Autoflower vs Photoperiod: Which Strain is Better?

autoflower vs photoperiod

If you are looking for the best cannabis strain to raise for newbies, or you’re checking out what’s the next kind of weed you should pot in your growing garden, you might have thought “what’s the easiest route to take?” For a fresh and steady supply of cannabis, users recommend you grow your own cannabis. Learn more about autoflower vs photoperiod cannabis by continue reading below.

Autoflower vs Photoperiod Cannabis Strains

There are plenty of strains available in the market that offer a variety of flavors, benefits, and other desirable features to choose from. For growers, most would consider the speed of its growth cycle, resilience, and yield, among other features, to gather an abundant harvest and save time and effort. With the help of technology and research, you can now grow seeds formulated for fast and quality results using autoflower and photoperiod strains. 

However, one must also consider maintaining the overall health of a plant for a potent and bountiful yield. This takes giving time and attention to your herb, but there is a way for you to make the process a lot easier when you learn about the nature of your chosen type of cannabis strain. Here we differentiate an autoflower strain from photoperiod strains to help you choose which one could perfectly fit your lifestyle, location, and meet your expectations.

Autoflower Strains


Autoflowering cannabis strains are crossed with cannabis ruderalis, a type of strain known for its fast growth and fair yield, but with no effects to give you a buzzing high. Autoflower strains are claimed to be the “beginner strains” because of how low maintenance they can be, but this varies among strains.


Difficulty: Easy, Suitable for Beginners

Hence the name, autoflower strains grow at a faster rate due to its ruderalis genes. They also do not require much modification or growing techniques, but applying these could make a difference with the quality of the buds that it will bear later on.

Maintenance: Consider the Climate or Weather

Autoflower strains are capable of growing even in slightly unfavorable conditions, but this may harm and damage the plant without any supervision. It is best that you choose an autoflower strain suitable for the weather in your region for the best results. 

Growing an autoflower indoors, though, is not much of a problem, given that you provide it with the basic needs of nutrients, the appropriate light cycle, and a regular trim.

Grow cycle: Fast to Moderate – may Depend on the Strain

Since autoflower cannabis does not depend much on its conditions as to when it should enter the flowering stage, it matures sooner compared to a photoperiod strain. This, of course, depends on what strain you choose to grow and the conditions it is raised in. Most autoflower cannabis can start showing buds as soon as 8 or 9 weeks, but others will blossom at the average 10 to 12 weeks.

Flowering Period: Fast, may Depend on the Strain

As mentioned earlier, autoflowering cannabis does not rely on a light cycle in order to begin flowering. In simpler terms, autoflower have a body clock of their own, but making modifications to their light cycle could help if you want fuller and more potent buds. As early as the 7th to 9th week, you can already start seeing little buds grow out on a strain that grows at the average span of 10 to 12 weeks.

Yield: Average to High

Though autoflower will not keep you waiting too long, it’s best to pour in some extra effort to make your weed flourish with vibrant color, thick foliage, and aromatic, flavorful buds. The more optimal the conditions for your weed, the more rewards there are to reap upon harvest. 

Resilience: Average

Getting a fair share of your pot supply at a fast rate does come with a catch, though. A common problem with autoflower strains has been its immunity to disease. While it can fight off most fungi and other pests, this calls for a careful eye. 

Missing the slightest hint of a problem can get worse if not treated right away. This may not apply to all autoflowering cannabis, but do keep this in mind to give an autoflower the utmost care and protection against pests and diseases.

Photoperiod Strains


Photoperiod cannabis strains rely on how you modify the light cycle in order to enter the flowering phase. This can be helpful when you want to harvest sooner or keep them in the vegetative state a bit longer for a more mature plant and increase the potency of the buds later. Photoperiod plants can survive outdoors, preferably those that experience a fair amount of light and cloudy skies to stimulate the weed.


Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Depending on your habits and routines with growing plants, a photoperiod strain could be easy or a bit of a challenge for others. When it comes to autoflower vs photoperiod, photoperiod cannabis requires modification in the light cycle and also regular pruning and trimming to improve air circulation and ensure that all parts of the plant get an equal share of light exposure. 

These are some common practices when it comes to raising marijuana, but if you are a beginner, you might find the job quite intimidating and tedious at first. We suggest you choose a more low maintenance photoperiod strain in case you aren’t up for the challenge.

Maintenance: Consider the Climate and Stick to Good Old Growing Techniques

As stated above, the adjustment should be made for photoperiod strains, especially for their light cycle to begin bearing flowers. Topping, pruning, and trimming also help the plant breathe and get enough light. 

You might consider raising a photoperiod plant in warm or Mediterranean weather to get enough light in its earlier stages and keep it shaded as the climate gets cooler. This tip helps make the growing process easier for you and will keep your cannabis grow out its foliage.

Grow cycle: Average (may Depend on the Strain)

Being dependent on the natural light cycle, photoperiod strains take the average span of 10 to 12 weeks before harvest. There are plenty of benefits to this, though, and the rate also varies among strains. 

If you want to begin gathering your buds sooner, there are lots of other strains that are ready for harvest as early as the 10th week. The growing conditions are also another factor for the rate a photoperiod strain grows at. Reducing the hours of light sooner, of course, can help speed this up.

Flowering Period: Average 

If you stick to growing it at an average rate, flowering will begin most likely in the 8th or 9th week. You may get faster results the earlier you modify the light cycle, but we suggest following the directions as advised on your chosen photoperiod strain.

Yield: High, may Depend on the Strain

Photoperiod strains are popular for producing high and potent yields due to the amount of light they receive between the vegetative state and entering the flowering stage. It will depend on how you have raised it, given that the strain was raised in favorable conditions with no rush. You can also opt for strains that naturally produce big, resinous yields for more chances at a good harvest.

Resilience: High

Though you might think photoperiod strains need more attention, you will be surprised at how immune they are too on common pests and disease. As long as they receive enough nutrients, photoperiod cannabis can be quite hardy and stand most infections. Think if your effort is rewarded not only with a fresh supply of weed but also a strain that can look after itself every once in a while.


In the end, it’s entirely up to you. When it comes to autoflowers vs photoperiod Cannabis strains, both have plenty of advantages, depending on which is a better fit for you as the grower. No matter what type you choose, all cannabis plants need some TLC for them to bear fresh and potent flowers to enjoy.