Why Are My Marijuana Autoflowers So Small?

Why Are My Marijuana Autoflowers So Small?

Autoflower plants
Autoflower plants
Reading Time: 10 minutes

All cannabis farmers strive to grow a healthy crop and maximize good yields. With the right tips, strain, and tricks, that is possible. With Marijuana Autoflowers strains, you expect fast returns than the normal Cannabis Sativa and Indica strains. The plant grows fast and produces the harvest in a short time in an average of 2 to 3 months. Autoflowers produce flowers automatically.
With Autoflowers, there is no inconvenience of shifting them in light to trigger the flower buds. This modern strain has more to offer, with some having the much required high THC and CBD levels. That’s not all. Some Autoflowers allow you multiple harvests in a year. This great gene is bred from the Cannabis Ruderalis, a type of cannabis that is short and hardy. The original breed was exposed to harsh conditions environment where it adapted by growing speedy and flowering early.
The success of growing a healthy crop will come with an experience. You will notice that the autoflowers are different from the typical cannabis. The plant is easy to grow, and with extra nurturing, the rapid flowering periods will give you great yields. If you have no experience in growing cannabis, the autoflowers are the best because they will not stay on the farm for long. The assumption that autoflowers will give you a small yield may be proved wrong if you have a few tips and tricks at your palms. You will find it easy to maximize your yields, which come in less than three months.

Reasons Why Your Autoflowers Are Small And How To Prevent That

1) Lack of Planning Beforehand

Lack of preparedness will make you not plan ahead of time. When you hurriedly plant your autoflowers you will get caught up with time. That is because your autoflowers grow faster than the normal cannabis plant. In 2 to 3 months, your autoflowers will begin to flower. If you are not prepared to handle the plants at different stages, you may end up leaving out important details such as light, water, nutrients, and training. Omitting these important details can be a reason enough for your autoflowers to produce small flowers.
The only solution to this is to have a list of items showing the requirements at each stage of your plants’ growth, from seed to maturity. Planning before you embark on growing autoflowers will spare you the trouble of having to run around unprepared. You will realize that autoflowers do not have a lot of time to stay in the garden.
Planning will help you to take good care of your plants by nurturing them right. You will have enough time to apply the right nutrients at the right stage, provide enough quality lighting, and allow your indoor plants’ required darkness. Strive to conduct thorough research on the growing of autoflowers long before planting. The information is readily available on many websites online. Planning allows you to get high-quality seeds from a reputable source and choose them according to the category that you want. Some catalogs will offer different categories.
Other things you have to put in order upfront include where to plant, soil testing, nutrients to provide to your plants, ventilation, light, water, and other essentials required to grow your autoflowers.
Here you see an example of trained vs untrained autoflower plants (indoor growing):

2) The Wrong pH

The wrong pH is disastrous to autoflowers. Getting it all wrong from the planting stage will lead to stunted growth. Other than soil, you can grow your plants in hydroponics. These require different pH levels. pH levels determine nutrients absorption. A lower pH level than 6.0 means the medium is acidic. That affects your yields by preventing the absorption of nutrients through the roots.
A higher pH level than 7 is an indication of high alkalinity. High alkaline mediums are not conducive to your plants’ growth and will result in adverse health issues. Your flowers may have little growth as a result of imbalanced pH. The first dangerous sign of imbalanced pH changes in the leaf color. Leaves turn yellow and start drying out. Usually, when these signs appear, the damage is irreversible. Though the condition may not be related to pH, it is important to be keen on causing the leaves to turn yellow.
Getting the right pH will guarantee you healthy autoflowers. All Autoflowers strains don’t like low or high pH. If you plan to grow them in the soil, they thrive better in 6.0 to 7.0 pH levels. In hydroponic systems, the plants will require between5.5 to 6.5 pH levels. These levels will greatly determine how your plants will yield. In many occurrences, when the plant suffers from pH imbalance, growers think that it is nutritional deficiencies because the symptoms exhibited are similar.
pH levels require that you keep on regularly checking throughout the plant growth, from planting to flowering. You can do this every week. That will ensure that the imbalances are controlled.

