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growing autoflowering cannabis hydroponics

The paper-towel method should deliver tap roots from split seeds in just two days. Many commentators will suggest you stick the germinated seeds directly into dirt or just whack them in straight out of the pack and into soil, but that’s not the best way to get your autos off to a strong start. Instead, carefully insert germinated seeds in some peat or root riot cubes for the duration of the seedling stage.

However, there is nothing to stop even a beginner grower dabbling with some low-stress training and/or topping to increase yields. And grand masters can certainly fill out an SOG even faster with the right autoflowering genetics.

Container Size for Autoflowering Cannabis

Autoflowering cannabis is genetically pre-programmed as to when it flowers. Pot size seems to have no impact. Reduced hours of daylight don’t trigger them like 12/12 does for photoperiods. In fact, with as little as six hours of sunlight per day or continuous 24 artificial illumination, an auto can survive and progress through each growth stage and will not transition to bloom until its genetics activate flowering.

What Triggers Blooming in Autoflowering Strains?

Timing is everything when you grow autoflowering cannabis. Just like photoperiod cannabis, you can expect the same four stages of growth as follows: germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering. However, autos will race from seed to harvest and fly through each stage like a photoperiod plant in fast forward. On average, contemporary autoflowering strains have a 60- to 90-day lifecycle.

Growing autoflowering cannabis hydroponics

As mentioned, SWC is basically the same as DWC but instead of growing in a deep reservoir, you grow in a wide one so a shallow water culture setup may be more suited for growers with limited vertical space but plenty of horizontal space. Another important difference is that an SWC setup uses less water which allows you to save on water and nutrients but, due to using less water, pH levels can oscillate and the temperature of the water may fluctuate; This means that despite saving money, an SWC requires you to be precise and needs constant monitoring so it’s recommended for more experienced growers.

Even though you might get excited to get better yields and bigger plants, growing in a hydro setup is not super easy and it has a learning curve to be able to do it properly and successfully so here are the main mistakes that will bring problems into your cannabis garden.

Hydro setups: Wick System

As you may know, oxygenation is vital when growing in hydro so make sure the water is flowing properly or add air stones for the water to be properly oxygenated.

Another great strain to grow hydroponically is our Wedding Cheesecake Auto which grows up to 130cm with several side branches, just like the Orange Sherbet Auto

Ignoring pH Levels

The reservoir has to have a lid so your solution doesn’t evaporate. You’ll need another reservoir to hold water where you can test and adjust pH. We recommend having a third one in case one of the other two breaks. The reservoir containing the nutrient solution should be insulated so you can control the temperature.

Growing autoflowering cannabis hydroponics

Fill your reservoir and place a lid or cover on top, which needs to be sturdy and hold a significant amount of weight. This cover will need to be sturdy enough to hold a substantial amount of weight, as it will serve as the surface on which you will place your growing containers and net pots.

Proceed to establish the climate of your hydroponic grow room. This crucial step involves setting up your hygrometer and thermometer. A hygrometer measures the humidity of the air in the room. This will allow you to monitor the humidity and overall climate of your hydroponic grow room, and to make any necessary changes if levels become too high or too low. Check the thermometer consistently to ensure that temperatures are conducive to healthy hydroponic growth, as both temperature and humidity are essential to the growing process, especially when you’re using a water-based hydroponic system.

Once you have set up and fully prepared your grow room, you are ready to install your hydroponic system. Though there are various types of hydroponic systems, in this guide, we focus on how to install a Deep Water Cultivation (or reservoir) hydroponic system. This method of hydroponic growing for cannabis plants requires the least amount of equipment, while setup is easy and maintenance is suitable for beginners.

Hydroponic systems are known to accelerate the already-rapid growth of autoflowering cannabis, as plants feed faster and more efficiently when their roots can absorb nutrients directly from the water in which they are submerged. When you plant autoflowers in soil, their roots have to spread throughout this dense medium to search for nutrients as they grow, which As a result, roots do not have to extend throughout dense soil in order to absorb the nutrients in your growing medium.

Installing Your Hydroponic System: Deep Water Culture

After you establish a proper growing climate, set up your containers and other equipment necessary for the hydroponic system that you chose in Step 1.

Once you’ve determined that your indoor space has enough space and the necessary features for hydroponic growing, you can begin to set up your hydroponic grow room. Below, we list the necessary equipment to prepare a grow room that will accommodate any type of hydroponic system:

A Deep Water Culture (DWC) involves the use of a reservoir, which is filled with water and infused with a nutrient solution. The reservoir sits directly beneath “net pots”–the containers in which you grow your plants–that have holes in the bottom designed to let roots grow downward and become completely submerged in the reservoir water. As your plants grow and its roots spread through the holes in your net pot and into the water in your reservoir, which acts as a feeding source from which plants absorb the nutrients they would typically derive from soil. The water used in a deep water culture system must be oxygenated using an air pump and/or air stones, which are easily attainable in the form of aquarium pumps or pumps specifically designed for hydroponic growing.


Hydroponic growing is a fast and efficient way to grow cannabis using water as a medium. In this method, plants feed off of nutrient-infused water rather than absorbing their nutrients from soil. Hydroponic growing systems submerge plants’ roots in water, which is often mixed with preformulated nutrient solutions providing all of the essential nutrients that your plant would otherwise absorb from a terrestrial growing medium.