Marijuana Autoflower Flowering Slowly: 12 Causes and Solutions

Marijuana Autoflower Flowering Slowly: 12 Causes and Solutions

Autoflower plant
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Are you experiencing slow marijuana autoflower flowering? Well, this tends to happen a lot because of different reasons. Some of the common causes are environmental factors, cannabis breed or the type of marijuana strain, nutrients, temperature and genetic factors. In the recent past, autoflower breeds have been manipulated to bring forth new breeds. 

Some of the new breeds experience slow auto-flowering because their genetics are not stable. In this article, we will look at some of the common causes of slow flowering in auto flowers and the possible solutions.

Try as you may, there will always be issues with flowering with your autoflowers. In this guide, we seek to unearth the different causes of slow autoflowering of your autoflowerr. Later, we try to find solutions to the autoflowrring problems.

Common Causes of Slow Flowering and Their Solutions

Slow flowering in autoflowers can be attributed to various reasons. Autoflowers are very sensitive, and slight stress can cause a change in the internal clock of the plant. When this happens, the plant is likely to become stunted. Here are some common causes of slow flowering and their solutions.

  1. Genetics 

Autoflowers should have good genetics for them to be able to grow healthy and vigorously. Due to inbreeding, there are new variations of autoflowers that cause slow flowering. The type of seed also determines the genetics. High-quality seeds tend to have good genetics as compared to low-quality seeds. 

To solve this problem, you should strive to get high-quality seeds from a well known and reputable seed bank. Not only will the seeds grow well, but they will also flower at a normal rate as compared to variations with unstable genetics. Reputable seed breeders test variations and growth patterns and stabilize different strains. 

Young cannabis plant indoor on light

  1. Light

Light is an essential need for every plant to grow well. Autoflowers need to be exposed to enough light for maximum development.  When they lack light, flowering might be slow due to a slow growth rate.  This problem commonly happens when you grow your cannabis plant indoors.

To avoid slow flowering due to insufficient light, you should try and grow your plants outdoors in movable containers. When you do this, it will be easier for you to move the plans if you feel like they are not getting enough sunlight. 

  1. Light Spectrum Problem

Each stage of growth requires the correct type of lights for maximum growth. This is where the light spectrum aspect comes in.  For every stage of growth, there is a specific light spectrum that the autoflower needs. In the flowering phase, a warm spectrum that is red in colour is recommended. When the plant gets this spectrum, it will flower fast, unlike when it does not get the correct light spectrum.

Therefore, you should ensure that the plant is receiving the correct light spectrum in its respective stages.  This will ensure growth and a normal flowering rate.

Watering marijuana plant

  1. Watering

One of the most common mistakes made by new flower growers is over-watering.  This practice suffocates you and causes several challenges to the plant. It can lead to slow growth fungus, root problems, slow flowering and nutrient deficiencies. If you water the plants too often, the composition of nutrients is altered with.  In return, the autoflower develops at slow growth rates, which might lead to slow flowering.

Experts recommend less frequent watering and watering randomly. Avoid watering the plants on a fixed schedule. Allow the soil to dry to ensure that you do not overwater.  If you are unsure whether you should water or not, try lifting the container with the autoflower. 

If the container is heavy, you should leave it because the soil is not yet dry. If the container is light, it means that the soil is dry and needs watering.

Ph levels

  1. Incorrect pH level

Incorrect pH level is one of the leading factors of slow flowering in autoflowers. The cannabis plant is known for thriving in a small scale of suitable pH values. The PH value in the nutrient solution is incorrect, the plant is likely to face slow growth rate because it is not able to take in the nutrients.  

It is important to note that different growing methods require different pH.  If you are growing autoflower in soil, ensure that the pH level range is between 6.5 and 7.0. When it comes to Hydro, the optimal pH level required should be between 5 and 65.8.  Soilless methods like coco should aim for a pH level between 6.0 and 6.3 for optimal growth. 

An optimal pH level is the solution for slow flowering.  You should endure to get the optimal pH for the type of growing method you are using. Every type of grow has a specific pH range that will ensure optimal growth.  Once you get the pH level, right, slow flowering will be a thing of the past.

Pests on cannabis plant

  1. Pests And Diseases

Pests and diseases can cause stress to the autoflower plants.  When they attack the plant, it’s immune system is compromised.  The rate of growth becomes slow and in the worst case the plants die. Insects can cause low flowering because they feed on the Leaves.  

