3 FREE Dolato Seeds On Orders Over $150 – Expires October 1st

How to Tell if my Autoflower is Ready to Harvest

Written by Taylor Christianson May 25 2022

How to Tell if my Autoflower is Ready to Harvest

You may find yourself wondering how to tell if my autoflower is ready to harvest if you choose to grow autoflower cannabis seeds as they are a little different.

Harvest season seems easy. Even while cutting branches doesn’t require much mental effort, timing the action just right does. Autoflowering vs. feminized strains must be distinguished if you want to accomplish this correctly since autos blossom faster. Acting too early or too late might lead to cannabinoid and terpene profiles that are less than ideal.

Autoflowering cannabis plants may be harvested successfully with the help of this detailed tutorial.

How to Tell if my Autoflower is Ready to Harvest – When to harvest autoflowers

You have grown a tiny seedling into a robust, fruitful tree with a dense canopy of buds. What time of year should you choose these dazzling blooms?

A few telltale signals make it easy to know when to take action and help you avoid missing essential cues.

How to tell if my autoflower is ready to harvest chart
Look out for these signs to see if your autoflower is ready to harvest!

The color of the trichomes and pistils, the texture of the leaves, and the length of time the plants have been in the soil are things to watch.

The average lifespan

One of the most often asked questions among cannabis gardeners is, “How can I know when my autoflower is ready for harvest?”

Use a grow planner to monitor your plants’ progress. In addition to recording any crucial observations, this essential piece of equipment also lets you retain dates in a friendly and tidy location. Knowing when the plant was sown or germinated may determine a decent notion of the plant’s age. What’s the big deal? Because it will provide you the first critical clue as to when to harvest your autoflowering plants.

As soon as you buy autoflower seeds, you’ll get a data sheet with information on the strain’s typical life cycle, which includes information on how long it takes from germination to harvest.


If you’re looking for the most precise technique to tell when a cannabis plant is ready for harvest, trichome color may help.

Cannabis buds are covered with trichomes, minor shimmering, and mushroom-shaped glands. They produce cannabinoids and terpenes (the compounds that give cannabis its effects, aromas, and tastes) thick resin.

Translucent during most of the blooming period, trichomes finally become hazy and amber when harvested. This color change is more than simply a cosmetic one; it is a clue that the chemical content of these bulbous glands has changed. You may examine your trichomes more closely with a microscope or jeweler’s loupe to determine the best time to harvest. Look out for the following:

  • Clear trichomes: Immature flowers with poor cannabinoid profiles have clear trichomes—don’t take the risk just yet!
  • Cloudy trichomes: If you are looking for a powerful and cerebral high, now is the time to start cutting your flowers since the trichomes are milky and opaque.
  • Amber trichomes: The amber trichomes indicate trichome degradation and greater CBN levels.


Pistils are another visual harvest indication; however, they aren’t as dependable as other visual cues like leaves. What is the function of the pistil? The hair-like wisps that protrude from the calyxes are these. As the female reproductive organs of the cannabis plant, they’re a significant thing, even if they don’t appear like much.

The white pistils of juvenile blooms change to dark orange/red pistils as the flowers mature. It would help if you attempted to harvest your buds after around 60–70 percent of the pistils have turned to get the most cannabinoids out of them. Wait until approximately 80% to 90% of the pistils have turned brown to get the most CBN out of your buds.


Cannabis leaves might reveal a lot about its genetics. In several ways, they act as a visible link between the plant and the cultivator. Pests, nutritional deficiency, or even light and heat stress are all possible causes for their appearance.

Because of this, it’s easy for newbies to know when it’s time to get the trimming scissors. As harvest approaches, the lowest fan leaves of your plants may begin turning yellow-brown and may fall off. The fact that your plants are becoming a richer green indicates they are maturing and concentrating more energy on their prized blossoms. While this may scare beginners, there is nothing to be concerned about.


What a surprise! Early in the blooming cycle, buds begin releasing fragrant terpenes into the air; however, things grow noticeably spongier towards harvest time. The terpene profile of the strain you choose will influence the aroma that fills the air at this moment. Prepare yourself for a stinky situation, no matter how you look at it! Aromatic apex will be attained when your chosen strain’s typical harvest time is listed on its datasheet.

How long do autoflowers last?

How long does it take for autoflowers to grow from seed to harvest now that you know? When it comes to planting seeds and harvesting them, how long should you anticipate waiting between each step?

The answer depends on the kind of cultivar you are looking at (more on this below). You can, however, make some educated guesses. The outside environment has little impact on their development when it comes to autos, as they grow from seedlings to completely established plants.

Photoperiod plants vary significantly in this regard. Because of its name, photoperiod strains are light-sensitive and only blossom when exposed to a 12-hour on/12-hour off light cycle (this mimics the approaching autumn outdoors).

However, automobiles do not react to illumination signals in the same way that plants do. The reason for this is because they include DNA from Cannabis ruderalis. This subspecies developed to blossom dependent on age due to its natural environment’s shorter, colder growing season.

Autoflower seed to harvest time

Autoflowering strains have a seed-to-harvest period of 8–14 weeks, considering the information presented above. However, genetic variety means that some breeds take longer than others, even though this is quicker than the great majority of photoperiod kinds.

Timeline for autoflowering plants

We’ve split down the autoflower schedule into various stages to help you get a sense of what occurs over the period from seed to harvest:

Seedling stage

When it comes to chronology, the seedling stage might be considered a component of the vegetative stage. One to two weeks is typical for this period. It begins with the emergence of the stem from the earth and concludes with developing the plant’s first genuine leaves (those with serrated fingers).

Vegetative stage

The vegetative stage adds 2–3 weeks (for a total veg period of 3–4 weeks, including the seedling stage). In this period, plants develop rapidly, releasing many fan leaves to feed their growth and establishing their framework to sustain the weight of their blossoms in the future.

Flowering stage

As you may have guessed, here is where all the good stuff occurs. Flowers begin to form, becoming thick and sticky, and the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis they contain become concentrated. It typically lasts between six and ten weeks.

Harvest your autos like a pro

In the past, you may have neglected the significance of harvest time. The moment has come to reap the rewards of the hard work put in throughout the vegetative and blooming stages, not to scrimp.

when to harvest autoflower
When to harvest autoflower cannabis

Because you’re aware of the harvest signals to watch for, the general timeframe of the ordinary auto, and the many auto strains at your disposal, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what to grow. You’ve learned to relax and enjoy harvest season instead of dreading it.

Taylor Christianson

Taylor is an indoor expert. Through their writing, they offer a masterclass on growing cannabis indoors, maintaining a productive growing environment, and guiding growers through all the stages of growth both indoors and outdoors. Combining multiple fields of expertise allows for Taylor to give in-depth insights into overall cannabis growing. About this Author

You might also like these cultivars