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How to Make an Autoflower Strain

Created by
JoshuaHolt JoshuaHolt
Added 20 April 2022

Autoflowering strains of cannabis are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a number of advantages, especially for amateur growers who are just starting with cannabis cultivation.

What separates these strains of cannabis from regular photoperiod cannabis strains is that they don’t require a change of light and darkness hours in order to commence their flowering stage, and instead start flowering solely based on how old they are.

Autoflowering strains are also known as day-neutral cannabis strains, and the vast majority of autoflower seeds available on the market today are also feminized, which essentially means that these seeds will grow to develop into female bud-bearing plants.

Besides not depending on the change in light/dark hours, one of the biggest advantages of autoflower strains is that they mature really quickly, and most of them are harvest-ready in less than ten weeks.

Some of these autoflowering varieties also grow relatively short, which comes in handy either if you’re looking to keep your plants a secret, or if you have limited grow room indoors.

How Autoflower Strains Originated

What makes autoflowering strains capable of flowering solely based on their age is that regular strains of cannabis were crossed with a special subspecies of cannabis called Cannabis Ruderalis.

The Ruderalis cannabis is native to the very inhospitable climates of Russia (mainly Siberia), central Asia and some parts of central Europe, and the autoflowering “feature” of this subspecies is a direct result of the limited sunlight and harsh weather conditions of these regions.

While it’s general knowledge that Ruderalis plants are used to create autoflower strains, the exact origins still remain relatively unclear.

The first truly popular autoflower strain was called Lowryder, which contained the genetics from a parent Sativa strain, known only as Mexican Ruby.

It’s generally believed that Lowryder was bred as a cross between Mexican Ruby, and a Cannabis Ruderalis strain originating from Russia.

Another common spread belief is that one of the first Ruderalis hybrids was Finola, a strain developed in Finland in the 90’s, made by combining cannabis Ruderalis strains from Russia.

It’s important to point out that most of these early strains of cannabis which carried Ruderalis genes expressed significant failings compared to modern autoflowering strains.

Breeders gradually improved the overall quality of autoflower strains by mixing Ruderalis genes with various photoperiod Indica and Sativa strains, and nowadays a typical autoflower plant is much more potent (contains greater amounts of THC and other cannabinoids) than its predecessors.

This increase in psychoactive effects of autoflower strains resulted in a much greater popularity, especially in the recreational consumer market.

It’s now completely normal to have autoflower strains that contain over 25% THC (while some autoflower strains also express high levels of CBD), and since these strains require less than 10 weeks to mature completely, they became a great hit among cannabis growers and aficionados alike.

Of course the most important quality of autoflower strains is that they aren’t dependent on a change of light to trigger the start of the flowering stage, which makes growing significantly easier.

How Are Autoflower Strains Made

Breeding a new variety of autoflower cannabis is relatively simple, but only if both parents are also autoflower strains.

On the other hand, creating an autoflower strain from autoflower and photoperiod plants is much more difficult and complex, primarily because some photoperiod cannabis plants are heterogeneous.

This essentially means that these plants contain the recessive autoflower genetics with the dominant photoperiod genetics.

Contrarily, a genuine autoflower cannabis plant is homozygous recessive for autoflowering (day neutral) genetics.

Because of this, most plants that are produced as a result of autoflower and photoperiod crossing don’t grow up to become autoflower plants in the first generation, and usually require additional crossing.

The second generation crosses are going to contain around 25% autoflowering plants that are homozygous recessive.

Finally, autoflower strains produced in this fashion aren’t always stable, and sometimes require additional stabilization.

To conclude, creating new strains of autoflower plants by combining autoflower strains with regular photoperiod plants is tricky business, and should only be attempted by expert growers.

The Advantages of Autoflower Strains

Growing autoflower cannabis strains offers a multitude of advantages, and here are some of the most important ones:

  • Even though Cannabis Ruderalis contains very miniscule amounts of THC, contemporary autoflower strains express high quantities of the THC cannabinoid, some as high as 25%. 
  • A great number of autoflower strains also contain large amounts of CBD (cannabidiol). 
  • Most autoflower strains have a very rapid growth, and are usually ready for harvest in 10 weeks or so. 
  • These strains start flowering very quickly (thanks to their Ruderalis genetics), and usually begin flowering two or three weeks after germination. 
  • Since they mature rapidly, autoflower plants can be harvested several times during one season. 
  • Autoflower cannabis plants can also be cultivated outdoors in regions with short and relatively cold summers. 
  • Since their stature is pretty short, they are well suited for discreet outdoor cultivation.





Comments

MrHightimes
MrHightimes

nice little read :ghost:

Ezzjaybruh
Ezzjaybruh

Lmao no disadvantages? Definitely a sponsored post