AUTOFLOWER YIELD – HOW MUCH CAN I GET?
Autoflower yield of cannabis strains, the amount of flower you get from the plants, is arguably the most valuable measure of how well and how efficiently the cannabis plants have been cultivated.
The harvested and dried weight of female cannabis buds is the main reason many grow cannabis. No wonder, then, that people are looking for ways to increase yields and want to use the highest yielding strains. But to be honest, there is no concrete answer to the question of the yield of a cannabis strain, as every grow is different. Therefore, the yields that can be achieved with any strain can also vary.
In general, you can expect to get between 50 to 100 grams of dried bud with regular autoflowering strains, and up to 200 grams of yield with some feminized autoflowering strains.
So basically all growth is different and even growing in ideal conditions can produce different yields because there is a slight variation in genetics or just a fortuitous event that slowed down a plant a bit in the seedling stage and didn’t catch up with its siblings.
How is the autoflower yield of cannabis measured?
It is well known that the yield of cannabis (marijuana) is measured in grams of dried flower that a particular strain produces.
However, these measurements can vary as there are two standards by which cannabis seed banks and cannabis strain breeders rate their plants.
- In grams that a strain can produce per plant.
- In grams that a strain can produce per square meter grown.
Since there are two different indications, this can be a bit confusing. As you can imagine, figuring out how much a strain has yielded (weighing the result in dried buds) is easy. But how is the yield that can be achieved per square meter cultivated measured?
Usually, strain growers grow 9 to 12 plants in one square meter and then get their results which they declare. However, these should be consumed with caution, as this yield can only be achieved under ideal conditions and with many small plants. So, use these yield measurements only as a guide to compare strains that produce high yields and those that yield less.
What Affects the Autoflower Yield Cannabis Plants?
What exactly can affect the yield of autoflowering strains? This is a complex question with many answers, and even the smallest variation in the plant’s life cycle can decrease or increase the overall weight of buds a plant produces.
We try to list as many things as possible for you that can affect the yield:
Every plant, even of the same variety, is a little different and you can’t get 100% of the same plants, especially when raising (germinating) them from seed. Also, the varieties (seed batches) available are not 100% stable and some plants do not grow as tall and strong as others. This is because the crosses (hybrids) are not perfectly stable.
The older and more original a variety is, the more stable it is since it has been hybridized purely or little or not at all. So if you want even or similar yields among the different plants, you should go back to an old strain.
2. Intensity and scattering of light
Light is the plant’s energy source and how intense the light is and how well it is distributed over your autoflowering plants is of great importance. For this reason, you will not get large yields with CFL lights, but you can get more than 100 grams from a single autoflowering plant under led lamps or on an HPS lamp.
Scattering of light is also important because if your individual plants and even parts of the plant aren’t all getting the same amount of light, then yields will also be lower.
3. light position
It’s also important where you position your light since a light positioned some distance away won’t transmit as many photons to your plant’s leaves as a light positioned just a few inches away.
Each light has its own sweet spot (ideal distance from the plant) and you should always grow plants in a region where the temperature is not too high but the light intensity is maximum.
4. light spectrum (colour)
Not all light waves are created equal and some light spectrums (colours) like red and blue are more useful to plants than others. The right spectrum of light ensures much more growth and overall efficiency. There’s also green light, which cannabis plants don’t use at all, so any light source that produces less green light is more efficient and adds overall weight to the autoflowering plant.
Another thing to note about the Spectrum section is that cannabis in its flowering phase requires a slightly different light than in the vegetative or seedling phase.
So if you provide blue-enhanced light (for more growth) to plants in the veg stage and orange-enhanced light (for more bud production) to plants in the flowering stage, it will also increase the overall weight of the buds.
Ventilation is crucial. You need to keep your grow room ventilated as your cannabis plants use up all of the theCO₂ from around the leaves. And when this happens, energy absorption (from light) can slow down.
This is where a good ventilation system comes into play, circulating the air inside the grow room/grow box and bringing in fresh air from outside and usually this air is full of CO₂.
Temperature is also a major factor that can affect the overall yield of the crop. Too low or too high a temperature will reduce CO₂ uptake and slow down the plant’s respiration. Which actually slows the growth and decreases overall plant mass by harvest time(maturity).
Nutrients are the nourishment of plants and are responsible for the growth of every stage in the life of a cannabis plant. A nutrient deficiency or overdose can seriously impair plant growth and even kill it completely if used improperly.
8. Soil (growing medium)
The composition of the growing medium (eg. soil) is also a factor to consider when discussing the yield of an autoflowering plant.
