Benefits of Growing Auto-flowering Strains for Beginners

Embarking on a journey of growing and cultivating marijuana can be an overwhelming and perplexing task for beginners. With so many strains available, it can be difficult to decide which ones to choose for a successful harvest. One great option for beginners is auto-flowering strains. These plants have numerous advantages over other strains, such as a shorter growth time, easy growing process, and no need to change the light cycle. However, there are also some downsides to consider, such as lower yield and potency. In this article, we will dive into the pros and cons of growing auto-flowering strains and provide tips for choosing the right strain, and cultivating them successfully.

Pros of Growing Auto-flowering Strains


Pros Of Growing Auto-Flowering Strains
One of the most advantageous aspects of growing auto-flowering strains is their unique set of benefits. With their rapid growth, ease of cultivation, and compact size, they are a great choice for novice growers who want to try their hand at cultivating cannabis. Unlike photoperiodic strains, auto-flowering strains do not require a change in light cycles to initiate flowering. In the following sections, we’ll explore these benefits in detail and discover why auto-flowering strains are becoming increasingly popular among cannabis cultivators.

Short Growth Time

One of the main advantages of growing auto-flowering strains is their short growth time. These strains typically take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks from seed to harvest, which is much faster than photoperiod strains that can take up to 6 months to mature.

What makes auto-flowers so efficient?

  • Automatic flowering: Auto-flowering strains do not require a specific light cycle to start flowering. They will begin to develop buds on their own after a few weeks of growth, regardless of lighting conditions. This means that the overall grow time is significantly reduced.
  • Quick harvests: Because auto-flowers have a shortened life cycle, growers can complete multiple harvests in a single year. This is especially beneficial for those who live in regions with a shorter growing season.
  • Less time for potential problems: A shorter growth cycle means that auto-flowering strains have less time to develop issues such as pests or diseases. This can make them an easier option for novice growers who may not have as much experience with plant maintenance.

The short growth time of auto-flowering strains is a major benefit for those who are looking for a quicker turnaround on their grow. However, it is important to note that this can also mean less time for plants to fully develop, which can result in smaller yields and less potent buds.

Easy to Grow

One of the biggest advantages of growing auto-flowering cannabis strains is that they are easy to grow. This is especially true for beginner growers who have little or no experience cultivating cannabis plants. Unlike photoperiod strains, auto-flowering strains do not require any special lighting schedules, making them a hassle-free option for those who want to try their hand at growing cannabis.

In fact, growing auto-flowering strains is so easy that it’s practically foolproof! These strains are extremely resistant to mold, pests, and diseases, which means that they require less maintenance and attention than traditional cannabis strains. This is a huge relief for growers who are worried about accidentally killing their plants or not providing them with the right growing conditions.

Auto-flowering strains have a shorter growth cycle than photoperiod strains, which means that they grow faster and require less time before they are ready to harvest. This is because they automatically switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage based on their age, regardless of the light cycle they are exposed to. As a result, you don’t have to worry about adjusting the light cycle or providing darkness to your plants.

To summarize, the easy-to-grow nature of auto-flowering strains is one of their biggest selling points. They are perfect for beginners who want a low-maintenance, high-yield cannabis crop. See the table below for a quick overview of the pros and cons of growing auto-flowering strains:

Pros of Growing Auto-flowering Strains Cons of Growing Auto-flowering Strains
Short Growth Time Lower Yield
Easy to Grow Less Potent
No Need to Change Light Cycles Not Ideal for Cloning
Compact Size

No Need to Change Light Cycles

Auto-flowering strains are well-known for their convenience and simplicity, making them ideal for beginners who may have limited experience in growing cannabis plants. One of the significant advantages of growing auto-flowering strains is that they do not require a change in light cycles during the growing process. This attribute means that you can maintain the same light cycle you use during the vegetative stage throughout the entire cycle.

