How to Grow Marijuana in Cold Weather Extremes
While marijuana is a hearty plant, it will not always grow well in extreme climates. Growing in extreme conditions undoubtedly presents challenges, but these can be overcome with the right protections in place. With this guide, you will learn how to protect marijuana plants in all types of growing conditions so that you can obtain a bountiful harvest.
What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for Marijuana?
Before delving into climate extremes, you must understand the ideal growing conditions marijuana plants require. When marijuana seeds are grown in a perfect environment, plants stand a higher chance of remaining healthy and growing strong, and the resulting buds are bigger and more plentiful. The best growing environment includes the following.
- 40-50% humidity
- 65-80 degrees
- Gentle air circulation
- Full-spectrum light
The above can easily be achieved with an indoor setup, but growing outdoor cannabis presents unique challenges. These can be overcome with the right interventions. Before you begin growing marijuana outdoors, much research is required. The more you understand about how marijuana grows, the better you will be able to protect your plants through each stage of growth.
Growing in Windy Conditions
Some parts of the world are windier than others. If the area you live in is windy regularly, your marijuana plants could suffer. Heavy winds can cause catastrophic damage to plants, especially when they are young.
Heavy winds can also put your marijuana plants under stress. There are multiple signs a plant is under too much stress, and they can include the following.
- Yellowing leaves
- Wilting leaves
- Stunted growth
- Bud rot
- Becomes hermaphrodite
- Curled leaves that resemble a claw
- Bronze or brown patches
Too much wind can lead to a condition called windburn. You will notice changes in the formation of the leaves and their coloration. The leaves will take on a claw appearance and will begin to droop as if they have not been watered or fed correctly. Protecting your plants from high winds is essential for some climates.
There are a few approaches you can take to ensure your i49 plants are protected from high winds. Taking these precautions will help to protect against windburn and ensure the plants grow healthy and strong without becoming damaged.
One of the most common ways growers manage wind is to build a high fence around their marijuana crops. This helps to break the wind force and causes it to move around the fence instead of through the plants. The fencing will also protect your plants from damage done by wild or domesticated animals. Even if you build a fence around the plants, heavy winds may require further intervention for complete security.
Secure Your Plants with Support
In heavy winds, it is best to secure marijuana plants with wood stakes that are driven into the ground and then secured with heavy-duty twine. With stakes and twine, your plants will be secure against the wind and will not break down as easily. You can even cage your marijuana plants just like tomato plants, to offer even more security against the wind.
Train Your Plants
Training your plants to grow bushier instead of taller can also help. Taller plants are going to be thinner and more susceptible to wind damage. If you use techniques such as fimming, it is possible to train plants to grow outward and become stronger and sturdier.
Plant Marijuana with Other Plants
Another method of protecting your cannabis plants from wind damage is by using other plants as a shield. Corn, for example, planted around marijuana offers excellent protection that is strong enough to weather heavy winds.
Growing in a Hot Climate
While marijuana grows well in warm conditions up to 80 degrees, too much heat can be damaging. Does this mean people cannot grow cannabis in hot climates? Absolutely not! Some methods will allow you to grow in hot climates, but it will take a proactive approach and great care to keep your crops healthy despite the heat.
High temperatures can cause marijuana plants to experience heat stress, and this can end up causing significant damages. It is essential to recognize the signs of heat stress, and they include the following.
- Curled leaves
- Cupping in the leaves
- Abnormal bud formation
- Foxtailing (bunched calyces that stack and prevent normal bud growth)
- Fast growth with white pistils
While some degree of heat is good for cannabis plants like blue dream marijuana and the sour deisel strain, high levels of heat without humidity can spell disaster. There are some steps you can take to make sure marijuana plants thrive in the heat and do not begin to experience stress.
Hydration is critical for developing healthy marijuana plants. On a hot day, a marijuana plant can drink up a lot of water. If the soil becomes overly dry, this can cause stress for the plant and prevent it from taking in nutrients.
Watering early in the day is vital for healthy plants. When you water in the morning, the temperatures are lower, and the sun is not so vibrant, so the plant has time to absorb the water before it evaporates.
In hot climates, water is essential for keeping the roots cool. The growing medium should never dry entirely out. Yes, there needs to be periods of moisture and dryness for the roots to grow deep into the ground to seek water.
To see if your plants need further watering, stick your finger about two inches into the soil. If you only feel dryness, it is time to water. If the earth still appears moist, you can wait. Letting your growing medium become too dry could cause the marijuana plants to go into stress mode, and this is something you do not want.
You may need to water more than once to ensure your white widow plants are getting enough. If the soil is overly dry, it may not be able to soak up the moisture right away. If this is the case, water once and then come back in about an hour and water again.
