Indoor vs. Outdoor Growing for Auto-Flowering Strains

Growing auto-flowering strains can be a rewarding experience for any horticulture enthusiast. However, the question of whether to grow indoors or outdoors may cause some perplexity. Each method has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on various factors. In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of both indoor and outdoor growing for auto-flowering strains, and provide some recommended techniques and strains for each method.

Indoor Growing


Indoor Growing
One of the main advantages of growing auto-flowering strains indoors is the ability to create an environment that is completely controlled. With the right conditions, indoor growing can produce high-quality harvests all year round, without any external factors interfering in the growth process. However, indoor growing also has its challenges, and it’s important to be aware of these before embarking on an indoor auto-flowering growing project. In this section, we will explore the pros, cons, best techniques, and recommended strains for indoor auto-flowering growing. So, let’s dive in!

What are Auto-Flowering Strains?

Auto-flowering strains are a type of cannabis plant that doesn’t rely on light cycle changes to flower. Instead, they begin to flower automatically after a certain period of time, regardless of the amount of light they receive. This makes auto-flowering strains a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor growers.

Auto-flowering strains are often the result of crossbreeding between Cannabis ruderalis, a low-THC and fast-growing variety of cannabis, with other high-THC strains. This creates plants that are genetically programmed to flower quickly and produce high levels of cannabinoids.

Here’s a table summarizing some key characteristics of auto-flowering strains:

Characteristics Description
Maturity Auto-flowering strains have a shorter life cycle, typically maturing within 8 to 10 weeks.
Size They tend to be smaller in size, making them a suitable choice for growers with limited space or who want to grow discreetly.
Yield Auto-flowering strains typically produce a lower yield compared to other strains, but they can still produce high-quality buds with a high THC content.
Light cycle Auto-flowering strains don’t require changes in light cycle to begin flowering, making them an ideal choice for indoor growers who want to simplify their setup.
Durability Auto-flowering strains tend to be more resistant to pests and diseases than other strains, making them easier to grow.

Auto-flowering strains offer a convenient option for growers who want to grow quickly and efficiently, whether it’s for personal use or for commercial purposes. However, it’s important to note that they do have some drawbacks to consider as well.

Pros of Indoor Auto-Flowering Growing

Indoor auto-flowering growing has several benefits that make it a popular choice for many growers. Here are some of the most notable ones:

  • Control over the environment: Indoor growing allows for complete control over the growing environment. This means that growers can manipulate factors like temperature, humidity, light intensity, and air circulation to create optimal conditions for their auto-flowering plants. With these variables under control, plants are more likely to grow faster, produce higher yields, and develop stronger buds.
  • Privacy and security: Growing plants outdoors can draw unwanted attention from neighbors, passersby, or even authorities. Indoor growing, on the other hand, is much more discrete and secure. Growers can keep their plants hidden from prying eyes and control who has access to their grow space.
  • Year-round growing: With indoor growing, growers don’t have to rely on the season or weather conditions to start growing their plants. They can start a new batch whenever they want, allowing for multiple harvests throughout the year. This is especially useful for commercial growers who need a steady supply of product.
  • Pest and disease control: Growing indoors can also minimize the risk of pests and diseases affecting plants. With a controlled environment, growers can limit the likelihood of insects and pathogens entering and spreading throughout the grow space, leading to healthier plants and higher yields.
  • Higher quality buds: Indoor growing allows for precise monitoring and control of environmental factors, which can result in higher quality buds. By optimizing conditions throughout the growing cycle, growers can encourage the development of flavors, aromas, and potency levels specific to their desired strain.

While there are many benefits to indoor auto-flowering growing, it is important to keep in mind that it requires a greater upfront investment in equipment and setup compared to outdoor growing. Additionally, high electricity costs may be a concern for some growers as they will need to run lights and other equipment 24 hours a day. Despite these potential drawbacks, indoor growing remains a popular choice due to the level of control over the growing environment it provides.