The benefits of not having to change light cycles include:

  • Time-saving: In traditional photoperiod strains, you will need to switch the light cycles to control the flowering stage in the plant’s growth process. This process can take weeks and requires careful monitoring. With auto-flowering strains, you can eliminate this step, saving you precious time and effort.
  • Convenience: Auto-flowering strains are often grown indoors, where you have complete control over the environment. Having to change light cycles becomes less of a hassle when growing indoors, but is still an extra step that can be eliminated altogether when growing auto-flowering strains.
  • Reduced risk of light-related problems: Plants can sometimes experience light-related problems when changing cycles. For example, some strains may take longer to adjust to a new cycle, leading to stunted growth or reduced yields. With auto-flowering strains, you eliminate this risk altogether.

The fact that auto-flowering strains don’t require a change in light cycles makes them a great option for beginners. By taking out the extra step, growers can focus on other aspects of plant care, like providing adequate nutrients, water, and airflow.

Compact Size

Auto-flowering strains are also preferred by beginners because of their compact size. These strains typically grow to a height of one to two feet, making them ideal for growers who have limited space or want to keep their operations discreet.

Here is a table that compares the average height of popular auto-flowering strains:

Strain Average Height
Northern Lights Auto 1-2 feet
Blueberry Auto 1-2 feet
Lowryder Auto 1 foot
AK-47 Auto 2-3 feet

Auto-flowering strains are also ideal for outdoor growing where space is limited, as they can be easily tucked away among other plants or in small corners of the garden. Their compact size allows for more plants to be grown in a smaller space, increasing the potential yield.

It is important to note, however, that the size of the plant does not necessarily dictate the yield. Proper care and attention to the plant’s needs, including adequate nutrients, lighting, and airflow, are crucial for achieving a successful harvest.

Cons of Growing Auto-flowering Strains

Cons Of Growing Auto-Flowering Strains
While auto-flowering strains have several advantages over traditional cannabis strains, there are also some disadvantages that should be taken into account before making a decision. It is important to understand both the benefits and drawbacks of growing auto-flowering strains so that you can make an informed decision when choosing which variety to grow. Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential downsides of growing auto-flowering cannabis plants.

Lower Yield

One of the downsides of growing auto-flowering strains is that they typically have a lower yield than their photoperiod counterparts. This can be attributed to their shorter growth cycle and smaller size.

When compared to traditional strains, auto-flowering plants produce fewer buds and smaller yields in general. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of the buds is lower. Many auto-flowering strains have been bred to have high cannabinoid content and provide a potent high, despite their smaller size.

It’s important to note that while the yield of auto-flowering strains may be lower, they make up for it in other ways. For example, their shorter growth cycle means that they can be grown more frequently, allowing for a continuous harvest throughout the year.

If you’re looking to grow a large amount of cannabis at once, auto-flowering strains may not be the best option. However, if you’re a beginner or have a limited growing space, auto-flowering strains can still provide a good amount of quality buds.

Less Potent

While auto-flowering strains have many benefits for beginner growers, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the major trade-offs when growing auto-flowering strains is that they tend to be less potent than their photoperiod counterparts.

Here are some reasons why auto-flowering strains may have lower potency:

  • Auto-flowering strains have a shorter lifespan, which can result in fewer opportunities for the plant to produce THC and other cannabinoids.
  • Because they grow and flower so quickly, they may not have as much time to develop a complex terpene profile, which can impact the taste and aroma of the buds.
  • Some auto-flowering strains are bred to prioritize yield over potency, so it’s important to choose your strain carefully if potency is a concern.

However, it’s worth noting that not all auto-flowering strains are less potent. Plenty of auto-flowering strains have been bred specifically to be as potent as their photoperiod counterparts, so it’s important to do your research when selecting your strain.

Here are some tips for selecting a potent auto-flowering strain:

  • Read up on the specifics of the strain, including its potential THC and CBD content.
  • Look for reviews from other growers to get a sense of the strain’s overall potency and effects.
  • Consider purchasing seeds from reputable breeders to ensure top-quality genetics.

Despite the potential for lower potency, auto-flowering strains are still a great choice for beginner growers due to their ease of growing, short growth time, and compact size. Plus, with so many options on the market, there are plenty of potent auto-flowering strains just waiting to be discovered.

