In this post we show you the best way to move your marijuana plants outdoors avoiding the onset of flowering. Many growers, for one reason or another, With the summer growing season in full swing, many of you have reached out asking what's the optimal time to start an outdoor cannabis grow. Check out some recommendations based on different regions where marijuana cultivation is popular. If you are thinking about cultivating cannabis, one of the first things you will need to determine is if you should cultivate outdoors.
When and how to move marijuana plants outdoors
Weather conditions in spring can sometimes be whimsical. Indeed, it seems a good idea to start growing marijuana plants indoors before making them flower outdoors. It is possible, but one must take into account some issues in particular, which we will be described in this post.
Cannabis and photoperiod
In spring, in western Europe, the hours of sun during the day (photoperiod) progressively increases every day, going from 12 hours of daily sunshine in March to about 16 hours of sunlight during the day in June. In July the day length begins to decrease, which triggers the cannabis plants to start flowering between mid-July and mid-August, depending on both the earliness of plants and the latitude where they are grown.
To grow cannabis indoors, it is generally advisable to give the plants a photoperiod of 18 hours of daily light (18/6 cycle). But what happens when we move a plant – that has already received 18 hours of daily light – outdoors in spring (before mid-June)?
1. The marijuana plant only receives between 12 and 16 hours of light per day, so this sudden decrease of the photoperiod can make the plant begin the flowering period in most cases.
2. However, as photoperiod increases progressively each day (by some minutes) until 21 June, marijuana plants will stop flowering to go back to the growing period. This natural process, called vegetative regeneration, is both very long and very stressful for the plant. Plants will then form numerous deformed and abnormal leafs before starting to grow again several weeks later.
3. In July, days begin to get shorter and plants flower again, this time definitely. This flowering after vegetative regeneration will unfortunately be poorer in both quantity and quality.
Marijuana plant in vegetative regeneration
How to safely move plants outdoors?
You have two options (different options to start growing outdoors):
1. Start growing your indoor marijuana plants as usual – in a 18/6 cycle – but waiting until the end of June to move them outdoors.
2. Start growing your plants indoors while following the outdoor natural photoperiod. For example, if there are 14 hours of light per day, give your plants 14 hours of light per day as well. When the natural photoperiod increases to 14-15 hours of sunlight per day, you will have to set your timer and add 15 minutes of light per day.
This very straightforward technique will allow you to move your plants outdoors in spring!
Jorge Cervantes and outdoor marijuana
Note that these tips do not concern autoflowering marijuana strains , as they are not photoperiod-sensitive; if you wish, you can start your indoor growing (ideally giving them 20 hours of light per day) and move them outdoors whenever you like, knowing that they will flower anyway after 3-4 weeks of growth.
What other precautions should be taken when moving marijuana plants outdoors?
First, you should know that the plant will take some time to accommodate to the new environment, particularly because of light change and environmental conditions. This loss of vigor in the plant can sometimes reduce or even eliminate the benefits of starting the plant indoors.
The strong sunlight, much richer in UV rays than indoor marijuana growing lamps, can be too aggressive for plants that were first grown under artificial lights. Therefore, it is not advisable to expose them directly to the sun, for they should progressively adjust to the sun; then, we should first place the plant in a shady area, and then give it more sunlight day by day.
Growing large marijuana plants outdoors
Due to the lack of an acclimatization period, plants exposed directly to the sun may show signs of burn or discolouration (bleaching) in their leafs. Thus, the plant will have to produce new leafs, which will further delay its regeneration.
One last important point: while the plants are growing, phytohormones accumulate within their tissues (i.e. leafs). When days begin to get shorter, at the end of June, the level of the plant’s hormone that stimulates flowering increases gradually, day after day, at the expense of the level of growing phytohormones, which begins to decrease.
Flowering will only occur when the plant’s levels of phytohormones are adequate for flowering. This is the reason why the growing period outdoors is longer, so the plant will need more time to flower. As a consequence, this will delay the harvest time!
Therefore, starting the crop as soon as possible is not always the best option.
Some marijuana strains are well-known for their earliness, for they quickly start flowering from the time when photoperiod begins to decrease. For instance, it’s worth mentioning Early Maroc feminised seeds from Philosopher Seeds and Early Queen regular seeds from Mr Nice Seeds.
Marijuana grown in a greenhouse
The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.
Off-season marijuana crops outdoors
Growing automatic cannabis plants outdoors in Smartpots
Growing marijuana basing on latitude
The Photoperiod of cannabis plants grown indoors
Comments in “When and how to move marijuana plants outdoors” (112)
Tim,what is the latest time that budding can occur to still get a good crop. how long does the budding process take before I can harvest them?
Tim Alchimia 2022-09-12
Hi John, thanks for your comment. The answer to your question will depend almost entirely on the type of cannabis you’re growing. There are varieties that can finish flowering within 6 or 7 weeks while others can take 16 weeks or longer! However, I’d say that the average flowering time would fall between 8 and 10 weeks so you’ll need to count backwards from the first frost date in your area to establish the latest time you can realistically start flowering your plants and still hope to get a good harvest. I hope that helps. Best wishes and happy growing!
david Is an Alchimia client 2022-08-05
Hello. thank you for your posting! really helped me a lot to understand. I have a couple questions If I may. So I plan on doing outdoor organic soil (living soil) 65 gallon pot. 10 plants = goal is 20LB. I will be doing 60% sativa, 40% indica strain so cos it finishes in middle of October. ‘ 14:00:00 day-length starts from 14th of May. I think planting directly from 1st of April temp goes below 60F (15c) too many days – too cold for seeding’s. I plan on doing 16oz cup and then transplant to 1 gallon pot then move to outdoor from 14th of May. I be sowing seeds indoor 2 month before 14th of May. My question is: should I be doing 14 on, 10 off light cycle from seeds until 14th of May? Thanks in advance.
Hi. I’m currently underway with my first-ever grow: fruity pebbles 2.0 and grape skunk. Things seem to be going well but my questions are about my grow for next year. I will be growing Bruce Banner, outdoor, on my flat roof, in smart pots. Everything I’ve read says to use 65 gallon pots. Is this a good size? Regarding soil: When should I prepare the soil? What NPK values do you suggest the base soil contains? Should I enrich the soil with blood meal? Are there any other mediums I should mix with the soil to help with enrichment/drainage? I live in central Ontario, Canada, not far from Toronto. The weather here can be rather unpredictable. June temps range from 15°C in the morning, to 30°C in the afternoon and back to 15°C at night. July is hotter 18°C (morning) to 34°C (afternoon) August can be just as hot as July, sometimes hotter. It’s almost always humid from May to September. As all growers Do, I want the healthiest plants I can grow and to harvest the largest yield I can. Any advice you can give me regarding this specific strain based on my location and the strain genetics would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you.
Tim Alchimia 2022-07-18
Hi Jesse, thanks for your comment and questions. It sounds like you’ve got a good plan for next year! Those 65-gallon smart pots will be great, you’ll get some lovely big plants there, but make sure that your flat roof will be able to take the weight of all that soil, and remember that the pots will weigh an awful lot more when the soil is wet! As for the soil mix, I would recommend that you mix your own “super soil”, you can find comprehensive instructions in our blog post “How to make organic Supersoil”. This way, you won’t need to mess about with liquid nutrients, as the plants will only need water and the occasional compost tea or booster during cultivation. I would also recommend the use of a deep mulch layer on the soil surface to retain moisture, encourage healthy soil microbes and reduce irrigation requirements in the hottest part of summer (Check out our post on Cover Crops, Green Manure & Mulch for cannabis)- it will also help a lot to buy smart pots of a lighter colour, white or tan. almost anything but black, because the sun can really cook the roots in there! If you’re gardening on a roof, the chances are that winds will be lively, so ensure that the plant is well-supported with netting or stakes well ahead of time – just don’t wait until the first strong winds knock the floering plants over to think about plant support! Another thing to consider is the use of pruning and training techniques to increase canopy size and the number of bud sites, as well as keeping the lower areas of the plants clean to encourage good air circulation, which helps to discourage fungal problems. It’s also important to think about a regular IPM program (Integrated Pest Management) to keep the plants healthy throughout vegetative growth so that they enter the flowering phase in the best possible health. This IPM program should rotate various organic pesticides and fungicides (neem oil, horsetail, propolis, to name a few) alongside foliar and irrigation applications of beneficial microbes (Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma, etc) which will all serve to reinforce the plants’ defences against potential pests or pathogens that can attack later in the plants’ life. I hope that helps you plan for next year’s crop, and good luck for this year’s harvest – those are some really tasty-sounding genetics! Best wishes and happy growing!
