The Best LED Grow Lights For Weed 2018

The Best LED Grow Lights For Weed

Looking for the best LED grow lights for weed? We’ve reviewed the most popular LED grow lights in 2018, so you can find the perfect light for your budget and setup.

The Best LED Grow Lights For Weed

Most growers know that using a good LED grow light is essential if you want to achieve a good yield and potent buds.

However, choosing the right LED fixture for the job has become a total nightmare.

There are now hundreds of LED grow lights to choose from, each with vastly differing specs and confusing terminology.

Unfortunately there are also lots of bad quality manufacturers who make false claims about their lights performance.

This article aims to cut through all the bullshit.

I’ll tell you exactly what you should be looking for in a good LED grow light, and which LED grow lights offer the best value for money in 2018.

The Best LED Grow Lights 2018 – Quick Look

Short on time? No problem! Here are my top 4 LED grow lights to buy in 2018.

I’ll cover each grow light in more detail below the table.

Top Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V600 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 1000W Indoor Plant Grow Lights Full Spectrum with UV&IR for Veg and Flower
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V300 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Phlizon Newest 600W LED Plant Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Full Spectrum Double Switch Plant Light for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower- 600W(10W LEDs 60Pcs)
Name
VIPARSPECTRA 600w
Roleadro 300w
VIPARSPECTRA 300w
PHLIZON NEWEST 600w
Actual Watts / Power
269w
130 watts
136 watts
108 watts
HPS Equivalent
600w
400w
250w
400w
PAR Output
703 umols at 18"
453 umols at 18”
427 umols at 18"
350 umols at 18"
Spectrum
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR & UV
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR & UV
Number of Plants
1-4
1-2
1-2
1-2
Best Grow Tent Size
2x2ft or 3x3ft
2x2ft
2x2ft
2x2ft
Warranty
3 years
2.5 Years
3 Years
2 years
Daisy Chaining
Veg & Bloom Switch
Top Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V600 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
VIPARSPECTRA 600w
Actual Watts / Power
269w
HPS Equivalent
600w
PAR Output
703 umols at 18"
Spectrum
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR
Number of Plants
1-4
Best Grow Tent Size
2x2ft or 3x3ft
Warranty
3 years
Daisy Chaining
Veg & Bloom Switch
Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 1000W Indoor Plant Grow Lights Full Spectrum with UV&IR for Veg and Flower
Name
Roleadro 300w
Actual Watts / Power
130 watts
HPS Equivalent
400w
PAR Output
453 umols at 18”
Spectrum
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR & UV
Number of Plants
1-2
Best Grow Tent Size
2x2ft
Warranty
2.5 Years
Daisy Chaining
Veg & Bloom Switch
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V300 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
VIPARSPECTRA 300w
Actual Watts / Power
136 watts
HPS Equivalent
250w
PAR Output
427 umols at 18"
Spectrum
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR
Number of Plants
1-2
Best Grow Tent Size
2x2ft
Warranty
3 Years
Daisy Chaining
Veg & Bloom Switch
Phlizon Newest 600W LED Plant Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Full Spectrum Double Switch Plant Light for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower- 600W(10W LEDs 60Pcs)
Name
PHLIZON NEWEST 600w
Actual Watts / Power
108 watts
HPS Equivalent
400w
PAR Output
350 umols at 18"
Spectrum
Full Spectrum
Inc. IR & UV
Number of Plants
1-2
Best Grow Tent Size
2x2ft
Warranty
2 years
Daisy Chaining
Veg & Bloom Switch

TOP PICK: After looking at more than 30 LED grow lights, I can confidently say that the Viparspectra 600w is the LED grow light that provides the most value for your money.

This budget friendly LED grow light is powerful, efficient and outputs the perfect amount of PAR in the flowering stage.

In addition to this, Viparspectra are a very reliable manufacturer and offer a generous 3 year warranty and excellent customer service.

The V600 is perfect for growing up to 4 plants in a 2x2ft or 3x3ft grow tent.

However, If you’re only planning to grow 1-2 plants and are on a very tight budget, the Roleadro 300w is the light I would opt for. Although it’s a bit less powerful than the v600, it includes UV and outputs a decent amount of PAR for the price.

The Best LED Grow Lights For Weed

I’ve split my recommendations into 4 categories:

    • Best Value LED Grow Light

The lights i feel offer the most value for money

    • Best 1000w LED Grow Light

This power is usually ideal for between 1-6 plants

    • Best 600w LED Grow Light

This power is usually ideal for between 1-4 plants

    • Best 300w LED Grow Light

This power is usually ideal for between 1-2 plants

1.The Best Value LED Grow Lights For Weed

LED grow light technology has come a long way over the past 10 years.

These advancements mean you can now pick up a really decent LED grow light for well under two hundred bucks.

Out of all the grow lights I tested, these two lights offer the most bang for your buck.

Top Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V600 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V300 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
#1 - Viparspectra 600w
#2 - Viparspectra 300w
Actual Wattage
600w
250w
Spectrum
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
PAR Output
703 umols at 18"
350 umols at 18"
Number of plants
1-6
1-3
Daisy Chainable
Veg & Bloom Switch
Warranty
3 Years Warranty
3 Years Warranty
Top Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V600 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
#1 - Viparspectra 600w
Actual Wattage
600w
Spectrum
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
PAR Output
703 umols at 18"
Number of plants
1-6
Daisy Chainable
Veg & Bloom Switch
Warranty
3 Years Warranty
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V300 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
#2 - Viparspectra 300w
Actual Wattage
250w
Spectrum
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
PAR Output
350 umols at 18"
Number of plants
1-3
Daisy Chainable
Veg & Bloom Switch
Warranty
3 Years Warranty

# 1 – Viparspectra 600w LED Grow Light

The Viparpectra 600w takes top spot as the best value LED grow light. It’s actually my current favourite grow light  – I own two of them!

This grow light is extremely powerful for the price.

With an actual wattage output of 269w providing 703 umols of PAR at 18″  the V600 provides the perfect PAR output for the flowering stage.

Not many similarly priced lights come close to matching this.

Although this light doesn’t come with UV, it still has a full spectrum which includes Infrared.

The V600 also comes with really useful functionality, such as the ability to daisy-chain (hang multiple lights together while using only one power cord ) and veg and bloom switches ( optimise your lights spectrum for the veg and bloom stage )

On top of this, Viparpectra are a very reliable company and they back this light with a very nice 3 year warranty. Read full review

Who is this light best for?

This light is perfect if you plan on growing up to 4 plants.

However, if you’re on a tight budget or plan on growing no more than 2 plants, you might want to considering purchasing the v300 below.

What size grow tent should I get? 

If you plan on growing 2 plants with this light, get a 2x2ft grow tent. If you plan on growing 4 plants under this light, get a 3x3ft grow tent.

# 2 – Roleadro GalaxyHydro 300w LED Grow Light

Roleadro’s Galaxy Hydro is another very popular 300w LED grow light, and it definitely gives the Viparspectra a run for its money. The Roleadro outputs slightly more PAR at 18″ ( 453 umols ) and and also comes with the ability to daisy chain and as well as a full spectrum which includes IR and UV. Again this light is perfect for 1-3 plants inside a small 2x3ft grow tent. Read full review

2. The Best 1000w LED Grow Lights For Weed

Choosing a 1000w LED grow light means that you’re looking to spend a bit more to really maximise your yields. The PAR output on a good 1000w LED grow light should be in the high end of the optimal ranges for veg ( 400-600 umols ) and flowering (700-900 umols )

