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What are autoflowering seeds?

Autoflowering seeds come from a very strange cannabis plant. These peculiar cannabis plants have been classified as ‘autoflowerers’ because they have characteristic automatic blooming qualities, so they’re basically self-blooming varieties.

Check our top 10 autoflowering seeds here!

What is automatic blooming?

Automatic blooming means that the plants switch themselves over to blooming after a 3-week growth phase, irrespective of the number of hours light they are receiving.

This in contrast to the normal indica and sativa plants, which need 18 hours light / 6 hour dark in the growth phase in order to grow well. Normal Indica and Sativa plants need 12 hours light / 12 hours dark to switch to blooming and stay there.

Various strains of cannabis and the background on autoflowerers

Cannabis sativa is the original collective name for all common weed plants. Cannabis sativa plants can be sub-divided into three groups:

  1. Cannabis sativa comes from areas around the Equator, where regardless of the season it has 12 hours of light and 12 hours of day.
  2. Cannabis indica comes from areas just above and below the Equator, where the day length in spring and summer varies between 18 hours light and 6 hours light, while in autumn and winter the days are shorter than 12 hours. Important countries are: India and Afghanistan, where many of the indicas come from.
  3. Cannabis ruderalis is a landrace from the areas where there is only a very short summer with relatively long hours of sunlight, sometimes 22 to 24 hours light per day. Ruderalis deals with these conditions by automatically blooming in a very short period of time (average 3 weeks).

For the autoflowering varieties it is the background of Cannabis ruderalis that is important.

Ruderalis is a small cannabis plant that is mostly found in the north of Europe, Russia and adjacent countries such as China and Mongolia. Ruderalis naturally contains less THC (the psychoactive substance in the weed plant) than the sativa and indica varieties. 

Because the summers are so short and the days quite long at these northerly latitudes, ruderalis plants have to bloom in a very short time in order to survive. There are even varieties of ruderalis that are finished with blooming in five weeks flat. Sadly, these varieties have barely any THC in them and little bud formation, and are therefore not suited to our hobby.

At first sight there seems little to recommend ruderalis, but by crossing it with for example an early blooming indica variety you can raise the THC level of the resulting hybrid and keep the self-flowering character of the ruderalis. It is from these crosses of ruderalis with indica or sativa that the autoflowering strains come.

The advantages of autoflowerers

  1. Small plants, between 30 -60 cm in height
  2. Automatic blooming after around 3 weeks growth
  3. Average 10 weeks from seed to harvest
  4. Plants barely noticeable, can be grown in many different locations
  5. The odour is not overwhelming so does not draw attention.
  6. Plants can be sown and harvested several times over the course of a spring and summer!

When does an autoflowerer come in to bloom?

An autoflowerer grows for between 2 - 3 weeks, after which they will spontaneously start to bloom and this will last around 6 - 8 weeks. So overall you’re looking at between 8 and 10 weeks for a harvest!

Growing Marihuana in a Greenhouse

Autoflowering seeds