Everything you need to know to grow autoflowering strains in winter

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A snowy field with numerous cannabis plants wrapped in colorful winter scarves. The plants are covered by a light layer of snow and in the background, there is a wooded area and a bright sky.
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.
29-05-2024 06:48:23 - Updated: 29 May, 2024


Growing autoflowers in winter is an increasingly popular practice among cannabis growers. Autoflower Seeds have the ability to bloom independently of the photoperiod, making them an excellent option for outdoor cultivation in cold seasons. In this article, we will explain how to grow autoflowers in winter outdoors, the differences with summer cultivation, things to consider, cultivation tips, and some useful tricks.



🚀 Autoflowers in Winter Outdoors



Why Grow Autoflowers in Winter?

Autoflowers are perfect for winter cultivation due to their ability to bloom without depending on light hours. This means they can develop properly even on the shortest winter days. Additionally, many autoflowering strains are hardy and can tolerate low temperatures better than photodependent ones, as the genetic origin of these plants is the Ruderalis subspecies, which comes from cold regions like Siberia.


Differences between Winter and Summer Cultivation

Winter cultivation presents different challenges compared to summer. Lower temperatures and reduced sunlight intensity are critical factors to consider. Below, we compare some key aspects:

  • Temperature: In winter, temperatures are lower, which can slow down plant growth. In summer, high temperatures can accelerate growth but also increase the risk of heat stress.
  • Light Hours: Winter offers fewer hours of natural light, which can affect photosynthesis. In summer, long daylight hours promote faster growth.
  • Humidity: In winter, humidity can be higher, increasing the risk of fungi and mold. In summer, humidity can vary depending on the local climate.



✅ Things to Consider for Winter Cultivation


Choosing the Strain

It is crucial to choose autoflowering strains that are known for their cold resistance. Some of the strains recommended for winter cultivation include:

  • Northern Lights Auto: Northern Lights was created in the northwest USA, and through multiple generations, it acquired great resistance to low temperatures. It was later crossed with a ruderalis strain from northern latitudes, further enhancing its ability to bloom outdoors in the cold.
  • Black Domina Auto: Thanks to its high mountain Afghan genetics, this variety can withstand the cold much better than other cannabis strains, making it a great option for outdoor cultivation in winter.
  • Blueberry Auto: Blueberry’s resistance comes from its great hybrid vigor, caused by the combination of such distant genes as Afghan, Mexican, and Thai, which were later joined by ruderalis genes to form this auto version. Thanks to its ability to produce anthocyanins, it tolerates the cold quite well.



Soil Preparation

A good substrate is essential for growing autoflowers outdoors in winter. Make sure to use a well-aerated substrate with good drainage to avoid waterlogging, which can be more common in winter due to rain and humidity.


Cold Protection

Cold temperatures can negatively affect plants. Here are some ways to protect them:

  • Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch over the soil surface can help maintain soil temperature and protect the roots from the cold.
  • Plastic Covers: Using plastic covers or mini greenhouses can help maintain a warmer microclimate around the plants.
  • Heating: In extreme cases, consider using external heating to keep the plants at an optimal temperature.



👾 Cultivation Tips for Autoflowers in Winter


  1. Indoor Sowing and Transplanting: Start germinating the seeds in a controlled and warm indoor environment. Once the seedlings are strong enough, transplant them outdoors. This gives them a better start and greater resistance to the cold.
  2. Appropriate Watering: Watering in winter should be moderate to avoid excessive moisture that can cause fungal diseases. Make sure the soil dries slightly between waterings.
  3. Nutrition and Fertilization: Autoflowering plants require specific nutrients to bloom properly. Use fertilizers rich in phosphorus and potassium during the flowering phase. Avoid excess nitrogen that can encourage excessive vegetative growth.
  4. Pest and Disease Control: Winter can be a season prone to fungal diseases due to high humidity. Regularly monitor your plants and use natural fungicides if necessary. Maintain good air flow around the plants to reduce humidity.



🧐 Tricks to Maximize Production in Winter


  1. Use of Reflectors: Place reflectors around your plants to maximize the amount of light they receive. This is especially useful on short winter days.
  2. Supplementary Light Programs: If possible, use supplementary lights to extend the light hours and improve photosynthesis. LED lights are an efficient and economical option.
  3. Short Cycle Strains: Choose autoflowering strains with shorter life cycles to ensure that the plants complete their cycle before temperatures drop too low.



➕ Conclusion


Growing autoflowers outdoors in winter is entirely viable with proper preparation and care. Choosing the right strains, protecting the plants from the cold, and ensuring proper watering and fertilization are key to a successful harvest. By following these tips and tricks, you can enjoy continuous cannabis production even during the coldest months. And now that you know how you can grow automatic strains in winter, why not take a look at this other article that talks about the best specific fertilizers for autoflowers, you’ll like it. Happy growing!



🎯 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How to protect autoflowers from the cold in winter?

Use mulching, plastic covers, and consider using mini greenhouses or external heating to keep the plants at an optimal temperature.

Is it possible to get a good harvest of autoflowers in winter?

Yes, it is possible to get a good harvest if the necessary precautions are taken to protect the plants from the cold and suitable strains are chosen for winter cultivation.

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  1. Avatar for Nikolai Penkov

    Great article! Now I have all the tips I need to start growing autoflowering plants this winter in Zamora, thanks for the detailed information!