Cons of Indoor Auto-Flowering Growing

While indoor auto-flowering growing has its advantages, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. Here are some cons to consider:

Cons Explanation
High start-up cost Setting up an indoor grow room can be expensive due to costs associated with lighting, ventilation, and other equipment needed to create the optimal growing environment.
Electricity bills Running the necessary equipment for indoor auto-flowering growing can result in high electricity bills. This can be especially costly if you are growing a large number of plants.
Small grow space Indoor grow spaces are often limited in size, which can hinder the growth of plants and result in a lower yield.
Limitations on plant size Due to the small grow space, plants may be restricted in size and not reach their full potential. This can result in smaller yields and lower quality buds.
Maintenance Indoor growing requires constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure the plants receive the correct amount of water, nutrients, and light. This can be time-consuming and may require a significant amount of work.
Environmental control Controlling the environment in an indoor grow room can be challenging. Fluctuations in temperature or humidity can have a negative impact on plant growth and development.
Odor control Indoor growing can result in strong odors, which can be difficult to control and may alert others to the presence of a grow. This can be problematic in areas where growing marijuana is not legal.

While these cons may seem daunting, with careful planning and preparation, indoor auto-flowering growing can be a successful and rewarding experience.

Best Indoor Techniques for Auto-Flowering Strains

When it comes to indoor growing of auto-flowering strains, there are several techniques that can be used to maximize yields and ensure high-quality buds. Below, we will outline some of the best methods and explain how they can benefit your crop.

Technique | Description
———— | ————-
Sea of Green (SOG) | SOG involves planting multiple small plants close together, and then training them to grow into a dense canopy. This method is ideal for auto-flowering strains because they tend to have short life cycles and can be harvested quickly. By planting many small plants close together, you can take advantage of the limited space in your indoor setup and produce an abundance of buds in a relatively short period of time.
Screen of Green (SCROG) | SCROG involves the use of a screen or net to channel plant growth so that it creates an even canopy. This method encourages horizontal growth and can increase yields and bud quality. SCROG is particularly useful for indoor auto-flowering strains because it allows growers to control the size and shape of their plants, which can lead to more consistent yields and a higher quality product.
Low-Stress Training (LST) | LST is a method that involves the gentle bending and shaping of plant branches to create a more even canopy and promote even growth. This method is ideal for auto-flowering strains because it does not involve the use of harsh chemicals or extreme conditions that can damage delicate plants. Instead, LST utilizes simple training techniques to help plants grow stronger, healthier, and more productive. By using LST to spread out the branches of your plants, you can maximize the amount of light that each one receives and increase overall yields.
High-Stress Training (HST) | HST involves manipulating the plants to induce stress, which can result in greater yield and bud potency. This technique is often used in combination with other methods, such as SOG or SCROG, to maximize yield potential. However, it is important to note that auto-flowering strains may not respond well to HST if not done properly or if the technique is too extreme. Careful consideration and expertise are required to ensure positive results with this method.
Hydroponics | Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. This method allows for greater control over plant nutrients, pH levels, and other growth conditions, which can lead to faster growth and higher yields. Some growers prefer hydroponics for auto-flowering strains because it allows them to closely monitor plant health and make adjustments as needed to ensure the best possible outcome. However, hydroponics requires specialized equipment and can be more costly than traditional soil-based methods.

Choosing the best indoor technique for your auto-flowering strain will depend on your goals, resources, and level of expertise. Experimentation is always recommended, as different methods may yield different results depending on the specific conditions of your setup. However, by utilizing some of the techniques outlined above, you can increase your chances of producing a successful, high-quality indoor crop.

