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!
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:
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.
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!