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3) Wrong Light cycle

Like any other plant, autoflowers require light to grow healthy. Light is important for photosynthesis, a process where plants turn light energy into chemical energy. Giving your plants less light or more light than they require will lead to less quality flowers production. Your flowers will also have stunted growth and not flourish.
From planting to harvesting, autoflowers need 12 hours of light to grow. If you give them less than that, your flowers will be small. The plant can be able to adapt to harsh environments, but they do better in the range of 12 to 18 hours of light. It is not recommended to give your plants 24 hours of light. They also need to rest just like animals.
Though the plants will produce high yields if exposed to 24-hour lighting, the quality will be compromised. Autoflowers require at least 6 hours of rest. During this time, they build more THC and CBD. Remember that the levels of THC and CBD gauge the quality of your plants. Investing resources in a crop that is not quality is a waste of resources.
Sunlight is the best light for your autoflowers. It is natural and automatic. The natural light is available for 12 hours a day. Darkness is guaranteed for 6 hours when your plant rests, and photosynthesis takes place. It is advisable to take advantage of this natural light to grow your crops. It guarantees high and quality yields.
If you are not in a position to plant your crop in a natural environment with natural light, then you have the option of employing artificial lighting. There are different lighting sources for your crop for your indoor plants, including full-spectrum LEDs, HPS, CFL, and fluorescent lights.
LEDs and HPS are more preferred than florescent lights and CFL. Although they are expensive, higher lumen lights give better results in terms of yields. The LEDs have higher lumens than CFLs. The former works well during the flowering period, while the latter is best during the vegetative phase.
To properly light your indoor plants, the source of your lighting must be powerful and quality. Take note of the different stages and the light wavelength required. If you do not have the technical knowledge of using artificial lighting on your canopy, get professional advice on the right way to do it.
Illuminating your plants wrongly can have adverse effects and fail to flower well or produce small flowers. Avoid exposing your plants to excess light or less light than required. If you want to take your experience to another level, invest in a light meter gadget. That will help you to measure the LED power and spectrum accurately. Light meters come with operational manuals on how to use them.
Topping autoflower plant

4) Lack Of Proper Training Techniques

An autoflower grower has limited time to train his plant. Not all techniques will work to favor your crop. If you have grown photoperiods, you probably have noticed that High-Stress-Techniques (HST) favor the crop. That is different for autoflowers, Low-Stress-Techniques (LST) is superb for its growth. LST requires that you bend the stems of your autoflowers to allow light to penetrate deeply to the lower area of your plants.
When tending your plants, ensure that the buds receive enough light. Your plants must be healthy to respond well. There is no enough time to train unhealthy plants. Generally, autoflowers tend to grow one main massive cola while the rest of the plant produces small budlets known as popcorn buds.
Topping (cutting off the tips) is another technique that is essential for your plants. When done rightly, it helps the plant to develop more colas from the main stem. LST is done after Topping. That allows the entire stem and colas to receive sufficient light.
The two processes are done during the vegetative stage of your autoflowers just before the flowering. That is, between the third or fourth week after germination. Topping or LST makes plants stunt if done during the flowering phase. These two techniques make flowers grow bigger with more yields. If you are unsure on how to apply any of these techniques, get a professional grower to do it or simply opt not to do it. With or without any of these training techniques, your plants will still do well.
Nutrient burn cannabis plant

5) High Nutrient Strength

Many growers believe that if they load their crop with nutrients, they will get high yields. While that is true, too many nutrients will harm your autoflowers by burning them. Autoflowers have smaller roots compared to photoperiod ones. The roots are not sufficient to absorb all those piles of nutrients safely.
It is important to feed your plants with the nutrients in bits following the recommended chart. Every time you feed your autoflowers, observe the response. Some strains require stronger doses than others. For soilless planting, fewer nutrients are required. To avoid burning your plants, do not go beyond 200 ppm.

