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The Pros And Cons Of Autoflowering Cannabis Strains

Autoflowering strains are the go-to genetics for beginner growers and those looking for a fast return. But they’re not perfect. Find out what makes them great, and where they run into issues.

A complete guide to the pros and cons of autos.

  • 1. What is autoflowering cannabis?
  • 1.a. Autoflowering vs feminized
  • 2. Pros
  • 2.a. Faster life cycle
  • 2.b. Discreet plants
  • 2.c. Simple lighting demands
  • 2.d. Resilient plants
  • 2.e. No problems with light pollution
  • 2.f. Fewer nutrients needed
  • 2.g. Higher CBD percentage
  • 3. Cons
  • 3.a. Lower yield
  • 3.b. Cost of lighting
  • 3.c. Lower THC content
  • 3.d. Poor-quality clones
  • 3.e. No time for recovery
  • 3.f. Should beginners start with autoflowering cannabis strains?
  • 1. What is autoflowering cannabis?
  • 1.a. Autoflowering vs feminized
  • 2. Pros
  • 2.a. Faster life cycle
  • 2.b. Discreet plants
  • 2.c. Simple lighting demands
  • 2.d. Resilient plants
  • 2.e. No problems with light pollution
  • 2.f. Fewer nutrients needed
  • 2.g. Higher CBD percentage
  • 3. Cons
  • 3.a. Lower yield
  • 3.b. Cost of lighting
  • 3.c. Lower THC content
  • 3.d. Poor-quality clones
  • 3.e. No time for recovery
  • 3.f. Should beginners start with autoflowering cannabis strains?

Modern cannabis growers are spoiled for choice. There are more strains on the market than ever before, and many growers have taken a liking to the new and improved selection of autoflowers.

Autoflowering genetics have a lot to offer. There are varieties high in CBD, high in THC, and those with a nice balance of both. That’s not to mention the incredible diversity in terpene profiles.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Autoflowering strains have a host of advantages, but they also carry disadvantages that turn some growers off.

WHAT IS AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS?

What makes autoflowering cannabis different from other types? Well, the key difference resides in the name. Put simply, these strains flower automatically.

There are two main phases of the cannabis growing cycle: the vegetative phase and the flowering phase. Another type of cannabis—known as photoperiod cannabis—requires a shift in the light cycle to trigger flowering.

Autoflowering strains do away with this inconvenience. They don’t rely on external cues to start producing resinous buds. Instead, they flower after a certain amount of time has passed.

The autoflowering trait didn’t emerge by accident. It occurred as an adaptation to environmental conditions. You’ve probably heard of Cannabis indica and sativa. Well, the autoflowering gene arose in Cannabis ruderalis.

The ruderalis subspecies adapted to the cold and often harsh environments of Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia. These regions feature a considerably shorter growing season and colder temperatures.

For this reason, ruderalis abandoned the strategy of waiting for the seasons to change to trigger flowering. Instead, the subspecies developed an autoflowering gene to ensure reproduction before the temperature plummets.

Thanks to this adaptation, growers now enjoy the speedy growth of autoflowering genetics!

Cannabis Autoflowering

Cannabis Autoflowering

AUTOFLOWERING VS FEMINIZED

You’ve probably seen the term “feminized” used frequently as you browse the internet for all things cannabis seeds. Both autoflowering and photoperiod strains can be feminized. All it means is that a breeder modified a particular strain to produce only female plants. Technically speaking, the odds of a female emerging are 99.9%—that’s still quite impressive!

Breeders produce feminized seeds through various techniques that are discussed in detail here. Just keep this in mind: pick up a pack of feminized seeds if you want nothing but buds!

Autoflowering strains have a long list of advantages over photoperiod varieties. Their short life cycle attracts growers seeking prompt gratification, and their hardy nature makes them suitable for beginner cultivators and veterans alike.

FASTER LIFE CYCLE

Autoflowering cannabis varieties are queens of speed. This trait is another result of their adaptive prowess. Most autoflowering strains complete the entire growing cycle in the same amount of time that photoperiod strains take to finish flowering alone—around 7–10 weeks. Their speedy life cycle results from a brief vegetative phase and a fast flowering stage.