Tim,my plants had gotten powdery mildew a month ago and I some fungicide to spray on them. They seem to be doing good right now. They are about 3 feet tall now and should start the flowering process in another month. I do not want to keep spraying them when they start flowering. Is there anything that I could add t6o the soil then to keep them protected?
Tim Alchimia 2022-07-11
Hi John, thanks for your comment and question. You can reinforce your plants against fungal attacks by doing a number of things. Firstly, start feeding them with some Silica – for example, Botanicare Silica Blast or Grotek Pro-Silicate, to name just a couple. You should also be reinforcing the plant’s resistance to pathogens by adding beneficial microbial life to the soil, a good product that we recommend is Green House Feeding Enhancer, which contains Bacillus Subtilis and Trichoderma, which work well together at warding off mould and mildew. It can also be applied as a foliar spray to the plants, inoculating the aerial parts of the plant with beneficial microbes and offering another layer of protection. I hope that helps, Best wishes for the rest of the season happy growing!
I planted my plants outdoors a week ago and the leaves are starting to get a white discoloration on them. what causes this to happen?
Tim Alchimia 2022-06-08
Hi John, thanks for your comment. It sounds like the problem could most likely be powdery mildew, to confirm this, check out the pictures in our powdery mildew blog article, which also has some information on how to combat it. Personally, I like to use wettable sulphur when the plants are growing, so I can deal with the issue well before they start to flower, at which point there’s not much to be done apart from spraying diluted hydrogen peroxide. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
or Tim haha thanks again RE: Thank you for all your knowledge and help, so I have some auto flowers I want to try and grow again this year, i tried last year and had some partial success but I believe i know exactly where i went wrong from moving them indoors and outdoors too much because I thought they would need more light (you know rookie mistakes haha) and I was just too much in my head about it a little. 1? So Im starting fresh in the next few days and wanted to make sure I am good to go this year, can I start my autos in my 3 gallon pots and put them right outside? It gets anywhere from 80-100 degrees F around 11am here and just increases till about 6 pm or 8pm and then begins to cool off later in the night to about 70-75 2? we get about 12-14 hours of sunlight a day and idk if that will be enough for them to grow nice big and healthy or if that is too short of light and they will need more light( this is where i was in my head last year) 3? Will the direct sunlight be too much or powerful for them when it begins to get to those temperatures to where i should probably move them to the shade or will they be okay in those conditions as long as they start there and get enough water to sustain the heat? I have to in breathable pots too Thank you for all the help looking forward to the knowledge!
Tim Alchimia 2022-05-19
Hi Frank, thanks for your comment and questions. Glad to hear you’re ready to get going with this year’s grow! Now is a great time of year to start your autos but I’d recommend using larger containers – at least 5 gallons if possible. They’ll definitely need some shade in the early stages, so I’d suggest using some shade cloth suspended over the containers until the seedlings have established themselves. 12-14 hours of direct sunlight per day is definitely enough for them to grow nicely and give a great harvest. Breathable pots are a great idea to reduce the heat, especially the white ones. They will need more regular watering though, as they evaporate from the sides and the top surface, but if the plants have got enough water, they’ll be okay at high temperatures, especially the more Afghani-influenced genetics so common in today’s cannabis varieties, which have evolved in harsh conditions of infernally hot days and cold nights. That said, if you can rig up some way to hang shade cloth over the plants during the hottest hours of the day (without damaging the plants) and reduce the potential for heat-stress, they will be thankful for it! I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
I started 2 plants just in my window inside in 3 gallon pots, they started growing like crazy and I think are ready to be moved outside how should I go about this because the only space I have is on my porch
Tim Alchimia 2022-05-16
Hi Kelsi, thanks for your comment and question. Right now is the perfect time to move the plants outside and put them in larger containers so they can flourish. Place them in the sunniest spot on your porch and they’ll be happy – just make sure that once they begin to flower in late summer, there’s no light contamination from street lamps, house lights etc. which will prevent them from flowering properly. There’s more information in our blog article about growing on terraces and balconies which I think you will find very useful. Good luck for the season, best wishes and happy growing!
what causes the stems the leaves are on to turn red in color?
Tim Alchimia 2022-04-29
Hi John, thanks for your comment and question. There are a number of possible causes for red-coloured petioles and while it’s not a serious problem, it can be a sign that things are off-balance with the plants. The most common cause is low temperatures in the grow space, but it can also be genetic, as some varieties naturally grow reddish petioles. It can be caused by exposure to the light, where the petioles receiving a good amount of lumens will turn a red colour while ones in the shade remain green, in which case it’s nothing to worry about. Another potential cause is low nutrition levels, as a mild potassium deficiency can show as red or purple petioles, as can a magnesium deficiency. These nutrient deficiencies can be caused by or exacerbated by a pH imbalance in the substrate or nutrient solution, so ensure the pH is within the recommended levels for the stage of growth your plants are in. Lastly, the red stems and petioles can be a sign of stress in the plant, caused by anything from them being rootbound to transplant shock to poor conditions to an insect attack. The best thing to do would be to first see whether the genetics you’re growing develop purple colours naturally, then double-check that all the parameters of your grow are on point, fro temperature to pH, not forgetting the nutrient levels. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
Good morning Tim, I have several plants growing nicely from seed inside but are getting too big for my grow space and ready to move outside. However, this year in southern BC it is colder than usual not getting warmer than 16 Celsius during the day and dipping down to 2 at night. At this time last year this wasn’t a concern and I moved the plants outdoors without an issue. I have a raised bed waiting for them outside but fear I may lose them if I do. The 3 strains I am growing again due to the great success last year are Golden Cobra, Jack Herrer & Purple Kush. all autoflowering. What can i do? Would they survive the current temperatures? Is there something else that I can do to so they survive outside? Can I stunt their growth inside and then transplant outside when warmer? Please advise. Cheers.
Tim Alchimia 2022-04-25
Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. Due to the influence of the Ruderalis genetics, most autoflowering plants will handle cold weather fairly well. The daytime temperatures certainly won’t be a problem for them, but if there’s any way to protect them from the cold at night, then that’d be a good move. Try situating them by a south-facing wall which will retain heat through the night. If that’s not an option, you could move them indoors at night until the weather improves. The beauty of autos is that any light contamination doesn’t matter, so you can potentially bring them into your garage or shed and have a light on them to maximise production. At the most basic, a double layer of horticultural fleece draped over the plants at night would keep the very worst of the cold off them. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing anything to stunt their growth as that would affect the end harvest negatively. Because autos are effectively on a countdown to harvest from the moment they’re germinated, anything that slows them down or stresses them out too much will have a knock-on effect on yields and performance, which is why we don’t recommend transplanting autos but instead starting them off in the same container that they will finish in. I hope that helps, best wishes for the season. Happy growing!
Have 2 plants started on March 1st indoors. They are currently at their 3rd set of leaves and soon I’ll be able to take them outside. We are on Long Island NY. I have had them under constant 24 hour light cycle and was wondering the best method to adjust them the the change in light cycle without stressing the hell out of them. Thanks.
Tim Alchimia 2022-04-20
Hi, thanks for your comment and question. I take it that your plants are started from seed, which makes it all a bit easier to deal with. At this stage, the plants are not sexually mature yet so any changes in the photoperiod shouldn’t have any serious negative effect on them. If you want to err on the side of caution, start by reducing the photoperiod to 18 hours of light for say a week, and then take it down to 16 hours for another week before placing them outside. Having said that, I don’t think that they’ll suffer unduly if you simply put them outdoors directly from a 24 hour light cycle, being as they are still in the premature phase and not yet receptive to changes in the photoperiod. Changes in conditions can be a big stress factor too, so if there’s a big difference in the temperatures indoors and outside, then it’s a good idea to provide some kind of protection for the plants at first, especially at night. A cloche or horticultural fleece will usually be enough. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
I just purchased some grease monkey starts that are 6to8 inches in height. It is to soon to plant them outside so what is the best way to care for them until ready to transplant them outdoors. I live in washington state and the nightly lows are in the 40s.
Tim Alchimia 2022-04-20
Hi John, thanks for your comment. For now, I would recommend keeping them under lights with a photoperiod of 18 hours light and 6 hours darkness, and then gradually reduce the indoor photoperiod to match up to the natural hours of daylight in your area during summer – usually a maximum of around 16 hours a day. By mid-May, you should be able to plant them outside without them suffering any setbacks due to the photoperiod. Alternatively, you can plant them out now but give them some additional light at night – just an hour in the middle of the night to break the dark period is enough to stop them from flowering too soon. Simple solar-powered LED garden lights can be enough for this purpose. If you’re concerned about the low temperatures, try using some horticultural fleece to cover them at night when it’s coldest. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
Okay first time grower here. so I have some people tell me Miracle-Gro is okay then there’s others that say no so I used it and right now they’re growing great they are inside so now I’m wondering do I just put them outside because I don’t have the right lights there in my window constantly I’m just stuck I feel like and I don’t want them to die I don’t have a green thumb at all and every time I grow I get the first set of leaves and that’s it and then dies. This is my 2 try.