Top Pick
Phlizon Newest 1500W High Power Series Plant LED Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Double Chips Full Spectrum Grow Lamp for Indoor Plant
BESTVA DC Series 2000W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum Grow Lamp for Greenhouse Hydroponic Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
Name
#1 - Phlizon 1500w
#2 - DC Series 2000W
Actual Wattage
1000w ( consumes 280w )
1400 watt ( consumes 390w )
Spectrum
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
PAR Output
812 umols at 18"
760 umols at 18"
Number of Plants
1-6
1-6
Daisy Chainable
Veg & Bloom Switch
Warranty
2 Years Warranty
3 Years Warranty
Top Pick
Phlizon Newest 1500W High Power Series Plant LED Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Double Chips Full Spectrum Grow Lamp for Indoor Plant
Name
#1 - Phlizon 1500w
Actual Wattage
1000w ( consumes 280w )
Spectrum
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
PAR Output
812 umols at 18"
Number of Plants
1-6
Daisy Chainable
Veg & Bloom Switch
Warranty
2 Years Warranty
BESTVA DC Series 2000W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum Grow Lamp for Greenhouse Hydroponic Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
Name
#2 - DC Series 2000W
Actual Wattage
1400 watt ( consumes 390w )
Spectrum
Full Spectrum Inc. UV & IR
PAR Output
760 umols at 18"
Number of Plants
1-6
Daisy Chainable
Veg & Bloom Switch
Warranty
3 Years Warranty

# 1 – Phlizon 1500w LED Grow Light

The Phlizon 1500w led grow light is extremely powerful and has an actual wattage of 1000w, while consuming 340watts . The PAR Output on this bad boy is a massive 812 umols at 18″ , which means that it’s right in the middle of the 700-900 optimal range for flowering. The high PAR output, combined with the full spectrum, including UV and IR wavelengths, will mean your plants have everything they need to really max out their potential yield. The lack of functionality such daisy chaining and veg and bloom switches means that this grow light is available at a very tempting price for growers looking for power over functionality.

# 2 – Bestva DC Series 2000w LED Grow Light

The Bestva DC series 2000w is another exceptionally high powered grow light. With an actual wattage of 1400w this light will output roughly 760 umols at 18″ – well within the optimal PAR ranges for flowering. Again, focusing on power, Bestva have stripped out the nice-to-have features such as daisy chaining and veg & bloom switches. This makes the light very affordable. This light also comes with a 3 year warranty to give you peace of mind.

3. The Best 600w LED Grow Lights For Weed

A good 600w LED grow light will be able to take between 1- 6 cannabis plants from seedling ( or clone ) right the way through to harvest, producing an excellent yield. In my opinion, 600w of actual wattage is the perfect power for an indoor LED grow light. It’s powerful enough to output optimal PAR values, while consuming less electricity than more powerful lights.

Our Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V600 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Phlizon Newest 600W LED Plant Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Full Spectrum Double Switch Plant Light for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower- 600W(10W LEDs 60Pcs)
Name
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W
PHLIZON Newest 600W
Dimensions:
15x 12.6 x 3 inches
​15.3 x 12.8 x 3 inches
Veg:
3ft x 3ft at 32"
3ft x 3ft at 32"
Flowering
2.5ft x 2.5ft at 22"
2ft x 2ft at 24"
Power
Replaces a 600w HPS Consumes 269 watts
Replaces a 400w HPS Consumes 208 watts
PAR Output
703 umols at 18"
350 umols at 18"
Warranty
3 years
2 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?
Our Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V600 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W
Dimensions:
15x 12.6 x 3 inches
Veg:
3ft x 3ft at 32"
Flowering
2.5ft x 2.5ft at 22"
Power
Replaces a 600w HPS Consumes 269 watts
PAR Output
703 umols at 18"
Warranty
3 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?
Phlizon Newest 600W LED Plant Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Full Spectrum Double Switch Plant Light for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower- 600W(10W LEDs 60Pcs)
Name
PHLIZON Newest 600W
Dimensions:
​15.3 x 12.8 x 3 inches
Veg:
3ft x 3ft at 32"
Flowering
2ft x 2ft at 24"
Power
Replaces a 400w HPS Consumes 208 watts
PAR Output
350 umols at 18"
Warranty
2 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?

The Viparspectra 600w  is hands down the best 600w grow light overall. I’ve covered this light briefly above under the “best value led grow light” award, so I won’t repeat myself here. You can read my full review of the Viparspectra 600w here

# 2 – Phlizon 600w LED Grow Light

The Phlizon 600w is also a great option if your budget can’t stretch to the Viparspectra. It offers a full spectrum (  including UV and IR ) as well as daisy chain functionality, veg and bloom switches. It outputs slightly less power than the Viparspectra, and therefore produces less PAR at 18″ , but it’s still enough to get a very solid yield. Using less power means using less electricity, so if funds are tight, then this is a great backup choice. Phlizon stand by this light with a 2 year warranty and responsive customer service. Read full review

4. The Best 300w LED Grow Lights For Weed

A 300w LED Grow light is perfect if you’re looking to grow one or two plants. Although these grow lights not might not penetrate your plants as well as more powerful lights, they will still do a great job and provide a good yield. Due to their value, many growers opt to purchase two 300w lights and hang them side by side to cover a larger area.

Top Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V300 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 1000W Indoor Plant Grow Lights Full Spectrum with UV&IR for Veg and Flower
MarsHydro LED Grow Light 300W 600W 1200W Full Spectrum for Hydroponic Indoor Plants Growing Veg and Flower
Name
Viparspectra
300w LED Grow Light
Roleadro
300w LED Grow Light
MarsHydro
300w LED Grow Light
Dimensions:
12.6 x 7.9 x 3 inches
12.1 x 8.2 x 2.4 inches
12 x 8 x 3 inches
Veg:
2ft x 2ft at 24"
2ft x 2ft at 24"
3ft x 2.5ft at 24"
Flowering
1.5ft x 1.5ft at 18"
-
2.5ft x 2ft at 18"
Power
Replaces a 250w HPS Consumes 136 watts
Replaces a 400w HPS Consumes 269 watts
Replaces a 300w HPS Consumes 132 watts
PAR Output
427 umols at 18"
453 umols at 18”
445 umols at 18”
Warranty
3 years
2.5 years
3 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?
Top Pick
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series V300 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower, Have Daisy Chain Function
Name
Viparspectra
300w LED Grow Light
Dimensions:
12.6 x 7.9 x 3 inches
Veg:
2ft x 2ft at 24"
Flowering
1.5ft x 1.5ft at 18"
Power
Replaces a 250w HPS Consumes 136 watts
PAR Output
427 umols at 18"
Warranty
3 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?
Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 1000W Indoor Plant Grow Lights Full Spectrum with UV&IR for Veg and Flower
Name
Roleadro
300w LED Grow Light
Dimensions:
12.1 x 8.2 x 2.4 inches
Veg:
2ft x 2ft at 24"
Flowering
-
Power
Replaces a 400w HPS Consumes 269 watts
PAR Output
453 umols at 18”
Warranty
2.5 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?
MarsHydro LED Grow Light 300W 600W 1200W Full Spectrum for Hydroponic Indoor Plants Growing Veg and Flower
Name
MarsHydro
300w LED Grow Light
Dimensions:
12 x 8 x 3 inches
Veg:
3ft x 2.5ft at 24"
Flowering
2.5ft x 2ft at 18"
Power
Replaces a 300w HPS Consumes 132 watts
PAR Output
445 umols at 18”
Warranty
3 years
Daisy Chain Ability?
Veg & Bloom Switch?

My top pick in this category is the Roleadro 300w. I covered this light above under the “Best Value LED Grow Light” award – so check that out if you missed it 🙂  If you want to read more you can check out my full review on this grow light, here Read full review

# 2 – Viparspectra 300w LED Grow Light

The Viparspectra 300w is the little brother to Viparspectra’s excellent 600w light. At half the actual wattage, Viparspectra offers this grow light at a significantly lower price point, which makes it very appealing if you’re a little tight on cash. Outputting 427 umols at 18″ , this light will produce great results for between 1 to 3 plants inside a 2×3 mylar lined grow tent. It comes with daisy chain functionality, a well balanced spectrum (  IR but no UV ) and is backed by Viparspectras generous 3 year warranty. Read full review

Who is this light best for? This light is only really powerful enough to take 2 plants from seed to harvest, so choose this light if you’re planning a small, personal grow.