6) Restricted Root and Stem Space

Binding your autoflower roots in a small space will make your plants retarded. The root restrictions where they cannot grow naturally and correctly can cause the flower size to be small. Roots are the feeding organs of a plant. If they are not spread out well, they will not absorb enough nutrients to feed the plant. The result is low yield with very tiny flowers.
Indoor plants are the most affected by restricted roots. Plant your crops in the right-sized container. That will give them the root space. The development of the roots will be proportional to that of the stem and the flowers.
To avoid the stems of your autoflowers from getting thin, get it right when planting. The space between your plants should be well calculated to allow proper growth. Shading causes the stems to become thin. Thin plants will produce small and few flowers. The quality will also not be as good as that for plants with the right spacing between them.
Transplanting Marijuana Autoflowers

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7) Transplanting autoflowers

One of the reasons why your autoflowers are so small is because of transplanting. Plants experience shock when they undergo transplanting. Removing autoflowers from their habitat can cause stunted growth. Unlike the photoperiod strains, they have no time to recover because they begin flowering in 2 to 3 months.
The solution to stunted growth as a result of transplanting is to avoid it. Plant your autoflowers directly on their container to avoid shock and avoid unnecessary transplanting. Your crop will thrive better in its original habitat. If you must transplant, make sure that the medium is similar. Most of the time, transplanted autoflowers end up in failures. Planning early enough and getting seeds on time will allow you to grow your crops without transplanting.
Whichever strain of autoflowers you opt to grow, you need to be careful at different stages, including planting, germination, vegetative and flowering stages. Every step should be done with temperament without overdoing or under-doing it.
Maximizing your yields will depend on how keen you are on nurturing your plant. Over time, you will find yourself getting equipped with the depth of knowledge required to grow autoflowers. Once you master the right tips, clues, and basics, you will find it more fun, amazing, and satisfying. Your flowers will flourish, and the yields will become better as you also become a better grower.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my marijuana autoflowers so small?

One of the major reasons autoflowers are growing small is too much light. If you use a 12/12 light schedule on your autoflowers just as you do on your photoperiod feminized plants, chances are your autoflowers would fail to burst with size. Learning to adjust light/dark schedules is the key to growing big autoflowers.

Why are my autoflowers growing so slow?

One of the worst mistakes you can do to your autoflowers is overwatering them, something that makes them grow slowly. When you overwater your cannabis, especially autoflowers, it is like you suffocate them leading to fungus formation, root rot, nutrient deficiency and other problems.

Why is my autoflower taking so long to finish?

A number of reasons that make your autoflowers take too long to finish including poor light schedules, lack of enough nutrients or even bad growing medium. You can also check the soil pH. If everything is okay, just give them time.

Why is my autoflower so tall?

One of the reasons why your autoflowers are growing so tall is they are trying to reach the light. Whenever the lights are not strong enough or too far away, cannabis and plants, in general, tend to stretch up to reach the light. You can increase the light intensity or make a height-adjustable light fixture so that you can adjust the distance between the plant and the light source. Keep in mind that height adjustments have to be made during the growth.

How to keep autoflowers small

The most effective way of ensuring your autoflowers grow small and short is to use Low Stress Training (LST). The technique works by returning plant stems to the ground so that they start to grow afresh. Also, you can use the Screen of Green (ScrOG) method that forces plants to grow through a screen.

Why do my marijuana autoflowers grow so slow?

Overwatering is the primary reason your autoflowers are growing slow. In most cases, overwatering suffocates the plants and creates fungus, root rot, nutrient deficiency, yellowing of leaves and several other problems. You can avoid this situation by not watering your plants too often and fixing light schedules.

How can I make my autoflowers yield bigger?

To make autoflowers yield bigger by following these 7 steps:

  • Select heavy yielding autoflower strain seeds
  • Do not transplant the seedlings
  • Choose containers that can drain well
  • Apply sufficient nutrients to the plants
  • Monitor your growing medium pH
  • Take care of the light cycle (18/6 is ideal)
  • Train the autoflowers using the Low Stress Technique.


Why are my autoflower buds so small?

Too much light or improper light schedules is the main reason you are witnessing small autoflower buds. If you use the same light you use on other cannabis such as photoperiod cannabis seeds, the light will be too much for autoflowers hence small buds. Autoflowers require at least 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness to grow.

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