So, you’ve done the research and now you’re ready to try growing an autoflower. It’s an exciting journey to embark on! Or maybe you’re not yet familiar with autoflowering strains and want to learn more.
We have a few other helpful guides you could read besides this one to get you on the right track. Today, however, we want to go into the details of growing an autoflowering cannabis plant. In this guide, we want to dive into autoflower pot size and the effect that size has on yield.
Pot Size Basics
Before we dive deep into choosing which pot to plant your sprout in, there are a few basics to consider. First, all pots come in different styles, sizes, shapes, and materials. Which pot to choose should be based on your desired height and your grow space restrictions, if any.
Likewise, it doesn’t matter the size or type of pot if you don’t use the right soil. Be sure to browse our blog on the best soil for autoflowers so that you also have this knowledge.
When it comes to regular cannabis strains, determining the pot size is usually easier. With regular marijuana, there are simple guidelines to follow. According to the life of the plant, you can estimate its size.
Every strain is different, so be sure to research your specific strain and its typical range. For example, if your plant’s growth cycle consists of 5 months in total, you will want to calculate one gallon per foot of growth. So for a 5 month old plant, a 5 gallon (18.5 liter) pot should suffice.
However, autoflowering strains are a little harder to navigate. Autoflowers require a little more forethought, such as:
- growth time
- life expectancy, as well as
- how much you suck them
Unlike regular cannabis plants, growers with limited grow space can still get the most out of autoflowers.
Differences between regular and autoflowers
When it comes to regular plantsyou are limited to their minimum and maximum capacities. With autoflowersyou have the power to choose how big you want it to grow. Due to their rapid growth cycles, this is when choosing a pot becomes more difficult.
A typical autoflower can grow 17-50cm (6.5-20 inches). Pot size affects the height of any plant; the smaller the pot, the smaller the plant.
Take care to account for this, as some growers have said they grew up with something as small as a Dixie cup. Problems that can arise with this are slow growth rates and little yield. This is because the plant binds too quickly to the roots, causing stress to the plant.
Big Plants vs Small Plants
We explained how important it is to choose the right pot and how this choice can affect the growth of your plant. Although autoflowering strains are known for their compact and stealthy sizes, some grow much taller than others. Now is the time to decide on the size and number of plants you want to grow.
Large scale factories
Some growers choose autoflowers because their plant count is low or their dedicated grow space is minimal. If that sounds like you, here’s what we’d like to recommend.
In such cases, it would be best to grow 1-4 large plants. Again, the size of the pot will determine the height of your plant. So if you’re looking to grow a few plants on a large scale, your pot size should be between 10 and 15 liters (2.65 and 4 gallons).
A pot that is too large means that the support will not be fully exploited. Anything larger than the suggested sizes will be wasteful and unprofitable.
Small scale factories
On the other hand, you might find yourself with height restrictions but an abundance of floor space. Growing around 6-10 smaller plants may be the way to go, and here’s why it could benefit you.
Growing an autoflowering strain closely with many plants can provide a grower with exceptional yields. This process is known as the Sea of Green setup and maximizes yield from homogeneous strains.
That being said, the Sea of Green technique is not an absolute necessity when growing multiple smaller plants. If you’re looking to grow various strains that are just smaller in size, that’s quite reasonable. Pots ranging from 6.5 to 8.5 L (1.72 to 2.25 gallons) are acceptable in either case.
The best pots for autoflowers
Plastic pots with drainage holes are among the most common choices for growers. And of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with adopting proven tactics. Over time, however, some manufacturers have made improvements that could potentially improve your plant’s health.
The pots we are going to talk about have refined their overall use by improving their aeration and drainage. Although the choice is entirely up to you, we strongly recommend that you at least look into these types of pots.
Terracotta pots are a more traditional option, and as in some cases, you can’t beat tradition. What makes these pots a more desirable choice over basic plastic potting is the science behind them.
Terracotta pots are absorbent. These pots absorb and reserve extra moisture, allowing them to keep your plant cool and slowly deliver nutrients. These methods have been proven to promote healthy cannabis growth.
While fabric containers are generally more expensive, the payoff is immense! These types of pots are considered some of the best available on the market. And for eco-friendly growers, this is a great option over their plastic counterparts.
What sets these guys apart is that their design allows the roots of your plant room to breathe. This, in turn, increases overall growth and produces higher yields. Not only that, but due to the extra space, the plant is likely to develop secondary roots to absorb even more nutrients.
Much like fabric pots, air pots have many of the same benefits to offer. One of the biggest differences, however, is that they are made from plastic and consist of many perforations that cover the surface. However, they still have so much more to offer than traditional plastic pots.
Their structure creates the same effect as using a fabric pot. The perforations provide circulation and oxygen to the plant at all angles under the soil. This provides the roots with the benefit of automatic pruning due to the constant airflow. Thus, giving us healthier and more fruitful crops.
What characteristics make an ideal pot?
Alright, so you’ve decided on your pot and how many plants you’re going to grow. But what features should you focus on to ensure your plant and/or plants have the most optimal setup? Let’s take a look at some of the most pressing features you should pay attention to.
Space for exceptional development
Of course, you want to increase the potential yields of your plants, so this fact is definitely something to keep in mind. As we learned today, your pot size is crucial to the overall potential of your autoflowers.
Without the proper size pot, you limit your cannabis’ ability to grow into a healthy, thriving plant. Remember that you want to give your roots room to grow. The deeper they grow, the greater your end result.
Keep the jar clean
Whether new or reused, a pot should always be cleaned before being repotted. With reused pots, it is possible to transfer disease-carrying pathogens to your new plant. This, in turn, can infect your plant and possibly cause premature death.
Since autoflowers grow at a rapid pace, basic mistakes like a dirty pot can spell disaster. And even if you don’t completely lose the plant, the likelihood of stunted growth and lower yields is extremely likely.
One of the main priorities to maintain with your pot is drainage. Drainage plays a vital role in maintaining soil quality – and quality soil means efficient and healthy growth.
We have discussed the types of pots and how their structure provides air circulation and aids in overall root production. Well, drainage plays a key role here too. Good drainage allows the soil or growing medium to dry out properly, which helps the plant’s growth rate.
If you don’t provide your plant with the ability to drain properly, it can become waterlogged. This decreases the amount of oxygen taken up by the roots, which leads to stunted growth. A good way to tell if your pot has poor drainage is signs like brown or wilting leaves.
As you can see, many factors go into choosing the right pot. If you’re not careful about choosing the right one for your setup, it can affect your yields. However, at the end of the day, there is no perfect pot.
Whether you are a beginner or experienced, there is always something to learn in this growing industry. With this guide by your side, we encourage you to build on the knowledge you’ve gained today. Now you can use it to get the most out of your setup!
Warning: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It has been compiled with research from external sources. it is not intended to replace medical or legal advice. Please consult your local laws for the legality of cannabis consumption.
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