Growers rarely cultivate pure ruderalis strains outside of breeding operations as these varieties produce very little in regards to yield. However, by breeding successful photoperiod strains with ruderalis genetics, breeders can create autoflowering, and therefore faster, versions of legendary varieties.

For example, Haze genetics are known for their brilliant sativa effects, but their long flowering times can be a turn-off. The merging of Haze and ruderalis genetics means growers now have access to these sativa effects in much less time.

The speed of autoflowers appeals to growers with a penchant for near-instant results. Waiting for a crop to ripen can be teasing at best and excruciating at worst. If you tend to fall on the impatient side, autoflowering strains are the way to go.

The brevity of autoflowers also appeals to cultivators who grow under pressure. They can support faster turnover for commercial operations, allowing for perpetual harvests indoors.

Again, most autoflowers will race from seed to harvest in around 7–10 weeks, so growers can time their next wave of seedlings in conjunction with the previous harvest.

Cultivators can also maximise yields by using the sea of green (SOG) technique. This method involves planting numerous autoflowers in close proximity and manipulating them to converge into one large, productive canopy.

Here are a few of the fastest autoflowers around:

Life Cycle: 8–9 weeks
Flowering Time:
5–6 weeks

EASY BUD
Life Cycle: 8–9 weeks
Flowering Time: 5–7 weeks
ROYAL COOKIES AUTO
Life Cycle: 8–10 weeks
Flowering Time: 5–7 weeks

Life Cycle: 8–9 weeks
Flowering Time:
5–6 weeks

DISCREET PLANTS

Autoflowering cultivars typically reach a height of between 60–100cm. Their compact size and impressive speed enable clandestine cultivators to set up and dismantle their operation in as little time as possible.

You can easily grow autos on balconies and in hidden locations in your garden. They’re also popular among guerrilla growers—cultivators that grow cannabis in hidden public or wild locations. This method helps to keep crops out of sight and hidden from thieves.

If you’re looking for the stealthiest possible way to grow, give micro-growing a go. The goal here is to keep plants as small as possible while still achieving a reasonable yield. It goes without saying that autoflowering varieties are perfectly suited to this method.

More extreme examples of micro-growing include cultivating tiny plants in modified computer towers, buckets, and boxes. Growers often use low-stress training to keep plants small and under control.

Here are a few of the stealthiest autoflowering strains available:

ROYAL DWARF
Indoors: 40–70cm
Outdoors: 50–90cm
ROYAL BLUEMATIC
Indoors: 60–75cm
Outdoors: 70–100cm
ROYAL CREAMATIC
Indoors: 60–80cm
Outdoors: 80–100cm
ROYAL DWARF ROYAL BLUEMATIC ROYAL CREAMATIC
Indoors: 40–70cm
Outdoors : 50–90cm
Indoors: 60–75cm
Outdoors: 70–100cm
Indoors: 60–80cm
Outdoors: 80–100cm

SIMPLE LIGHTING DEMANDS

Autoflower growers typically elect to use a simple light schedule of 18 hours on and 6 hours off for the entire duration of the life cycle. Such a schedule provides plants with an adequate amount of light while saving on energy.

The simple lighting demands of autoflowering strains serve as another advantage. As we mentioned above, they don’t require a change in light schedule to begin flowering. This trait allows growers to be extremely flexible with lighting.

Growers who don’t mind splashing out on expenditures might choose to run their lights for 24 hours. Some cultivators report more explosive vegetative growth and enhanced yields using this method. Others argue that a 24-hour schedule might deprive plants of their natural resting period.

A schedule of 12 hours on and 12 hours off occupies the other end of the spectrum. It’s the best option for growers looking to save money, but yields won’t be as impressive.

Regardless of the schedule, the lighting demands of autoflowering strains are easier to meet than those of their photoperiod counterparts.

RESILIENT PLANTS

Autoflowering plants boast strong, sturdy, and resilient genetics. Cannabis ruderalis didn’t survive the throes of northern latitudes by chance. The subspecies is well equipped to deal with extreme temperatures and harsh weather.

