Autoflower Week By Week Pictures: Life Cycle Guide

Autoflowering strains are awesome – they can go from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks! Whether you’re new to growing or a pro, you’ll have a blast raising these plants. This comprehensive autoflower week by week pictures guide provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step walkthrough for growing autoflowering cannabis from start to finish. By following this guide, you’ll learn how to maximize your yields and avoid common pitfalls when cultivating these fast and low-maintenance strains.

Autoflower weed plants are so strong, quick, and great for tiny spots. Their hardy genetics make them resistant to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses, while their compact size allows them to thrive in small grow spaces. Who wouldn’t dig the convenience and beginner-friendly nature of these unique strains?

How Long Does It Take Autoflowers To Go From Seed To Harvest?

Most autoflowering strains complete their full life cycle in about 8-10 weeks from seed to harvest. However, some varieties can take up to 12 weeks to fully mature and be ready for harvesting. Faster strains like Bubble Kush Automatic and Quick One finish up around the 8 week mark, while longer-flowering strains such as Royal Creamatic and Royal Haze Automatic may need 10-12 weeks.

A lot of growers choose to grow autoflowers because they grow super fast from seed to harvest. Their tough, resilient genetics and easy-going nature also make autoflowering cannabis strains a breeze to cultivate, making them great for beginners just starting out. According to Royal Queen Seeds, “Autoflowers are sturdy, low-maintenance, fast, and discreet—perfect for growers looking for an easy and accessible way to get started with cannabis cultivation.”

They can handle all the outdoor growing challenges because autoflowering strains are really good at fighting off diseases, pests, and environmental stresses thanks to their ruderalis genetics. As I Love Growing Marijuana notes, “Their robust genetics made them resistant to most diseases and harsh environmental conditions.”

However, it’s important to note that the yield size from autoflowering strains isn’t typically as large as what you’d get from photoperiod “giant” strains. But for most growers, the tradeoff of smaller yields is worth it given how quickly autoflowers finish their entire life cycle in just 8 to 12 weeks from seed to harvest. As Royal Queen Seeds explains, “The reduced yield is a fair trade-off for the convenience and speed of autoflowering strains.”

What Is The Best Light Schedule For Autoflowering Cannabis?

With autoflowering strains, you don’t need to adjust the light schedule for them to start flowering automatically based on their age. The most common light cycle is 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness each day throughout the entire autoflower life cycle. Some growers keep their lights on 24/7 in an attempt to maximize photosynthesis and growth rate, but this can significantly increase electricity costs. According to Royal Queen Seeds, “The optimal light schedule is 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness for the entire life cycle of your autoflowering plants.”

Thanks to autoflowers’ ability to flower automatically based on age rather than light cycle changes, outdoor growers can take advantage of this unique trait to achieve multiple harvests in a single growing season. As I Love Growing Marijuana explains, “If timed correctly, the overall yield you can get from autoflowers can even contend with the yield you get from photoperiod plants.” By starting new autoflower seeds every 1-2 weeks in early spring, you could potentially harvest a new crop every 8-10 weeks throughout summer and fall.

How To Grow Autoflowers Week By Week Pictures Guide

Just stick to the week-by-week grow guide for a foolproof way to get to harvest time without any problems. We’ve got all the info you need to keep your plants happy, strong, and giving you a good yield at the right times.

Visual Guide: Autoflower Cannabis Life Cycle Week-by-Week

Week 12_12Week 3Week 4Week 5
(Week 1)(Week 2)(Week 3)(Week 4)(Week 5)
Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10
(Week 6)(Week 7)(Week 8)(Week 9)(Week 10)

Week 1: Sprouting and Seedling Stage

The autoflower life cycle kicks off with the germination stage, where your seeds will typically sprout and send down their first healthy taproot within 1-3 days after being exposed to the proper moisture and temperature conditions. At this point, it’s crucial to have a light, airy soil mix prepared that provides good drainage without being too dense or nutrient-rich. As Royal Queen Seeds advises, “Autoflowers don’t need as much nutrients as photoperiod varieties and prefer light and airy soil.”