What size grow tent should I get? Best used in a small 2ft x 2ft mylar lined grow tent to really maximise PAR.

LED Grow Light FAQ

In this section, I’ll answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about LED grow lights.

If you have any further questions, please let me know in the comments and I’ll answer them here 🙂

Q: What Are LED Grow Lights?

A: LED (Light Emitting Diode) Grow lights are a type of efficient grow light that are perfect for use indoors.

They offer some awesome benefits over traditional types of grow lights.

Q: What Are The Benefits of LED Grow Lights?

  • Full spectrum, boosting growth and potency of plants
  • They output low levels of heat, reducing ventilation costs
  • The bulbs last a long time ( 50,000 – 100,000 hours  ) so no need to replace bulbs
  • Up to 50% more energy efficient than HPS/HID or Fluorescent grow lights
  • Easy to use. Just plug in and turn on. No complicated set up.
  • No need to buy extra equipment like ballasts or reflectors
  • Safer to operate than HPS lights

Any downsides? The only real downside to LED grow lights is that they cost a bit more up front than HPS or Fluorescent lights.

However, your energy savings over time will more than make up for this.

Q: What Wattage LED Grow Light Do I Need?

A: You need at least 32 actual watts of power per square feet of grow space.

Actual watts are what your grow light draws from the wall socket.

It is not the total wattage of LED chips in the light that most manufacturers advertise in their product titles.

For example, the Viparspectra 600w in our comparison table above gets its 600w name because the light is made up of 120 5w LED diodes.

This is simply the maximum capacity of the diodes in the light.

It’s actual wattage is 269w – the power it draws from the wall socket.

One cannabis plant needs at least 1sq foot to grow in ( preferably a little bit more ) This will allow your plant room to grow to its full potential.

Therefore, if you were planning on growing 4 plants, you’d need a light with at least 128 actual watts.

Note: As well as actual watts, It’s also very important to know how much PAR your light outputs, because some led grow lights might have a high actual wattage and a low PAR output due to factors such as the angle of the lenses, efficiency etc etc – so keep an eye out for high PAR output!

Q: Will LED lights burn my plants?

A: While LED grow lights run much cooler than HPS lights ( see video above ), if you hang them too close to your plants, they will get light burn.

A good way to avoid this is to place your hand over at the top of your plant.

If you feel the heat of the light is too hot for your hand, then it’s too hot for your plants – move your light back a little.

Q: How far from my plants should my LED lights be?

A: This is not a simple question to answer, as it will vary between different grow lights.

However, most good manufacturers will provide instructions on the light hanging distance at various stages.

In general, you want to keep your light between 18 to 36 inches away from your plants.

18 inches above the canopy while flowering, and 24-36 inches above during the veg stage.

Remember, if the light is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your plants.

It’s always better for your lights to be too far away than too close.

What Makes A Good LED Grow Light?

Here are some important things that you should look for in a good LED grow light:

1. Full spectrum ( including IR and UV )

A full spectrum LED grow light will give your plant every wavelength of light it requires to maximise it’s growth ( bigger yields ). Most LED grow light manufacturers will provide details or charts about their lights spectral output. Look for blue lights between 430nm-450nm for the vegetation stage and red lights red lights between 640nm-680nm for the flowering stage.

You should also look for an LED grow light that includes UV ( ultraviolet ) and IR ( Infrared ) diodes.

Ultraviolet light has been shown make your plants react defensively and produce more trichomes. This leads to an increase in THC levels ( higher potency )

The benefits of Infrared are a little more debated, but many experts believe that it promotes larger leaf growth and increases yield size.

2. High PAR output

PAR ( measured in umol/2/s ) is the spectrum of light that your plants use for photosynthesis, so you want to feed them a lot of it. Most good manufacturers will provide you with a chart showing you how much PAR your plants will get at various heights. Between 200-400 umols is perfect for seedlings. Between 400-600 umols is perfect for late vegging cycles, and 700-900 umols is the perfect amount for flowering.

3. Daisy Chaining Functionality

A very useful feature if you need to buy multiple lights. This functionality allows you to plug one light into another light so that you only need one power chord. This makes it easier to hang your lights side-by-side, keeps your grow space organised and frees up socket space.

4. Veg & Bloom Switches

Veg & Bloom switches allow you to optimise the intensity of your lights for the different stages of your grow cycle. This prevents your young plants from getting light burn and saves you money on your electricity bill.

5. Good Warranty

Make sure you pick a grow light with a warranty of 2-3 years. LEDs should last for more than 10 years, but having a decent warranty will give you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you will get a replacement or refund

6. Responsive Customer Service

This is vital. If something goes wrong with you’re light, you want to have purchased from a company that will get back to you quickly and make things right. Check Amazon reviews to see how the manufacturer has replied to negative reviews.

7. High Actual Wattage

Many grow light manufactures name their grow lights after the total wattage of LED chips inside the light. For example, a grow light with 120 5w LED chips might be advertised as a 600w grow light. The actual power is the wattage that it draws from the socket. Keep an eye out for text like “consuming only 160 watts!” – this is the lights actual wattage.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this best LED grow lights article useful!

All of the LED grow lights reviewed in this article will do a solid job for your plants.

They’re all reasonably priced and produced by reliable manufacturers who offer good warranties and customer service.

That said, the Viparspectra 600w stands out due to it’s nice mix of high PAR output and useful functionality. As mentioned earlier in the review, I own two V600’s and they do an excellent job hung over 6 plants in a 3×3 grow tent. If you’re looking for a reliable light that produces great yields and won’t break the bank, you really can’t go wrong with this light.

How To Make Buds Bigger During Flowering

How To Make Buds Bigger During Flowering

How To Make Buds Bigger During Flowering

The most anticipated stage of a cannabis plants life is when buds start to appear.

And every grower wants the largest, juiciest buds.

In this article, I’ll give you 7 tips that will show you how to make buds bigger during flowering

Why is Bud Size Important?

Buds are the part of the cannabis plant that contain the highest levels of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives you that lovely ‘high’ feeling.

Buds also contain other important cannabinoids used for medicinal purposes such as CBD, THCV and CBG.

So we want them as big as possible.

How To Make Buds Bigger During Flowering

Before we begin, it’s important that you understand the basics of growing weed.

Many things can have an impact on your yield before the flowering stage.

However, picking a High yield strain, using a decent LED grow light together with the correctly sized grow tent will have the biggest positive effect on your yield.

If you’re confident you have the right set up, here are 7 tips on how to make buds bigger during flowering…

1. Increase Your Light Intensity

I’m sure you’re aware that in general, more light generally means a larger yield.

The most effective step you can take to increase the size of your yield is to push the limit of light intensity that your plants are receiving.

Cannabis is a hardy plant, and can actually absorb a surprising amount of light without damage.

You should therefore be as aggressive as possible when choosing the distance between your canopy and light.

For LED grow lights, you should hang your light between 12″ and 18″ above the canopy when flowering.

The perfect distance will vary from light to light, so It’s important you consult the manufacturers instructions and test the light at different heights.

Start at 12 inches, then keep an eye on your plants over the next 12 hours and look for signs of light burn, which is a sign that your lights are too close. If they are, inch them back until the light burn stops.

For optimal yields, you need to hang your light at the distance just before light burn occurs.

2. Dark Periods

Cannabis starts budding when plants get at least 12 hours of interrupted darkness each night. After plants start budding, they must continue to get long dark nights until harvest or they may revert back to their vegetative state.

Once the plant is changed to the flowering lighting schedule (12 hours on, 12 hours off ) there is generally another 6-10 weeks before the plants buds are ready for harvest.

It is absolutely essential to ensure that plants are not exposed to any light during their dark period, as they may revert back to vegetative growth, severely limiting the size of the buds

3. Ensure Air Circulation / Co2

Once your grow lights are optimised for intensity, we nee to make sure our plants are able to breathe properly.

Your cannabis plants require CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process, when they convert usable light into energy.

Without CO2, your plants would shrivel up and die.