The very name “ruderalis” stems from the Latin word “rudus”, meaning rubble. The subspecies appears in urban settings thriving in broken ground, close to demolished buildings, and in roadside ditches.

The majority of autoflowers can fend for themselves. They laugh in the face of pest infestations and do well to defend against yield-ruining mould.

Their impressive resilience makes them well-suited for novice growers as they’re extremely forgiving of beginner error.

Autoflowering strains boast speedy growth, a compact size, and hardy genetics. Discover their pros and cons here.

The best autoflowering seeds at Weedseedsexpress

Want to buy seeds from one of the best autoflower seed banks? Welcome to the autoflower section at Weedseedsexpress. At Weedseedsexpress we have top quality autoflower weed seeds for sale. From high yield autoflower seeds to the fastest autoflowers, autoflowers with high CBD or high THC content and also several cheap autoflower seeds for those on a budget. All our autoflowering seeds are feminized and easy to grow. Curious? Take a look at our spacious assortment and order your autoflower seeds today.

Reasons to buy your autoflowering cannabis seeds at Weedseedsexpress

  • Only the best quality
  • The lowest price + free shipping
  • Great choice of autoflowering weed seeds
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Free autoflower seeds with your order (no samples)

22 weed seeds found

AK 47 autoflowering feminized seeds

AK 47 autoflowering feminized seeds

AK 48 autoflowering feminized seeds

AK 48 autoflowering feminized seeds

Amnesia Haze autoflowering seeds

Amnesia Haze autoflowering seeds

Amnesia Haze x Blueberry autoflowering feminized seeds

Amnesia Haze x Blueberry autoflowering feminized seeds

Big Cheese autoflowering feminized seeds

Big Cheese autoflowering feminized seeds

Big Haze autoflowering feminized seeds

Big Haze autoflowering feminized seeds

Big Jack Widow autoflowering feminized seeds

Big Jack Widow autoflowering feminized seeds

Big White Widow autoflowering feminized seeds

Big White Widow autoflowering feminized seeds

Blue Cheese autoflowering feminized seeds

Blue Cheese autoflowering feminized seeds

Blue Dream autoflowering seeds

Blue Dream autoflowering seeds
Bruce Banner autoflowering seeds

CBD Express autoflowering seeds

CBD Express autoflowering seeds

CBD Purple Kush autoflowering feminized seeds

CBD Purple Kush autoflowering feminized seeds

CBG Citrus Nectar autoflowering seeds

CBG Citrus Nectar autoflowering seeds

Critical autoflowering feminized seeds

Critical autoflowering feminized seeds

Critical Purple autoflowering seeds

Critical Purple autoflowering seeds

Girl Scout Cookies autoflowering seeds

Girl Scout Cookies autoflowering seeds

Gorilla Glue autoflowering feminized seeds

Gorilla Glue autoflowering feminized seeds

Northern Lights autoflowering feminized seeds

Northern Lights autoflowering feminized seeds

Northern Lights x Big Bud autoflowering feminized seeds

Northern Lights x Big Bud autoflowering feminized seeds

Santa Maria autoflowering feminized seeds

Santa Maria autoflowering feminized seeds

Zkittlez autoflowering seeds

Zkittlez autoflowering seeds

Weedseedsexpress, your best autoflower seed bank

When planning to buy super autoflower seeds, the first thing you need is a reliable source with high quality autoflower genetics. For those living in the UK, the Netherlands and many other European countries there are many seed banks to buy from. However, for customers in Canada, the USA and Australia things are more challenging.

Autoflowering seeds USA and Canada

Getting high quality autoflowers seeds is still an issue for many. The offer is often limited for customers in both the USA and Canada. Fortunately, you found the right supplier as Weedseedsexpress has become one of the best autoflower seed banks. Not only in terms of seed quality but also terms of shipping and customer service.

Our autoflowers are cheap and of top quality. They bloom automatically, are mold resistant, require little or no nutrition and have a large yield potential that with our “big autoflowers” is not inferior to that of photoperiod species. Do you choose one of our autoflowers? Then you choose for pure growing convenience, speed and quality.