You can make your own potting mix using the following formula:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts compost, adding many nutrients essential for autoflower growth
  • 2 parts perlite, moistened to provide aeration and drainage
  • 1 part vermiculite, moistened to help retain moisture

This simple yet effective soil mix provides the ideal light, airy texture that autoflowers thrive in while still incorporating some nutrients to get them off to a healthy start.

Once you’ve got your soil mix ready, consider adding a high-quality organic soil amendment like Easy Boost Organic Nutrition. These nutrient-rich pellets will gradually release a complete array of essential minerals and nutrients into the soil over the entire autoflower life cycle. Don’t forget to also incorporate some mycorrhizal fungi – these beneficial microbes will form symbiotic relationships with your plants’ roots to boost nutrient uptake and overall vigor.

Now that your soil is prepped, grab a pot and use a pencil or pen to poke a small hole about 0.4 – 0.6 inches deep into the mix. Gently place your autoflower seed into this hole, being careful not to plant it too deeply. Then lightly cover it back over with soil. The key is to sow your autoflower seeds directly into their final container to avoid the stress of transplanting later on. As I Love Growing Marijuana explains, “Transplanting causes plants to go into shock, and autoflowers grow so fast that they’ll struggle to recover.” Within a few days, you should see your seedling emerge and the autoflower life cycle officially begin.

Creating the perfect environmental conditions is crucial for maximizing germination success with autoflower seeds. Aim to maintain the following parameters:

  • 70-90% relative humidity
  • Air temperature between 71-77°F (22-25°C)

As Royal Queen Seeds notes, “Environmental factors play a key role in optimal germination. Aim for the following to boost your success rate: 70–90% relative humidity (RH), 22–25°C air temperature.”

Week 2: Seedling to Vegatative Stage

Your seedling is reaching and growing, soaking up that sweet sunlight to grow big and strong. A 250W LED light will be enough to keep it happy and thriving indoors. With this setup, you can have one big plant in every square meter of space. But if you do some gentle bending and shaping of the plants (low-stress training), you could fit in up to four plants under that same powerful light.

Your little buddy has sprouted up and is now soaking up the sun through photosynthesis. With a 250W LED light, you have all the juice you need for an indoor grow. With this setup, you can grow one big plant per square meter. But, if you do some low-stress training, you could squeeze in four plants under that same powerful light.

Alright, it’s time to start using special nutrient formulas made for the early stages of plant growth. Easy Grow Booster Tablets have everything your plants need to grow big and strong during the vegetative phase, and they work great with Easy Boost Organic Nutrition for autoflowers. Since autos don’t need as much food as regular plants, you’ll only need to use a quarter to half of the recommended amount, especially when it comes to phosphorus and potassium. Just drop half a tablet into 3-5 liters of water and give it to your plants twice a week. Easy peasy!

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 2

Week 3: Vegetation Well Underway

Week 3 will consist of low-stress training and maintaining optimal conditions.At this point, your autoflower will be well into the vegetative phase. You’ll notice new fan leaves forming, which will ramp up photosynthesis. Aim for the following environmental factors during week 3:

  • 50% RH
  • 71°F (20°C) air temperature

At this stage, your plant should be about 5.9 inches tall. Move your light so it’s about 1m away from the top of the plant. This will help it get enough light for photosynthesis without getting too much. Your plant will be ready for a drink of about 0.5 liters of water every day. But make sure to only water it when the top layer of soil is dry.

When you’re growing inside, try doing some low-stress training in the third week to help your plants produce more buds when they start flowering. Just grab some gentle garden wire and tie it around the main stem about halfway up. Then, carefully bend the stem so it’s parallel to the ground and use the wire to attach it to the pot rim. This will make the top of the plant flatter and let more buds get light, which is super important for autoflowers to get as much light as possible each day.

