When growing any plants, gardeners need to take their areas’ unique climates into account. This is just as true of marijuana growing as it is of vegetable gardening since some strains tolerate heat, cold, excessive moisture, drought, and other climate conditions better than others. Outdoor growers who want to maximize their yields need to take everything from light intensity to altitude into account. Please read on to find out how to get started growing the right cannabis seeds for your regional weather conditions.
Most growers know the differences between indica and sativa strains, at least when it comes to their psychotropic effects. Fewer understand the differences between how they grow and interact with the climate. It takes a more curious grower even still to uncover the hidden gifts of the Cannabis ruderalis streams of genetic heritage. Now that we have peaked your curiosity, let’s give a quick overview of each of these different categories of marijuana seed.
The indica subspecies of cannabis is thought to have originated in Kashmir, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Tibet, all places with relatively cool climates. Plants from indica weed seeds take less time to mature and begin producing flowers earlier than sativa strains, likely thanks to their origins as cool-climate plants. Climate also impacted the development of indica strains’ leaves, which are broad, dark, and dense. Cool climate plants don’t have to worry as much about things like evapotranspiration, so they can afford to produce leaves that catch as much sun as possible.
Unlike indicas, sativa plants grow tall and thin (sometimes reaching heights of 12 feet) with pointier leaves. They are thought to have originated in warmer areas like Mexico, Columbia, and Thailand. They’re perfectly adapted to warm weather and longer growing seasons. Growers have had some success growing certain sativa strains seeds in cooler climates, but the fact that they take longer than indicas to flower means that first frost can be a limiting factor.
Cannabis ruderalis is the least known of marijuana subspecies, at least among Western growers. These plants tend to be small, and they’re not known for producing large amounts of THC. In the context of choosing climate-specific strains, they’re important primarily for their breeding potential and hardiness in surviving in difficult environments.
These lesser-known cousins of indicas and sativas are used to produce auto flower plants. Because they developed in countries with very short summer seasons, they have adapted a way to automatically start flowering after a certain number of vegetative weeks.
Hybrids provide the best of both worlds by crossing sativa, indica, and sometimes ruderalis plants with desirable characteristics. They tend to be much more resilient than either sativas or indicas, and more resistant to adverse climates. They also have much higher THC than any straight ruderalis strain could be capable of.
Want to tell whether a hybrid strain is sativa-dominant or indica-dominant? The most rudimentary method of discernment is to simply look at the shape and structure of the plant’s leaves. If the fingers are wide, it is an indica-dominant strain. If they are thin, it’s a sativa-dominant strain. This is a great over-simplification but will generally give you a fairly accurate read on the plan’s underlying genetics.
Now that growers know a little more about how different types of marijuana have adapted to their regions of origin, they can start considering which traits will be most beneficial given their unique growing environments. Climate is about more than just temperature and average rainfall, so growers need to consider all the following factors if they want to maximize their yields.
Areas near the equator have longer growing seasons, while those further towards the poles have shorter seasons. This is especially relevant to growers in the far north, who need to worry about first frost and last frost dates. If the last frost isn’t until late spring and the first frost typically occurs in early fall, the season will be short and growers will need to choose strains that don’t need much time to grow and thrive.
Most growers in northern climes choose indicas or indica-dominant hybrids, like gg4 autoflower or Nicole Kush These plants don’t grow as tall as sativas, so they can start devoting more of their energy to bud production earlier in the season. Since they developed in colder regions of the world, cool nighttime temperatures are also less likely to affect yield and potency.
A second option for growers in northern climes is to purchase plants hybridized with ruderalis strains to create auto-flowers. Auto-flowers can reach maturity and be harvested even in areas with growing seasons as short as three months. Checkout one of our top-selling autoflower options here: (bruce banner autoflower seeds)
Marijuana plants that thrive in tropical locations typically have small leaves and many flowers, while those that can survive colder, darker climates usually have larger leaves and denser buds. These may seem like aesthetic concerns, but they’re not. The differences in leaf size reflect the plants’ abilities to absorb sunlight.
Plants with larger leaves have evolved in places that have shorter growing seasons with weaker light. Their large surface areas allow them to capture more of the sun’s energy at once, which comes in handy when the days start getting shorter earlier in the season.
Climate doesn’t just refer to temperature and light intensity. It also affects humidity and average rainfall. Outdoor growers who live in areas like the Pacific Northwest need to worry substantially less about irrigation and drought tolerance than those who live in arid climates like those often found in the Southwest. Similarly, growers in the often very humid Southeast United States need to worry about things like bud rot, while arid-climate growers don’t have that concern.
There’s not much growers can do about their climates’ relative humidity. Buying seeds from a reputable seed bank and choosing strains that are resistant to bud rot and other climate-related diseases will give those concerned about high humidity a better chance of producing a good yield.
Low precipitation rates are much easier to deal with than high humidity. Growers can simply irrigate their plants and have timers set for automatic watering intervals. If they’re growing far from municipal water supplies, it can help to dig cisterns to collect rainwater when it’s available for later use.
Growers should now have an idea of what to look for when it comes time to purchase seeds. Not everyone wants to sort through detailed information on strain genetics for every plant they want to put in the ground, though. Novice growers may just want easy to grow marijuana seeds that are going to work in their yard without serious setbacks.
Whether they live in the southern United States, Southern Europe, or Australia, growers with Mediterranean or tropical climates have plenty of great options. Here are a few full-season plants that thrive in areas with plenty of heat and long growing seasons:
Sour Diesel was first bred in southern California, but it has since become popular among cannabis enthusiasts across the world. This sativa-dominant hybrid produces densely packed buds with an average THC content of around 19%. In outdoor, warm-climate grows, Sour Diesel plants can produce up to 600g each. They’re prone to powdery mildew but resistant to most other pests, which makes them perfect for hot, arid regions.
Amnesia Haze has a heritage that can be traced back to South Asian and Jamaican strains, so it’s perfect for hot locations. This award-winning strain produces yields of up to 700g per plant and boasts an average THC content of around 21%. It requires a long growing season, though, and won’t be ready for harvest until late October.
The northern lights strain is a classic that has stuck around for years with good reason. Its unique aroma, high THC content, and balanced, relaxing effects make it a staple for many marijuana enthusiasts and medical users. This indica-dominant hybrid is perfect for sunny, temperate climates.
Not all growers have the luxury of warm weather and long seasons. Here are a few strains that will produce well even under less-than-ideal conditions:
LSD is a balanced hybrid known for its resiliency and comparatively short growing season. It’s great for novice growers since it’s naturally resistant to many types of pests. More experienced growers love it for its high THC concentration and trippy effects. This strain won the High Time Cannabis Cup in 2008, but it’s still just as popular today.
Those who have smoked, but never grown, Strawberry Kush will be surprised by its genetics. Although it produces a lazy, heavy body high, this hybrid is actually only 30% indica. Thankfully, it inherited much of the indicas’ cold resistance and is a fast-flowering plant, making it perfect for colder climates.
Critical+ is an indica-dominant hybrid with a pleasant, lemony aroma. This strain is vigorous, resilient, and easy to grow, without sacrificing potency. It has a short flowering time and is able to produce generous yields even in short growing seasons.
Growing good marijuana is all about experimentation. Novice growers may want to start with choosing strains that have a track record of success in their unique climates, but they should now have all the knowledge they need to evaluate the fitness of any strains. As long as they buy high-quality seeds and take good care of their plants, growers can produce good yields in almost any climate.