As autoflowers have a short growth cycle compared to other varieties, techniques such as scrog are problematic, and some cultivators think that the effort isn’t worth it. However, with care and patience, it is certainly possible. If you are considering applying scrog to your autos, read our guide: Autoflower Scrog
Can you apply scrog to autoflowers?
Many feel that autoflowering cannabis seeds are not suited for scrog as plants grown in a screen of green need several weeks in the vegetative phase to be able to develop sufficient branches to fill the grow space. This is difficult as many autos have a limited grow time of two to three weeks.
However, if you use only feminized seeds or seeds cloned from a female plant, it is possible. Yet, there is little margin for error, and you will need to begin training during the vegetative phase.
Is it worth applying scrog to autoflowers?
It is definitely worth it as scrogging allows an even distribution of light to all your plants, allowing an increased yield. Scrogging autos does require one thing, and that is a considerable amount of time manipulating how your weed plants grow. This does require time and patience, but once the growth tips are in the correct place and each plant has its own space, all you need to do until harvest is occasionally prune the plants, taking away anything that lies below the screen.
What makes applying scrog to autoflowers tricky?
Autoflowers bloom automatically so there isn’t a way you can leave the plants in the vegetative phase for as long as it takes to spread through the screen. This makes scrogging autoflowers a bit more tricky, and you need to pay attention to several factors. The type of auto you grow will have an impact, for example. There are two main autoflower strains of autoflowers; regular and super.
You will need to be aware of the type as they require different methods for scrogging. Autoflowers which flower rapidly need to be trained very early, and can be trained as soon as the second pair of authentic fan leaves emerge. Regular autos can also be trained during the start of flowering as they will continue to grow for about a week, and you need to optimise this budside growth by training them as quickly as they can grow.
Super autos spend longer in the vegetative phase and have a more extended pre-flowering period, so it is possible to increasingly extend them through the green screen and achieve much higher yields. Super autoflowers can also be trained during the first week of flowering, but growers usually aim to stop training with the appearance of these early buds and allow the budsides to grow through the screen towards the light.
The advantages of an autoflower scrog
The screen of green offers many advantages to cultivators of autoflowers:
- Increased yield – Scrogging can lead to a dramatic increase in yield because it allows you to maximise light exposure and enable more of the leaves to benefit from the energy, resulting in more growth and denser buds.
- Ideal for compact indoor grow rooms – A scrog screen can be installed at a distance of as little as 20 centimetres from the container which means that you can keep the overall profile of your plants low so you can grow in small places.
- Less wasted energy – Exposing more of your autoflowers to the light source, means that you are optimising the total sum of energy transmitted from the lightbulb to your plants – hence less wasted lumens and energy.
- You don’t need as many plants – scrogging allows the growth of bigger plants, so you don’t need as many, and fewer plants are more straightforward to manage.
- Harvesting is easy – you can simply chop the buds that are above the screen and dry them. Without scrog, you have to spend time selecting the best branches and removing buds one by one, using the remainder for hashish.
- Easy to maintain – Scrog is less hassle and easier to maintain than other methods, such as LST. You don’t need to worry about any hooks or string, or drilling holes in the walls of containers.
- Maximises space – Scrogging can be used particularly well in small grow spaces where there is little room.
Disadvantages of an autoflower scrog
Sadly, ScrOG is not a viable option for fast-growing types of autoflowers. Some cultivators feel that the 6-8 weeks of vegetative growth required for a scrog covers almost the entire life cycle of an auto.
While a scrog doesn’t really require much maintenance, it does require some love and attention. Monitoring and maintaining a scrog takes some time. Vegetative growth also takes longer, and the grower must be patient. A scrog certainly doesn’t take care of itself, and sometimes you have to get rid of shoots every day, at least until halfway through the flowering period.
As a beginner grower becomes more experienced and knowledgeable about the various methods of plant training, scrogging is certainly at the more advanced end of the spectrum. It takes time and skills (when it comes to tucking the stems), as well as a deep understanding of the ways in which autoflowers grow. The main advantages of growing with the scrogging method are that the plants will only produce large, top-heavy buds; there is no need to worry about smaller-sized buds. Under the screen itself is kept completely clear of foliage, and pests, which is optimal in terms of circulating airflow and reducing mould around the base of the plants.