Not Ideal for Cloning

When it comes to propagating cannabis plants, cloning is a popular technique used by many experienced growers. However, auto-flowering strains may not be the best option for this method of reproduction. One reason for this is that auto-flowering strains have a shorter growth cycle, meaning they do not have as much time to develop strong root systems. This can make them more difficult to clone successfully.

Another challenge with cloning auto-flowering strains is that they tend to carry over some of their genetic traits to any clones that are produced. While this may not be an issue with some other strains, it can lead to inconsistent results when growing auto-flowering plants. Auto-flowering strains also tend to have a lower yield and potency, which can be a disadvantage for growers looking for maximum output.

To summarize, while auto-flowering strains are a great option for beginners due to their ease of growth and short cultivation time, they may not be the best choice for growers who want to incorporate cloning into their propagation techniques. The shorter growth cycle and genetic traits can make it challenging to produce strong, consistent clones. However, with the right approach and techniques, it is still possible to grow healthy and productive auto-flowering plants.

Pros Cons
Short growth time Lower yield
Easy to grow Less potent
No need to change light cycles Not ideal for cloning
Compact size

Choosing the Right Auto-flowering Strain

Choosing The Right Auto-Flowering Strain
As a beginner grower, choosing the right auto-flowering strain can be a daunting task. With so many varieties available, it can be overwhelming to decide which strain to grow. However, by taking the time to consider a few key factors, such as your growing environment, desired effects and flavors, and the reputation of the seedbank, you can find the perfect strain for you. In this section, we will explore some important things to keep in mind when selecting an auto-flowering strain.

Consider Your Growing Environment

When choosing an auto-flowering strain to grow as a beginner, it’s important to consider your growing environment to ensure that the plant gets the right conditions it needs to thrive. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Indoor vs. outdoor: Decide whether you plan on growing your auto-flowering strain indoors or outdoors. This can determine what kind of strain and growing techniques you’ll need to use.
  • Climate: Consider the climate you live in, as different strains prefer different types of climate. Some strains can handle colder temperatures while others require warmer and more humid environments.
  • Space: Determine how much space you have for growing. Some auto-flowering strains are more compact and better suited for indoor growing, while others can grow tall and bushy and are better suited for outdoor growing.
  • Light: Consider the amount and quality of light your auto-flowering strain will receive. This can greatly impact the growth and quality of the plant.
  • Pests and diseases: Research common pests and diseases in your area and choose an auto-flowering strain that is more resistant to them.

Taking the time to carefully evaluate your growing environment can help you choose the right auto-flowering strain that is most likely to thrive and produce quality buds.

Effects and Flavour

When choosing an auto-flowering strain, it’s important to consider the effects and flavour of the plant. Some strains may have a more relaxing, sedative effect while others may be more energizing and uplifting. In terms of flavour, some strains may have a fruity or sweet taste while others may be more earthy or skunky. Here is a table to help you choose an auto-flowering strain based on its effects and flavour:

Strain Effects Flavour
Blue Dream Euphoric, uplifting Blueberry, sweet
Sour Diesel Energetic, cerebral Citrus, diesel
OG Kush Relaxing, sedative Earthy, woody
Girl Scout Cookies Happy, giggly Sweet, spicy
White Widow Cerebral, creative Earthy, woody

Keep in mind that everyone’s experience with a particular strain will vary based on individual tolerance and preferences. It’s always a good idea to research the effects and flavour of a strain before making a purchase to ensure it aligns with your desired experience.