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 3

Week 4: Late Vegetative Stage

During week 4, your plant will be nearing the beginning of the flowering stage.This week will consist of making some minor training adjustments and gearing up for flowering. Aim for the following environmental conditions for optimal growth:

  • 45% RH, ideal for the mid-stage of the autoflower life cycle week by week., optimal for the flowering phase and signs of flowering in autoflowering cannabis.
  • 71°F (20°C) air temperature
  • Light 27-28 inches from the canopy, ensuring the recommended hours of light per day for autoflowering plants.
  • 0.5l water per 24 hours
  • 2x feed with Easy Grow (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

You might start seeing some little pre-flowers popping up on your plant’s stems as the autoflower timeline progresses. Since your autoflower seeds are about to start blooming, make sure you wrap up any training you’re doing so you don’t stress out your plant when it’s in full bloom. Use some garden ties to gently bend any extra growth down to even out the top of your plant and keep all those future bud sites nice and level.

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 4

Week 5: Flowering Stage Begins

Hey, the flowers are starting to bloom! By week 5, you’ll begin to notice little sacs with hairs popping up at the joints. These will eventually develop into sticky and resin-filled buds that exhibit a milky white appearance. Make sure to keep fine-tuning the environment and adjusting the lights this week. Your plant should be around 11.7 inches tall now. If you’re growing indoors, aim for the following conditions:

  • 45% RH
  • 74°F (23°C) air temperature
  • Light 25.4 inches from the canopy
  • 0.25 gallons (1L) of water per 24 hours
  • 2x feed with Easy Bloom (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

Switch the color of your LED light from blue to red. This type of light can really help your plants grow and flourish during the budding stage.

Your plants are gonna need some extra nutrients when they start flowering. They’ll be craving more phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and won’t need as much nitrogen. That’s when you should use Easy Bloom Booster Tablets. Just mix half a tablet into 3–5 liters of water and give it to your autoflower plants when you water them.

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 5

Week 6: Things Start To Smell

Flowers will be proliferating at each bud site now, with white pistils emerging as a sign of healthy development.You’ll notice your training start to pay off as the even canopy develops a consistent spread of evenly sized buds. During week 6, drop the humidity slightly to minimise the risk of mold. Aim for these parameters for optimal grow autoflowering conditions:

  • 40% RH, perfect for the early stages of autoflower growth.
  • 24°C air temperature
  • Light approximately 17.6 inches from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours for young autoflower plants
  • 3x feed with Easy Bloom (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)

Make sure you watch out for any weird banana-looking things sticking out of your buds. That means your plant is trying to pollinate itself as a hermaphrodite. Get rid of them in your grow area to prevent them from messing with nearby plants. Luckily, hermaphrodites don’t show up often, but it’s good to keep an eye out for them.

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 6

Week 7: Routine Checks Are Key

The main goal for this week is to just maintain things. Make sure you’re spending your time and effort on keeping the grow room in check. Watch out for humidity creeping up too high, as that could lead to mold problems. Use a magnifying glass to regularly check for pests like thrips and spider mites. Keep an eye on the leaves for any signs of nutrient deficiencies, which are probably caused by pH problems. Just aim to keep everything in balance.

  • 40% RH
  • 24°C air temperature
  • Light 17.6 inches from the canopy, adjusting for the crucial flowering phase in the autoflower life cycle week by week.
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours
  • 3x feed with Easy Bloom (half a tablet per 3–5 litres of water)
Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 7

Week 8: Flush And Defoliate

At this point, your buds should be fat and covered in resin. Most autoflowers will be ready to harvest soon, slowly reaching the end of their autoflowering journey week by week. If your plant seems to be taking its time, no need to stress! Just pretend it’s still in week 7 and wait until the buds bulk up a bit more before harvesting.