Recommended Indoor Auto-Flowering Strains

When it comes to indoor auto-flowering growing, selecting the right strain is crucial. Here are some of the recommended indoor auto-flowering strains:

  • Girl Scout Cookies Auto: A popular strain well-known for its sweet and earthy flavor profile, Girl Scout Cookies Auto is a good option for those looking for a high-THC strain. It usually flowers within 8 to 9 weeks.
  • Blueberry Auto: As the name suggests, this strain offers a sweet and fruity flavor reminiscent of blueberries. Blueberry Auto is a popular choice for indoor cultivation due to its short flowering time of 8 to 10 weeks.
  • Northern Lights Auto: This strain is a classic among cannabis enthusiasts, and for good reason. It offers a relaxing and euphoric high and can usually be harvested in just 9 to 10 weeks.
  • White Widow Auto: A cross between a Brazilian sativa and a South Indian indica, White Widow Auto is known for its potent effects and resinous buds. It typically flowers within 8 to 10 weeks.
  • Sour Diesel Auto: Sour Diesel Auto offers a pungent, diesel-like aroma and a cerebral high. It typically grown in hydroponic systems and can be harvested in just 9 to 10 weeks.

These strains are all good options for indoor auto-flowering growing due to their short flowering times, ease of cultivation, and desirable effects. However, it’s worth noting that different strains may work better for different growing setups and personal preferences.

Outdoor Growing

If you have an outdoor space that you would like to use for growing auto-flowering strains, you might be wondering about the best practices to maximize your yield. There are some advantages to outdoor growing that cannot be replicated indoors, but there are also some unique challenges that you will need to overcome. In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of outdoor auto-flowering growing and offer some tips for the best techniques to use.

What are Auto-Flowering Strains?

Auto-flowering strains are cannabis plants that are genetically programmed to begin flowering automatically, instead of relying on a change in light cycles to initiate the flowering stage. These strains are highly sought after by growers due to their fast growth and short life cycle, making them an ideal option for those looking to produce multiple crops in a year.

The unique feature of auto-flowering strains is that they contain genetics from ruderalis, which is a type of cannabis that is native to areas with harsh climates and shorter growing seasons. This adaptation allows auto-flowering strains to thrive in less-than-ideal environments where other strains may struggle to grow.

Auto-flowering strains are perfect for those who are new to cannabis cultivation, as they require less maintenance and attention than traditional strains. With their compact size and discreet growth, auto-flowering strains can be grown in a variety of settings including balconies, closets, and even windowsills.

In general, auto-flowering strains can be divided into two types: hybrids and pure auto-flowering strains. Hybrid auto-flowering strains are created by crossbreeding pure auto-flowering strains with traditional indica or sativa strains, producing plants that maintain the auto-flowering trait while also inheriting the desirable characteristics of their parental strains.

On the other hand, pure auto-flowering strains are the result of selective breeding programs that stabilize the auto-flowering trait while eliminating undesirable traits. These strains are often preferred by growers due to their predictability and the fact that they are less likely to revert back to traditional photoperiod strains.

Pros of Outdoor Auto-Flowering Growing

When it comes to outdoor auto-flowering growing, there are several advantages that make it a popular choice for many growers. Here are some of the most significant pros of growing auto-flowering strains in an outdoor environment:

  • Natural environment: Outdoor auto-flowering plants grow in their natural environment, providing optimal sunlight, temperature, and humidity levels. This allows the plants to grow and develop to their full potential, resulting in increased yield and potency.
  • Lower cost: Outdoor growing requires less equipment, which can significantly reduce setup costs compared to indoor growing. The sun also provides free light, eliminating the need for expensive lighting systems.
  • Larger yields: The natural environment and larger growing space provided by outdoor cultivation can result in larger yields compared to indoor growing.
  • Higher potency: Outdoor auto-flowering plants are exposed to direct sunlight, which is stronger than any indoor lighting system. This exposure leads to higher potency levels compared to indoor cultivation.
  • More sustainable: Outdoor growing is more environmentally sustainable, as it doesn’t require as much electricity or other resources as indoor growing. Additionally, outdoor cultivation doesn’t leave a carbon footprint or require expensive cooling systems.
  • Greater variety: Outdoor growing provides access to a broader variety of auto-flowering strains, as many strains are specifically bred for outdoor cultivation.

