Autoflowering marijuana is a type of marijuana plant that can grow in just 3 weeks and can mature and be ready for harvest in just 8 weeks. And in this very short amount of time, the plant uses all its energy to grow strong and healthy and of course to complete its deadline. Autos as they say can flower even in any kind of lighting cycle but these still need consistent lighting to be able to produce a larger yield.
Autoflower Cannabis Light Requirement Basics
Autoflowering cannabis, as the name suggest, will automatically flower at the right time. This will happen no matter what light schedule you subject your plants to. But because you want a decent yield, you can tweak your lighting cycle to produce a better and larger, high quality yield in no time.
Using a 24/0 light cycle
A 24/0 light cycle means that you will subject your plant to light all day and all night long. The number 24 means that light would be on for 24 hours while 0 means that there won’t be any dark periods. Because autoflowering plants do not rely on light to grow and flower, they can therefore be subjected to a 24/0 light cycle from seed to harvest time. This is actually what many growers believe is beneficial to autoflowering plants saying that this will give plants a great chance to grow bigger during the vegetative stage and then during the flowering stage.
Cannabis is a C3 plant or a type of plant that can absorb CO2 during periods of light to help with photosynthesis. This reduces the need to provide darkness since the plant does no need periods of darkness to create food or photosynthesis compared to C4 plants. Another thing is autoflowering plants that are actually from the northern parts of the world where there is near 24-hours of sunlight during the seasons when the cannabis is growing. Therefore cannabis can thrive well when subjected to 24-hours of lighting.
Using an 18/6 light cycle
An 18/6 light cycle means that the autoflowering plant receives 18 hours of light and gets 6 hours of darkness or dark time. There are many reasons why 24 hours may not be the optimum light cycle for autoflowering crops. First, there are growers that do not agree with a 24-hour light cycle. They agree that autoflowering plants need all the energy that they can to stay within their pre-programmed growth and harvest but also need a few hours of rest; to recuperate from stress. Recuperating from stress is also a good way to ensure that plants grow healthy and provide a good yield come harvest time.
There are also financial constraints in using a 24/0 light cycle. It’s going to be very expensive to maintain three or more grow lights running for 24 hours to support a home or garden operation. Also, grow lights can release a lot of heat which can become trapped inside a grow space when your lights are on for 24 hours a day. An 18/6 light cycle lets you turn off your lighting during the hottest hours of the day.
Choosing the best: 18/6 or 24/0
So which light cycle will work best for your autoflowering crops? This decision is entirely up to you. Any which way, your autos will be able to grow and thrive. In a 24/0 light cycle, your plants can enjoy non-stop energy coming from your light source, although there may be certain consequences like accumulating heat inside the grow room and additional financial costs. On the other hand 18/6 light cycle lets your plants rest which, as they say, could even benefit your crops since you are letting them recuperate and recover from stress. This light cycle will reduce heat accumulation inside your grow room and will not let your, lights, fans and ventilation systems work overtime and therefore will not be a huge burden on your electricity bills.
All-in-all, 18/6 light cycle seems to be a better choice because of its better effect on autoflowering plants and ease on your electricity bills as well. This also works for most autoflowering cannabis growers and may also work for your particular growing needs. Remember to consider the following when making your choice:
- Your budget
- The size of your growing area
- The type of strain that you are growing
- The climate, especially temperature conditions in your area
- The number of autoflowering plants you have
All these factors can help you decide whether a 24/0 or an 18/6 light cycle will be the ideal light cycle for your needs. Remember that every grower has different needs as every type of cannabis has special lighting needs as well. Consider all these factors and you will have healthy and thriving autos that will give you a good yield in no time at all.