Autoflowering without Direct Sunlight: Everything You Need to Know

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A large cannabis plant in a pot with a sad face made of leaves for not receiving a ray of sunlight. The background is a misty forest with tall trees and dense foliage, enhancing the mystical atmosphere.
Alan Martínez Benito
CEO of Pev Grow, expert grower with more than 20 years of experience.
In constant struggle for the regulation of cannabis, mainly in the medicinal field.
31-05-2024 06:49:24 - Updated: 31 May, 2024


The cultivation of autoflowers without direct sunlight is a topic that generates much curiosity among cannabis growers. Autoflowering Seeds are known for their ability to flower regardless of the photoperiod, but still require an adequate amount of light to grow and produce quality buds. In this article, we will explore the reasons why it is not advisable to grow outdoor autoflowering seeds without direct sunlight, the consequences of doing so, and possible solutions for those who are in places with little direct solar exposure.



📖 Why is Direct Sunlight Important for Autoflowers?



Direct sunlight is crucial for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light into energy. This process is essential for the growth and development of cannabis plants. Without an adequate amount of light, autoflowers cannot perform photosynthesis efficiently, resulting in poor growth and limited bud production.


Quality and Quantity of Light

The quality of direct sunlight is superior to diffuse light or shade. Direct light provides the light spectra necessary for optimal plant development, including blue and red spectra, which are essential for vegetative growth and flowering, respectively. If you are interested in this topic, here is an article that compares full spectrum light with red and blue combination light.



🔥 Consequences of Growing Autoflowering strains without Direct Sunlight


Plants that do not receive enough direct light tend to grow more slowly and more weakly. Stems may be thinner and more fragile, leaves may turn yellow and fall off prematurely, and they will normally stretch looking for light, so they will grow with much distance between nodes. This negatively affects the plant’s ability to support heavy buds.


Reduced Bud Production

The lack of direct light also impacts bud production. Autoflowers without direct sunlight will produce smaller and less dense buds, resulting in a lower quality and quantity harvest. The buds will be “fluffy”, soft, with a greater amount of small leaves trying to capture more light. The amount of resin will also be lower, and the worst part is that it will also have fewer essential oils.


Increased Susceptibility to Diseases and Pests

Weak and stressed plants are more susceptible to diseases and pests. The lack of direct light can make autoflowering plants more vulnerable to insect attacks and fungi, which can ruin the entire crop. Moreover, the same stress can lead to hermaphroditism in those susceptible plants, imagine that after trying to grow autoflowers without direct sunlight, you get plants with small and ugly buds, and also seeds appear due to hermaphroditism… What a crop failure!



📱 Solutions for Places with Little Direct Sun Exposure


If you live in a place with little direct sun exposure, the use of supplemental lights can be an effective solution. Full-spectrum LED grow lights are ideal for providing the necessary light for the growth and flowering of autoflowers. Place the lights so that they complement the hours of natural light and make sure the plants receive at least 8 hours of light a day between natural and artificial light, but more hours would be better.



Strategic Plant Placement

Place your plants in the brightest spots of your garden or balcony. If necessary, use reflectors to maximize the amount of light reaching the plants. You can also move the plants throughout the day to follow the sun.


Greenhouse Cultivation

Greenhouses can be an excellent way to grow autoflowers in places with little direct sunlight. Greenhouses help maintain a stable temperature and can be equipped with supplemental lights to ensure the plants receive enough light.


Choosing Resistant Varieties

Some autoflower varieties are more resistant to low light conditions than others. Research and choose varieties that are known for their ability to thrive in less than ideal light conditions. The more indica autoflowers, those that have ancestors from mountainous regions of Asia like the Afghans, are better for cultivation without direct sunlight, but they will not grow and flower as well as they would with more light. If you want some recommendations in this regard, Auto Purple, Northern Lights Auto and Black Domina Auto could be good options because they contain Afghan genes.




🎬 Additional Tips for Growing Autoflowers without Direct Sunlight


  • Constant Monitoring: Keep constant monitoring of your plants to detect any signs of stress or disease. Intervene quickly if you notice problems.
  • Adequate Fertilization: Ensure your plants receive the necessary nutrients. A balanced fertilizer can help compensate for the lack of direct sunlight.
  • Watering Control: Do not overwater your plants. The lack of sun can cause water to evaporate more slowly, increasing the risk of root rot.



🎯 Conclusion


Growing autoflowers without direct sunlight presents several challenges, but with the right solutions and appropriate management techniques, it is possible to achieve a harvest. Direct sunlight is crucial for optimal plant growth and production, but in its absence, supplemental lights, greenhouses, and choosing resistant varieties can make a difference. By following these tips, you can maximize the potential of your autoflowers even in conditions of little direct sunlight. I hope this article has been helpful, whether you decide to grow autoflowers without direct sunlight, or prefer to do it better with more light, you might find it useful to read this other article here that explains how to germinate autoflower seeds. Happy growing!



⛳ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


When to put autoflowers in the sun?

It is ideal to put autoflowers in the sun as soon as possible, preferably from the start of the day so they receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight. This maximizes photosynthesis and promotes healthy growth and good bud production.

Can autoflowers grow well in partial shade?

Autoflowers can grow in partial shade, but they will not develop as well as they would with direct sunlight. Bud production and the overall quality of the plant will be compromised.

Is it necessary to use supplemental lights if there is little sunlight?

Yes, supplemental lights are highly recommended in places with little direct sunlight. Full-spectrum LED lights can provide the necessary light for plants to grow and flower properly.

What autoflower varieties are best for low light conditions?

Varieties like Black Domina Auto, Northern Lights Auto, and Auto Purple are known for their resilience and ability to grow in suboptimal light conditions.

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  1. Avatar for Taher Drescher

    After reading this article, I finally understand why my autoflowering plants were not thriving; they definitely need direct sunlight to grow properly!