Tim Alchimia 2022-04-19
Hi, thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear about your lack of success so far, but don’t worry, you’re in the right place! Firstly, we can’t recommend Miracle-Gro unless there’s absolutely nothing else available. It will work okay if you’re careful with the dosing but there are many, many different organic fertilisers formulated especially for growing cannabis, so it’s not the best to use a general-purpose chemical fertiliser when there are so many better options. Whether or not you move your plants outside o not will depend on the climate in your area. If like most places, you’re past the last frost date, then there’s no problem at all in putting the seedlings outside. In fact, they will most likely do much better outside in the sun and the natural environment than in the window. If you’re wondering why your plants keep dying on you, maybe check out our blog posts on that very subject: How to prevent the death of cannabis seeds and seedlings & Causes of death in plants during the growth period. I hope that helps, but feel free to ask us anything. Best wishes and happy growing!
Seeking Amber Trichomes 2022-04-01
Dear Tim; Your advice in the past has been wonderful leading to my quest to develop the best sleep aid without a RX. I started two G 13’s and two Grand Daddy Purple Indica strains in a small closet size unit. Being impatient I started the feminized seeds the end of January 2022 and then placed them in 4 inch pots.Before long they needed to be moved. into 6 inch pots and quickly into 10-12 inch ones. I am practicing low stress training so that I have more buds and have ‘fimmed’ each one one time.Now this is my problem. We are located in area six (USA) and it will be a good six weeks until I can think of moving it outside. My question is what do I do if the ground is still too cold? I just purchased a few 70 gallon translucent plastic. storage containers and wanted to know if I should place them on top of my plants once they are moved outside and in the ground to keep the ‘heat’ in? Regards Seeking Amber BTW: I have been in touch with several universities and medical Institutes around the world about synthesizing the amber trichomes for sleeping since it has a perfect mix of THC and CBN which induces sleep.
Tim Alchimia 2022-04-08
Hi, thanks for your comment and kind words, I’m really happy you’ve found the information here helpful! Those 70gal containers sound like a great option for protecting the plants from the cold. They’ll be great keep off the overnight temperatures, and even if it gets cold during the day too. If you are using them in the daytime, I’d recommend raising them up off the ground with a few bricks to allow airflow around the plants and avoid fungal issues. However, the biggest challenge you’re going to face is that the plants may start flowering when you put them outside. This will depend on the genetics, your latitude and the hours of daylight. For example, here in Spain, if I put plants outside now (cuttings or mature seedlings) they would be triggered to flower by the short day length. I would need to give them some supplemental lighting at night to stop this. You can either use lamps to extend the daytime by a few hours (so that the nights are shorter than 12 hours) or give them just 30 minutes or so of light in the middle of the night, which is enough to break up the dark period and prevent flowering. In the past, I’ve used solar-powered LED garden lights for this purpose. I hope that helps. Best wishes and happy growing!
Big grower 2021-08-11
I woke up this morning to browning of tops serrated edges on one side of plant. What can the cause be?? Only on top leaves..
Tim Alchimia 2021-08-16
Hi and thanks for your question. Unsure whether the plant is indoors or outside, but from what you describe, it could be a reaction to an overly-powerful light source or to a strong, drying wind. Because the issue is only appearing in one specific part of the plant I’d predict that the brown leaf edges are in response to an environmental factor rather than a deficiency or a pathogen, but if you could provide more info regarding the cultivation conditions then I could probably give more accurate advice. I hope that helps. Best wishes and happy growing!
Big grower 2021-07-07
Hi how do you battle wpm and also my plants seem to be happier in indirect sunlight cause they have the praying leaves. However in direct sunlight allday the big leaves droop. Is this normal?
Tim Alchimia 2021-07-07
Hi and thanks for your comment. WPM? White powdery mildew, maybe? Check here: https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/powdery-mildew-fungus-on-marijuana-plants/. Direct sunlight should be the best for cannabis plants, although the full heat of midday sun in really hot climates can be too harsh and some growers use shade cloth during the hottest times of day to protect the plants. If the leaves are drooping, it could mean either a lack of water or possibly an excess of water. Check the soil, if it seems very dry then increase the frequency of irrigation. if it looks too wet and waterlogged then reduce irrigation. Bear in mind that some plants will just “flop” at the end of a hot day, but recover fully by the next morning. It may be nothing to worry about. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
Hi there! My auto seeds have just popped through the soil, should i put them outside straight away or wait until they get a few leaves? I don’t have a sunny window to leave them indoors you see, it’s average 24°C, direct sunlight from 8.30am to 7pm and then shady, Shall i put them for the first week outside in a shady area so that they don’t get too much? Should i bring them indoors at night or are they ok all the time outside? please help! Thanks a lot x
Tim Alchimia 2021-05-27
Hi, thanks for your comment. I’m glad to hear the seeds have popped up! You can put them outdoors now and they’ll develop even faster. Just make sure that they are well protected from potential pests like mice, slugs, snails and birds who are all capable of eating your baby plant before it develops its first set of true leaves. It’s a good idea to place the seedlings in a semi-shaded area for the first few days, but if they’re outdoors from day one they’ll quickly adapt to the full sunlight as opposed to growers who start plants indoors under fluorescent lights and then move them outdoors, the change in light intensity can shock plants badly. There’s no need to bring the plants inside at night as long as it’s not too cold out there and I guess that you’re past the last frost date for this season! I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
Stacy Is an Alchimia client 2021-03-26
Grand Rapids Michigan. My seedlings just broke soil, ready for light, buying a timer to place on 18-6 inside tomorrow. This is the 3rd week in March. Placing them outside as soon as frost subsides. Last year I placed outside with additional lighting with garden pole lights. Like walk way lights. Seemed to work okay. What month is recommended to start grow outside, should I just leave the garden lights on all night for additional lighting. I can’t remember what I did last year for additional light hours. Really appreciate the details you place in your response informative but I would like pacific. Thank you.
Tim Alchimia 2021-03-30
Hi Stacy, thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that your seedlings are up! It’s a good idea to extend the daylight hours a bit with your garden lights for a while when they first go outside, but I really think that leaving them on all night would be overkill, not to mention that 24 hour daylight can stress plants too. It may be necessary with clones to stop them flowering, but young seedling will sense the increasing daylight hours and should keep growing without any early flowering (unless they have some Ruderalis genetics in them). By my reckoning, by around the middle of May, the outdoor photoperiod ought to be long enough to keep them in growth without any additional lighting. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
Hello! Tons of great information here, thank you! First time grower with (2) Sativa plants that have been in pots/planters since mid-May. One is about 2 weeks into the flowering stage. Should I move the plants into a shadier spot for more darkness once they begin to flower, or will that ultimately not affect the yield? Right now they’re in the spot where they can get the most sun, but know it’s the darkness that triggers flowering so just curious if moving them is more optimal for the eventual yield. Thank you!
Tim Alchimia 2020-08-20
Hi Chops, thanks for your comment and question. The best thing to do is to keep them in the sunniest spot available to you, to maximise the light they get while they are flowering and to give you bigger yields. It’s true that the cannabis plant relies on the darkness to initiate flowering, but this refers to the hours of darkness at night rather than the levels of light received during the day. However, the plants still need lots of sunlight to keep producing flowers, so by moving them to a shadier spot you would, in fact, be reducing your yields somewhat. I hope that clears up any confusion. Best wishes and happy growing!
August W 2020-08-18
Hello, so I’ve had my girls outside all year, my question is will it hurt to move to a sunnier place in my yard now that she is flowering? Most of the time she gets good direct sunlight only 7am-11am, but have a spot where that might increase to 2PM. Will that hurt?
Tim Alchimia 2020-08-19
Hi August, thanks for your comment and question. The answer depends mainly on one thing. are your plants in pots or in the ground? If they’re in pots then there’s absolutely no problem with moving them to more advantageous spot, quite the contrary, in fact it will do them a lot of good! If, however, they’re planted in the ground and you’re considering uprooting them and replanting them in another spot. don’t! It’s too late once they’re flowering and the shock of transplanting them would effectively halt flowering until the plant recovers, which could be a couple of weeks. I hope that answers your question. Best wishes and happy growing!