Plants can absorb A LOT of light before they require CO2 supplementation. Therefore, for most growers, a simple rotating fan will be enough to circulate the air and provide plants with enough CO2 to process the light.

4. Pruning

Pruning is a technique that growers utilize to increase their yield. The small shoots between the main stem and the branches are removed so that energy is diverted to flower production.

You should only do any pruning during the vegetation stage of growth, as the plant will need sufficient time to recover from the shock and resume growth. Make sure your plants are growing again and evaporating enough water. Avoid adding any additional fertilizer until they are showing signs of recovery.

The following video shows you how to prune effectively:

5. Get Rid Of Any Male Plants

Cannabis plants have two pairs of sex chromosomes, one of which carries the genes that determine sex (male or female).

If you are growing non-feminized seeds, each sex has a 50% chance of occurring.

If your plants are not grown from clones, you must sex your plants.

Sexing your plants and removing the males will ensure that cross pollination does not occur.

By getting rid of the male plants from your garden, this allows the female plants to grow large and seedless buds, referred to as sensimilla.

A cannabis plant won’t start to show its gender until it enters the pre-flower stage. This can occur as early as 3 to 6 weeks into the plants life cycle.

Once your plants are approximately 3 to 6 weeks old they will start to display signs of pre-flowers, which will indicate the sex of the plant before it enters its flowering stage. It is important to remove male plants as soon as possible.

Plants that don’t reveal their sex at the pre-flowering stage will reveal their gender in the first 1-3 weeks after the lights have been switched to a 12-12 flowering cycle.

6. Adjust Your Fertilizer To Match Your Plants Requirements

By adjusting your nutrient giving to your plants exact requirements, your plants will grow the largest buds possible.

It is important not to overfeed them as an oversaturation of nutrients can harm or even kill the plant.

During the vegetative stage of growth, a multi-purpose fertilizer may be used. Cannabis plants respond well to a mixture of fertilizer that is high in Nitrogen, Kalium and Phosphor. You can check this via the NPK rating that is generally written on the fertilizer packaging.

However, in the flowering stage, your plant needs fertilizer with a higher level of Kalium and Phosphor, and low levels of Nitrogen.

The reason is that Phosphor will stimulate your plant to sprout more buds while the Kalium increases density and weight.

Ideally, you want to use a fertilizer that has been developed specifically for the flowering stage.

Check Your PH Level

If you are fertilizing your plants, you must regularly monitor the pH level of your growing medium. Without the correct acidity level, nutrients won’t dissolve properly and the cannabis plants root systems are unable to absorb them. The optimal pH range for cannabis plants grown is soil is 6.0 – 7.0 and 5.5 – 6.5 for hydroponic setups and plants grown in coco peat.

7. Harvest At The Right Time

Picking the right time to harvest is vital to the yield you will get.

Leaving your buds to ripen fully could add up to 25% more to your yield.

By inspecting your plants trichomes closely, you will be able to determine exactly when you’re plants should be harvested for maximum yield and potency.

Final Thoughts

During this article we have concentrated on how to maximize bud size during the preflowering, or flowering stage of the pants life cycle.

While the techniques listed above have been proven to work, the ultimate goal of any cannabis grower should be to grow the healthiest plants possible and this covers everything from seed selection to correct care during the important vegetative growth period.

By ensuring your plants are healthy at all times, you are guaranteed a bountiful harvest. And this should be the preferred method of cultivation.

How To Harvest Weed Step By Step

How To Harvest Weed Step By Step

How To Harvest Weed Step By Step

Finally! The culmination of all your hard work… it’s time to harvest!

Now, as you may know, harvesting weed isn’t quite like harvesting a tomato.

To get the perfect smoke, you need to be very careful with how you handle the harvest of your plants.

This guide will show you exactly how to harvest weed step by step

By following these steps, you can ensure that you reap the sticky, smelly and delicious rewards of high quality cannabis.

Step 1: Determine When To Harvest

The most important factor in harvesting is actually determining when to harvest your plants.

When you harvest is vital because the chemicals that ultimately create the “high” from using cannabis change dramatically depending on when the plant is harvested.

To determine when you should harvest, you need to understand what you want from your final product.

What Type of High Do You Want?

The types of high you get from your buds vary depending on harvest time, variety, and strain type.

The range of highs go from an energetic head high, to a sleepy couch-lock body high, and a mixture of both.

Knowing the type of high that you would enjoy most, or that meets your medical needs will help you determine when you should harvest.

Factors that affect the type of high you get:

  • Strain –  The effects of your marijuana are first determined by strain.Indicas create more of a body high, while Sativas offer more of a head high. Hybrid varieties offer a mixture of both highs.
  • Variety – The particular variety (i.e bubba, skunk, haze, etc.) will affect the type of high depending on its genetic mix of indica or sativa genetics.
  • Flowering time – The time passed since flowering began will determine how these predetermined traits will be expressed in the final product.Different harvest times result in different compositions of the chemicals that create the effects of cannabis.The amount of time is significant because it determines how developed the THC glands are. THC is what actually creates the high from cannabis, so it’s maturity at harvest time determines everything about the high.

Understanding THC Maturity

The little white crystals that cover your buds are trichomes, which contain the all important THC.

Trichomes on a flowering cannabis plant. Image courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds

Trichomes form a few weeks into flowering, and begin to grow, multiply, and reach maturity over time.

Trichomes give the best indicator for maturity in cannabis, so use them as your guide to harvest.

So how do you know when your trichomes are mature?

Look at their cloudiness and color

Immature trichomes are clear and translucent, while overripe trichomes are cloudy and amber.

A quick guide to understanding your trichomes. Image courtesy of Royal queen seeds

Most growers will want to harvest when their trichomes are in the cloudy-clear middle ground.

But when should you actually start checking them, and how do you do it?

When To Check For Maturity

Timing is everything when harvesting, so you need to know when to start looking for maturing trichomes.

Understanding the different rates of maturity for trichomes in indica vs. sativa strains is essential.

Indica vs. Sativa at maturity. Image courtesy of The Green Joint

Indica strains reach maturity much faster than sativa strains, the average is 6-8 weeks of flowering until harvest. You should begin examining trichomes around week 5-6 to find your perfect harvest window

Sativa strains are known to take upwards of 8-12 weeks or even longer to reach maturity. Begin checking for trichome maturity around week 8 from flower initiation.

How To Check Your Trichomes

So we’ve outlined what to look for and what it will tell you about your plants maturity, but how do you actually do it?

……with a microscope!

Despite the appearance of trichomes as giant THC mushrooms in many images, these things are tiny.

No, you don’t need a fancy microscope and a lab setup, but you will need a handheld pocket scope.

A microscope like this will allow you to see  the formation and cloudiness of your trichomesup close.

Track the appearance of your trichomes until they correspond to the type of high that you want.

Once you see what you like, it’s time to get ready to harvest!

Caution: When examining your trichomes, be gentle with your plants, and wear nitrile or latex gloves. This is to prevent contaminating or damaging your plants and yourself because of the extreme stickiness involved.

Other Indicators of Harvest Window

Trichome maturity is the golden standard for determining when to harvest, but there a few other signs that can indicate harvest time.

Pistil Color – Another reliable indicator of how mature your plant is. Initially pistils will be yellow-white, but as the plant matures, they will become more orange and amber.

Immature pistils. Image courtesy of Zenpype.
Fully Mature pistils. Image courtesy of I love Growing Marijuana

Swollen Calyxes – These are the pods that would contain seeds if they were pollinated, but still swell at maturity. Plump swollen calyxes indicate a plant is at or near maturity.

Swollen Calyxes On Marijuana Bud
Swollen (mature) calyxes. Image courtesy of a1b2c3.com

This image below, showing the calyx, trichomes, and stigmas (pistils) brings all of these signs together to show how interconnected these signals of maturity are.

Growth – The overall growth in size and mass of your buds will slow or stop. While growth isn’t the most reliable sign, it can be used along with other signs to help pinpoint your harvest time.

