Outdoor Ruderalis or Photoperiod questions

Hey growers, I have a question and I’m not sure where to post it or who to ask. If you can direct me to a better spot please do. So here goes.

I live in northern Virginia and I have completed 5 indoor winter grows and just entered flowering stage of my second outdoor grow. Last year and again this year my outdoor photoperiod plants start showing pistils and begin stretching right now, the first or second week in August. Daylight is down to 14 hours and won’t be 12 hours of course until September 21. I expect to harvest in early October like last year.

What I’m curious about is that several people I know, and quite a few people who post online, are saying that their outdoor photoperiod plants are already in full flower. How could that be if they didn’t manipulate light to artificially “shorten the day” in some way?

Reading online I’ve seen that auto plants can be harvest ready in 90 days. So, if planted outdoors in May they would be finished in late July.

Are there photo strains that naturally bloom early or are these ruderalis plants. Is it possible that photo plants that have been crossed at some point, or contain some ruderalis genetics, could exhibit early flower traits but otherwise seem like phots or do they have to be one or the other?

I’m just looking around and seeing information and wondering, how could that be? Thanks for your input if you know about this.


Photo growers go 12/12 to guarantee that a plant flowers; however, photos are capable of flowering at <14 hours. Some plants are more stubborn than others.

Sort of. An auto will be ready for harvest at 8 to 10 weeks from the start of flowering. Autos can flower at any point between 3 weeks and we have seen some take up to 12 weeks to start flowering. Seed to harvest times are therefore irrelevant since time from seed to harvest can vary between 12 and 22 weeks, depending on the plant.


Good questions. I’m interested to see what the experts say.
I’m on my first outdoor grow, mine are just starting to flower.


That’s a pretty girl!

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This has been quite a funky year as far as plants going in to flower early and what not but like was said before it’s all strain and if the same strain different pheno dependent on when they start to flower for instance I have my do so do’s 33 which started flowering about 3 weeks ago and I still have 3 other plants out of my 7 that haven’t even started.

Do si do’s 33

All gas OG X Gelato- still in stretch

All photoperiods flip to flower due to a lack of sunlight.

All Ruderalis are based on a timeline and amount of sunlight isn’t a factor.


If I had to choose between a photoperiod or ruderalis I would choose photoperiod every time for outdoor, there are way too many variables being outdoors, ruderalis are a more sensitive plant where little stress can cause issues or flower being that they are on their own time and not the sun.

Ruderalis = flowers when it wants to and has no buzz or any thc to speak of really, cbd can he higher though.

Photo periods = needs shorter days/longer nights to flower, thc/buzz can vary. There is “fast flowering” versions of photo period plants. Typically Listed as “fast” or “fast versions”.

Auto flowers = a cross between Ruderalis and photo periods to give a plant that doesn’t really care about day/night lengths and will flower on its own time. Sometimes this can be faster then a photo period plants but not always… autoflowers thc/buzz can be on par with photo periods, just because they are crossed with Ruderalis doesn’t mean the buzz isn’t as good.

As far as growing outside, i have no idea :man_shrugging:
I grow inside but have grown many autoflowers and photo periods. From my experience, very few autos have finished in 90days or less. Its typically around the same time frames it seems, maybe a little faster, but not really as fast as advertising makes it seem…

As @MidwestGuy pointed out, its really about when does an autoflower start flower…
If it vegges 30days or less then flowers for 8 weeks then that would about 12 weeks total.
But this isn’t how it always works out. Autoflowers can veg shorter or longer, I’ve had 2 autoflowers that didn’t auto at all. They vegged for over 2 months with 18/6 light schedule.
Once i set timer to 12/12, they both flowered instantly…
So results can vary widely with autoflowers, but they do have a “chance” at being faster if that makes sense :blush:


Great summary.

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Something still seems to be missing…

Ruderalis is a strain that automatically flowers, so we give Ruderalis the “autoflower” descriptor.
Indica and Sativa are strains that use a photo period to cycle flowering, so we give these strains the “Photoperiod” descriptor.

When Indica &/or Sativa strains are bred with the Ruderalis strain, plants gain the autoflowering gene, and are also then called “autoflowers”.

