Photoperiod strains will start flowering only when they get 12 hours of darkness, just like in the wild. When cannabis plants realize that the periods of darkness are increasing, they start flowering. Obviously, you can manipulate the plant to grow as long as you want by providing 18 hours of light.
You don’t have the luxury of manipulating the growing or vegetative period because the plant will start flowering even if you provide 24 hours of light. For instance, let’s say you sow an autoflower seed. You wait a bit until the plant produces a few nodes. You see that the plant has several nodes to grow into other plants. Or, maybe you can actually try this because it becomes even easier to understand why you can’t clone autos effectively. So, now you dip the cutting in a rooting solution and wait for it to develop roots. Meanwhile, the mother plant continues to grow and starts flowering. Remember that the clone will perform exactly like the mother.
And before it can even grow, it will start flowering. In this process, you’ll be left with a small plant that has no time to develop proper roots either. With autoflowers, timing is everything, and since cloning requires time, it’s not possible to clone autoflowers. What if I take the clone when the plant is just 2 weeks old, you ask? Firstly, you’d end up with a small cutting that probably won’t grow, but what’s worse is that you’d be hindering the mother plant’s growth too. Even if you clone an autoflowering plant that’s already flowering, you’ll have stunted plants. If you love growing autoflowers, however, hope is not lost. You can’t clone them but that’s the only disadvantage. Instead of trying to clone them, you can plant several seeds and still get a high yield. Remember that even clones of photoperiod strains need 5-6 months to complete their cycle. Autoflowers are super fast, so you can still enjoy great yields at a quick pace. The point of growing marijuana is to harvest and smoke them as soon as possible, so autoflowers are simply perfect to achieve your desired outcome even if they can’t be cloned. Is It Possible To Clone Autoflowering Varieties Of Cannabis? It's often said that autoflowering cannabis strains cannot be cloned. Considering that cloning is an easy and economically efficient way to grow weed, this would be a real shame. Cloning a cannabis plant is an extremely interesting process. It involves taking a cutting from an already established “mother” plant, and using this cutting to generate an entirely new and independent plant. What’s more, the new plant will share identical genetics to the mother that it was cloned from. This means that cloning is an excellent way for cannabis growers to preserve the genetics from a particular strain that they adore. The new clone will share all of the original characteristics, from the way it tastes to the high that it produces. Cloning cannabis plants is also economically appealing to many growers. It means that they don’t have to keep buying seeds in order to grow the exact same strain; instead, they can simply take a cutting from the prized plant within their crop and create a homogeneous copy. With all these benefits, it might seem as though cloning should be a technique that all growers use, all of the time. However, the method does indeed have its limitations.
One significant limitation is that autoflowering strains of cannabis are quite difficult, though not impossible, to clone successfully. Considering that autoflowering varieties have some massive advantages over traditional strains, such as compact sizes and rapid growth time, this may put many cultivators off from cloning altogether. It is a common myth within the cannabis community that autoflowering strains simply cannot be cloned.
On the contrary, it can be done, but it may not be worth it. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUTOFLOWERING AND PHOTOPERIODIC STRAINS. To discover why growers don’t see impressive results when attempting to clone autoflowering cannabis strains, we need to observe what it is that sets this breed of plants apart from the rest. Autoflowering strains pretty much do exactly what their name suggests - they flower automatically based on time, rather than on environmental factors like photoperiodic strains.