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Autoflower vs Photoperiod

Autoflower vs Photoperiod: Which is Best?

Over the years, growing cannabis has changed a lot. Now, growers have many different types of cannabis to choose from. One big decision for growers is choosing autoflower vs photoperiod cannabis. It’s important to understand the differences between these two types. This helps growers get the most out of their plants in terms of how much they produce, how strong they are, and how well they grow. This guide will explain the key features, benefits, and downsides of both autoflower and photoperiod cannabis. It will give you the information you need to make the right choice for what you want and need.

Difference Between Autoflowering and Photoperiod

Autoflower and photoperiod refer to how cannabis plants grow flowers. This affects when and how they change from growing leaves to growing flowers. Each type has its special qualities and needs for growing.

Autoflower Cannabis

autoflower vs photoperiod

Autoflowering cannabis strains are famous for how they switch from growing leaves to growing flowers on their own. This usually happens a few weeks after they start growing. This special ability comes from their genes, which often include genes from a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis. One big advantage of autoflower strains is how fast they grow and how short their life cycle is. They usually become fully grown in just 8 to 10 weeks. This makes them great for growers who want to harvest their plants quickly and many times a year. Also, autoflower plants don’t mind if there are changes in the amount of light they get, so they’re good for beginners or people who can’t control the light well.

Autoflower strains are also valued because they’re small, which makes them great for growing indoors or in secret outdoor spots. Their small size means they don’t take up much space and are easier to take care of. This makes them a top pick for growers who don’t have much room to grow. But it’s important to know that autoflower plants usually don’t give as much crop as photoperiod ones. This might not be a big deal for people who grow for themselves or have limited space, but big growers might not like the smaller crop.

Photoperiod Cannabis

autoflower vs photoperiod

Photoperiod cannabis strains, on the other hand, need changes in how much light they get to start growing flowers. They need a certain amount of light—usually 12 hours of light and then 12 hours of darkness—to start flowering. Because they rely on these light changes, growers can control when their plants start flowering. This lets them change things exactly how they want to get the best crop and strongest plants. Usually, photoperiod plants give more crop than autoflower ones, if they’re taken care of well and grown in the best conditions. That’s why experienced growers often pick photoperiod strains—they want to get the most crop and the best quality.

Photoperiod strains are also valued for how strong they are and for the types of cannabinoids they have. This means growers can change the plants to have the exact strength and type of cannabinoids they want. With careful picking and growing, growers can make plants that have a lot of THC or CBD, depending on what they need. But it’s important to know that photoperiod plants need more care and looking after compared to autoflower ones. Growers need to watch the light cycles very carefully to make sure they’re always the same. If they’re not, it can stress the plants out or make them start flowering at the wrong times.

Choosing Between Photoperiod vs Autoflower

Choosing the right kind of cannabis to grow needs careful thinking about different things like where you’re growing, how much time you have, and how much you know about growing.

Growing Environment

When you’re deciding between autoflower and photoperiod strains, think about where you’re growing and what the conditions are like there. Autoflower strains are better if the light changes a lot or if you can’t control the light very well. They’re good for growing outside or inside where you can’t control the light much. But photoperiod strains do best in places where you can control everything, especially the light. That way, you can make sure they grow as much as possible and give you the most crop.

Time Constraints

Your schedule and how much time you have are really important when you’re picking a cannabis strain. If you want to get your crop quickly and harvest many times in a year, autoflower strains are better. They grow fast and don’t need as much looking after. But if you can spend a lot of time taking care of your plants and want to get a lot of crop, photoperiod strains might be better for you.

Experience Level

Think about how much you know about growing when you’re deciding between autoflower and photoperiod strains. Autoflower plants are usually easier to deal with and are good for people just starting out or who don’t know a lot about growing yet. But photoperiod strains need more care and looking after. They’re better for people who have done a lot of growing before and want to get the most crop and the strongest plants.


In the discussion about whether to grow autoflower or photoperiod cannabis, there isn’t one answer that fits everyone. Both kinds of strains have good things about them and work better in different situations. If you think about things like how much space you have, how much time you can spend, and how much you know about growing, you can pick the best kind of cannabis for you. Whether you care more about growing quickly, getting a lot of crop, or having control over everything, it’s important to understand what makes autoflower and photoperiod strains different so you can grow the best cannabis for you.


Q: Are autoflower strains suitable for outdoor cultivation?
A: Yes, autoflower strains are well-suited for outdoor cultivation, especially in regions with short summers or unpredictable weather patterns.

Q: Can I switch light cycles for photoperiod plants during the flowering stage?
A: It’s generally not advisable to interrupt the dark period for photoperiod plants during the flowering stage, as this can disrupt the plant’s hormonal balance and lead to stress or reduced yields.

Q: Do autoflower strains require different nutrients than photoperiod plants?
A: While both autoflower and photoperiod plants have similar nutrient requirements during different growth stages, autoflower strains may benefit from lighter nutrient formulations due to their shorter life cycle.

Q: How do I know when to harvest autoflower plants?
A: Autoflower plants typically mature within a specific timeframe, usually 8 to 10 weeks from seed germination. Monitor trichome development and pistil coloration to determine the optimal harvest time.

Q: Can I clone autoflower plants?
A: While it’s technically possible to clone autoflower plants, it’s not recommended due to their limited vegetative growth phase and potential for reduced yields in subsequent generations.

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