Pedro Is an Alchimia client 2020-07-08
Hi Alchimia, i’ve got a little problem, i’ve transfer my plants outdoor about 2 month ago, they were doing super great then they start to flower ( one strain mainly ) then actually now they just start to go back in veg . i wonder what should i do, just leave them go back to veg and don’t really know what to expect from the harvest or replace them with clones, couple of clones each 400 gallon pot to try to get a good harvest out of this garden, its still early in the summer now, there is still plenty of time and i have access to as much clones i could need. The plants are already a good 6 to 8 feet tall and nearly as wide, if they were still in veg like the other strain i have, it would’ve been some 8/12 lb each in the end( i’m living in northern California, we’ve got good weather, used to make big plant here). Is it possible to get a good harvest out of a re-veg plant ? chunky bud instead of fluffy ? i really need some advice its actually a big problem and i cannot afford to waste my season. any suggestions are welcome. Thanks
Tim Alchimia 2020-07-08
Hi Pedro, thanks for your comment and question. Sorry to hear about your misfortune, it’s unusual for this to happen with plants grown from seed, so I’m assuming these were clones, correct? It can sometimes happen with clones if you put them outdoors too early in the season without supplementary lighting, especially if they’ve been on a long photoperiod indoors. The change can trigger flowering. Next year try stringing up some simple household lightbulbs over your plants and turn them on for an hour in the middle of the night to break the dark period and keep them in veg. You can even use solar-powered LED lights in off-grid situations. But this season you face the choice between carrying on with the re-vegging plants you’ve already got or to ripping them up to start again with smaller clones. It’s a really difficult call to make, especially without being able to see the stage the plants are at. I know that a revegged plant can often get very high yields indeed, and this because it will have more flower sites than normal, and although the flowers themselves may be smaller in size, there’s no reason for them to be fluffy. It’s a technique sometimes called “Monster Cropping”. If you can see that your plants are already well into re-veg, with new green shoots appearing, then I’d say you’re in plenty of time to save the harvest here, and you may even be pleasantly surprised with the results! Alternatively, you could reduce the risk and re-plant one of your pots with multiple new clones, just in case. They won’t grow to the same large size, but if you plant quite a few it might go some way to make up the difference in yields. If one of your plants is looking like it’s not re-vegging as fast as the others, it might be a good idea to replace it with new clones. Best of luck, please let us know how you get on. Best wishes and happy growing!
SJ Newbie 2020-07-02
I’ve begun indoor growing, giving my plants light 20 hrs/day. I live in a climate that’s 70-83 degrees and windy. In an effort to save some coin, I’m considering moving them outside 9am-6pm, then back inside under lights 6pm-5am. My concern is the additional environmental stress of natural light, wind, temperature, humidity change from the outdoors could limit the plant and if I should keep them solely under lights for the remainder of the grow? Thoughts
Tim Alchimia 2020-07-03
Hi, thanks for your comment and question. If you’ve got a nice sunny spot to put the plants outdoors then personally I would recommend it. Yes, the plants may experience some changes in conditions but that’s natural and as long as you carefully introduce them to the power of the sunlight then there’s no real reason for them to get stressed enough to limit their growth. In fact, I’d say the opposite would be true, that the benefits of the quality of illumination received from the sunlight will more than compensate any negative factors. To acclimatise the plants to the sunlight it will be necessary to place them in a semi-shaded area for a few days before exposing them to full sun. This is vitally important as otherwise, plants that are only accustomed to artificial light will be fried by the intensity of the sunlight. I hope that helps. Best wishes and happy growing!
I accidentally started my plant inside with lights that go from 3pm until 9am, how can I move my plant outdoors without messing it up too much with the light cycle?
Tim Alchimia 2020-06-26
Hi Bryan, thanks for your comment and question. If you want to move it outside now then you won’t have much problem because we’re at the height of summer and the chances of it suddenly flowering are very low indeed. If I was in your position I would probably just put it outside in the morning around 9 am, that way it will have one very long day before settling into the outdoor photoperiod. This will ensure it doesn’t initiate flowering as soon as it goes outside. Just make sure that you don’t place the plant in full sun for a few days or the power of the UV rays will stress the plant out and potentially damage the leaves. Give it a few days in partial shade before exposing it to the full strength of sunlight and it’ll be just fine. I hope that helps. Best wishes and happy growing!
ringlo Is an Alchimia client 2020-04-29
hello again, just one more question. Starting indoors i will use jiffy square pots which are small, how do you reccomend me with pot sizes, i will use fabric pots and was thinking from jiffy to 3l than 7l than 15 and at the end 50l. i will just cut pots so i skip stress transplant parts. but what pot size should be last indoor before moving outdoor. since 18/6 indoor cycle i want to move them out around mid july but what i dont know is pot sizing. also would you do the topping on them? Thank you very much again
Tim Alchimia 2020-04-29
Hi again, thanks for your question. It’s hard to say without knowing how vigorous the plants will be, but personally I’d be tempted to go straight from the 7L container as the last indoor pot to the 50L outdoor one, missing out the 15L one, but you’ll have to see how things go. If it looks like they are outgrowing the 7L pots before you’re ready to put them outside, then you’ll have no choice but to use the 15L pots. Again, whether to top the plants or not will depend on the vigour and genetics. I tend to train the Sativas, top/apical prune the hybrids and leave the Indicas well alone. It will also depend on your climate, it’s very humid where I grow so I have to top plants to avoid them developing one single large bud which is more likely to cause mould issues due to trapped moisture. By pruning, I can get the same yield, but in a greater quantity of smaller buds, much less likely to go mouldy. I hope that helps, all the best and happy growing!
ringlo Is an Alchimia client 2020-04-23
Hello, im planing on making some outdoors, got everything i need. Ive read that starting indoor under light and moving them outdoor will shock the plants but here ive been reading that puting them in shade and not in direct sunlight shouldnt be problem. Do you think 400w mh light will be okay and set it to 18-6 until its big enough and then moving them outdoor. if not, which light would you reccomend me. also do plants in germination stage first 2 weeks need light? Can i put them near window until they reach 10-15cm and than put them under light all together? Thank you very much
Tim Alchimia 2020-04-24
Hey ringlo, thanks for your comment and question. When we move plants from indoors to outdoors, there are two ways in which they can be “shocked” or adversely affected. Firstly, the lamp and light schedule both sound absolutely fine to me. The first is due to the intensity of the sunlight, which will indeed shock and potentially burn the leaves of plants which have only seen artificial light before. As you say, this can be avoided by initially placing the plants in a shady spot outdoors, moving them to a dappled/partial shade area after a day or two and then on to full sun after 4-5 days if they seem to be adapting well and depending on the intensity of sunlight at that time of year, obviously in the height of summer the sun will be at its most powerful. The second way that plants can be affected when we move them from indoors to outdoors is by the photoperiod, ie the hours of daylight and darkness. What happens is that outdoors, until around mid-May, the days are still short enough to trigger many cannabis genetics to begin flowering, meaning they will stop vegetative growth and begin to flower, which is the last thing we want at this time of year when we’re trying to get big plants for late-summer harvest. However, this phenomenon is only really a problem with plants grown frown cuttings or clones, and, with the exception of Autoflower and Fast Version varieties, young plants grown from seed will not tend to start flowering if put outside too soon. If you’re growing from clones, then I’d advise keeping them indoors until the second half of May, or if you absolutely have to get them outside for size reasons, then you’ll need to give them some additional illumination to interrupt the nighttime period and stop them flowering. A simple lightbulb turned on for an hour in the middle of the night will be ample, or alternatively some solar-powered LED garden lights will do the trick in areas without mains electricity. With regards to illumination for germination. they don’t really need much light in the first few days, but once the seedlings begin to develop they need good lighting if we want to avoid them stretching and growing weak and spindly. A sunny window sill can be fine as long as it gets full sunlight during most of the day, although I’d recommend you keep a close eye on the temperature as these places can get very hot on a sunny day. I hope that all helps, good luck with the season ahead. Best wishes and happy growing!
Hello again, thank you so much for your answer and sugestion of you other article, which have made me understood pretty well what I need to do further on. But it had also lead me to on last question: I’ve understood that I will have to harvest in Mid May before the period of light of 14 1/2 hours, when the plant will start to revegetate. I’m right now simulating a 12/12 hour period of light/darkness, taking the plants out from outdoors to a totally dark place arround 19h, and putting them again by late night outdoors for them to catch fresh air and the morning first light until 19h again, repeating the same process until harvest, in Mid May. Is it worht it all the effort because of the total absent of light 12/12, or it would be better for the plants to catch all the possible light? Thank you so much for your attention, and help. Cheers.
Tim Alchimia 2020-04-09
Hi again David, I’m glad I could be of help! In the past, I’ve done the same as you’re doing now, essentially a light dep grow but moving rather than covering and uncovering the plants. It’s a lot of work, as far as I remember! Personally I would be tempted to leave them where they are until early May as they will continue flowering without you moving them to a dark place, it seems like unnecessary work to me! And then around the beginning of May, I would probably begin to move them inside like you’re now doing, just to keep thigs at roughly 12/12 and only if I estimate that the plants won’t be ready to harvest by Mid-May. Again, that date is approximate, as is the 14 1/2 hours of daylight, things will be different depending on the variety being grown. A Sativa influence will mean they are more likely to re-veg whereas a lot of Indicas will just keep on flowering as if nothing happened and take a long time to re-veg. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!
