How much sunlight does a weed plant need?
Apr 1, 2020 Climate and Weather
The first thing most newcomers ask when they start to grow their weed is, “how much sunlight does a weed plant need?” The answer, as you might expect, is plenty—even more than regular plants.
You see, marijuana plants reach their peak when they get tons of light, resulting in many harvesting benefits in the long run such as larger yields, enhanced flavors, and strong smells.
If you’re wondering how sun-grown weed differs from indoor-grown plants, the answer lies in the size of the yields produced with each method.
Join us as we look at how many hours of light a weed plant needs and if there’s such a thing as too much sunlight. We’ll also show you how to make the most of the sunlight in your garden.
Why does weed need sunlight?
The answer is simple—weed needs sunlight for photosynthesis.
Don’t ask how much direct sunlight does a weed plant need. You should be asking why your plants need so much sunlight when growing outdoors. The reason it’s because the sun is the main provider of energy for weed plants.
Your sun-grown cannabis is taking all this light and converting it to energy. The leaves soak up the light, water, CO2, and other minerals to process it. It turns everything into oxygen and sugar to keep itself healthy and developing.
You can see the results in your sun-grown weed plants. The roots, branches, and especially the buds reflect it with glistening trichomes. Why do you think indoor gardeners invest so much in marijuana grow lights? They hope to mimic the results outdoor growers get for free.
What’s the difference between sunlight and artificial light?
How much direct sunlight does a weed plant need? Marijuana plants can take up to 12 hours of direct daylight in the flowering stage, and they’ll use every bit of it.
It’s not the same for every strain, though. Experienced growers can get excellent yields with fewer hours. If you’re dealing with photoperiod strains, you need to look out for cannabis heat stress. These plants go through their growing stages depending on the light cycles they get daily.
The greatest advantage of sun-grown cannabis is how cost-efficient it is. Growing outdoors requires no investment in lighting, but you’ll need to pay attention to weed seasons depending on the strain. You’ll also need space—tons of it.
If you’re planning to grow weed outdoors, an open field will do, but you can also work on a balcony, a backyard, or a roof full of sun pots. In the end, you’ll be going the greenest route possible with zero carbon emissions.
How much sunlight does a weed plant need?
If you’re following the weed calendar, the best day to plant your seeds is in the first days of spring. From that moment, your plants need as much sunlight as they can get daily. The minimum requirement for most strains is about six hours of direct sunlight a day and five hours of indirect sun.
You’re probably wondering how much sunlight a weed plant needs per day, according to your choice of seeds. Before we jump into our top tips, keep in mind that the best sunlight your plants can get is the morning sun. It helps for maximum growth stimulation.
Keep reading; we have some pro tips to get you going:
For autoflowering plants
Like all types of seeds, these need direct sunlight at least six hours a day to grow healthy. Regardless of how much sunlight weed plants need a day, they will flower based on their age and not the light cycle.
Keep in mind that autoflowering plants always have lower yields than other seeds. Sun exposure can help you get the most of them, but not by the largest stretch. Your sun-grown weed will sprout flowers after four weeks since its vegging stage is reduced.
Autoflowering plants are great to grow in an open field. Summertime does wonders for them. If you time your planting with a few weeks in-between, you can grow loads of weed in 70 days.
You’ll be able to stock a stash of sun-grown cannabis that can last you for the rest of the year.
For photoperiod plants
Most photoperiod cannabis strains are feminized and have a growth cycle similar to regular seeds. Regarding how much sunlight a weed plant needs, photoperiod fem seeds demand a bit more discipline than other offerings.
Photoperiod plants can remain in vegetative state for months at a time, even with 12-hour light cycles. These seeds need to be planted in the first days of spring and get as much light they can get daily. The summer solstice marks the moment when they start to flower.
This process varies with every strain, but even the most durable types will be ready to harvest just by the end of October. Sativa strains usually take more time to grow than indicas. This is why understanding the weed calendar is so important.
How much darkness is needed for an outdoor cannabis plant?
Darkness is also on the list of requirements for growing outdoors weed. After all, you don’t want to deal with a plant full of sunburn. Sun-grown weed needs eight to ten hours of darkness every day.
The logistics behind darkness for your weed plants probably sound easy, but they can get pretty tricky depending on your location. Northern regions get plenty of sun during summertime, but nights are shorter. This decreases the chances of the plants flowering properly before fall.
Southern regions closer to the equatorial line don’t have to deal with this issue. The challenge in these locations is replicating the tropical environment required at night. Nights can be pretty cold and make your sun-grown cannabis plants flower way too early.
Regardless of your location, your sun pot can grow healthy once the light cycles are aligned on point. Marijuana plants grow amazingly well outdoors with balanced light and darkness. Any darkness you can’t provide naturally can be solved by simply covering your garden.
A guide to outdoor cannabis growing seasons
Getting the handle on how much sun marijuana needs is determined by weed seasons. They work just like regular seasons, but they mark the time of the year it’s best to plant your seeds and calculate when you’ll be harvesting.
The first thing you need to understand is the difference between sunlight on both hemispheres and how it affects our location. Our proximity to the equatorial line determines this. Our planet tilts towards one of these directions depending on the time of the year.
The northern hemisphere is close to the Sun until June of each year. The southern hemisphere is the one closest to the Sun until December. The closest a region is, the more sunlight it gets and the longer its days will be. This will help you determine how much sunlight a weed plant needs a day.
When to grow and harvest cannabis outdoors?
They say timing is everything. When it comes to learning how much direct sunlight a weed plant needs, times go hand in hand with the location. The best time to grow weed outdoors is dictated by the climate and the state you live in. Here’s how it works for northern and southern regions of the USA:
If you live in the north, the best time to plant your seeds is the beginning of March. You’ll be harvesting from August to the end of September, depending on the strain and your choice of seeds.
If you live in the south, the best time to get started with your garden of sun-grown weed is at the start of September. You’ll be harvesting by the end of March or the first weeks of May. Keep in mind that many outside factors affect the schedule: climate, type of strain, and growing conditions.
FAQ related to how much sunlight weed plants need
We’ve gathered the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you need any further info, you can reach out to us and we’ll sort you out.
Can weed plants get too much light?
They can’t get enough of it. The right balance sits at 12 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness a day.
Do weed plants need light or heat?
Both, actually. Exposure to light doesn’t mean exposure to heat directly and marijuana plants thrive better in hot environments with temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long can weed plants go without light?
Eight hours is recommended. Ten hours is tops unless you’re dealing with autoflowering plants. Ideally, you want to give your plants at least 12 hours of sunlight.
Let your marijuana garden become your masterpiece with light
Now you understand how much sunlight a weed plant needs. Now you’ll be able to create your strategy according to the place you live. Keep in mind that many factors still affect your plant when you grow in the open.
When you finally figure out which strain is right for you according to your environment, log on to i49 seed bank and grab your perfect companion. Our vast catalog has many options suitable to grow in any place in the USA. If you need some help, feel free to consult our blog to get all the advice you need.