Autoflowers have a lot of growing to do and they do it very fast. So fast that you’ll be on your toes to keep up with it. If you want the very best yields, you must be prepared to work for it. And talking about maintaining the plants, heat plays a major role.
- Not all companies provide a full spectrum
This is why many growers use T5 fluorescent lights, CFLs and MH lights to tend to seedlings. However, if you plan to use LEDs for the entire cycle, you need to be very careful at the beginning. For starters, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
When compared to HIDs, LEDs are a tad more expensive. Then why choose them? Well, LEDs may be a little more expensive than HPS or HID lights when you first purchase them, but the costs reduce in the long term, making LEDs certainly cheaper than maintaining HPS lights.
Here’s a quick example of how your autoflowers might fare under LED lights:
Growing seedlings with LEDs can be a little tricky. Seedlings are very fragile, and if the lights are too close, they tend to burn. Conversely, they grow tall and lanky if the lights are far away. So, the trick is to maintain the perfect distance between the plant and the light.
Since LEDs contain all the colors, there’s no need to switch the lights between phases. But, remember that this is true only with certain lights because LEDs being introduced now come with separate vegetative and flowering switches. No, you don’t have to switch to a different light, but you may have to manually control the switches.
A major advantage of using LEDs is that you don’t have to change the light to match the stages of the plant. For instance, the plant needs a lot of blue light in the vegetative phase. In such stages, growers use MH lights and switch to HPS lights during flowering. Even if you use CFLs, “Cool Blue Daylight” lights are used specifically in the growing phase.
Yes, of course, you can! In fact, you can grow any type of plant using LEDs without any issues. They last for a long, long time with some lights continuing for more than 50,000 to 100,000 hours!
Autoflowers are easy to grow, despite what you’ve been told. They adjust to any growing condition as long as it isn’t extreme. Similarly, they will
Cannabis is a C3 plant, meaning it can absorb CO₂ for photosynthesis even during light hours. And since autoflowering plants have short vegetative phases and often grow shorter than photoperiod strains, you’ll typically want to give your autos at least 18 hours of light. This allows for robust growth, without overspending on energy. Your autos love light just as much as traditional photoperiod strains, they just don’t rely on it to begin bloom.
Using the right light spectrum is super important when growing any type of cannabis plant, including autos. Because autoflowering plants have such short life cycles, you really want to maximise the quality of light, nutrients, and soil you give them.
SOG is a great technique to try with autos because it takes advantage of the naturally smaller stature of these varieties. While every grower will have their own technique for SOG, most will grow between 4–16 plants per m², depending on how big they let each plant grow.
- 6500K blue light during veg: Blue light spectrums have been shown to encourage vegetative growth, helping cannabis plants grow short and stocky while minimising stretching.
- 2700K red light during flowering: Red light spectrums are ideal for bloom because they encourage budding and a little bit of stretch, encouraging your plants to produce big, dense flowers.
Depending on the size of the particular strain you’re growing, we recommend using 7–10l pots and growing between 4–6 plants per m². This should make the most of your space and lighting while still providing your plants with enough airflow to avoid any mould issues. If you decide to grow more plants per m², remember to use smaller pots to control their size and avoid overcrowding your grow room.
Growing autoflowering strains? In this article, we explore the ideal light schedule to help your autos produce the best possible harvests.
As you might recall from science class, when you shine a light through a prism, it is broken up into different colour spectrums. Plants, which depend on light for photosynthesis, respond differently to these different spectrums. Like with a photoperiod cannabis strain, we recommend sticking to the following light spectrums:
Some growers still decide to keep their autos under a 12/12 light cycle during flowering. And that’s fine, as autos grown in these conditions can still produce a fair harvest. Just remember that the buds you harvest under a 12hr light cycle will be noticeably smaller than what you’d get under a 18–24hr cycle. Some reasons you might consider keeping your autos under 12/12 include:
SOG, or sea of green, is a cannabis training technique that can produce some great harvests. Rather than getting your plants to grow as large as possible, SOG involves growing several smaller plants in close proximity to form a uniform canopy that maximises light exposure and space.
Growing autos? Click here to learn all you need to know about the right light schedule for autoflowering cannabis strains.