Seedbank Reputation

When choosing an auto-flowering strain to grow, it is important to consider the reputation of the seedbank. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating seedbank reputations:

  • Quality of Seeds: Look for seedbanks that prioritize the quality of their seeds over the quantity produced. Reputable seedbanks will often test their seeds for germination rates, genetic stability, and disease before releasing them to the public.
  • Customer Reviews: Take the time to read customer reviews and feedback on various websites and forums. Look for patterns of positive or negative experiences, and consider the overall reputation of the seedbank based on customer satisfaction.
  • Shipping and Packaging: It is essential to choose a seedbank that prioritizes discreet packaging and reliable shipping. Seeds should be packaged in a way that safeguards against damage during transit and is inconspicuous enough to avoid attracting unwanted attention.
  • Range of Strains: Look for seedbanks that offer a wide variety of auto-flowering strains, allowing you to choose the perfect fit for your growing preferences and environment.
  • Sustainability Practices: Consider seedbanks that prioritize sustainability by using ecological growing practices and minimizing their carbon footprint. This can include using organic and biodynamic growing methods, as well as reducing waste and energy consumption.

By considering the reputation of the seedbank when choosing your auto-flowering strain, you can ensure that you are starting with high-quality genetics that will yield a successful harvest.

Seedbank Reputation

When it comes to choosing the right auto-flowering strain for your needs, one of the most important factors to consider is the reputation of the seedbank you are purchasing from. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Research thoroughly: Take the time to do your research and find reputable seed banks that have a good track record of producing high-quality seeds. Look for online reviews and ratings from other growers to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Beware of scams: Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous seedbanks out there that are just looking to rip off unsuspecting buyers. Look for red flags such as poor customer service, suspiciously low prices, and a lack of information about the company.
  • Consider seed variety: Many seedbanks specialize in particular types of seeds, such as feminized or auto-flowering. Make sure you choose a seedbank that offers a good selection of high-quality auto-flowering strains.
  • Check shipping and payment options: Look for seedbanks that offer discreet shipping and a variety of payment options to make your purchase as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

By choosing a reputable seedbank that offers high-quality auto-flowering strains, you can ensure a successful and satisfying growing experience.

Tips for Growing Auto-flowering Strains

As a beginner, growing auto-flowering strains can be a great way to get started in the world of cannabis cultivation. However, there are a few tips and tricks you should keep in mind to ensure the best possible results. From selecting the right genetics to providing adequate light, airflow, and nutrients, there are several key factors to consider when growing auto-flowering strains. Let’s dive into some of the tips and tricks you can use to help your auto-flowering plants thrive.

Start with Good Genetics

When growing auto-flowering strains, it is crucial to start with good genetics. The quality of your genetics will determine the overall health, yield, and potency of your plants. Here are some tips for choosing the right genetics:

  • Research: Take the time to research different seed banks and genetics. Look for reputable breeders who have a track record of producing high-quality auto-flowering strains. Read reviews from other growers to get an idea of what to expect from a particular strain.
  • Consider Your Needs: Think about what you want to achieve with your grow. Do you want high yields, potent buds, or unique flavors? Different strains will have different strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to choose one that meets your specific needs.
  • Look for Stability: Auto-flowering genetics are still relatively new, so stability can be an issue with some strains. Look for genetics that have been stabilized through multiple generations of breeding to ensure a consistent and reliable crop.
  • Avoid Cheap Seeds: While it may be tempting to buy cheap seeds, they are often of lower quality and may not produce the results you want. Investing in high-quality genetics will pay off in the end with a better yield and potency.
  • Buy from Reputable Seed Banks: Choose a reputable seed bank that offers a wide variety of auto-flowering strains. Look for reviews from other growers, and check to make sure the seed bank has a good reputation for customer service and product quality.

Starting with good genetics is essential for a successful auto-flowering grow. By taking the time to research and choose the right strains, you can ensure a healthy and bountiful harvest.

Provide Adequate Light, Airflow, and Nutrients

Growing auto-flowering strains can be a rewarding experience for beginners, as they are easy to grow and provide a short growth time. However, it is essential to provide your plants with adequate light, airflow, and nutrients.

Light: One of the most critical factors for growing any cannabis plant is light. Auto-flowering strains require at least 18 hours of light every day throughout their entire life cycle. Experts recommend using LED grow lights for best results, as they are energy-efficient and provide the full spectrum of light required by plants.