Help and tips on buying your autoflower seeds

Are you a beginner or advanced grower and would you like to buy autoflower seeds? Then know where you should pay attention before you order. For example, do you want to grow indoors or outdoors? Do you opt for a high yield or do you want to harvest as soon as possible? Indica or Sativa dominant? Rather a powerful or mild variety? Read our most important tips below before buying autoflower seeds.

What are autoflowering seeds?

Before you buy autoflower seeds, it is important to know what the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of autoflowers are. With the explanation below you can make a well-considered choice. But first we give a clear definition of autoflowers.

Definition

Autoflowers are Indica or Sativa strains crossed with a ruderalis. Originally you will find cannabis ruderalis species especially in areas with a short summer. For example, in areas such as Russia, Northern Europe, China and Mongolia.

Because of the short summer the ruderalis has developed properties to flower based on age. As autoflowers are crossed with the ruderalis it features this characteristic which is a big difference compared to photoperiod species that need a change in the number of light hours or seasons (less light hours per day) to flower.

Curious what autoflowering seeds are? Check it out!

Characteristics of autoflower seeds

Autoflowers are self-flowering. This means that they do not need a lot of attention to grow. They grow and bloom on their own and do not care about a day and night cycle. The autoflower seed is therefore a great choice for beginners and advanced growers. As long as the plant gets enough light and water, you’re assured of a nice harvest. This is in contrast to non-autoflowers that need more attention. Moreover, autoflowers are suitable for growing indoors as well as outdoors.

Points of interest when planning to buy autoflower seeds

You want to buy autoflower seeds, but you can’t choose? Each variety has specific properties. These can be found on the seeds page under ‘Properties’. We already give an explanation of the properties below.

Taste

Flavours of autoflower vary enormously. Do you like earthy, fruity, chocolate or just Woody. The flavour of each variety is indicated on the product page.

THC or CBD

Weed contains THC and/or CBD. The higher the THC content, the more it gives a psychoactive effect. CBD rather has a relaxing effect on the body while the head remains clear. Tip: at the top right of the assortment you can sort on both ‘THC’ and ‘CBD’.

Effects

Do you want a calming effect? Be stimulated cheerfully or creatively. Although the effects of cannabis can vary from person to person, there are generally clear differences between the types of autoflower seeds.

Indoor or outdoor cultivation

Most autoflowers can be grown indoors and outdoors. Unless otherwise stated.

Autoflower strains are generally small. You therefore don’t need a lot of space which makes it a ideal plant to grow at home. Yet there are differences in height and width. Per autoflowering variety we indicate the expected height when grown indoors and outdoors. Tip: at the top right of the assortment you can sort by ‘Height’.

Yield

You probably want to buy autoflower seeds that yield as much as possible. However, the yield of these seeds will always be slightly less compared to a grow with feminized seeds.

To give an indication of the yield, a lower and upper limit of the yield is stated per type. Tip: at the top right of the range you can sort by “Yield”.

Flowering time

The flowering time indicates when harvesting can take place. Autoflowers are fast growers, so the flowering time is relatively short compared to other cannabis seeds. The average flowering time of autoflowers is between 50 and 70 days.

Feminized vs autoflowering: The pros and cons of autoflowering cannabis seeds

You want to grow weed at home without too much experience and effort? Then autoflower seeds are the best choice. This seed features many advantages for the novice and experienced grower. That is why the autoflower has become very popular. But it also has some disadvantages compared to non-autoflowers. We therefore recommend checking the pros and cons below before you start buying autoflower seeds.

Advantages

  1. Short flowering time: the cycle of an autoflower (from seed to harvest) usually lasts 8 to 12 weeks which is a lot faster compared to a non-auto-flower.
  2. More frequent harvesting: in practice, a shorter cycle means that you can sow and harvest more often.
  3. Mould resistant: fungi and bud rot mainly occur in autumn. But because you are not dependent on changes in light with an autoflower, you are able to plan and ensure that you can harvest before the autumn. In addition, an autoflower is naturally more resistant to fungus and disease.
  4. Small size: the genetics of the Ruderalis ensure that an autoflower is relatively small and remains compact. An adult autoflower has, depending on the circumstances, a size of about 50cm – 100cm. Ideal when space is limited.
  5. Simplicity: as a grower you need little supplies and raw materials. An autoflower grows when the soil is fertile and the plant has access to sufficient sunlight and water. Extra feeding is actually not necessary and even growing without bulbs is no problem. Autoflowers will flower regardless of whether they are on the windowsill, grown with lamps or just outside.