After studying your plants to find out when they are ready to harvest, it’s time to cut them down.

Before you begin, make sure you’re ready to handle your harvest.

Step 2: Preparing To Harvest

Now that you know exactly when you want to harvest, it’s time to get all the necessities together.

You also want to get your plants ready as well.

The Harvest Area

Set aside a designated room or area for harvesting your plants.

This area is intended to reduce the spread of odor and begin facilitating the curing process as soon as plants are cut down

This area should be 70F (21C) or below to prevent cannabis oils from volatilizing, which helps reduce the odor.

If possible, seal the room and vent with a carbon filter to reduce the odor entirely.

The Tools

Harvesting weed requires a few specialty tools, some are necessary, and some just make things easier.

Getting these ready before harvest will save precious time.

  • Trimmers – These include handheld scissors, mechanical, and electric trimmers. These are absolutely essential.
  • Trim Trays – While not essential, trays make harvesting easier and allow you to reap some extra reward. They provide support and comfort while trimming, and catch excess kief and sugar leaves via a mesh screen.
  • Gloves – A good pair of nitrile or latex gloves are also needed. This prevents contamination of buds, and keeps your hands from becoming a sticky mess. Gloves will also prevent powerful marijuana odors from lingering on your hands long after trimming.
  • Lines – This is less of a tool than just something you want to have ready to hang your plants from. Material isn’t important, it just needs to be sturdy enough to hang your harvest from to aid in drying.

The Plants

You also need to get your plants prepared for harvest.

  • Remove old leaves – Remove the oldest (lowest) leaves that have begun to yellow significantly. These leaves are taking up more energy than they’re providing to the buds.**Important! – Only do this near harvest, and only remove leaves on the bottom 25% of the plant.
  • Stop spraying – Stop any kind of spraying 2 weeks or sooner before you harvest. This prevents residue in or on your buds, and also reduces the potential for mold.
  • Begin flushing your plants – This is a simple process but must be done correctly, as it has a large impact on the final quality of your cannabis.

Step 3: Flushing Before Harvest

Once you have determined when you are going to harvest your plants, you need to begin flushing them.

The purpose of flushing is to remove any residual nutrients and/or chemicals that have accumulated in the flowers. Flushing is done by watering plants with only clean water until you harvest.

Why Flush?

If you don’t flush, you will very likely have residual fertilizers affecting the taste of your smoke.

This makes smoking these buds harsh and unpleasant. Un-flushed buds may not burn, or will crackle and smell like chemicals when they burn.

Flushing is absolutely necessary if using synthetic fertilizers. If growing completely organically you may not need to flush, or not need to flush as early and heavily.

How To Flush Your Plants

To flush your plants, you simply need to stop fertilizing and water your plants with clean water only

By clean water, I mean distilled or RO water.

If you can only access tap water, use a flushing agent with it.

Begin flushing your plants 7-10 days before you intend to harvest them.

If growing in soil –  just water as needed with clean water throughout this time.

If growing hydroponically –  replace your reservoir with clean water, and recirculate for 2-3 days. After 2-3 days, refill your reservoir again with clean water.

Flushing Tips

  • Make sure you have 10-20% runoff when flushing in soil
  • In soil, allow plants to remain dry 1-2 days before you intend to harvest. This assists with the drying process.
  • In hydro, use a PPM or EC meter to monitor the concentration of your reservoir when flushing. If the concentration is similar to what you’ve been feeding with, keep replacing with clean water until it lowers significantly.

Step 4: Harvesting Your Plants

Now the fun really begins, you can finally start harvesting your beautiful buds.

The most important consideration with this step is to handle your plants and buds properly and in the right environment.

Harvest Environment

In the wrong environment, you can easily damage or degrade the quality of your harvest.

Intense light, temperatures above 80F (27C), friction from handling, damp/humid conditions can all greatly degrade THC

Proper handling and preparation of your harvest area can eliminate all of these potential problems.

How Should You Cut?

There are two ways to begin harvesting your plants.

You can either harvest the whole plant by cutting the main stem, or harvest only the most mature buds.

Whole plant

This method of harvest is quicker, easier, and require less monitoring of individual bud maturity.

You simply need to cut the main stem, then hang or further divide up the plant.

Ripest Bud

This harvest method can potentially increase your overall yield and quality.

You first remove the most ripe buds (as determined through the previous steps).

Next you wait 5-10 days for the remaining buds to reach perfect ripeness, then harvest them as well.

The outer buds, which receive more direct light, will always mature first.

Buds not receiving direct light will always take longer to reach maturity, until exposed to direct light.

Cutting the main stalk

With either method, you will want something besides trimming scissors to cut through the main stalk. Fiskars All Steel Bypass Pruning Shears are great for just that.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Chopping Time

So you have decided when and how you will harvest your plants, now the next few steps are more about your preference than necessity.

  • Fan Leaves – The large trichome-less leaves can be removed, or left attached to the plant. Removing these will speed up the drying process, while keeping them on will allow buds to dry more slowly.
    • If in a high humidity environment, removal may help prevent mold.
    • If in a low humidity environment, keeping leaves on may help keep the buds from drying too quickly.
  • Gloves!!! – From now until your cannabis is cured, any and all handling of plants and buds must be done while wearing gloves. THC will stick to everything it touches, and anything loose on you will stick to your buds, keep it clean!
  • Hanging Plants – After you cut down your plants, you will want to hang them. Do this along a wire, space plants evenly so they will dry evenly.
    • Ensure there is adequate ventilation so that humidity isn’t too high, this can slow drying and cause mold issues. Use a fan to facilitate air exchange for the harvest area.

Here’s a quick video example of cutting and hanging a whole plant:

Harvest Step 5: Manicuring the Buds

Once your harvest is complete, there are two different ways to approach the manicuring stage. You may either immediately trim your leafy buds down to frosty nuggets, or dry them on the line first.

Immediate Trimming

This gives the advantage of easier trimming, and a faster drying time.

  • Just after harvest, the leaves that need to be trimmed are still full of water (turgid). Turgid leaves are firm leaves, which make for easy cutting.
  • Trichomes are more malleable at this point, so are less likely to be knocked off during handling.
  • With less outer leaves covering the buds, they will dry much more quickly. This can be good if you need to dry quickly or have high humidity. It can be a problem if you have low humidity as quick-dried buds can be harsh and unpleasant

Drying on the line

By allowing the buds to slowly dry with most excess plant material still covering the buds, the curing process begins.

  • Let plants hang on the line until stems bend and begin to break slightly (not snap). This indicates that buds are drying and are ready to be trimmed.
  • This usually takes 3-10 days depending on your environment, bud size, and amount of material already removed.
  • Leaves and branches can be trimmed more easily because everything easily snaps off. This can also be an issue because the trichomes will be much more likely to flake off if brushed or mishandled.

Time to Trim

Whether you immediately trim or wait, the process of trimming your buds into their final form is the same.

You want to remove all excess material from around your buds.

How close you trim is mainly preference, although if selling your cannabis, most customers prefer very tightly trimmed buds.

What to remove

  • Your eyes will be your main reference for this. Remove any large leaves protruding from the buds.
Image result for what to remove when trimming weed
Example of leaves you should remove from your buds. Image courtesy of How to Marijuana
  • Remove any brown or yellow tinged leaves from your buds, these will impact taste  and aesthetics of your buds.
  • If in doubt, remove any leaves that don’t appear to have any trichomes on them. No crystals = no THC = no fun.

Here’s a great video on manicuring your buds:

Making Trimming Easier

Manicuring buds is laborious and time consuming, so you might want to utilize some methods and tools to make it easier.

  • Curved Trimmers – These are trimming scissors with a curved blade. This is ideal for trimming around a relatively oddly shaped object such as a bud. The curve reduces the need to tediously angle your scissors around a bud to get the perfect cut, saving energy and time.
Shear Perfection Stainless Steel Curved Trmming Scissors. Image courtesy of Amazon.
  • Bowl Trimmers – These are enclosed bowls lined with steel blades and sweeps with a crank attached to move the buds around. Insert some buds and begin turning the crank, this can drastically reduce the time required to trim your harvest. Most have built-in kief catchers as well.
    The iPower 19-inch Bowl Trimmer. Image courtesy of Amazon.

