4 meter Dutch Passion AutoXtreme

5 tips to maximize your autoflowering cannabis plant yields

Whatever you’re growing you want to get as big a yield as possible. Autoflowering plants differ in how you best grow them than regular photoperiod plants. These 5 tips will help you get the most out of your plant and help you avoid the cute little lollipop cannabis plants so often associated with autoflowering strains.

#1 Buy quality seeds

When buying autoflowering cannabis seeds the cheapest price is not necessarily the most important factor. You want companies that look after their seeds correctly before they ship. Seeds must be dried and stored at the optimum levels of temperature and humidity to ensure a high germination success rate. Established companies have a reputation to uphold so ensure their seeds arrive in their prime. Once you’ve identified the strain you want, do some research to make sure it’s not coming from a fly-by-night breeder or seed supplier. Check out the seed buying guide to find some trusted seed banks.

#2 Plant in the pot you’ll finish in and don’t transplant

Growing autoflowering seeds differs from photoperiod seeds. It’s extremely important not to restrict the roots of an autoflowering plant. If a root is restricted in a smaller pot this will impact the final size of the plant. This is because these plants grow and flower fast. As soon as the roots are restricted they send signals to the plant to say “I’m root bound stop growing and concentrate on flowering”. To give the roots plenty of space to grow plant the seedling in the pot the plant will finish in. Absolute minimum of 3 litres but 10 litres is a good size. Always remember “more root = more fruit”.

#3 Let the roots breath

Unlike leaves, which require carbon dioxide, roots need oxygen. To enable them to breath you must plant in an airy substrate. Coco or perlite work well to provide the pockets of air your roots need to help the plant grow to it’s true potential. Both the grow techniques outlined in the Windowsill Weed book show you how to provide the right mix to grow your autoflowering plant to the max.

#4 Give them plenty of light

Plants feed on light through photosynthesis. You have to consider light a nutrient just like any other food a plant needs. Autoflowering strains require as much light as possible. They grow quick and flower after a period of time rather than a change in season (light reduction). To get the most out of your autoflowering cannabis plant make sure it gets at least 15 hours of sun light per day. This means germinating late April or early May (or later depending on your location). To figure out the right time for you find out when the sun  rises around 6 and sets around 9.

#5 Don’t overwater

If your autoflowering plant is well watered the roots will not have to work so hard to find the water the plant needs. This means that they will not grow to the fill the large pot you have them in.  As stated in  rule number 2 “more root = more fruit” so small roots will equal a small lollipop plant.

These tips and many more can be found in my book Windowsill Weed : A home growers cannabis journey which is available from Amazon in print and digital format. The book covers everything that you need to know to be self sufficient in your cannabis supply, including seed selection, growing, processing and consumption.

Windowsill Weed book cover
Windowsill Weed book cover

I hope these tips help you to get the most out of your autoflowering cannabis plants. If you have any more useful tips please share in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “5 tips to maximize your autoflowering cannabis plant yields”

  1. I was just wondering, what is the maximum potential yield from an Autoflower in your opinion? A lot of people only manage 1 oz from a plant, whereas a lot of people also average 2-3 oz’s on the high end of the scale. I have also heard of people pulling upwards of 5-6 oz’s with perfect growth. Would it be possible to yield 10 oz’s if you used top seeds, lots of light, a big pot, nutes & if you ‘topped’ it?? Or is that totally impossible/unrealistic. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to maximise my yield but should I be aiming for 2-3 oz’s or could I potentially pull 6-10 oz’s? I know what I am doing I just want to know what the maximum potential would be because I have only ever grown photoperiod strains… thanks

    1. Hi, this guy got 10 oz from his autoflowering plant – http://www.dutch-passion.nl/en/news-and-development/autoultimate-grow-review-huge-cannabis-home-grow-with-soil-and-LED/
      You may be asking the wrong person about what to aim for. I’m of the opinion that it’s the plant that decides how much it will produce. We just have to find the best way to keep it comfortable to achieve whatever that amount is. As I rely on the sun I don’t always get the yield I’d hoped for. Given their quick time to finish I don’t think it’s really possible to top autos as you would with “normal” strains. You should really always use the best genetics you can. Big pots definitely help or if you can stick it in the ground. I saw an insanely large autoflowering plant that was planted in the ground in a professional greenhouse. Lots of light is essential but give them a couple of hours rest per day if growing indoors. As for nutes, I’m afraid I’d go for organic weed over weed grown with nutrients every time even if the yield is less. It sounds like you are growing indoors so a perpetual garden with autos producing 2-3 oz per plant every few weeks seems like a good way to go. Stagger your grows and keep them all in a room with lights on 18 hours per day. Babies at one end and mature plants at the other. Move them along as the space becomes available. I hope this kinda helps. Thanks for all the questions. Good luck with it all – Percy

  2. Hello Percy! I absolutely love your website, its very informative for people like me who wants to have a decent smoke without much investment! I want one advice- I am growing two autoflowers this summer- a Royal Kush Automatic and a NYC Diesel Automatic under my attic window (south facing). The plants are in 5liters pots, because the space under my window is really small to fit 10l pots. The grow medium is standard pot soil (bought from store). The plants get around 12 hrs of direct sunlight (7am- 7p.m). I want to know if a double-glass window blocks out significant amount of sunlight for the plants? Or is it a minimal loss? My plants look healthy as of now, already in the 2nd week and they are about 6inches tall with about 6 nodes and pairs of fan leaves. But I am worried that in the coming weeks the growth might slow down due to the fact that the attic window might be blocking out essential amount of sunlight (or UV may be?) Your comments please. Thanks.

    1. hey, thanks for the kind words. To be honest, I had never factored in whether the double glazing would hinder the plants growth or not. Light will always be limited in a window setting in any case due to the sun moving through the sky. It sounds like you have enough light to ake things work. My concern is the growing medium. Maybe next grow you could try mixing in one third perlite to help get more oxygen to the roots. more roots = more fruit! I also think you’re gonna need some nutrients to have a healthy plant. Ask at your local grow shop about what they have in the way of organic nutrients for veg growth and flowering. For autoflowers you want to get as much growth out of the plant before it starts to flower as it will then divert energy to growing the flowers. Thanks for giving it a try. For sure you’ll have some buds so you can then try your hand at drying and curing. Happy growing, Percy

  3. Thank you so much for the tips! I will keep these in mind for my next grow. As of now my ladies are already in their pre-flowering stage. Not very tall, about 40cm. I added some fertilisers (not organic) with NPK ratio of 7-4-3. Lets see how they turn out! Ciao! And once again, thanks Percy!

  4. I’m in my 5th hear and I always seem to mess up the drying and curing part…buds always end tasting and having an ammonia like smell…wt am I doin wrong

    1. To be honest I’m not completely sure. Here’s some good practise tips, maybe in these you will see you are doing something differently?

      1 – always flush your plants with plain water for final two weeks before you harvest
      2 – dry slowly over 1-2 weeks in a dry (40% or less humidity), well air circulated, space. Don’t train a fan on the buds directly or else the outside will dry up and the inside remain damp.
      3 – once the stems of the buds snap clean when you bend them the buds are ready to be cured.
      4 – cure in glass jars in a dark cool place. For the first week open the jars every few hours for a few minutes to let out the moisture.
      5 – buds will be ready to smoke after 2 weeks of curing though depending on the strain the taste and smoke may improve further over time.

      I hope that helps you figure out where you are going wrong. An ammonia smell suggest that maybe their are still chemicals left in your buds from nutrients you are adding during grow. Try adding half the recommended dosage and it’s really important to flush the plant well.

      Happy growing!


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