I dunno, made sense in my head when I wrote it…

So this is good information, thank you, but not specific to my question. Maybe I was unclear. I’m not trying to decide between the two, I’m not trying understand the difference between the two. I do understand that information.
What I’m asking is about only about plants that folks say are photoperiod plants growing outside but are in full flower early. Like in late June or in July.

Now, ADK_Guerrila has stated clearly that he has all photo plants growing outside and different strains have flowered earlier or later so that seems to be pertinent. If I’m hearing you correctly photo plants outside can flower very early naturally.

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@indicitis yes photoperiod flowering seems to vary and isn’t a constant of specific time when they flower, but this year with the fires in Canada and smoke coming down into the states could be a reason for others early flowering, not sure about everyone else in their locations but I’m up near Canada in NY and it seems spring comes earlier every year and winter comes sooner so not sure if the earth is just gradually tilting further and further on its axis. All in all it’s nature when outdoors we leave a lot in mother natures hands and we are just around to watch :man_shrugging:t2:

I agree, summers have been coming earlier and hotter for a while but then ending early too and leading to dry, early autumn. Plants and animals have to respond to that. I put up a fountain bird bath in the garden and shortly after they found it, it was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie out there. You know they’re smart when they tell all their friends and they all show up. They don’t need the internet to do a flash mob.

When we say autoflower we do not mean ruderalis.
Ruderalis dose autoflower but there is a big difference between a ruderalis and an autoflowers cannabis that we grow for buds.

The autoflower seeds we buy from seed banks are not “ruderalis” they are hybrids with very little ruderalis DNA.

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Ruderalis, sativa, and indica are the 3 types of cannabis species. There are not strains.
Both photo and autoflowers can be sativa or indica or a hybridization of the 2 in the case of photo periods and a hybridization of 2 or 3 with autoflowers.
Strains are just names we give the different varieties we see but isn’t really defined scientifically.

Check out cannabis Wikipedia and maybe it will make sense of it better then i can explain :sweat_smile:

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Species, not strains, right idea, wrong word. Thanks for the correction.

Now about this:

If there were a Sativa or Indica autoflower, then what would be the point of the Ruderalis gene?

Unless I’m missing something, all autoflowers except Ruderalis are hybrids.

Sativa, indica, and ruderalis are the 3 species.
Sativa and indica produce high thc levels, and ruderalis is really only good for the auto flowering trait. That is the only reason those genes are used mist of the time. It could possibly be used for high cbd and low thc traits but ive no experience with cbd weed.
You seem to be confused what defines Indica and Sativa and Ruderalis. Check out the wiki :+1:

This is true, infact almost all cannabis is a hybrid anymore. Theres bery little if any true pure breed species in the industry…

Thank you for your feedback but what I wanted to discuss in my original post for this thread is not the basics of what photoperiod and autoflower plants are or how they are created or whether one or the other is “better”. There are several posts so far that detail these issues but these are not pointing to the answer that I was looking for or the discussion I wanted to have.
I’m growing photoperiod plants outdoors. This year I have a Bubba Kush, a Blue Dream and a Blue Haze so, one indica dominant and two sativa dominant. All three are starting to show pistils now and look like they are starting their stretch. This seems to jive with what I know and have experienced that as the days get shorter in August the veg stage ends and flowering starts. Since I have three different strains and they’re all switching to flower at the same time it seems like that’s normal for photoperiod plants, and perhaps all photoperiod cannabis plants to do.
What seems odd to me is that I have friends who have outdoor plants that they say are photoperiod but started to flower at the end of June and are now in full flower. My first thought was that these must actually be autoflower plants to have jumped the gun like that. The question that I want to explore is whether these early flowering photoperiod plants are normal plants of a strain that naturally flowers early or if maybe they have some percentage of ruderalis (or autoflower) genes that makes them flower in June.

Nope. Just used the wrong word. My bad.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program :grin:

One way to find out for sure is ask these freinds fir a small cutting.
Put that cutting inside under 24hrs light and see if it reverts back to a vegetative state.
If it dose then its a photo period, if it dosen’t tjen it’s an autoflower…