Outdoor auto-flowering growing can provide a more natural, cost-effective, and sustainable option for growing your own high-quality cannabis.

Cons of Outdoor Auto-Flowering Growing

Growing auto-flowering strains outdoors may seem like an attractive investment as it is a significantly cheaper option compared to indoor cultivation. However, it comes with some downsides to consider before planting those seeds.

1. Less Control over Environmental Factors: In outdoor cultivation, you have no control over the weather, temperature, and lighting factors. You are at the mercy of nature, which can be harsh at times. Excessive heat, cold, rain, storms, and pests can destroy your entire crop in a matter of days.

2. Limited Harvests per Year: Auto-flowering strains have a fixed life cycle, which means they flower and harvest automatically, regardless of the light cycle. However, growing them outdoors limits your harvests to only one or two per year, depending on your location and climate. This is not ideal if you want a continuous supply of buds throughout the year.

3. Security Risks: Outdoor cultivation is vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Since your plants are in the open, anyone can approach them and steal them without your knowledge. This is a significant security risk that could lead to the loss of your entire investment.

4. Less Potent Buds: Outdoor conditions do not always provide the ideal environment for growing high-quality buds. Due to the uncontrollable factors, buds grown outdoors might develop less potency and have fewer terpenes compared to those grown indoors.

5. Additional Precautions: When growing outdoors, you need to take additional precautions to ensure your crop remains safe and healthy. This includes pest control measures, the use of trellises and other support systems, drip irrigation, and regular monitoring of the plants. These additional measures may increase your cost of production and labor.

Best Outdoor Techniques for Auto-Flowering Strains

When it comes to growing auto-flowering strains outdoors, there are a few techniques that can help maximize yield and potency. Here are some of the best techniques to keep in mind:

  • Choose the right location: It’s important to choose a location that gets plenty of sunshine and has good drainage. Look for a spot with southern exposure and avoid areas with heavy foot traffic or where animals may disturb your plants.
  • Use high-quality soil: A good soil mix is essential for outdoor growing. Look for a nutrient-rich soil that drains well and has a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. You may also want to amend your soil with compost or other organic matter to improve its texture and nutrient content.
  • Start early: Auto-flowering strains tend to have a shorter growing cycle than regular cannabis plants, so it’s important to get them started early in the growing season. This will give them plenty of time to mature before the weather turns cold.
  • Water and fertilize regularly: Outdoor plants will typically need more water and nutrients than indoor ones, so be sure to water your plants regularly and fertilize them as needed. You may also want to consider using a slow-release fertilizer to provide your plants with a steady supply of nutrients over time.
  • Protect your plants: Outdoor plants are more vulnerable to pests and other environmental factors, so it’s important to take steps to protect them. You may want to use a natural insecticide or fungicide to ward off pests and diseases, and consider using stakes or cages to support your plants as they grow.

By following these outdoor growing techniques, you can help ensure that your auto-flowering plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.

Recommended Outdoor Auto-Flowering Strains

When it comes to recommended outdoor auto-flowering strains, there are many options available. These strains are known for their ability to adapt to different outdoor growing conditions and provide a bountiful harvest. Here are some of the top recommended outdoor auto-flowering strains:

Strain Name Description Characteristics
Amnesia Haze Auto This strain is a sativa-dominant auto-flowering strain known for its potent and long-lasting high. It has a fruity and spicy aroma and provides a cerebral, uplifting effect. Height: 80-150 cm, Yield: 450-550 g/m2, THC: 18%, Flowering time: 10-11 weeks
Northern Lights Auto This strain is an indica-dominant auto-flowering strain with a sweet and spicy aroma. It produces a relaxing and calming effect perfect for relieving stress and anxiety. Height: 90-120 cm, Yield: 200-300 g/m2, THC: 14%, Flowering time: 8-9 weeks
Blue Dream Auto This strain is a sativa-dominant auto-flowering strain with a fruity and earthy aroma. It has a balanced and uplifting effect that is perfect for daytime use. Height: 50-100 cm, Yield: 300 g/plant, THC: 18%, Flowering time: 9-10 weeks
Sour Diesel Auto This strain is a sativa-dominant auto-flowering strain with a diesel and citrus aroma. It has a cerebral and energizing effect that is perfect for creative pursuits. Height: 90-120 cm, Yield: 450-500 g/m2, THC: 17%, Flowering time: 10-11 weeks

