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Is it profitable to grow autoflowers?

Growing autos at home is easy, but what about a commercial operation? Is it profitable to grow autoflowers?
4 months ago
5 min read
Is it profitable to grow autoflowers?

Contents:

Growing cannabis plants is undoubtedly the best hobby you could ever cultivate. With so many strains around, it’s easier than ever to buy seeds and harvest huge buds. Many growers are now shifting to autoflowers simply because it produces huge harvests in a very short period of time. However, what if you want to take it to the next level? What if you want to start with a commercial operation? Is it profitable to grow autoflowers?

The short answer is: yes, it’s indeed profitable to grow autoflowers. There’s a lot you could do by just saving time. It wasn’t possible, say, maybe 5 years ago when autoflowers were lagging behind photoperiod strains in many aspects. In fact, when the first autoflower named Lowryder was introduced, it did garner attention. However, it was short-lived since it produced small yields.

The situation is much different now. Autoflowers are picking up pace, and how! Many growers are shifting to autoflowers whether it’s due to the stealth, yield, or even the magnificent aroma they produce. But, these are mostly passionate growers that grow at home. And, stealth plays an important role.

What about commercial operations, though? Stealth is not that important in this case because commercial operations usually require a license and loads of capital. In that case, will autoflowers work? Yep, they will. Here are a few reasons:

1. Space

Whether it’s a commercial operation or one that you grow at home, space plays an important role. If you own a farm that covers about 10,000 square feet, you must grow plants that give you maximum profit. If small plants can perform as much as bigger plants, then you’re obviously going to choose smaller ones.

Commercial growers that grow plants outdoors love autoflowers because of their small size. Not only do they help with stealth, but it’s easier to control smaller plants. Most autoflowers grow up to 5 ft outdoors while some only grow up to 4 feet. It’s pretty easy to manage them. Most importantly, you could grow two plants instead of one big photoperiod plant, making it an amazing choice for those that don’t own large farms.

Here’s a compilation of several fastbuds strains:

2. Doesn’t depend on seasons

Autoflowers beat its competition by a mile when it comes to seasons. Traditional photoperiod plants depend on the season to start flowering. If growing outdoors, you’ll have to wait for at least 2-3 months for the plants to complete their vegetative cycle and then switch to the flowering phase. And, this happens only if you plant the seeds on time.

Growers plant seeds depending on the zones they reside in. Photoperiod plants will remain in the vegetative stage as long as they receive more than 15 hours of sunlight. So, if you plant seeds in January (just as an example), the plant will keep growing in the vegetative stage for an indefinite period if it receives at least 18 hours.

As soon as the season changes and the plants receive less than 15 hours of light, they start flowering. Indoor growers can control the flowering phase by manipulating the lighting. But, since you cant control sunlight, you will have to wait until the seasons change.

LSD 25 by Soil2Coco

If you grow autoflowers, though, you will never have to worry about seasonal changes. Why? It’s because autoflowers will flower after growing for a certain period irrespective of the light they receive. Thus, if you plant seeds in January for instance, you can expect the plant to start flowering by mid February. Most autos start flowering a month after they are planted.

If you rely on autoflowers for your commercial operation, you not only save time but you can grow them both outdoors and indoors at any point of time throughout the year. Traditional cannabis strains can be harvested only twice every year, but autos guarantee perpetual harvests every single time.

Fastbuds GSC by LucasCannabis

3. Short life cycle

As a commercial grower, time is your ally. The faster you harvest the yield, the stronger your business. Most growers prefer autoflowers mainly because of its life cycle that tends to be over even before you realize it. While regular cannabis strains need about 5-6 months to finish their complete cycle including the vegetative and flowering phase, many autoflowers complete their cycle in just under 3 months.

A shorter life cycle also makes it less likely for pests to attack the plants. Not that the pests don’t attack outdoor auto crops – they do – but since it takes time for the pests to completely take over the plants, autos have an edge due to their short life cycle.

For instance, spider mites are nothing short of a nightmare for most cannabis growers. However, it takes time even for these pests to spread their webs. Moreover, spider mites attack plants during the flowering cycle, and since autos have a fairly short flowering cycle, it becomes easier to manage the plants.

As you can surmise by now, planting autos can give quicker harvests and double the yield if you compare them with photoperiod plants. And, talking about yields, let’s discuss why autos perform well in this department too.

Fastbuds C4 by Luv2Grow

4. Yield

Yield is more important than space, time required to harvest, and even the number of times you harvest your crop. Obviously, the more the plant yields, the more moolah you make. Autoflowers were notorious to produce really small yields a few years ago. But to be honest, that has changed completely now. Many autoflowers are capable of producing as much as regular cannabis strains now.

The yield also depends on whether you grow it indoors or outdoors. And, the strain, of course. For instance, Six Shooter Auto produces as much as 500 to 750 grams per m2 when grown indoors. Outdoors, you can expect about 100-300 grams per plant. While all autos may not produce as much, it is a sizable yield because you’re saving space and time. If compared with a regular strain, you’d be looking at almost 500 grams per plant every 6 months.

Six Shooter Auto
Six Shooter Auto
Genes
Sativa/Indica
Genetics
Six Shooter Autoflowering
Flowering
10 weeks
Harvest
XXL
Height
100 - 140 cm
THC
Very High
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

To increase yields, you can employ several training techniques like SOG (Sea of Green) and LST (Low stress training). SOG works really well indoors. You can even train small plants earlier in the vegetative stage to get bountiful yields later. LST should always be performed during the vegetative stage. For that matter, train the plants only during the vegetative stage no matter what method you’re using

Remember not to over-stress the plants, though. Autos definitely grow faster but your operation can go south quickly if you don’t take care of them well. Regular cannabis strains have ample time to recover, but since autos grow based on a specific schedule, the plants don’t have all the time in the world.

5. Quality

You can harvest more than 50 pounds of cannabis buds, but they are worth nothing if they aren’t high-quality buds. Nobody likes airy buds that are withered. Just about everyone loves dank stuff. And, that should be your goal. Look for good seeds and strains that are guaranteed to produce the best marijuana you can ever get.

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

Gorilla Glue Auto, for example, has made a name for herself. Named Gorilla Glue due to the enormous amount of resin she produces, she will even clog your trimming scissors! As a commercial grower, look for strains that perform way better than anything else. Sure, you’ll see strains created left right and center every day, but go for strains that have already produced the results you’re looking for.