Disadvantages

  1. Lower yield: autoflowers are generally small sized and although this rule does not always apply, the harvest is usually less big compared to non-autoflowers.
  2. Less THC: autoflowering varieties usually produce less THC.
  3. Different sizes: even with the same genetics, autoflowers sometimes have different sizes.
  4. Limited choice: the range of autoflowers is less big compared to photoperiod types.
  5. Repotting: an autoflower does not like to be repotted. It’s therefore recommended to start your grow in the final pot.

Some autoflower seeds produce high yielding strains. Check this Top 3 list Autoflowers with high yield

Top 3 lists when buying autoflower seeds

We like to make it easy for you if you want to buy autoflower seeds. That is why we have compiled several Top 3 lists below.

Top 3 | Best outdoor autoflower seeds

If we present the best autoflower seeds for an outdoor grow, we cannot skip the indoor growers. So check out the top 3 with the best autoflower cannabis seeds for an indoor grow below.

Top 3 | Best indoor autoflowering cannabis seeds

Autoflowers are generally always suitable for outdoor cultivation. Still, there are a few species that stand out because of their resistance to weather changes and fungi. This is our Top 3:

Top 3 | Fast bloomers

With an autoflower you ensure yourself from a fast seed to harvest cycle, but you always have boss over boss. The question remains: what is the fastest autoflower from Weedseedsexpress? For those looking for extremely fast autoflowers, we have made a top 3 list of the fastest flowering autoflowers:

Top 3 | High yielding autoflowers

Contrary to what some growers expect, there are indeed autoflowers with a high yield. Curious which autoflower varieties from our range have the highest yield potential? Then view our top 3 below:

Top 3 | Cheap autoflower seeds

Autoflowers can be expensive. However, in case you want to save money you might be interested in our top 3 with the best cheap autoflowering seeds:

Help on buying autoflower seeds

Do you have any questions in regard to our autoflowering seeds? Or would you like to know more about an autoflower grow? Find the answers to your questions in our ‘FAQ’ section. We also post blogs on a weekly basis with growing tips and information about different cannabis strains.

Frequently asked questions about our autoflower seeds

Do you sell regular autoflower seeds?

The principle of the autoflower is the automatic flowering. In other words, autoflowers are meant to flower. Regular cannabis seeds also produce male plants which do not bloom. At least not in the way that most growers would like. We therefore do not sell regular autoflower seeds

What are the best autoflowering sativa dominant seeds at Weedseedsexpress?

Sativa dominant autoflower seeds are pretty rare. Currently we have two autoflower species in our range which is sativa dominant:

Do you have free autoflowering seed samples?

We don’t provide free autoflowering samples. Yet, when you buy autoflowering seeds at Weedseedsexpress we do add 20% free autoflower seeds to every order.

Are you selling autoflowering dwarf cannabis seeds?

Currently we are not selling dwarf autoflowers.

Any 35 day autoflower seeds for sale?

Due to the short flowering time of 35 days, 35 day autoflower species are unable to achieve a nice harvest. We therefore decided to remove all our 35 day autoflowers.

What are your best 60 day autoflower seeds?

At Weedseedsexpress we offer various autoflower varieties with a flowering time of around 60 days. Curious which varieties finish their flowering stage within approximately 60 days? Check it out below.

Do you have CBD autoflowering cannabis seeds in your range?

Currently we only have one CBD autoflower in our range which is our CBD Purple Kush. Keep an eye on this category as there is a good chance that you will find more CBD autoflowers here in the future.

Want to buy autoflowering seeds? Buy autoflowering cannabis seeds at Weedseedsexpress! FREE SEEDS + Germination guarantee + Fast & Discreet shipping