Hello, I live in wetern Europe and I have planted my plants in mid February indoors, but with no artifical light, and have waited almost two weeks to make my first transplant, and then put them outdoors. Then I have waited, possibly to long to make te final transplant to a bigger vase, which were almost 3 weeks. Now the question 🙂 I have some plants already appearing the first pistils, and in one already turning slowly to brown, although they are really small. It is raining quite a lot and i leave them outdoor to take the rain. As I read in your awesome post, as soon the light will increase there will be a chance of revegetating. Is it still possible that this pre-flowring will soon revegetating when the days become larger? Or since the plant is already beteween 6 and 7 weeks it will continue to flower despite the size being very small. Again thank you so much for your blog, it has been pretty helpfull.
Tim Alchimia 2020-04-08
Hi David, thanks for your comment and question. I’m very happy you’re finding our blog useful! Yes, you’re right, as the days get longer, the plants will start to revegetate. However, in my experience, this doesn’t occur until the days are around 14 1/2 hours long, which at my latitude occurs around mid-May. Until then, the plants will continue to flower, albeit in a slightly less productive way than in autumn, mostly due to lower temperatures and the light spectrum in spring not being the same as in autumn. I’ve also found that whether a plant revegetates easily or not will depend greatly upon the genetics being grown. Sativas and Sativa-dominant hybrids will re-veg easier than Indicas or Indica-dominant varieties, which can take a lot longer to get back to vegetative growth again. If you would like the plants to re-veg after you’ve harvested, you’ll need to cut off the large flowers (with a sterile blade/scissors to avoid infection) and leave the lower parts of the plant intact, making sure there are still some small flowers and some healthy leaves. Presuming the plant has used up all the nutrients in its container during the flowering cycle, you can also re-pot in fresh soil and even prune the roots at the same time, which can help to encourage new growth. Light doses of Growth fertiliser will also help promote regeneration. It’s a great way to get 2 outdoor harvests in one year. in fact, maybe check out our blog post on Off-Season growing for more info. I hope that all helps. Best wishes and happy growing!
We are growing CBD in Ohio and it is our first year. We are super excited and have built a pod that can produce 4000+ clones in 10 days or less. We will obviously be starting inside, but I am curious if there is a good way to transition the plants to outside? is there a light cycle you suggest we use inside until we move them to the fields to finish? We aren’t looking to plant them outside until late June or early July. Let me know what you think, thanks in advance! Tyler
Tim Alchimia 2020-02-24
Hey Tyler, thanks for your question. That sounds absolutely awesome! If you’re planting out in late June/early July (personally I’d aim for around the summer solstice) then you don’t need to worry about light cycles too much, at that stage in the year the plants won’t get a shock and won’t suddenly start to flower unexpectedly (which can be the case when planting out earlier in the year), so up until that point I’d be concentrating on getting the best growth possible from the plants and would have them on 18 hours light and 6 hours darkness, in other words, the standard veg photoperiod. I hope that answers your question, best wishes and happy growing!
I re-read this article. it does have this as an option: Start growing your plants indoors while following the outdoor natural photoperiod. For example, if there are 14 hours of light per day, give your plants 14 hours of light per day as well. When the natural photoperiod increases to 14-15 hours of sunlight per day, you will have to set your timer and add 15 minutes of light per day.
Hi Tim, If I’m Running 18/6 and then I turn out in May where the daylight is then 14 hours wont that trigger flowering? Their must be a good practice light schedule (and maybe 18/6 is it) to starting plants indoors to get some root maturity prior to planting outside in May. I know others are doing this but then when I started this new practice I realized this light schedule question is very important. My seedlings are at 12 days right now.. has my indecisive light schedule messed them up already? I will switch to 18/6 but I’m not yet convinced what’s the best practice. Help me believe. Thanks for responding!
Today is February 12th. I am starting my plants indoors in a grow tent. I plan on moving them outside in May. The hours of light in May is nearly 14 hours. Can I set my light schedule to 14 hours now? Currently I am following actual light schedule for my area.. ( now at 10:43 of daylight). What is best practice. Thanks
Tim Alchimia 2020-02-13
Hi Rocco, thanks for your question. Firstly, you need to change your photoperiod to 18 hours of daylight ASAP otherwise your plants will begin to flower as soon as they are mature, usually at around 3-4 weeks after germination. The short daylight hours you’re exposing the plants to right now will trigger them to flower (depending on the genetics, anything under 14 hours can trigger bloom!) so unless that’s what you want it’s really important to give them the proper photoperiod for vegetative growth, which is 18/6 or 19/5 if they’re Sativas. I put my plants outside in mid-May when the days are about 14 hours, but I also give them a little supplemental illumination with a solar-powered LED garden light, which helps extend the photoperiod for a few hours and assures that they won’t start to flower before I want them to. I hope that’s all clear. If you’ve got any more doubts please don’t hesitate to ask us! Best wishes and happy growing!
Hello I have 3 autos with 2-3 weeks left until harvest and they’ve been indoors the whole time. But I need to get them out of the house. Will the plants finish strong outside? I live in Ohio and it’s the 19th of September with temps around 78 day and 55-60 at night. Thanks for the help.
Tim Alchimia 2019-09-20
Hi Shane, thanks for the question. Yes, you can put the plants outside and they’ll finish fine, although it’s not the ideal end to their flowering cycle. In your case, it’s not the cold that’s a problem, the plants will be good at those temperatures. The only slight issue is the low number of hours of sunlight the plants will receive, only around 12 hours of daylight right now, short enough to flower non-autos. This means you might not get the same yields you’d be getting indoors, although the difference probably won’t be staggering if there’s only a couple of weeks left. If you really wanted to, you could use some supplemental lighting to increase production, if that’s even an option where the plants will be. I hope that helps, all the best and happy harvests!
THANKS FOR YOUR WORK I WILL DO THAT! AND LET YOU KNOW!
HI IM TAKING CARE OF AN INDOOR PROJECT THAT HAS BEEN VERY BAD TREATED FROM THE GUY BEFORE. THE PLANT ARE SOFERING A VERY BAD CONDITION FROM BUGS AND MOLD. BUT MORE IMPORTANT THEY ARE NOT FLOWERING SINCE 2 MONTH ALMOST. I THINK I SOLVED THE PROBLEM BY SWITCHING OFF SOME GREEN LIGHTS THAT WERE ON DURING THE NIGHT AND THEY WERE PRETTY BRIGHT. MY QUESTION IS: CAN I TAKE THEM OUTDOOR. WILL THAT WORK!? THEY ARE STILL IN VEGETATIVE STAGE NEARLY FLOWERING AND ARE ALMOST TOO BIG TO BE INSIDE. ANY SUGESTION COULD HELP..THANKS ALOT!
Tim Alchimia 2019-06-21
Hi D.T. Thanks for your question. Sounds like a fairly dire situation you’ve been left with there, sorry to hear about it. Honestly, I think the best thing you can do is to get them outdoors as soon as you can. The warm summer weather and the full spectrum of sunlight will get them back into good health relatively quickly, you should prune away any mouldy parts, use a hose to spray off any bugs before treating with natural insecticides and fungicides. Make sure they’re well-fed and in the correct size containers and before long you’re sure to see a huge improvement in their condition. Make sure you thoroughly clean, disinfect the indoor grow space and get rid of any pests before using it again. Let us know how you get on! All the best and happy growing!
Hi Tim.. I live in Australia and currently we are nearly in the dead of winter .. our day temps are around 23-26 degrees Celsius.. while night temps get to 8-14 degrees Celsius.. we are getting roughly between 8-9 hours of sun a day and it will shorten as we near the solstice on the 21st of June.. my question to you is I have just turned lights back to 12 /12 and they are just starting to shoot hairs .. very tiny amounts .. in these conditions would it be possible to put all of them outside to finish off ? I just moved them all into 50 litre pots a week before we changed the lights . I’m using 1x hgl 550 led on one side of tent and just a 600w hps on other side of tent . researching grams per watt as apposed to natural sun / grams is a huge difference. will the yield be roughly the same or will the natural light produce more ? All plants have been fed on organic teas / seed sprouted teas . I thought I would ask before I make a huge error because I’m heading into the unknown.. I appreciate your help / knowledge and time .. regards..jase
Tim Alchimia 2019-06-10
Hi Jase, thanks for your comment and question. Firstly allow me to congratulate you on your “depth of winter” temperatures, they’re pretty much what we’re getting here in Northern Spain at this time of year, I’m jealous! It sounds like the climatic conditions outdoors will be pretty good for finishing them off, the only question is about the lighting, obviously, at this time of year the sun will be at its lowest where you are, with a shallower angle of incidence meaning that the light doesn’t have the same intensity as in summer, which means that calculations regarding yield based on full season harvests are not much use. Add to this the very short days of 8-9 hours, roughly 30% less than the ideal of 12/12 for flowering, and it becomes clear that yields will be lower than under “normal” outdoor circumstances. However, it’s definitely an idea worth pursuing, not only because you’ll save electricity but also because the spectrum from natural sunlight is so much more beneficial to the plants, giving higher and more diverse and cannabinoid terpene content. Personally, I would try and use some kind of supplementary lighting to extend the daylight to 12 hours for the plants once they’re outdoors, I think this may be the only way to increase production. Otherwise, I think you can expect higher quality flowers outdoors but I can’t guarantee you’ll get a larger quantity than if grown indoors under lights. I hope that helps, I’m sorry I can’t give a more definite answer regarding yields. All the best and happy growing!