Too airy or too light soil does not fully hold the roots and damages them. However, soil that is too hard gives the roots a lot of resistance when developing (spreading) and your plant needs extra energy to grow the roots, which could have been used for flower development.
9. Diseases and Parasites
Insects, mould and disease can damage and ruin a plant as it grows and eventually destroys the entire harvest. So be very careful when caring for your plants and always wash your hands and tools so nothing can enter and infect your grow room.
10. Grow room design
The design and shape of the grow room/grow box affect several areas from this list, including lamp height, ventilation, light efficiency, and temperature. So you need to carefully plan how you set up your grow room.
Also consider how your plants will fit in this space and how many pots, fans and lights you will need. This also means that you must always monitor humidity and temperature.
11. Plant training
Training the young cannabis plant can also increase overall yields as they receive more light, making maximum use of the grow space and increasing the yield you can get from that particular space.
12. PH value in growth medium and water
pH is an important indicator to check from time to time when watering your plants, as low or high pH will block the uptake of important nutrients, thereby slowing growth.
13. Light cycle
The light cycle when growing cannabis can also increase and decrease yields as autoflowering strains do not require the 12/12 light cycle to start flowering.
A traditional 12/12 light cycle to flower photoperiod cannabis strains is not necessary with autoflowering, and longer lights throughout the day can increase yields from autoflowering strains. You will get significantly better results with light cycles of 18/6 or 20/4.
Too much water or too little water when irrigating can also make a big difference in yield. Both extreme stress on your plants, causing them not to grow as fast as they are capable of growing.
15. Pot size
The size of the pot also determines the final yield of your autoflowering plants. Small pots are very inefficient and the roots of the plant will become entangled (rootbound) so they stop growing and you end up with smaller yields. You need at least 10 to 14 litres for autoflowering strains
How do genetics affect yield?
Genetics or plant origin can affect yield in many different ways, as some strains are more resilient to harsh conditions and others have stronger leaf growth.
The possibilities are endless and each strain is unique, but strain breeders tend to only give growers the best, most stable strains, so you should at least get reasonably even plant growth from the same seed batch. However, if you were to grow 100 plants from a large seed pack, you will likely notice some differences.
Genetics also affects yield due to the parents used to create the particular hybrid. Allesautoflowering strains are some kind of hybrid because the real and wild autoflowering strain (Cannabis ruderalis) contains almost no THC, so all autoflowering strains had to be crossed (ruderalis with THC-rich strains) to increase the THC content raise.
If the parents have more Sativa genetics in them, the buds will be airier and also other characteristics like the effect will be transferred to the strain. If you have more Indicia genes, the buds will be more compact and heavier and of course, the characteristics of the effect will be different. Depending on which strain the autoflowering strain is hybridized with, the yield will also be different.
Autoflower Yield indoors vs outdoors
The indoor vs. outdoor growing debate is always interesting, and growers who do one or the other usually swear by their method and say it’s the best. But here is our opinion.
Autoflowering strains can be grown both indoors and outdoors. However, you need perfect conditions indoors and outdoors to get the maximum yield, so stress in either of these environments will reduce yields and harm your plant.
As we have already mentioned, autoflowers are very sensitive to stress. Outdoors, heavy rains or cloudy days will stress plants and therefore produce less yield.
The same goes for indoors as you can get some things wrong with the growing conditions in your grow room and your plants won’t produce as much as a result!
The yield of “regular” autoflowering strains
Regular autoflowering strains tend to be small, yielding between 10 and 50 grams per plant. But there are some exceptions that can produce up to 200 grams per plant.
How to increase Autoflower yield?
Increasing the yield of autoflowering strains is again a comprehensive affair where all things affecting the plants can be improved. In theory, you can almost endlessly improve the plants’ production by tweaking the conditions.
Normally, however, we want to invest as little work as possible. As such, we tend to only tweak the most important things like light and nutrients. These two factors are the most important when thinking about improving the conditions of your autoflowering grow to increase yields.
What can reduce Autoflower yield?
Almost all of the above can also reduce crop weight. But usually, when there is some kind of stress on the plant, the yield decreases. So try to keep everything stable and not change growing conditions too drastically, allowing your plants to slowly adapt to reach their full potential.
As you can see, the subject of autoflowering yields is a very broad one and increasing yields is in every grower’s interest.
But before thinking about growing conditions, you should get the best autoflowering seeds and only then start tweaking and changing your grow room design and indoor technologies to get the maximum yield you want