Environmental conditions for autoflower life cycle week 8:

  • 40% RH
  • 25°C air temperature, crucial for the healthy development of autoflower strains.
  • Light 17.6 inches from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours

Alright, so when you hit week 8, it’s time to give your plant a good flush. Stop giving it that Easy Bloom stuff for now. Just soak the soil with water until it’s soaked, then let it drain out. Do this a bunch of times over the next couple weeks, following the autoflower grow guide. Flushing helps get rid of extra nutrients and makes your buds taste better.

Alright, grab your scissors and get ready to trim. This technique pairs great with low-stress training to boost your yields even more. Just snip off the small fan leaves at the bottom and the older leaves at the top of your plants. This will bring in more light and prevent mold from forming.

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 8

Week 9: The Finish Line Approaches

You’re so close to witnessing the cycle begins anew with another batch of autoflower strains! All your effort and commitment is about to pay off with some awesome, sticky buds. But there are still a few things left to do before the big payoff. Just make sure to keep everything in check to prevent any last-minute problems or pests from spoiling your harvest.

  • 40% RH
  • 25°C air temperature
  • Light 17.6 inches from the canopy
  • 1.5l of water per 24 hours

You might see the fan leaves changing color and falling off, but no need to freak out! It just means you’ve done a good job flushing your plants and harvest time is right around the corner.

Autoflower Life Cycle Week By Week Pictures Guide - Week 9

Week 10: Autoflower Harvest Time!

Are you psyched to see the rewards of all your hard work? Most autoflowers will be good to go for harvesting in week 10! You’ll know it’s time to snip those buds when the trichomes are mostly cloudy and the pistils have turned a reddish/brown color.

If you see that some of your buds are ready while others are taking their sweet time, consider picking them bit by bit each week to keep things in check. Usually, the buds near the top will be ready first. It doesn’t matter if you did some training on your plant, the buds that are higher up will always ripen faster.

Hey, no need to stress if your plant looks like it’s either lagging behind or sprinting ahead right now. Some auto strains just grow at different paces. For example, slowpokes like Amnesia Haze Automatic might take a little longer to reach maturity, while others might already be done growing.

Once you’ve picked your buds, it’s time to dry and cure them to make sure you end up with some good quality, delicious stash.

Autoflower Week by Week Pictures Life Cycle

Autoflower weed strains are the bomb for growing, whether you’re a newbie or a pro. They grow like lightning, going from seed to harvest in just 8-12 weeks. This means you can get your stash quick without sacrificing quality. Paramount Seed Farms has a handy guide with a breakdown for each week to help you grow autoflowers like a boss and score an awesome harvest.

  • Rapid Growth Cycle: Autoflowers can complete their life cycle in 8–12 weeks, with some strains taking up to 12 weeks.
  • Beginner-Friendly: Their hardy nature and resistance to pests and diseases make autoflowers a great choice for novice growers.
  • No Need for Light Cycle Adjustments: Autoflowers don’t require changes in light schedules to flower, simplifying the growing process.
  • Ideal for Small Spaces: Their compact size makes autoflowers perfect for growers with limited space, marking them as easy to grow due to their less demanding growing conditions.
  • Multiple Harvests Possible: The quick turnaround time allows for multiple harvests in a single growing season, especially when growing outdoors.
  • PH Balance is Crucial: Maintaining a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is key for nutrient absorption and plant health.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Autoflowers require less nutrition compared to photoperiod strains, with specific needs during different stages of growth.
  • Training Techniques: Employing low-stress training techniques can enhance yields without stressing the plants.
  • Harvesting in Stages: Consider a progressive harvest for plants with buds maturing at different rates.

Just check out these tips and tricks in the guide, and you’ll be able to maximize your auto weed plants and have some amazing buds before you know it. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to step up your game, growing autoflowers can be a cool and rewarding journey.


Meet Redd, with over 14 years of experience in growing cannabis, Redd isn't just a knowledgeable expert in cannabis cultivation; he also have a humanistic touch that makes them relatable and trustworthy. Redd understands that growing cannabis is more than just a business; it's a lifestyle and a community. In his free time, Redd enjoys hiking, disc golf, playing with their dogs and cats, and trying out new strains of cannabis.