     

  • Trim  Trays – Trim trays offer greater comfort while trimming, and also collect excess material as you trim. These trays are ergonomically designed for comfort, and come with a 150 micron steel screen to catch kief and sugar leaves.
The TrimBin, one of the best trim tray designs available. Image courtesy of Amazon.
  • Trim Strategically 
    • Don’t just start hacking all your buds off, try to leave a few inches of stem to hold on to while you trim.
    • Use razors to frequently clean your scissors while trimming. Scissors will quickly become clogged with resin, so free them up to trim more easily.

Step 6: What Comes Next?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how to harvest weed step by step.

You should now have successfully harvested your cannabis, but it isn’t time to enjoy the fruits of your labor just yet.

After plants are harvested and buds trimmed, another most important process begins…

Curing

In our next article, we will guide you through the stages of the drying and curing process. This process is what will ultimately determine the flavor, smell, and smoothness of your smoke.

Top 10 High Yield Autoflower Seeds

Autoflower strains have become hugely popular due to their compact size, rapid growth and their ability to automatically start flowering without changing the light/dark cycle. They’re very easy to grow and perfect for beginners.

This is all thanks to their Ruderalis gene.

However, it’s this gene that also means autoflower yields are lower compared to pure Indica or Sativa strains. That leads many autoflower fans to wonder what the highest yielding strains are.

In this article, I’ll cover the top 10 High Yield Autoflower Seeds, so you can ensure that your yield is as large as possible if you decide to grow this popular strain.

Top 10 High Yield Autoflower Seeds – Quick Look

Here’s a quick look at our top 10 high yield autoflower seeds with the grams per square meter that they produce indoors. A more detailed review of each strain is listed below:

Strain Yield Effects
1. Gorilla Glue Auto 600g g/m2* Relaxed, happy
2. Stardawg Auto 600g g/m2* Cerebral, clear mind
3. Crystal Meth Auto 600g g/m2* Happy, relaxing
4. Gorilla Glue #4 Auto 600g g/m2* Euphoric, Relaxing
5. Northern Lights x Big Bud Ryder Auto 600g g/m2* Relaxing, calming, body
6. West Coast OG Auto 600g g/m2* Happy, psychedelic
7. Amnesia Gold Auto 600g g/m2* Happy, relaxing
8. Girl Scout Cookies Auto 650g g/m2* cerebral, body stoned,

9. Tangie Matic Auto 660g g/m2* calming, body stoned

10. Super Critical – Auto 800g g/m2* Relaxing, body, lasting

*Grams per square meter (g/m2) is how most seed banks provide yield info. It simply means the yields you can expect ( under ideal conditions ) per square meter of plant canopy. Please keep in mind that the values represented here are maximum potential yields for growers using a 600w grow light.

1. Gorilla Glue Auto

Yield: 4oo – 60o g/m2*
Flowering time: 8 – 9 weeks
Effects: Relaxed, happy, pain relief

The appropriately named Gorilla Glue Autoflower is one of the stickier indica/sativa/ruderalis strains out there. Its buds are big, tight, and compact with incredibly sticky trichomes that will glue up your scissors and gloves when harvesting. Its THC levels are off the charts at 24%.

This strain is also a pretty discreet option, growing to a height of 60 to 100 cm after 8 to 9 weeks. Despite its frame, you can expect a harvest of 4oo to 60og/m2 when grown indoors.

The aromas from this strain are reminiscent of pine and diesel with lemony notes. Its taste is quite close to its smell – mostly citrus fruit and pine flavors.

Gorilla Glue Auto induces happy, relaxed feelings which is a primary reason why this strain is great for stress, PMS, migraines, and back pain.

2. Stardawg Auto

Yield: 400 – 600 g/m2*
Flowering time: 60 days
Effects: Cerebral, clear mind, body, strong, hungry

Stardawg Auto is the combination of hybrid strains Genetics Chemdawg #4 and Tres Dawg. Due to these genes, Stardawg Auto is a big yielder (400-600 g/m2 indoors/5o-3oo g/plant outdoors) with lots of sticky resin and THC production of up to 22%.

Stardawg Auto grows to a discreet height of 70 to 120 cm which is great for indoor or stealthy growing. At about 60 days, the strain matures and lives up to its name with bright green buds and big glistening resin crystals. Adding to this distinct look is the smell of pine and mixed citrus and flavors leaning heavily towards lemons.

Its effects are quick. You’ll feel mentally stimulated, with a strong mind hit and body stone. The strain is great for stimulating appetite and treating asthma, glaucoma, epilepsy, anxiety, and nausea among others.

3. Crystal Meth Auto

Yield: 400 – 600 g/m2*
Flowering time: 8 – 9 weeks
Effects: Happy, cerebral, relaxing

The quick-growing, big-budded, and beginner-friendly Crystal Meth Auto is quickly rising in popularity. The strain is a poly-hybrid of several different strains, including Mexican, Early Skunk, and ruderalis genes.

The potent Crystal Meth Auto is a beauty with its purple, red, and black foliage and frosty trichomes. Adding to that is its unusual but appetizing hazelnut flavor and equally nutty but strong aroma with hints of pine.

Eight to 9 weeks after germination, this cannabis strain will mature and typically grow 70 to 120 cm tall. Its heavy 400 to 600 gram per square indoor yield (50 to 300 g/plant if grown outdoors) will give you an uplifting, happy head high- that’s the 20% THC in those full buds. Moreover, its therapeutic benefits are recommended for stress, depression, pain, PMS, asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis.

4. Gorilla Glue 4 Auto

Yield: 400 – 600 g/m2*
Flowering time: 55 – 58 days
Effects: Strong, happy, relaxing, cerebral

The Gorilla Glue #4 Autoflower is an award-winning strain and is held by some to be one of the best. It is the result of crossing strains Chocolate Diesel, Chem’s Sister, and Sour Dubble. It boasts a THC content of up to 23% and yields around 50 to 300 grams per plant when grown outdoors or 400 to 600 g/m2 indoors. The Gorilla Glue #4 Auto reaches its flowering stage in around 55 to 58 days after germination. Its typical frame of 14o to 200 cm tall may make stealthy growing a little difficult. However, when you do grow this strain, you’ll be met with sweet spicy aromas and hints of berry. Tastewise, it’s much closer to coffee or chocolate with a diesel-y aftertaste.

Unlike the classic Gorilla Glue, that is also on this list, the GG4 is sativa-dominant. The strain delivers a strong euphoric high while simultaneously relaxing the body. It carries medicinal properties that may benefit those with sleeping problems.

5. Northern Lights x Big Bud Ryder Auto

Yield: 450 – 600 g/m2*
Flowering time: 10 weeks
Effects: Relaxing, calming, body

You can expect dense, large, and frosty buds from the Northern Lights x Big Bud Ryder Auto. The strain is a product of finely-tuned genetics that makes it hardy and resistant to pests, drought, and mold.

This much-loved autoflowering strain can stretch to a height of 170 cm when grown outside. Depending on container size, it can grow up to 130 cm indoors.

This strain flowers quickly at around 8 weeks and will be ready for harvest in a couple more weeks. In its 10th week, the strain’s THC-filled buds (up to 22%) can produce outdoor harvests up to 70 grams each per plant. When grown inside, expect yield to be around 450 to 600 g/m2.

Northern Lights x Big Bud Ryder Auto strains give of pleasant citrus smells with flavors hinting at pineapples and mandarin oranges.

When taken, this strain produces a relaxing and calming body high. Hence, you’ll find it useful for pain relief, stress, and migraines.