Airflow: Proper airflow is crucial for maintaining a healthy growing environment for your auto-flowering plants. You can achieve this by using fans to circulate the air and prevent stagnant air pockets. Adequate airflow can also prevent mold and mildew growth.

Nutrients: Providing your auto-flowering plants with the right nutrients is essential for their growth and overall health. Beginners can use pre-mixed nutrient solutions to simplify the process. However, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not to overfeed your plants, as this can harm them.

To summarize, providing adequate light, airflow, and nutrients are crucial factors for growing healthy and robust auto-flowering plants. Remember to invest in quality grow lights, use fans for airflow, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using nutrient solutions.

Avoid Pruning and Training Too Much

When growing auto-flowering strains, it is important to avoid pruning and training too much. Although these techniques can be effective in increasing yield and controlling plant growth, they may not be suitable for auto-flowering strains, which have a limited vegetative period and a fixed life cycle. Overpruning or overtraining auto-flowering strains can cause stress and stunted growth, leading to lower yields and potency.

To illustrate this point, let’s look at the example of topping, which involves pruning the main stem of the plant to promote branching and bushiness. While this technique can be useful for photo-period strains, it may not be as effective for auto-flowering strains, which have a shorter vegetative phase and less time to recover from stress. Instead of topping, it may be better to focus on other aspects of plant care, such as providing adequate light, airflow, and nutrients.

In addition to topping, other pruning and training techniques, such as fimming, super cropping, and LST (low-stress training), should also be used with caution when growing auto-flowering strains. These techniques can be effective in increasing yield and controlling plant shape, but they should be done carefully and gradually, avoiding excessive stress or damage to the plant.

Ultimately, the key to growing healthy and productive auto-flowering strains is to provide a balanced and consistent growing environment, with the right amount of light, nutrients, water, and airflow. While pruning and training can be part of this process, they should be done in moderation and only when necessary, to avoid compromising the plant’s overall health and yield.

To summarize, when growing auto-flowering strains, it is best to avoid pruning and training too much, as these techniques can cause stress and stunted growth. Instead, focus on providing a balanced and consistent growing environment, with the right amount of light, nutrients, and airflow. By following these guidelines and using good genetics, you can achieve healthy and productive auto-flowering yields.

Do: Don’t:
Provide adequate light, nutrients, and airflow Prune or train too much
Use low-stress training techniques with caution Use high-stress training techniques
Focus on plant health and yield Compromise plant health and yield

Harvest at the Right Time

When it comes to harvesting auto-flowering strains, timing is crucial for obtaining the best possible quality and yield. Unlike photoperiod strains, auto-flowering strains will automatically flower based on age and not light cycles, so it’s essential to keep a close eye on them.

The right time to harvest auto-flowering strains is when the trichomes have turned milky white or amber in color. Trichomes are tiny, hair-like structures on the buds that contain THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. They can be best observed with a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe. When the trichomes are mostly milky white, the buds are at their peak potency, and this is the best time to harvest for the most potent buds. Harvesting when the trichomes have turned amber can result in a more relaxed and sedative effect.

Another useful indicator for harvesting auto-flowering strains is the pistils. Pistils are the hair-like structures that protrude from the buds. When they have turned orange or brown and have started to curl inwards, it’s a sign that the plant is ready for harvest.

It’s important not to wait too long to harvest, as overripe buds can lose potency and develop a heavy, unpleasant taste. However, harvesting too early can result in a lower yield and buds that are not as potent.

It’s also a good idea to harvest in the morning, after the plant has had time to rest and recover overnight. This will help ensure that the buds are at their freshest and have had adequate time to produce resin.

Below is a table summarizing the key points to keep in mind when harvesting auto-flowering strains.

Key Points for Harvesting Auto-flowering Strains
– Harvest when trichomes are mostly milky white or amber
– Check pistils, which should be orange or brown and curling inwards, to confirm readiness to harvest
– Avoid waiting too long or harvesting too early
– Harvest in the morning for freshest buds

Following these guidelines will help ensure that you get the best possible yield and quality from your auto-flowering plants.

