Autoflowers. Is less more?

A thread about a long, lanky auto that stretched beyond expectations got me thinking. I’ve grown some tall autos, blueberry close to 40 inches indoors, despite efforts to hobble it, and so on. That plant was one of two, each in 7 gal pots of soil.

I think of the proportionally large cola and only modest dried yield.

Then I look at the THREE plants I’m currently growing, each in three gallon pots, at nine weeks above ground, they range in height from 16-23 inches, and each will likely outweigh that 39 inch plant at chop.

My thinking is, planting autoflowers in overly large pots does nothing for yield indoors, and may inhibit maximum flower weight. Those spaces in between buds, with nothing but big timber between them may be impressive to look at, but may just be a waste of nutes and electricity.

Training techniques that limit height seem to address tent height under lights, and not what is best for yield. Grow reports, mine included, have boasted of tall plants. But truth? The stalk, the stems, the fan leaves as big as cabbages? I ain’t smoking any of that. The ideal genetics would produce a two foot high cola with a main stem about a quarter inch in diameter, and not one fan leaf by maturity. It could be potted happily in a one gallon paint can, and 16 of em would do fine under a 100w led.

Bring me a (fat bottom little) shrubbery!


Oh Boy, if that’s your thinkin on the 5 gal pots. I’m kind of hit on my 1st grow 40 years. (they didn’t have autos back then) I’m growing mine in 5 gal pots and seem to be doing fine, but like you… I’d like more bud, not beauty. Maybe I’ll go smaller on my next round.

I noticed early on that autos didn’t seem to use the available soil in five gallon pots. There was quite a bit of fringe area that seemed unused when I chopped and examined the root ball. Someone commented about depth rather than quantity of soil 8n the pot mattered most. So I tried seven gallon fabric pots. They’re wide rather than deeper than say a five filled like we normally see them, maybe 3/4 full. The seven gallon pots gave me tall, lanky plants I struggled to control as they grew past fully raised lights. Yields were unimpressive for all that.
So, doing the math for my 27”x27” tent floor, I noticed the tent could accommodate as many as four three gallon pots in saucers, with reasonable access. Having just grown two monsters in the tent, I decided to try three rather than four pots. They’re not overly crowded, and once we get to the scale, we shall see.

Not trying to get too crazy, but am trying to do some kind of rational experiments to figure it out. Honestly, I think the industry has gone with five gallon pots because if the traditional use of commonly available salvaged buckets, not necessarily because that was best for the grow. Vendors stock what sells. With photos,where you can veg them a long time and grow trees if you want, five is probably a good size. For autos, the jury is still out.

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I have two autos in my tent in 5 gallon bags that are more lanky than bushy . I have 2 autos outside in 3 gallon bags that are the opposite. One reason may be I’m not using my lights properly , all plants are growing in the same medium . My indoor plants get organic fertilizer my outdoor plants I’ve decided to let grow with just plan water and some molasses every so often.
What I’ve read about autos is once the roots hit the bottom or sides of the grow vessel they know they don’t have anymore room to grow and will start to flower. If your plant starts to flower at 3 weeks and it’s a 10 week plant you have 7 weeks of flower growth . If you’re using a 5 gallon grow bag the roots have more room to grow meaning it could stay in vegging longer cutting down on flowering time .
My thinking is for a grow tent a 3 gallon grow bags is best for autos , but for outside a 5 gallon bag would be better.

Absolutely fits with what I’ve observed.