Hello from New Mexico! I am doing my first grow in over 10 years and I think I may have started off wrong. I started 15 beans on 5-4-19 in a 2×4 tent with 3 circular LEDs that I pick up from a buddy. I started them on a 18/6 light cycle and started to move them outside on 5-18-19. They are outside daily from about 7am-7pm, then I bring them back in to the tent and let them sit under the LEDs until about 12am. I was going to transplant them this week from solo cups, to 1 gals and then leave them outside from there on. Will this cause them to flower? Or mess anything up? I was wanting harvest time to be around sept/Oct I also started some Headband x Tangie the other day, they are 5 days old. When would be a good time to let them be outside full-time, so they can veg strong and finish off strong in flower in Sept or Oct
Tim Alchimia 2019-06-04
Hi Eric, we’re glad to hear you’re starting to grow for yourself again, great news. Thanks for your question, sounds to me like you’ve got everything under control. Transplanting indoor-grown cannabis plants to the outdoors won’t cause them to flower as long as you do it after 1st June (this depends on latitude, the further north you are, the earlier you can put plants out, weather permitting) and before mid-August when the nights become long enough to trigger flowering again. In other words, yes, you’ll be fine transplanting them to the outdoors now, and your new seeds may even catch up with them in size, as long as you transplant them at the right moment and treat them well, they’ll have the best of the summer to get big and strong. You can move all of them outside as early as you want but the seedlings will need regular watering, extra care and protection from strong winds and animals/insects for the first few weeks, but treated right they will grow faster and healthier outdoors under the sunlight than indoors under lamps. Hope that’s helped, good luck for the season ahead and happy growing.
This is a great forum on this subject, thanks. I am hoping you’ll please help me with a question. I am in the EARLY seedling phase, in fact the three-point leaves are just starting to show. I have been using an 18/6 light schedule, and was going to move them outside, but after reading this, I realize I screwed up by giving them too much light, and not having it match the outside light cycle where i live. My question is ‘Can I cut back on the light cycle because the plants are less than a week old without triggering the flowering stage? And then move them outside?” Or did I screw up. I wanted to put them outside in a week or two, and have them enter the flowering stage at the end of June. Harvest time outside where I live (Ontario) is late September, early October. Thanks! Ted
Tim Alchimia 2019-05-20
Hi Ted, thanks for your question. I think you’ll be fine. At this young stage, I’m pretty sure that the seedlings won’t respond to changes in photoperiod in any other way than increasing/decreasing the rate of growth. It’s not until they’re mature adult plants (generally at the point which the new branching changes from symmetrical to asymmetrical) that they will be able to begin flowering. Because of this, I personally like to start my seeds under 18/6 indoors and keep that photoperiod right up until I put them outdoors (usually in mid-May). Clones, however, are a different matter, being already mature plants they can begin to flower immediately and much more care must be taken when we put them outdoors. You say you want them to begin flowering in late June, but I’m pretty sure that the day length in your part of the world will be too long at that time of year to trigger flowering. Unless the plants are receiving less than 14 hours of light every day, they won’t enter the flowering phase. It looks to me like that would be around mid-August in Ontario. If you want the plants to begin flowering early, then really the only option would be to do light-deprivation, which involves covering the plants for 12 hours with some kind of light-proof tarpaulin to trick them into thinking the days are shorter. It can involve a great deal of work and dedication but the grower is rewarded with a very early harvest! I hope that helps. All the best, happy growing!
Hi, I am hoping you can help me. I am brand new to this and have read so much info I am getting confused. I want to grow some plants with higher levels of CBD for my health issues. I just got my seeds in the mail and want to get started. I am located above Santa Barbara about 30 miles in the hills so it’s not the central coast weather and can get quite hot in the summer. I will be growing outside in raised beds. I do have a couple grow lights inside on a shelf I use to start my vegetables with that I could use to start the seeds with if you recommend that. Can you please help me out with what I should do and when. Also any sites you recommend as I’m on overload with so much different info. I would like to try the LST method on the plants to keep them at a reasonable height and produce more. About how much space would I need for each plant? My seeds are Dinamed, CBD Shark Shock, CD-1 and two they gifted me I will grow for my friend Jack Herer and Bruce Banner. I hope I am not too late for this. Thank you for your help. KP
Tim Alchimia 2019-05-07
Hi KP, thanks for your comment and questions. Don’t panic, you’re definitely not too late! If I were you, I’d start my seeds indoors following the method in our post about germination and then put them straight outdoors rather than use artificial lighting. At this time of year, the days are long enough that there’s no risk of them starting to flower, and they’ll develop better under the natural light spectrum of the sun anyway. Just keep them in light shade for the first week or so, to avoid them getting damaged by the strong sunlight or drying out too quickly, although they’ll soon get used to it. The seeds you’ve got are mostly Indica/Sativa hybrids (apart from Jack Herer which is a Sativa-dominant hybrid), so they could get quite large by the time summer ends, so we’d recommend at least 3-5 ft between plants, more if possible, especially if you want to train them to grow in a more horizontal fashion, because what doesn’t grow upwards will grow outwards! Generally, more space means healthier plants, better air flow and bigger yields at harvest time. As for training and pruning the plants to control height, we’ve got a couple of great articles explaining the various techniques that can be used: Pruning cannabis plants and LST – Low Stress Training for cannabis plants. If you’re concerned about excess heat at the height of summer, you could try hanging some shade netting over the plants at the hottest time of day to protect them from the harshest sun rays, but I think as long as they’re kept well-watered they’ll be fine. Some organic mulch on the soil surface will definitely help to retain moisture and keep soil temperatures relatively nice and cool. I hope that’s helped clear things up a little, feel free to ask any more questions. All the best and happy growing!
Thanks Deez – I only have one plant that is in the flowering stage – I have taken it out many times before I started the flowering 12 hour lighting. We haven’t had many days that are warm enough to do this yet in Calgary, and as far as pests – I only do it on a day when I am out there catching the rays – so the plant is right beside me and I can keep the flies away. I think I will give it one more day outside for another energy boost – hope it doesn’t cause popcorn buds..
Tim Alchimia 2019-04-25
Hi Luke, thanks for your question, and thanks to Deez for your answer, you make some very valid points regarding the light intensity of LEDs compared to the sun, and also about the possibility of bringing pests or pathogens into the indoor grow space. That said, I have successfully flowered plants, and got some of the most beautiful flowers I ever grew by using this technique, which I treated more like a light-dep grow, with the plants outdoors for almost the entire 12 hours (except on bad weather days), I would take them outside just after the lights switched on in the tent, and put them back inside just before the lights went out again. For me this meant I had all the advantages of a light-dep, but without committing myself to pulling a tarp at the exact same time twice a day. if one day I felt like a lie-in, or had to be somewhere else, then no worries, the lights in the tent would still keep my plants in flower, whether I was able to move them outside or not, but they were also benefitting from the sun’s energy, meaning I got more, and bigger buds than would otherwise be the case. I didn’t have any problems with pests or diseases, but I was sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the tent after I’d harvested (indeed, I do the same after every harvest). I’d say try it, if your plants are healthy and vigorous they oughtn’t to fall prey easily to pests, just be sure not to place them right next to any of your garden plants, which could easily be home to all kinds of insects. The sun’s light spectrum and intensity will mean more buds, with more resin and more terpenes, and at the same time, you’ll be saving on electricity and gardening in a more sustainable way. Happy growing, whichever you decide to do, all the best!
Luke, first off it would be A LOT of extra work. You would definitely have to harden your plants first before letting them go a full 6hrs in direct sunlight. Led light compared to the sunlight is very mild. You would also have to take into consideration that your garden indoors is a controlled environment. Taking plants in and out every day will most likely contaminate your plants and indoor garden with unwanted pest. It totally could be done and I believe you would have a larger harvest by incorporation the sunlight then just led light, but you have to weigh out the pros and cons. I myself would go the safe route and stick with the led indoors in a controlled setting.