6. Amnesia Gold Auto

Yield: ~600 g/m2*
Flowering time: 9 – 10 weeks
Effects: Happy, strong, cerebral, psychedelic, long-lasting

The Amnesia Gold Autoflower is the product of combining two sativa-dominant strains, Amnesia and Lennon, with an autoflowering ruderalis. This strong is a vigorous grower and will reward you with strong branches and full buds.

The Amnesia Gold Auto stretches to a height between 60 to 160 cm in its 9 to 10-week growing period. Expect THC content to be around 19% In approximately 70 days, those buds can yield you a heavy 600 g/m2 if you are an indoor grower. On the other hand, If you’d rather grow outside, harvests can still go up to 150 grams per plant.

When taken, Amnesia Gold Auto brings pleasant flavors of sweet citrus that will both surprise and stimulate appetite. It delivers strong, long-lasting happy head highs and decidedly psychedelic effects.

7. West Coast OG Auto

Yield: 500 – 650 g/m2*
Flowering time: 8 – 9 weeks
Effects: Happy, calming, relaxing, long-lasting

The West Coast OG auto shares the same characteristics with the OG Kush strains available in the US West Coast albeit with autoflowering genes. It carries similarly strong aromas that smell of wood, citrus, and almost fresh coastal scent. Odors can be quite intense so filtering is recommended. In terms of taste, it’s decidedly citric and fruity.

Expect it to develop amber-colored buds when mature at the 9th-week mark.  Grow to an average of 90cm high, it’s quite the chunky plant. Speaking of high, the indica-dominant strain brings a steady long-lasting high that is equally relaxing and euphoric. Its medicinal benefits range from stress and pain relief, to help with paranoia, anxiety, and ADHD.

Indoor harvests are at an exceptional 500 to 650 g/m2 or 70 to 300 grams per plant when grown outside.

8. Girl Scout Cookies Auto

Yield: 500 to 650 g/m2*
Flowering time: 8 – 9 weeks
Effects: Potent, cerebral, body,

The autoflowering Girl Scout Cookies are an indica-dominant strain that’s easy to grow and enjoys regular feeding. Its genes are the result of Girl Scout Cookies phenotypes combined with autoflowering genes

In just 8 to 9 weeks, you’ll get a cannabis plant about 60 to 100 cm high with big plump buds. Yield is a whopping 500 to 650 g/m2 when grown indoors. If grown indoors, you can expect to harvest at least 70 up to 300 grams per plant.

True to its name, the Girl Scout Cookies auto smells and tastes like cookies. Its sweetness is almost candy-like with strong notes of nutmeg, chocolate, and sugar.

This strain is a heavy hitter with both mind and cerebral highs. You’ll feel quite the social butterfly with bursts of creativity and humor. Therapeutically, the Girl Scout Cookies Auto is great for relieving pain, PTSD, muscle spasms, and neuropathy.

9. Tangie Matic Auto

Yield: 450 – 670 g/m2*
Flowering time: 9 weeks
Effects: calming, cerebral to body, potent, creative

The Tangie Matic Autoflower’s sativa-dominant traits start you on a clear-minded, creative head high that slowly develops into a de-stressing and calming body stone. Its THC production can go up to a substantial 23%. Therapeutically, it’s recommended for chronic stress, depression, anxiety, and even as an appetite stimulant.

This plant doesn’t take kindly to stress during its growing stage so training might not be an option. When taken care of, the Tangie Matic Auto will be ready for harvest in around 9 weeks, growing to about 80 to 150 cm tall. Typical yields are promising at 50 to 350 grams per plant when grown outdoors. If grown indoors, expect a big yield of 450 to 670 gr/m2.

Adding to its calming effects is its refreshing citrus smell. Along with those aromas are equally fruity tangerine flavors and spicy, herbal undertones.

10. Super Critical-Auto

Yield: 800g g/m2**
Flowering time: 6 – 7 weeks
Effects: Relaxing, body, lasting

The Autoflowering Super Critical is the result of crossing ruderalis genes with the classic Super Critical strain. Thus, this indica-dominant strain springs from the high-performing and award-winning genetics of the White Widow, Skunk, Big Bud.

The Super Critical reaches its flowering stage in about 7 weeks and reaches a height between 70 to 120 cm. It will be ready for harvest after 2 to 3 more weeks. With its famous heritage, you can expect nothing less than outstanding yields from this fast-growing strain. In fact, With the **Sea of Green (SoG) growing method, you can bring harvests up to a massive 800g/m2. Outdoor harvests go up to 35 grams per plant.

The Super Critical Auto is an intense fast-acting strain. It starts as a body stone that develops into a relaxing, almost sedating, high. It’s potency and long-lasting effects make it a great strain to take for pain or after a long hard day.

Best Way To Germinate Weed Seeds

You’ve probably noticed by now that there are a few different methods you can choose to germinate your cannabis seeds.

Not all of these methods have the same success rate, and your precious cannabis seeds are expensive to buy.

Therefore, you really want to choose the germination method that’s going to give your seeds the best chance to become beautiful, bud producing plants.

So what is the best way to germinate weed seeds? Read on to find out…

Best Way To Germinate Weed Seeds

First, take a look at the comparison table below to get an idea of some general success rates for each germination method. We will explore each method in more detail below.

Germination Method Success Rating
1. Starter plugs & Seedling Cubes 5/5
2. Planting directly into soil 3/5
3. Soaking seeds in water 4/5
4. Paper towel method 3/5

1. Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs

This is by far the best method to germinate weed seeds. Germinating with plugs or cubes is simple and the most reliable method on this list.

How To Germinate With Plugs:

Step 1: After buying your plugs or cubes, soak them in water until they are fully saturated.

Step 2: Place your seed(s) into the pre-cut holes in the plugs. Use some of the plug material to gently cover the opening.

Step 3: Put the plugs into a square box or tray and cover with a plastic dome. This ensures a high humidity environment, which increases germination success, and helps seedlings along after germination.

Check out this method in action:

What Plugs Should You Use?

Options for starter cubes are seemingly endless, but the majority are made of either rockwool or peat. The differences are subtle, but very important depending on how you plan to grow your plants after germination.

Rockwool cubes, composed of fibrous wool-like material provide great water and air exchange, which is ideal in hydroponics. Peat plugs are an organic option, and sometimes contain a small starter nutrient charge which helps young seedlings after germination. Peat plugs do however hold more water than air compared to rockwool cubes, so they aren’t ideal for hydroponic grows.

So, rockwool or peat? The primary difference comes down to how you will grow the plant after germination. For hydroponics, rockwool is the better choice. For soil/coco/etc., peat plugs generally fare better, but ultimately germination will be nearly identical for these germination mediums.

Important – If you choose to use rockwool, make sure to pre-soak the cubes. Use clean (chlorine free) water that has been set to a pH of 5.5 for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This process lowers the high pH that rockwool cubes naturally have, your new seedlings will thank you!

2. Planting Directly Into Soil

This method is as old-school as it gets, drop your seeds in some dirt, add water, and you’re done. If only it were that easy!

Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple. There are lots of factors that go into this method, and each must be nearly perfect for germination to occur.

How to germinate seeds directly in soil:

Step 1: Purchase quality soil from a reputable source. You want soil with good drainage, this allows for air exchange; seeds need moisture but you don’t want to drown them.

  • Tip: NEVER use dirt from outside. It will contain no shortage of nasty stuff (diseases, pests) which will kill or stunt your seedlings.

Step 2: Now, you need to plant your seeds at the right depth. A good rule of thumb is to plant seeds 2 times deeper than the width of the seed.

Step 3: Provide water for your seeds by soaking your container in a tray containing about an inch of water. This allows the soil to be moistened uniformly, preventing over-watering. This also keeps the seed in the perfect place for germination to occur.

Check out this method in action:

This method allows you to start your seed directly in your planting medium, but if you aren’t careful with this technique, you can run into trouble. Seeds need air and water to germinate, if there’s too much of one, the other falls short, preventing germination. If planted too deep, the energy available to the seedling won’t be enough for it to break the surface. This will essentially starve and kill your seedling. If you don’t plant deep enough, the seedling may dry out, or never become moist enough to germinate.

