Growing autoflowering cannabis is fun! The plants grow fast and the flowers are beautiful. The variety of aromas and flavors is amazing!
To get started you'll need:
- 3-5 gallon pots and some good quality potting mix. We recommend fabric pots (Smart Pot and Root Pouch are a few brands), though other pots are OK too.
- For best results get a peat or coco-based mix with plenty of perlite from your local nursery - (ProMix or Sunshine #4 are a good place to start). Avoid mixes that feel heavy in the bag - cannabis plants don't like heavy, waterlogged soils.
- A watering can and your favorite liquid fertilizer blend:
- In general, look for a fertilizer (chemical or organic) that has balanced NPK (eg 3-2-4), as well as 1-2% calcium and 0.5% magnesium, and a complete range of micronutrients (S, B, Mn, Zn, Fe, Cu)
- For a complete, liquid organic fertilizer available for home gardeners, we recommend Botanicare Pure Blend Pro.
- If using chemical fertilizer be very careful not not overfeed the plants - it is easy to burn them with excess fertilizer.
- For curing your flowers, it is best to have some humidity controlling packets (Boveda 62% is one possible option).
- Send us your questions or photos of your grow! firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our Guarantee: Even with quality seed, not every seed will germinate. If your packet does not produce 4 good plants, please return it to the retailer with proof of purchase and we will replace it.
Cannabis grows best with daytime temperatures between 75-85F, and nights no cooler than 50-55F. It will survive temperatures down to freezing, but it will not grow well. Put your pot in a sunny place, protected if necessary from cold nights. For the Willamette valley, a June 1 -15 sowing will take advantage of optimal weather and result in a harvest in the first half of September.
Loosely fill your pot with potting soil and moisten it all of the way through with clean water. Stick your index finger into middle of the pot - stop between the first and second knuckle. Drop a seed in the hole, and cover it up - firming up the soil just a bit around the seed. Walk away.
*Special note - Cannabis seeds germinate well at 70F. You can get an early start by starting your seeds inside in a 3-4" pot or 16oz plastic cup, then transplanting out at 3 weeks from seeding. If done carefully, the plant will maintain full growth potential. Do not let the plants get root-bound, and try not to disturb the roots during transplanting.
By 5 days after seeding you should have a seedling poking out with two cotyledons (seed leaves). Wait for it to get two true leaves, then start feeding at the recommended rates for your fertilizer. Water a little bit every few days. Fertilize a little bit at the same time - if you are using a chemical fertilizer follow the instructions closely - it is very easy to burn the plants. They really don't need an excessive amount of food.
From 2-6 weeks after seeding your plant should be growing rapidly. You can increase the fertilizer dose a bit. They will also start using more water - make sure to keep an eye on the moisture in the pot. If you sick your finger in and it feels moist, you're OK. If you have to go away for several days or a week, set up automatic watering or ask a neighbor to help - in hot weather and a smaller pot the plants can dry out quickly. The plants may look a bit pale during rapid growth - that's OK, they're just using everything you give them.
At some point 5-7 weeks after seeding you will notice that your plant has slowed down it's growth, turned a darker color green, and is starting to develop female flowers. Continue to feed and water regularly.
After 7-8 weeks, as the buds start fill out, you can cut back your fertilizer. 2-3 weeks before harvest, you can cut fertilizer entirely - this will reduce the level of free nitrogen in the plant and help bud quality. After 10-12 weeks the plants should be close to finished - the leaves may look yellow or red, having used up all of the fertilizer you have given them.
The end of the growth cycle is the most critical in terms of disease. Protect the plants from high-humidity conditions to avoid bud-rot (botyrtis) and other diseases.
Depending on the variety and the growing conditions the plants will be ready to harvest in 9-12 weeks. When most of the pistils (little white hairs on the flowers) have dried up and turned color, it is time to harvest. Cut down the plant and remove the large leaves. Hang the plant in a cool, dry, dark place, like a closet or a garage - preferably with a fan for some air movement. The plants need to dry until you can snap some of the smaller branches in the flower clusters - probably two weeks in dry conditions.
Get a pair of scissors and trim the buds in a way that pleases you, removing small leaves and branches from the flowers. Place the trimmed buds in a quart mason jar - preferably with a humidity controlling packet. Let the buds cure for a while - they might cure faster if you occasionally open the jar to check them out, making sure no mold is forming.