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Autoflowering strains have come a long way since the first automatic genetics became available. Even though the first autoflowers weren’t very popular due to their short stature and low yields, there now are varieties suited to every taste and type of grower.
This new generation of autoflowers offers strains that can produce higher yields and are more resistant to harsh climates and pests. If you’ve never tried an auto before, don’t be intimidated—just make sure you’re ordering from reputable cannabis seed banks and start growing!
What are autoflowering strains?
Autoflowers are a special type of cannabis that doesn’t depend on a light cycle to trigger flowering. They can take up to 30 percent less time from seed to harvest and, as the name says, will start flowering automatically.
Autoflowering cannabis contains a mixture of indica, sativa, and ruderalis genetics. The ruderalis genes are almost unnoticeable; the only trait they add to the combination is the fast flowering characteristic.
This makes autoflowers a great choice for home growers who are looking for fast flowering plants that can be grown outdoors all year long or for commercial growers who want a quick harvest without affecting the yields and quality.
Here are three great autoflowering strains to consider:
Gorilla Cookies Auto
Gorilla Cookies Auto is a beautiful autoflower. Emerging from a cross between two extremely powerful genetics, this strain inherited only the best traits from its parents, resulting in an extremely resilient plant—and one of the most potent autos to date—with an insane 27 percent THC.
This fine-tuned balanced hybrid is a great choice for both novice and experienced growers who are looking for high-yielding genetics that can be cultivated outdoors and indoors without much maintenance while still being able to produce chunky buds that end up completely covered in high-quality resin in seventy days.
Thanks to its indica and sativa genetics, this cultivar offers an intense euphoric head rush which slowly turns into a strong corporeal effect that will leave your whole face feeling like it’s melting. Ideal for relaxing after a long day of work.
This potent effect comes hand-in-hand with an elaborate terpene profile that expresses light minty, kushy, and earthy undertones. It tastes like a sweet cookie dough flavor on the inhale and gradually turns into a more gassy and citrusy taste on the exhale. Perfect for hash makers and extractors.
Northern Lights Auto
Northern Lights Auto is an exceptionally resilient strain with a THC content of 20 percent. This indica-dominant hybrid reeks of a savory and unique terpene profile of peppery spice and a bit of fruitiness. Although its scent isn’t as pungent as other strains, this earthy classic is strong and results in extremely potent extractions.
This autoflower can grow up to 120cm in sixty-three days, and due to its compact structure, it’s perfect for growing in a Sea of Green (SOG). This cultivar produces acorn-shaped buds that will turn out dripping in trichomes by the end of flowering. Ideal for commercial growers looking for fast and huge producers.
Thanks to the indica dominance, you can expect a potent effect as soon as you take the first puff. The palatable flavors come along with an effect that will put you in a deep couch-lock and melt your face. Perfect to induce a long and relaxing night of sleep or for staying home watching movies.
Blue Dream Auto
Blue Dream Auto is a highly productive autoflower, testing at 22 percent THC. It can produce super dense buds that sparkle with an array of green and light pink hues and can grow up to 110cm in around sixty-three to seventy-seven days.
This hybrid will easily show her sativa lineage and develops one fat main cola with multiple side branches that can yield up to 600gr/m2, making it ideal for commercial growers.
This cultivar offers a more cerebral than body high. You’ll feel an upbeat and energetic effect with a light body effect that nicely complements the head rush. Definitely recommended for consumers who enjoy sativa-like effects.
The outstanding mix of tropical terpenes provides a delightful sweet and floral smell that tastes like a blend of ripe cherry, citrus, and pine with hints of baked tart.
Autoflowers are not different from photoperiodic cannabis apart from their fast-flowering characteristic and even though they’re relatively simple to grow, there are some tips to help you make the most out of each seed.
First of all, because autos have a limited time to grow, it’s essential you avoid stressing them. It’s recommended to avoid over watering at all costs, especially during the first weeks of plant growth. Some strains love a big feeding and frequent watering but try not to water them too much until the roots have established.
Also, some strains have a really compact structure so they can develop a bushy foliage. To avoid having airy buds, carefully remove some leaves every couple of days or tie down the branches so all the flowering sites get equal amounts of light. This will not only improve the quality but also can increase yields.
Finally, bear in mind that autos have been selectively bred and improved so you must have an idea of how big the specific strain you’re growing can get. Some autos grow as short as 60cm but others can grow up to 2m, so read and gather info about the genetics you want to grow to ensure you don’t run out of space and end up having problems along the way.
Enzo Schillaci is a home grower with nearly a decade of growing experience. Originally from Argentina, he has visited Brazil, Spain, the U.S. (where he attended Oaksterdam University), Mexico, Puerto Rico, and several other countries in order to perfect his growing skills and learn more about cannabis in different parts of the world. Schillaci currently works at Fast Buds, an autoflowering cannabis seed bank.