I have been growing 18 and 6 , then went to 12 and 12 after 10 weeks – I use LED lights indoors. Can I take my plant outside into the sun for 6 hours per day for the natural sunlight, then back inside for the other 6 hours? So 2 hours under LED lights, then 6 hours in the sun, then 4 hours under LED, then 12 hours of darkness. would this give me bigger tastier buds?
Hi. My seed sprouted 10 days ago. I want to transfer outside later on. Im in southern California.. When do you recommend me to transfer outside.
Tim Alchimia 2019-04-04
Hi Angel, glad to hear your seed sprouted fine. Really the only factor stopping you from putting your plant outside is the weather, and as you’re in SoCal I don’t think you’ll be having too many problems with that! I’d wait until the plant is a bit bigger, let it grow a little more under lights indoors, then once it’s got a few sets of leaves you can place it outside. For the first few days, try and situate it in dappled shade, or at least not full sunlight, this allows it to adapt to the string solar rays rather than get shocked and stressed which will hold back its growth. I hope that’s helped. All the best and happy growing!
I started my seeds now and would like to move them outdoors in mid-May. In mid-May I have 15 hours of daylight. If I use a photoperiod of 15/9 was it good?
Tim Alchimia 2019-03-19
Hi Gabriel, thanks for the question. Yes, that’ll work fine, however, unlike the case with cuttings/clones, there’s usually no problem with moving seedlings outdoors into a shorter photoperiod than they are used to, they are unlikely to trigger to flower, and even less so from mid-May onwards. Most plants will need to have less than 14 hours of daylight to trigger flowering, and it’s even fine to move most clones outdoors at that time of year (although clones of some particularly sensitive varieties may need to be put out a little later to avoid triggering early flowering). Personally, I usually start my seedlings in April under 18/6 photoperiod and then put them outdoors in mid-May with no problems at all. I think you’d be fine doing the same thing, although if you want to err on the safe side, your original plan is fine. The plants will just grow a little more with 18 hours of light as opposed to 15 and will be a little larger when you put them outdoors. I hope that’s helped, all the best and happy growing!
Hello I am starting seed and looking to get 10 pounds per plant I’m cracked my seeds yesterday I live in California and want to move the plants out from my indoor spot in mid May and finish to October I am told if I do 18/6 indoors they will flower immediately since it’s like 14 hour days the plants will sense the darkness and be triggered to flower sooner then early. I was told to mimick the outdoor sunlight for my indoor lights so that would be 12 hours 30 mins of light indoor and increase 10 mins every five days until I put the plants outside so they won’t feel a big change and keep vegging! If you have ever tried this please let me know thank you!
Tim Alchimia 2019-02-12
Hi Phil, If you’re planning on putting your plants outdoors from mid-May onwards, then don’t worry, they won’t start to flower until mid-late August, when the day length is 14 hours or less. You can keep your plants indoors until then on a 18/6 light schedule, and as long as they don’t get root-bound, they shouldn’t start to flower. They will get nice and big over the next three months too, you should get a good sized harvest. If you have them at anything less than 14 hours light they’re going to start to flower, so I wouldn’t recommend copying the outdoor light schedule at this time of year. As long as you’re putting the plants outdoors in mid-May, I’d stick to 18/6 to make sure things go without any problems. This is especially true of plants grown from seeds, as opposed to clones, which can sometimes be triggered to flower a lot easier. I hope that’s cleared things up for you, all the best and happy growing!
karlo Is an Alchimia client 2018-08-12
im gunna leave my girls in 4 days of dark hours because i had 1 outdoor crop taken by theifs they are around 3 weeks from ready im gunna hit them with bud candy an big bud for the last week starting tommorrow then flush with normal tap water ill keep you updated
Tim Alchimia 2018-08-14
Hi Karlo, sounds like a good plan. Hope it works out for you and you manage to harvest without problems, all the best and happy growing!
ryan willett 2018-05-26
I’ve got plants in veg that are various sizes. I want to plant six of the big ones outdoors. Right now the lights come on at 6 pm and shut off at noon, to reduce heat I run them at night. My question is can I take them from this light cycle and begin hardening them in the shade for a few days before being placed in direct sunlight? This would invert their day/night cycle, completely opposite of what they are because sun comes up here at 600 or seven A.M. and is down at 7pm or 8 pm. Give or take a little time. Sooooo. my idea is to run my veg lights on 24hr period for a week or so before the hardening in the shade. I think then they will be wanting the dark to come and ready for it at any new time I choose. Is this a good idea? Thanks, ryan.
Tim Alchimia 2018-05-28
Hi Ryan, thanks for your question. Myself, in your position, I wouldn’t put the plants to the 24 hour light schedule beforehand. In my opinion that’d be stressing the plants twice, and anyway, no plant is designed for 24 hours light! I think I’d just change the lights indoors to match what’s going on outdoors asap, then at least when you move the plants outdoors they’ll be used to the photoperiod and you’ll only have to worry about hardening them off. My personal feeling is that after a week of 24 hours they’d be pretty stressed and the additional stress of moving them outdoors might really set them back and not get them off to the best start. Once you do move them outdoors, then yes, it’s best to harden them off in a semi-shady spot, gradually moving them into full sunlight. I recently made the mistake of taking a few plants from under a T5 fluorescent lamp straight out into full sun, and they did not respond well. Two weeks later and they’re just about recovering. Lesson learnt! All the best for the outdoor season, happy growing!
RIVER RAT 2018-05-11
Hi Tim. I REALLY enjoyed all the read and comments made. Nice to see intelligent questions and answers. Very impressed . I’ve put at least 60 hrs of education in over the past 2 months..this was by far the most fun with an A+ education. thanks again !! I’ve taken 10+ years off . a friend had a few extra clones. so dusted off the ballasts. found my MH and HPS and off I went. About 2-3 weeks before taking down 2 White Widows. I forgot how relaxing and fun growing is !! Things have changed a lot over the many years. especially seeds. So I’ve been enamored with educating myself. I really needed some help on moving a clone to the outside. Back in the day I’d toss 3 clones in a 5 gal bucket..throw em on the deck for the summer just for fun. All the while using my grow room inside. I decided to get more serious on understanding the plants which I how hit this thread. I live in Massachusetts. A friend has an extra clone. (maybe 9″). but grow room occupied with WW for a few more weeks. Why not toss it outside on the deck. But understanding length of daylight brought me to search out info. You answered ALL my questions along the way. Exactly what I was looking for. Most importantly. loved learning to transition slowly to outside by utilizing shade for a few day !! Love to learn. Even more important was your recent comment that I was really digging for. you said “was erring on the safe side”. 14.5 hrs of daylight was the cutoff point where bloom/veg was safe. That gives me about a week and then can put the “free clone” outside. A most valuable piece of info !! I’ve also learned along the way my motion light will screw up the bloom cycle. but have couple months to work on that. I can even carry container (will be using smart pots now) around corner of house at night so won’t be affected by light kicking on from woodland creatures on my deck. I really appreciate all the intelligent info you share. Of course EVERYBODY has an opinion about weed. but your info seems to register with confidence to me. GREATLY APPRECIATED .
Tim Alchimia 2018-05-14
Hi River Rat, Big thanks for your comments, I’m really happy that the information has been useful, that’s exactly what we’re here for! All the best for the season ahead, I wish you a bountiful harvest! Oh, and yes, good call on the motion sensor light, I wonder how many outdoor growers haven’t made the connection between plant problems and light pollution? Best wishes and happy growing!
Tim Alchimia 2018-05-14
Hi Tony, thanks for your comment and questions. Unfortunately I can’t get the youtube vids to work, there doesn’t seem to be anything when I open them. Anyhow, to answer your doubts, firstly you can measure pH either with a cheap liquid testing kit or for a more professional solution, you can buy a battery operated digital pH gauge, which will offer a more accurate reading. As for the water, it depends on how far you want to go, if you’ve only got a few plants then you can leave the municipal water to sit in an open container for a day or so which will allow any chlorine to evaporate off. However if you have a lot of plants to water and you want a more effective option you could invest in a Reverse Osmosis water filter system which will clean the water of any impurities. As for setting up the grow, I’d recommend placing the plants where they will receive the maximum solar exposure, although for the first few days after moving them outdoors, I would definitely use some kind of shade to allow them to become accustomed to the strong sunlight and its light spectrum, different to that of indoor grow lamps. But once they’re used to it, they’ll eed as much sunlight as possible to allow them to express the full potential and give a healthy and heavy harvest. If you’re worried about transplanting, I would recommend planting during the afternoon, once the day has cooled down a little. This allows plants to to settle in over night and establish themselves a little in their new home before having to del with the heat of the following day. Some kind of temporary shade shelter can be very useful for those first few days, to save plants from the stress of hot sun while they get established. I hope that’s some help to you, all the best and happy growing!
