. Early Flower | Weeks 7-8

In the early part of the flowering stage, cannabis finally begins to form flowers. At first, they are nothing more than a fluffy bunch of pistils on top, but they already begin to smell. If you haven’t yet installed a carbon filter, now it’s time to do it. You can also start lowering the temperature a couple of degrees compared to the vegetative stage and, more importantly, decreasing the relative humidity to something like 35-45%. With higher RH, you risk problems with mold and bud rot.


Plant Height:8-14“ (20-35 cm)Humidity:60%
Distance to Light:23.6-16“ (60-40 cm)Water per Day:0.2 gal (0.75 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:900 ppm

Weeks 7-8 grow conditions.

Of course, the flowering stretch also continues during this period, but in this instance, the grower was nervous about Afghan Kush Auto remaining so small. Mind you that he was growing the seed as a tester, without knowing what strain it was. If he knew, he’d understand that this was simply a short-statured variety, priceless for smaller setups.

Anyway, the forming buds looked promising, and the small leaves sticking out of them were now covered with the first signs of “sugar”.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A short multi-branch indoor autoflower and a closeup of a bud with white pistils and first trichomes 3 weeks into flowering

In week 8, Afghan Kush Auto is getting sticky already.

Of course, the beginning of flowering called for the change in diet. The grower gave his Auto Afghan Kush a second helping of Voodoo Juice, Piranha, and Bud Ignitor—just to replenish beneficial microbes in the medium.

He also replaced the main growing nutrient with a flowering one—pH Perfect Sensi Coco Bloom, parts A and B. Obviously, you don’t have to use this very line of nutrients in your garden, but make sure you give your ladies something with more phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in it once they’ve started flowering. The nitrogen (N) at this stage is of lesser value, and its excess can even interfere with flowering.

The whole feeding schedule from the pre-flowering to the harvest is in the table below. Please bear in mind that most supplements in the list—from Bud Ignitor to Overdrive—contain raised amounts of P and K in different proportions to suit the slightly varying needs of different autoflower flowering stages. Except for Sensizym (which is a brew of organic catalysts called enzymes) and Rhino Skin, a source of silicon to make cell walls harder and stems and branches more robust.


Nutrients, ml/lWeeks 6-7Weeks 8-9Weeks 10-11
Voodoo Juice2  
Bud Ignitor2  
pH Perfect Sensi Coco Bloom A1.61.61.6
pH Perfect Sensi Coco Bloom B1.61.61.6
Rhino Skin1.51.51.5
Bud Candy222
Bud Factor X111
Big Bud Coco 1.5 
Overdrive  2

Auto Afghan Kush nutrient schedule for different stages of flowering.

8. Mid Flower (Bulk Phase) | Weeks 9-10

The Afghan Kush Auto in this report stopped stretching at 40 cm (16 inches). It was the most compact plant in the garden, and the grower thought it would be a good idea to feed her a bit less than others—900 ppm instead of 1000.


Plant Height:16“ (40 cm)Humidity:60%
Distance to Light:16“ (40 cm)Water per Day:0.2 gal (0.75 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:900 ppm

Weeks 9-10 grow conditions.

The grower was happy with the way buds were developing on his Afghan Kush Auto. They were filling out nicely, and 4 weeks into flowering, the interesting gassy and fruity smell became quite intense. Later, it changed to a mostly sour aroma.

As you can see in the photo below, the colas already looked quite solid but far from mature. It’s obvious even with a naked eye because practically all of the hairs covering the buds were still white. An impatient gardener may harvest them this early, but the smoke won’t be very potent yet. Besides, it will be mostly felt in the head and won’t produce that warm and fuzzy body buzz that Indica fans enjoy.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: Closeups of autoflower buds, still with white immature pistils but very resinous

Afghan Kush buds 4 and 5 weeks into flowering.

9. Ripening And Harvest | Week 11

By week 11, the grower stopped worrying about Afghan Kush Auto yielding small. It was now evident that despite its compact size, the lady would bring a respectable final haul of super solid and sticky goodness.


Plant Height:16-18“ (40-45 cm)Humidity:    60%
Distance to Light:16“ (40 cm)Water per Day:0.2 gal (0.75 l)
Day Temp: 75°F (24°C)pH:6.2
Night Temp: 66°F (19°C)TDS:900↘150 ppm

Week 11 grow conditions.

Though the plant was quickly approaching harvest, she was still being fed full doses of nutrients, most notably Overdrive. This flowering supplement contains a lot of P and K but also magnesium (Mg) and just a bit of N to not lose momentum just before the harvest.

The grower got so carried away with feeding that he only had a couple of days to flush his girl. Usually, proper flushing requires more time: up to two weeks in soil and a full week in a soilless medium like coco coir. But in this case Afghan Kush Auto had been getting less food than usual, so a shorter flush was probably enough. Besides, the guy didn’t use plain water but Advanced Nutrients Flawless Finish. This formula probably acts much quicker to rid the medium and plant tissues of built-up salts.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: A closeup of an autoflower bud with most of the pistils amber and a lot of trichomes

Now the bud looks mature.

After full eleven weeks, Afghan Kush Auto looked incredible. She was still small but with huge and insanely resinous colas.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: The general view of an indoor autoflower with a great number of tops, white from trichomes, and a closer view of the same plant

Auto Afghan Kush on the chop day.

10. Yield and Smoke Report

All the yield estimates that the grower had done throughout his Afghan Kush Auto life cycle proved to be wrong. In the end, he harvested much more than he had expected—2.19 oz (62 g) of tightly manicured premium bud.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: Two shots of closely trimmed and perfectly dried ganja buds

Afghan Kush produces perfect buds for Indica lovers.

The grower was so happy with the quality of Afghan Kush buds that he couldn’t but smoke two-thirds before he was done with the curing. We recommend being more patient and drying your harvest slowly over one week and then curing the buds in glass jars for 2-3 more weeks. This will ensure top-notch quality.

Related story
How to Cure Buds

Anyway, even after a rushed cure, Afghan Kush Auto was fire. The smoke was super strong, with a hybrid high that hit both your mind and your body at once. In this case, the effect even had more Sativa side to it although the strain is almost pure Indica.

As for the smell and taste, it was exactly the same—gassy and sour—as the grower noted in the flowering stage.

completely cured now and the taste is super a sour and flowery when inhaling with very sweet tones and the smell is outrageous too very gassy and sour i truly love it..


And the chart below shows what terpenes in Afghan Kush contribute to this intoxicating aroma.

Afghan Kush Auto Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide: Terpene profile 

Auto Afghan Kush terpene ratios.

11. In Conclusion

The defining characteristic of Afghan Kush Auto is her small size. You’ll appreciate this feature if you grow in a small tent or want to conceal your garden behind some other vegetation outdoors. Just keep in mind that the smell isn’t so inconspicuous.

You’ll be delighted that a tiny baby like this can produce so much bud. And that the stuff is so high-quality: very hashy in an old-school way, like an almost pure Afghani should be. Another huge advantage of this classic is the short time she needs to complete her journey from seed to harvest. And last but not least, you’ll appreciate the strain’s cold resistance, her tolerance of subpar conditions, and her perfect low-maintenance.

External References

  1. Cannabis sativa terpenes are cannabimimetic and selectively enhance cannabinoid activity, Scientific Reports, 15 April 2021
  2. Known Unknowns and Unknown Knowns: What we know about the cannabis and the Hashish trade in Afghanistan, EchoGeo, July 2019


30 March 2022