As you all know, leaves are required for photosynthesis. When the pests attack the leaves, the plant is no longer able to photosynthesize and transpire. 

Apart from flowering, the whole growth process will be interfered with. This is because the outer flower will spend all its energy trying to defend itself and repairing damaged tissues, hence the snow flowering.

If your autoflowers and are infested by pests, you should treat them immediately while observing the correct measures.  

However, you should not wait until your plants are infested.  Instead, you should use preventive measures to help minimize infestation risk.  In every stage of the autoflower growth, be sure to check for any infestations present and address them with immediate effect.

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  1. Stress Caused By Cannabis Training Techniques

Cannabis training techniques can cause tissue damage to the plants. When the plants are subjected to high-stress training techniques, they might develop tissue damage. One such cause of tissue damage is excessive pruning. 

High-stress training techniques are mostly used to increase yields, examples of a few such techniques are: fimming, topping and monster cropping.

When you keep on pruning your autoflowers, you cause them high stress because of the tissue damage. The plants will spend most of the energy repairing the damaged tissues than growing.

If you are planning to prune your plant, be careful not to overdo it. Every pruning course delays the development of the plant for days or even weeks. Autoflowers should not be subjected to training techniques that expose them to tissue damage like pruning or cutting.  Avoid pruning or cutting your plant if you do not want to experience slow flowering.

  1. Nutrient Deficiency

Outdoor flowers need sufficient nutrients for optimal growth rates. It would be best if you always administered quality nutrients to your plants for healthy growth.  Most of the nutrients found in commercial potting mixes only last for about 3 to 4 weeks.  

After this duration, you should administer quality nutrients to the client to ensure that the growth rate is normal.  If you are experiencing slow flowering growth in your cannabis plants, insufficient nutrients could be the cause.

To avoid nutritional deficiencies that cause slow flowering, you should check the recommended dosage required for the healthy growth of your autoflowers. Nutritional supplements should be coupled with the proper light intensity for them to be effective.

If your plants are under intensive light, they will grow faster than those receiving fluorescent lights.  To avoid having nutritional deficiencies, administer enough nutrients coupled with the correct sunlight intensity.

It is also smart to use an organic fertilizer, like worm castings, because they contain most nutrients your plant needs.

You can also try out any other way to make your own marijuana fertilizer.

  1. Dark Cycle Interruption 

Any change in light intensity can cause stress to the cannabis plant leading to a slow flowering process. Light is an essential component in the flowering stage of all cannabis plants. Any interruptions that occur in the dark cycle could cause detrimental effects to the flowering process. 

It is important to know that something as small as a light leak in the growing tent or a red light from a stray source could disrupt the flowering process. When the plant is in the dark cycle, it is important to be subjected to complete darkness to not interfere with the hormones.  

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When the weed plants are exposed to irregular light hours, hormonal imbalance occurs.  A slight hormonal imbalance can confuse the internal clock of the autoflowers. The result could be premature flowering or reverting to the vegetative stage. To avoid this ensure that you keep the light cycle consistent.

To minimize disrupting the stages of growth in the autoflowers, ensure that you are consistent with the lights cycle.  When the plant is supposed to be in the dark cycle, keep off all the lights to ensure complete darkness. Having a consistent light pattern will prevent the plants from premature flowering or even hermaphroditic conditions. 

Cannabis plant big container

  1. Size Of The Container

New cannabis growers usually plant their autoflower seedlings in small cups before transferring them to bigger pots. If you plan your autoflowers in big pots, you risk over-watering them.  Since they are small, the siblings cannot absorb all the moisture present in the large pot.  

In addition to that, the soil will take a long time to dry. Your clutch will have a difficult time while flowering because of the excess water.

You should use the correct size of container for your cannabis plant to ensure that the growth is not slowed down; look up the recommended size of what the stage your plant is in.  If you use the correct container, your cannabis plant will not have a problem at the flowering stage. 

  1. Age Stress

Nutritional requirements vary according to the age of the cannabis plant.  The nutrients required by autoflowers will not be similar to those required by young plants. Old autofloflowers are hard and woody, making them unable to absorb many nutrients unlike young plants. 

Young plants are able to take in most of the nutrients they are fed because they are more vigorous. As the plants grow older, they are subjected to edge stress, which can cause them to flower slowly.