3. Soaking Seeds in Water

This method is not so much a way to fully germinate your seeds, but rather ensures rapid and reliable germination. As mentioned in the previous methods, seeds need water to germinate. This method involves placing seeds in a container filled with water rather than into a plug or the soil.

How to start germination with water:

Step 1: Place your seeds in a container of clean water and allow to soak overnight, or for at least 12 hours.

Tip: Soaking seeds allows the seed to begin absorbing water. Water absorption is the first step in germination, and is required for seeds to germinate.

Tip: Do not soak seeds for more than 24 hours, they can become oxygen deprived and die. Shorter soaking times are always preferred.

Step 2: After soaking at least 12 hours, use sterilized tweezers or clean hands to remove the seeds. Immediately place the seeds into your medium, such as a plug or soil.

Tip: At this point, gently tap your seeds if they are still floating, and monitor which sink and which float. Sunken seeds indicate they are full of water, which is what we want. Floating seeds have not absorbed water, and likely won’t ever, meaning that they are unlikely to germinate.

Check out this method in action:

Why does this work?

This method increases germination rates because the seed is primed, it’s already absorbed water and broken dormancy, so is ready to push out it’s first roots.

4. Paper Towel Method

The paper towel method is similar to soaking seeds in water, but this method will germinate your seeds to the point where the taproot has emerged.

How to germinate seeds with paper towels:

Step 1: Place a folded wet paper towel into a plastic container, or on a plate.

Step 2: Place your seeds on the paper towel with adequate space between them. Cover the seeds with another folded wet paper towel.

Tip: Don’t wet the paper towel to the point where it’s dripping and sopping wet. Just lightly wet each paper towel until damp.

Step 3: Put a lid or plastic wrap on the container, or another plate on the plate. Seal the container but leave a small hole for air exchange.

Step 4: Place your plates or container in a warm (70-80F / 21-26C) and dark environment

Like soaking the seeds in water, this method provides lots of water to the seeds to start germination. But it also allows enough air exchange for the seed to produce a taproot and begin growing into a seedling.

Check out this method in action:

This method helps to increase the chances of germination and seedling success, but can introduce some extra issues.

  • Once seeds have germinated, they may grow into the paper towel, making removal difficult and potentially damaging the fragile seedlings.
  • The paper towels and the container you use for germination must be sterile. This is nearly impossible, so you are likely to grow more than seedlings (i.e. fungus) with this method.
  • The extra handling of sprouted seedlings is the biggest issue with this method. Even if you’re very clean and careful with your seedlings, it is extremely easy to damage or contaminate them. Contamination and early damage can ultimately stunt or kill your baby plants.

Verdict

So what is the best way to germinate weed seeds?

After examining each method, if you absolutely had to pick one, it would be starter cubes and seedling plugs. If you consider everything that can go wrong when germinating seeds, this method does the most to remove potential pitfalls.

Why Plugs?

  • It’s relatively fool-proof because the cubes can only hold so much water, so no overwatering.
  • The pre-drilled holes are not too deep or too shallow for cannabis seeds.
  • The cubes/plugs hold moisture for long enough time to allow for the seeds to take up water. They also won’t dry out too quickly.
  • They provide a soft medium for young roots to push through.

But the best way to germinate weed seeds would really be a combination of these methods. Use either the paper towel or water soaking method to get your seeds to uptake water. Next, transition them to either soil or plugs. This gives you the advantages of each method, with the least downside of each.

Germination Tips

Here are a few extra tips to follow when trying to germinate your cannabis seeds:

  • Keep temperatures in the area you are germinating seeds between 70-80F (21-26C)
  • Germinate seeds in total darkness
  • Don’t use hard tap water (ppm above 120), it can damage the seed
  • Avoid using chlorinated tap water, it can damage or kill microbes that help young seedlings develop
  • Don’t add nutrients to the water when germinating seeds, the seeds already contain all the nutrients they need
  • When seeds germinate, don’t put them under intense light (HID or sunlight), the seedlings will burn and/or dry out
  • Provide non-intense light (i.e. T-5 fluorescent light) for seedlings as soon as they emerge, this will prevent stretching

Best Autoflower Seed Bank – Where Should You Buy Your Autos?

best autoflower seed bank

Autflower strains are hugely popular in the growing community due to their super fast flowering and harvest times. Who wouldn’t want faster bud?So you’ve made the decision to buy an Auto-flowering strain, but where’s the best seed bank to buy your Autoflower seeds from? In this article, I’ll look at what makes a good Auto-flower seed bank and compare a few of the best ones to see if we can find one that stands out.Ready? Cool. Let’s get started…

Best Autoflower Seed Bank? A Quick Look

Short on time or can’t be bothered reading through my long winded comparison? No worries, here are the best 5 autoflower seed banks ranked 1-5.#1. Seedsman (4.8/5)#2. True North Seedbank (4.4/5)#3. AMS Seeds (4/5)#4. ILGM (3.9/5)#5. MSNL  (2.4/5)

What Makes A Good Autoflower Seed Bank?

1. Choice – A good seed bank for Autoflowers will have a lot of Autoflower strains to choose from. I usually like to shop in one place if i can help it ( Amazon for example ) as it saves me having to fill out lots of forms.  Most seed banks also offer a loyalty program too, so buying from the same place saves you money, so a large selection of strains is good.

2. Good information about each strain – I like to know as much as possible about a strain before buying it. I want to know how tall it’s expected to grow, what it tastes, what it smells like, what effects it has. A good auto seed bank will tell me that3. User feedback – I LOVE seing user feedback about strains. It gets me really pumped to try a new strain if I see someone else has had a good experience. Equally, if it’s not quite good as the seed bank said it was, I want to know.4. Price – This ones pretty self explanatory. I want to pay a reasonable price for my seeds.Obviously, the seeds have to be high quality too!

Ok, with these 4 criteria laid out, let’s see how the seedbanks compare against each other.

1. Choice

Seedbank Name

Number of

Autoflower Strains

Score

Seedsman

704

5/​5

True North Seedbank

427

4.5/5

MSNL

29

3/5

AMS Seeds

24

3/5

ILGM

11

2/5

Seedsman definitely comes out on top here with a massive 704 different auto strains. True North Seedbank comes in second with a  respectable 427 different strains, while the other 3 seedbanks post have a fairly disappointing auto-flower selection. 

2. User Feedback

best autoflower seed bank

Seedbank Name

User Reviews

Score

Seedsman

4.5/5

True North Seedbank

4.5/5

MSNL

1/5

AMS Seeds

4.5/5

ILGM

5/5

Fortunately, most of the top Seed banks provide user reviews. Only AMS decides to only show one for some reason, which is annoying.  ILGM impressed me the most with the sheer number of reviews they have for each strain ( usually over 100! ) and the rest of the bunch have more than enough to help you make your decision!

3. Good Information About Each Strain

Seedbank Name

Score

Seedsman

4.5/5

True North Seedbank

4.5/5

MSNL

1/5

AMS Seeds

4.5/5

ILGM

5/5

All of the Seedbanks listed provide all of the information you need about each of the strains available. However, particular mention again goes to ILGM who have use awesome video reviews and show someone actually tasting it. Check it out: 

4. Price

Seedbank Name

Northern lights

 5 seeds

Score

Seedsman

$23.70

5/5

True North Seedbank

$59.58

4/5

MSNL

$43.70

4.5/5

AMS Seeds

$60

4/5

ILGM

$69.00

3.5/5

Price is a hard one to test as prices usually change pretty often with promotions etc. However, these are the prices for the same strain of northern lights autos at the time of writing. As you can see, Seedsman is significantly cheaper than the others.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it. If I were looking for a good seed bank for autos, i would definitely choose Seedman. Their huge selection of autos and low pricing is too hard to resist. Although there are definitely some unique auto strains I’d like to try out on the other too!

That’s it for this article, I hope you found it useful 🙂 If you want me to add any more Seed banks then let me know in the comments below!Peace!