What Is A Autoflowering Cannabis Plant?

What is an autoflowering cannabis plant?

Understanding Autoflowering Cannabis Plants: An Insight into Their Unique Characteristics

Autoflowering cannabis plants have been steadily gaining popularity among growers and enthusiasts alike, owing to their rapid growth cycle and ease of cultivation. For those who are new to the world of cannabis cultivation, the concept of autoflowering plants may seem unfamiliar. In this article, we will delve into the origins, characteristics, and advantages of autoflowering cannabis plants, providing a comprehensive understanding of these unique varieties.

Origins of Autoflowering Cannabis Plants

Autoflowering cannabis plants are the result of crossbreeding Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica with Cannabis ruderalis, a wild species of cannabis native to regions of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Cannabis ruderalis is a hardy plant that has evolved to thrive in harsh environments with limited sunlight. Its unique ability to flower independently of the light cycle is the primary characteristic that sets autoflowering cannabis plants apart from their photoperiod counterparts.

The Autoflowering Process

Unlike photoperiod cannabis plants, which rely on changes in the light cycle to trigger the flowering stage, autoflowering plants begin flowering based on their age. This characteristic allows them to complete their life cycle much faster, usually within 8 to 12 weeks from germination. The autoflowering trait is genetically inherited from the Cannabis ruderalis parent, which has evolved to flower automatically to ensure reproduction within its short growing season.

Advantages of Autoflowering Cannabis Plants

Autoflowering cannabis plants offer several benefits to growers, making them an attractive option for both novice and experienced cultivators. Some of the key advantages include:


As mentioned earlier, autoflowering plants have a significantly shorter life cycle compared to photoperiod plants. This allows for multiple harvests within a single growing season, which can be especially advantageous for growers in regions with shorter summers.


Autoflowering plants tend to remain smaller in stature, often reaching heights of 60-100cm. This compact size makes them suitable for discreet or space-limited growing setups, such as balconies, small gardens, or indoor grow rooms.

Light schedule flexibility:

Since autoflowering plants do not rely on light cycle changes to trigger flowering, they can be grown under a constant light schedule throughout their entire life. This simplifies the growing process and allows for more control over energy consumption.


Autoflowering cannabis plants inherit the hardiness of their Cannabis ruderalis parent, making them more resistant to pests, diseases, and temperature fluctuations. This characteristic can be particularly beneficial for beginners or those growing in challenging environments.

Considerations When Growing Autoflowering Cannabis Plants

While autoflowering cannabis plants offer numerous advantages, there are a few factors to consider when cultivating these varieties:


Historically, autoflowering plants have been associated with lower levels of THC compared to their photoperiod counterparts. However, modern breeding techniques have led to the development of more potent autoflowering strains that rival the THC content of traditional varieties.


Autoflowering plants generally produce lower yields than photoperiod plants due to their compact size and shorter life cycle. Nonetheless, the ability to grow multiple crops within a single growing season can compensate for this difference.

Limited Vegetative Growth:

Due to their rapid transition to the flowering phase, autoflowering plants have a limited window for vegetative growth. This can make training techniques, such as topping or pruning, less effective or even detrimental to the plant’s development.


Autoflowering cannabis plants have carved a niche for themselves in the world of cannabis cultivation, thanks to their unique characteristics and ease of growth. By understanding the origins, traits, and advantages of these plants, growers can make informed decisions about whether autoflowering varieties are suitable for their specific needs and growing conditions. As the popularity of autoflowering plants continues to rise, we can expect to see further advancements in breeding and cultivation techniques that will enhance their potential and expand the possibilities for cannabis growers around the world.

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