Cure and Store Buds Properly

Properly curing and storing auto-flowering buds is crucial for preserving their quality, flavor and potency. Here are some important steps to follow:

1. Dry buds slowly and evenly: After harvesting your plants, hang them upside down in a cool, dry and dark place with good ventilation. This allows for slow and even drying of the buds, which is important for preventing mold and preserving their quality.

2. Trim buds and remove excess leaves: Once the buds are dry and the stems can snap, trim off any excess leaves with scissors or a sharp knife. This allows for easier handling and reduces the risk of mold.

3. Store buds in airtight containers: Mason jars or vacuum-sealed bags are great options for storing your buds. Make sure they are completely dry before storing to prevent mold. Store in a cool, dry and dark place to preserve their potency and flavor.

4. Regularly check for humidity and mold: It’s important to regularly check your stored buds for humidity and mold. If you notice any signs of mold, remove the affected buds immediately to prevent it from spreading.

5. Let buds “cure” for a few weeks: Curing involves storing buds in a sealed container with a humidity control pack for a few weeks. This allows for further development of the flavor and aroma of the buds. Make sure to burp the container daily to release any excess moisture.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your auto-flowering buds are properly cured and stored for optimal quality and potency.


After considering all the pros and cons of growing auto-flowering strains, it’s safe to say that they are indeed a great choice for beginners. Although they may have lower yields and potency compared to photoperiod strains, the ease of growing and the quick turnaround time make them worth considering, especially for those who are new to growing cannabis.

When choosing the right auto-flowering strain, it’s important to consider factors such as your growing environment, the desired effects and flavors, as well as the reputation of the seedbank you’re buying from.

As with any type of cannabis strain, it’s important to start with good genetics and provide adequate light, airflow, and nutrients to ensure healthy growth. Avoid pruning and training too much, and be sure to harvest at the right time for optimal potency and yield. Finally, it’s crucial to properly cure and store your buds to maintain their quality over time.

In conclusion, auto-flowering strains offer a great opportunity for beginners to grow cannabis quickly and easily, with minimal effort and experience required. With careful consideration of strain selection and proper growing techniques, anyone can enjoy a successful harvest of their own high-quality cannabis. So why not give it a try?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can auto-flowering strains be grown outdoors?

Yes, auto-flowering strains can be grown both indoors and outdoors. However, they tend to perform better outdoors in regions with long, warm summers.

How long do auto-flowering strains take to grow?

Auto-flowering strains typically take 8-10 weeks from seed to harvest, which is much shorter than traditional photoperiod strains.

Do auto-flowering strains require different nutrients than regular cannabis strains?

No, auto-flowering strains can be fed the same nutrients as regular cannabis strains. However, they may require less nutrients overall due to their smaller size and shorter growth cycle.

Can auto-flowering strains be cloned?

Technically, auto-flowering strains can be cloned. However, the resulting clones may not flower on their own and may require a change in light cycle to induce flowering.

What is the typical yield of an auto-flowering strain?

Auto-flowering strains typically have a lower yield than traditional photoperiod strains. However, some auto-flowering strains can still produce impressive yields with proper care and growing conditions.

Are auto-flowering strains less potent than regular cannabis strains?

Auto-flowering strains can be just as potent as regular cannabis strains. The potency of a strain depends on its genetics and growing conditions, not whether it is an auto-flowering or photoperiod strain.

Do auto-flowering strains need a specific light cycle?

No, auto-flowering strains do not require a specific light cycle. They will begin flowering on their own regardless of the light cycle they are given.

What should I look for in a high-quality auto-flowering strain?

When selecting an auto-flowering strain, look for a reputable seed bank, genetics that are well-suited for your growing environment, and desired effects and flavors.

Can I grow different strains of cannabis together?

Yes, you can grow different strains of cannabis together. However, be aware that different strains may have different nutrient requirements and growth habits, so it is important to research each strain before growing them together.

Do auto-flowering strains require a specific pH level for the soil?

Like all cannabis plants, auto-flowering strains prefer soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. It is important to monitor and adjust pH levels as needed to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.


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