To solve this issue, you should aim to feed the cannabis plants according to their ages. Try to adjust the feeding regimen two suits every autoflower according to its age. However, you should be sure not to overheat because this can lead to other problems like deficiencies and diseases. 

  1. Too Much Light

Autoflowers are very sensitive to any stress, including too much exposure to light.  When cannabis plants are exposed to direct sunlight for many hours without rest, the growth process can be halted or slowed down. Light exposure can cause a slow loading rate because of the stress the plant undergoes. 

To ensure a fast or normal growth rate strives to balance the amount of light your autoflower is receiving. If you suspect that your plant is experiencing stress due to light exposure, you should decrease light intensity.  

You can avoid exposing your plants to too much light by moving lumps further away from the plant.  If the plant is outdoors, move it to a place where light is diffused, for instance under a tree. 

  1. Temperature

Autoflowers can flour slowly if they are growing in a temperature that is too cold. When the autoflower is growing in a cold climate, it is like experiencing stress. Autoflowers grow well at temperatures ranging between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius. The humidity should also be right to ensure that the flowering process is not slow.

To avoid slow flowering due to temperature difference, you should ensure that you maintain a temperature of 27 to 30 degrees Celsius through the entire life cycle of your autoflower. Avoid frost at all costs. 

Final Thoughts

Autoflowers need utmost care to ensure that the flowering process is not slow. Any slight stress to the cannabis plant can cause hormonal imbalance that leads to a slow growth rate.  Many factors lead to a slow flowering process in autoflowers as discussed. 

The factors range from age, stress, amount of light, overwatering, nutrition required and other factors. The solutions to these problems as well outlined in this article for reference purposes. Ensure you identify the cause of stress before dealing with it to avoid mishandling of the plants.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does autoflower mean?

The term autoflower refers to an automatic switch of cannabis plants from the vegetative stage to the flowering phase as they age. This process is different from the typical process where different strains depend on periods of varied light and darkness. Autoflowering is fast and efficient because plants can be ready for harvesting in a short time.

Can autoflowers be cloned?

Cloning autoflowers is very possible but the outcome is usually suboptimal. You cannot clone autoflowers for boosting the yield because in many cases, the result is a disappointment to say the least. Many of those who clone autoflowering strains do so for experimenting purposes rather than for boosting the yield.

Can autoflowers produce seeds?

It is possible for autoflowers to produce seeds if they are regular strains. One regular autoflowering cannabis plant can produce several hundreds of seeds. With these seeds, it simplifies the next germination stage and eliminates the need to look for more regular marijuana seeds from the market.

When do autoflowers stop growing?

Autoflowers’ average time from seed to harvest is 14 weeks. Between the 4th and 6th week, autoflowers will vegetate and when they hit the 7th week, most will start to bloom. When the autoflower fully flowers, the growth mostly stops. As such, it’s worth it to know the flowering time of a specific strain.

What is autoflower yield?

Autoflowering cannabis can yield anywhere between 50g and 500g per plant but several factors can affect the yield including available nutrients, plant genetics, and environmental conditions. You can increase the yield by choosing the right seeds, training your plant from a tender age, using the right nutrients, supporting your plants and ensuring there is sufficient sunlight for outdoor growers.

Can autoflowers be topped?

Autoflowers can be topped once or repeatedly, which gives the plant more strength to recover and grow to give better yield. High stress training that accompanies topping of cannabis plants can affect autoflower yields negatively. When you cut the plant’s top shoot, two branches develop, which finally become the main colas.

What soil for autoflowers

Using 70-80% organic soil that is mixed with 15% coco fiber and 15%, perlite will give you best results in growing autoflowers. Aerate soils often give optimum root oxygenation, something that boosts plant growth. You can increase autoflowers’ productivity by using pots that have holes on the sides to increase root aeration.

How many hours light for autoflower?

The best lighting schedule for autoflowers is at least 18 hours a day against 6 hours of darkness. During the cooler winter months, you can do 24-hour lighting. Doing this boosts autoflower growth without necessarily overspending on the energy.

Why are my autoflowers flowering early?

Climate is the major reason your autoflowers are flowering too early. Besides, if the temperature and the soil are above average for a long time, the cannabis’ flower buds and leaves start to sprout ahead of schedule. Hollow installation of bulbs is another reason your autoflowers flowering too early and lastly, the plant’s genetics can enhance early flowering.

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