Choose the Right Strain
When growing in a hot climate, it is wise to choose a strain of marijuana that originated in hot climates. These strains can withstand the heat without becoming so stressed. The following strains are ideal for growing in hot, dry conditions.
- Northern Lights
- Amnesia Haze
- Tangerine Dream
Research as much as possible and learn about the different strains that can grow in hot climates. Sativa weed seeds are one of the best strains for growing in hot climates, and you will get the best results if you use this type.
Sativas can thrive in hot temperatures that exceed 100 degrees, and they can also continue to grow, even in arid conditions without a lot of water. Although Sativas can grow in harsh conditions, this does not mean you should neglect your crops. The more you care for them, the better they will thrive.
Choose the Right Medium
The growing medium you choose is essential in a hot climate because this is what will contain the water for your plants. Growing in soil is not the right choice, though it can be manageable if you water frequently. The best choice for a growing medium in a hot climate is coco coir.
Coco coir is a byproduct of coconut. It is the material between the shell and outer coating of the coconut. Once processed, it becomes a fine soil-like medium that can be used for planting all types of crops.
This medium is so loose and does not become compacted when watering. Because of its consistency, it can protect the roots of marijuana plants and prevent the plant from becoming stressed due to heat.
Coco coir is very much like soil and can even be mixed with dirt to give the growing medium a better consistency that is more conducive to growing marijuana in hot temperatures. It is important to note that coco coir alone has no nutrients to offer your marijuana plants, so you will need to use nutrient solutions to feed them.
Fortify with Nutrients
Because the extreme heat can take its toll on marijuana plants, you must guard them with good health. Fortifying with the right nutrients will make the marijuana plants grow strong, so they can withstand the heat and are less likely to experience problems with heat stress. The following nutrients are essential for healthy marijuana growth.
The essential nutrients are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Without these critical nutrients, marijuana plants will not be able to grow healthy buds.
Growing in Unexpected Cold Weather
If you live in a frigid climate where temperatures never quite rise about 60 degrees in the day and drop below 40 at night, it would be wise to consider growing indoor autoflower seeds. Even in the mildest of climates, unexpected cold fronts can come in and wreak havoc on marijuana plants. When marijuana plants are exposed to too much cold, the following symptoms can begin to occur.
- Drooping leaves
- Loose root balls
- Leaf discoloration
- Darkened or black areas on the leaves
- Smaller buds
- Stunted growth
- Cracking and splitting in leaves
Exposure to cold can cause cold stress and is just as detrimental to marijuana plants as too much heat. There are a few steps you can take to protect your classic weed strains from cold extremes. If the temperatures are dropping consistently, remember to try growing indoors for the best results.
Wrap in Polyethylene
Wrap your marijuana plants in Polyethylene. Wrapping your plants in this material will help to conserve heat, but it is important to note that it will not provide adequate protection for long. This material can be used to protect plants from an overnight dip in temperatures.
Use a Passive Heater
Some growers fill buckets with water and allow them to sit in the sun all day and become warm. At night, these buckets can be used to surround the cannabis plants and help them stay warm. You can also fill the buckets with hot water and put them out with the same effect.
Build a Temporary Greenhouse
It is relatively easy to construct a greenhouse out of wood and plastic. The structure does not have to be overly complicated. Simply make a square or rectangle structure and cover the top and sides with heavy-duty plastic. Putting your plants in this structure will create a greenhouse effect that will shield them from the cold and keep them from experiencing cold stress.
Use Propane Patio Heaters
Propane-powered heaters are an excellent way to keep the chill off your plants. Not only do they ward off the cold, but they also produce CO2, which helps to promote healthy growth in cannabis plants. Make sure to use these heaters according to the manufacturer’s instructions, so safety is practiced.
Watch the Relative Humidity
Cooler temperatures bring dryer air, so it is essential to check the humidity levels around the plants. If the air is too dry, you can wet cloths and drape them around the base of the plants. Do not do this if temperatures are below freezing. You can also fill a spray bottle with water and mist around the plants to help ensure they take in the moisture.
The Bottom Line
While growing in different weather extremes is more complicated, it is not impossible. The most important thing you can do as a grower is to monitor the health of your plants and act accordingly.
If you take the right steps, it is possible to protect marijuana plants and prevent them from experiencing stress from heat, wind, and cold. When in doubt, grow your skunk weed plants in containers so they can be brought indoors or in a greenhouse when the weather becomes extreme.
It takes work to grow in climates that do not offer ideal growing conditions but do not allow this to stop you from attempting to grow marijuana. With a little extra TLC and the right interventions, cannabis can thrive in many environments. If you take the right steps, it is possible to experience a bountiful harvest, even in extreme climates.