These strains have been selected based on their ability to thrive in outdoor growing conditions and provide potent and flavorful buds. It is important to research the specific growing requirements for each strain and ensure that they are suitable for your climate and growing environment. Happy growing!


In the end, deciding whether to opt for indoor or outdoor growing for auto-flowering strains depends on various factors such as climate, available space, budget, and personal preferences. Both methods have their pros and cons, and it ultimately boils down to what works best for you.

Indoor growing offers various advantages such as the ability to control environmental conditions, protection from pests and harsh weather, and the potential to achieve higher yields. However, it can be expensive to set up, especially for beginners, and requires consistent monitoring and maintenance.

Outdoor growing can be a more cost-effective option, as natural sunlight and soil nutrients are available. It also allows plants to grow bigger and has the potential for a more flavorful harvest. However, it is subject to factors outside of your control, such as the weather and pests, and can have stricter legal implications in some areas.

Regardless of which method you choose, it is essential to research and select the right strains for your growing environment to ensure the best results. Some recommended indoor auto-flowering strains include Lowryder, Northern Lights, and Blackberry; while good choices for outdoor growing include Blue Mystic, Amnesia Haze, and AK-47.

In conclusion, both indoor and outdoor growing can be effective for auto-flowering strains, and the decision ultimately comes down to what suits your situation best. With the right techniques, tools, and knowledge, you can have a successful and rewarding auto-flowering harvest.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between indoor and outdoor growing?

Indoor growing involves cultivating plants in a controlled environment within a building, while outdoor growing involves cultivating plants in an open environment outside.

What are auto-flowering strains?

Auto-flowering strains are cannabis plants that automatically shift from the vegetative growth phase to the flowering phase after a certain period, without the need for a change in light exposure.

What are some pros of indoor auto-flowering growing?

Indoor growing provides maximum control over the environment, resulting in generally higher yields and better quality buds. Auto-flowering strains are also frequently smaller and more compact, making them easier to manage indoors.

What are some cons of indoor auto-flowering growing?

Indoor growing can be expensive, and requires a significant amount of space and equipment. Additionally, the controlled environment can lead to the potential for pests and disease to spread more easily.

What are some recommended indoor auto-flowering strains?

Some recommended indoor auto-flowering strains include Dwarf Low Flyer, Northern Lights Auto, and Blueberry Auto.

What are some pros of outdoor auto-flowering growing?

Outdoor growing is often less expensive and doesn’t require extensive equipment. Additionally, plants grown outside can naturally achieve larger yields due to the unlimited space and natural sunlight.

What are some cons of outdoor auto-flowering growing?

Outdoor growing can be unpredictable as it is reliant on factors outside of our control, such as weather and pests. The plants may also require more maintenance and care due to exposure to the elements.

What are some recommended outdoor auto-flowering strains?

Some recommended outdoor auto-flowering strains include Northern Lights Auto, Super Skunk Auto, and Pineapple Express Auto.

What are some best techniques for indoor auto-flowering growing?

Some of the best techniques for indoor auto-flowering growing include using high-quality soil, providing adequate lighting and ventilation, and trimming the plants regularly to promote even airflow and light penetration.

What are some best techniques for outdoor auto-flowering growing?

Some of the best techniques for outdoor auto-flowering growing include starting plants indoors to ensure they are strong and healthy before being placed outside, using good quality soil and nutrients, and protecting the plants from pests with natural remedies or pesticides.


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