By Dennis Blanc,
Last update: February 01, 2019
What are Autoflowering marijuana seeds?Autoflowering marijuana seeds are different to normal marijuana seeds. The special characteristic of autoflowering plants is that they start their blooming phase 2 to 3 weeks after sprouting from the seeds. The great advantage of this is that you can harvest 3 to 4 times a year when planting them outdoors, compared to just once a year with regular seeds. The new strain of autoflowering seeds can now be grown indoors as well. This is something which was not easy to do until now.
To understand the great benefits of autoflowering seeds, it is necessary to first understand the growing and blooming phases of a normal marijuana plant.
Growing and blooming phases of regular (non-autoflowering) outdoor marijuana plants:Normally in nature, a seed will sprout in the early spring. This time of the year the days are still short but getting longer each day. This is how a plant knows that it is the right time to begin growing.
In late summer, after the longest day has passed and the days start to get shorter again, the plant knows that there is not much time left before it will die in the cold winter.
That is why the plant will switch to the blooming stage after the days start to get shorter again. During this stage the plant wants to procreate before it dies and in order to do this it will start producing buds.
The time of year that corresponds to the different seasons varies depending on what part of the world you are in.
So you should bear in mind what time of year spring begins in your own country.
For the example below we will assume that we will be growing outdoors in Europe.
Our spring starts around the end of March/begin of April, but we should wait to plant the seeds until ground frosts are no longer expected. We can expect the seed to sprout and begin growing sometime in early April.
The plant will remain in the growing stage for 5 months (March to August). After that time the plant switches to its genetically-established blooming time. This stage typically lasts between 8 and 12 weeks, depending on the strain of the plant, and towards the end of this stage the plant will be ready to harvest. A standard strain with a 10-week blooming period will be ready to harvest in mid -November (10 weeks after the end of August).
Altogether, when using a regular strain planted in the early spring, it will mean an average wait of 7.5 months from seed to harvest.
However, let’s imagine that you decide to plant the seeds at a later date, for example at the end of July.
Even in that case, the time of year at which it switches to the blooming stage will not change. It will be exactly the same time of year as in the above example, where the seeds were planted at the start of April.
The only difference is that the growing time is much shorter, and therefore the plants will be much smaller.
This means that no matter what time of year you plant the seeds, you can only harvest once a year.
Growing and blooming phases of “autoflowering” outdoor marijuana plants:Autoflowering seeds are genetically modified marijuana seeds.
An autoflowering plant begins its blooming stage 3 weeks after sprouting from the seed, regardless of what time of the year it is planted or how many hours of light it gets.
In our example below we will illustrate the growing cycle of an autoflowering plant with a genetically-established blooming time of 8 weeks:
We plant the (already germinated) seeds at the start of April.
After 3 weeks the plant switches automatically from the growing stage to the blooming stage, and 8 weeks after that it is time to harvest.
The whole process from seed to harvest time lasts 11 weeks.
After harvesting you can repeat the process over again.
How many times you can repeat the cycle in one year will depend on the night-time temperature during winter in your country.
You cannot grow marijuana when the temperature drops below freezing point..
Properties of normal outdoor seeds:• Optimum growing time of approx. 5 months
• Blooming time of 8 to 12 weeks
• 1 outdoor harvest possible each year
• Plant height approx 2.5 meters/100 inches (when planted in the early spring)
• Dependent of the time of the year and hours of daylight per day
Properties of autoflowering outdoor seeds:• Growing time of approx. 3 weeks
• Blooming time of 8 to 10 weeks
• Up to 4 outdoors harvest possible per year!
• Plant height approx. 70 cm/25 inches (when planted in the early spring)
• NOT dependent of the time of the year or hours of daylight per day
Using normal seeds or clones indoors:
Normal seeds are not generally used for indoor growing.
Instead, for indoor use clones are commonly used.
This is because the optimum genetic age for plants to switch to their blooming stage is 3 months or more.
Plants with a genetic age of less than 3 months are too weak for good results.
Good clones are the ones that have been taken from a mother plant at the age of at least 3 months. At this genetic age, it is possible for the clone to switch to its blooming stage just 2 weeks after being planted.
However, even though a clone may look like a promising baby plant it does not necessarily mean that it will provide good results, as it may not have a genetic age of at least 3 months.
Indoor use of normal seeds is not recommended because the plant should grow for at least 3 months before it switches to the blooming stage.
It is possible but will create very tall plants, which is not recommended.
On the other hand, if an indoor plant from normal seeds switches to its blooming stage after just a couple of weeks it will be genetically too young, and the resulting harvest will be poor.
Using autoflowering seeds indoors:
For indoor use, autoflowering seeds are much better.
They will switch to their blooming stage by themselves after approx. 3 weeks.
The plants will stay short, but your harvest will be good!
The advantage of using these seeds is that you can be sure of having good quality plants, which is something that cannot be guaranteed when using clones.
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