Tom Khuc 2018-05-03
Hi Tim, Your answer is very informative, help me a lot. Many thanks
Tim Alchimia 2018-05-04
Glad to hear it Tom, many thanks for the feedback!
Tom Khuc 2018-04-29
Hi There, I am living in Binh Thuan- Vietnam with latitude 11 north, http://sunrise.maplogs.com/phan_thiet_binh_thuan_vietnam.939.html The day light and lenght of dark are almost the same, but not perfect 12/12 as somewhere exactly at equator. I have a Wild Thai Land strain, 100% Sativa original from Ko Chang island Thailand and has almost similar latitude I have a few questions: 1. After cloning, can i move my baby plant to outdoor grow for (veg) stage? 2. Can i grow cannabis all year around? Many thanks
Tim Alchimia 2018-05-02
Hi Tom, thanks very much for your questions. Sounds like a very exciting grow project! To answer your doubts, as the plant is a landrace that’s accustomed to the local photoperiod, you should have no problems moving the cloned plants outdoors for a good veg growth period. As far as temperatures and photoperiod go, you ought to be able to grow outdoors throughout the year, depending on when the wet season is, of course. Personally I would try and find out when any local farmers plant their seeds, and learn from their seasonal patterns for best results. All the best and happy growing!
jack smith 2018-03-27
I want to start seedlings indoors and plant outdoors after the frost date, may 15th. what light cycle should I use for the seedlings?
Tim Alchimia 2018-03-29
Hi Jack, thanks for the question. I’d use an 18/6 photoperiod for the seedlings. Hope that helps, happy growing!
I want to move some clones outside how long do I keep them in the shade before putting them in the sun?
Tim Alchimia 2018-03-29
Hi Sally, thanks for your question. At this time of year (in the Northern hemisphere at least) the sun isn’t too harsh, so they shouldn’t need too much time to adapt. I like to have them in a shady spot for a day, then a day or two in dappled shade (under a small tree or a shade net) until I move them to full sun. All the best, happy growing!
45°N oregon – lucky i found Alchimia’s post because everyone here seems to have never done what i thought was common. start indoors because of harsh/frozen outdoor weather. i ONLY want to start indoors (regular, feminized) and continue vegetative outdoors. i have questions i don’t see asked in Alchimia’s research article. i have no space, have 3 light banks, trays set up in LIVING ROOM. 1. what effect will 60 watt household lights have on the plants light cycle? 2. what effect vehicle head lights passing by windows have? (because the moon is extremely bright but doesn’t effect plants?) 3. household light NOT direct but reflective off walls illuminating the plants? 4. i cannot screw fasteners into the ceiling/walls. can some kind of black cloth strung out protect the plants from light? (but note the cloth could trap in moisture leading to mold/mildew.) 5. i have 3 light banks, grow trays (2’x4′), next to each other, i love to make 1 tray and autoflower 24 on but i’m sure i couldn’t block out all the light, i could only drape up some semi black cloth shield. do you think this would work? 6a. the grow shops each say a diff procedure. after reading Alchimia’s report, i would choose making the INDOOR LIGHT TIME = to sun light time then we won’t have any problems? only 2% of the reports i’ve read even mention this so i wonder why? would the plants not grow well or high indoors with the natural sun light cycle = to T5 fluorescent lights i have? 6b. what height would you estimate plants getting to following natural light cycle? the trays are next to 8’x5′ windows facing south/sun plus i have one 2’x4′ 8 bank T5 over each tray. 6. my area had a freeze end of may 2017. not safe to move outdoors until june. cannot flower inside, the smell is too strong. thank you Alchimia for a great article!
Tim Alchimia 2018-03-13
Hi Doug, we’re happy you found our article useful. I’ll try and answer your questions: I doubt that any additional light will be a problem during vegetative growth. Remember that many growers veg with 24 hours light. At the worst irregular timed additional illumination may provoke mild light stress, leading some plants to show any intersex characteristics they may have, this saving you the trouble of weeding out hermies at a later date, or missing them completely and ending up with a seeded crop. I don’t see any need to use a dark cloth or anything else to protect the plants from light. For the last five or six I’ve started off all my seeds in a living room as your suggesting doing and i’ve never had any problems. Having said that, I wouldn’t do autos on 24 hours light cycle, at most I’d use 20 hours light, personally I believe plants benefit from some darkness each day. as far as the height of the plants, well that depends on many factors: the genetics, fertilisation, plant health, illumination. It’s obvious that a sativa-dominant F1 hybrid will grow taller quickly as opposed to an inbred line Indica plant. If you can’t move the plants outside till June, I wouldn’t germinate too early, keeping the plants indoors in less than perfect conditions for too long will affect their health, and they may take longer to recover outdoors than younger, more vigorous plants. Also, if you’re moving the plants outdoors in June, you shouldn’t have any problems with them going into flower early, especially if growing from seeds as opposed to clones. I hope that’s cleared things up for you, all the best and happy growing!
Hi there, we are trying to decide when to set out clones. We are in northern CA, USA. At the beginning of May, the photoperiod is 14 hours of light. Should we slowly change the light cycle in our veg greenhouse (has supplemental lighting) to 14 hours, and then set them out May 1? To clarify, May 1 is our preferred date for planting, for a variety of reasons I won’t get into here. I have heard from other growers that plants will begin to flower, however, when the light cycle is less than 15 hours of light. Thoughts?
Tim Alchimia 2018-02-08
Hi Ryan, thanks for your question. My thoughts. from my experience here at 43ºN, May 1st is a bit early for planting out, in my garden I’d wait until the middle of May, having found that 14.5 hours daylight is more or less the cutoff point. Maybe I’m just erring on the safe side though. Is there any way you can rig up some supplemental lighting outdoors for a couple of weeks? It wouldn’t need to be much, from what I’ve heard, a single 90w lightbulb for every 100 square feet will be enough to keep them in veg if it’s switched on for just an hour in the night to break the dark cycle. Of course, other factors can influence whether or not plants start flowering: genetics can be a major factor, and fast-flowering strains are more likely to start blooming early, but plants are also more likely to be triggered into flower if they have become rootbound leading up to transplant. I’d look into some form of outdoor supplemental lighting of you absolutely have to plant out on May 1st, just to be on the safe side, it’d be a shame if they started flowering and didn’t veg out the way you want them to. All the best, happy growing!
Which one of gender marijuana we can smoke? Male or female
Dani Alchimia 2017-11-30
Hi Ray, You’ll normally smoke females only. Males produce very few cannabinoids and terpenes and taste like hemp. Hermaphodite plants are smokeable, but they’re normally seeded and it is hard to get good quality. Sinsemilla females are what you want to smoke! Best!
I’m growing outdoor in northern canada, it’s getting cold and the plants are flowering but not even close to finished. Temps are going to stay 15 deg c or less in the day from now on. Can I dig hem up and transplant indoor? Will any of the plant work for butter if nothing else?suggestions please as I’ve been on these since April and we are into Oct . don’t want to waste.. Help
Dani Alchimia 2017-10-04
Hi Adrian, You can do so, but your plants will surely be stressed during the process, and they’ll need some extra time to adapt to the indoor environment. Can’t you build a small greenhouse to cover them? That’d be great! Otherwise, your plants will not produce much bud but lots of resin, which of course can be used to make concentrates or edibles. For next year’s crop, I’d stronly recommend to build a greenhouse and use early flowering strains. You can also put some heaters in your greenhouse if necessary. Best!
Simon Fester 2017-09-01
Hi great info. I’m in Australia and have indoor tent that’s only two or three weeks of harvest. Problem is I had a fallout wuth a mate and am worried about getting busted. I have 9 plants 600w 12.12 cycle. Here the days are getting longer but can I put them out to finish as they ar so close?
Tim Alchimia 2017-09-01
Hi Simon, Glad you’re finding our blog useful and thanks for you question. Sorry to hear about your falling out with a mate. these situations can be complicated and it’s why you’ll find a lot of experienced growers won’t tell anyone about their grow, not even their best friend! Security first! Anyway, I think you’ll be fine putting them outside, I’ve done the same thing here in the Northern Hemisphere and the rule of thumb I go by is that as long as they’re finished by 15th May, they shouldn’t start re-vegging. So for you down under that date will be roughly 11th November, so you’ve got plenty of time! Be sure to watch out for any strange behaviour like intersex/male flowers appearing, some plants react badly to the photoperiod getting slightly longer each day, get stressed and throw out a few bananas. I’ve found it’s actually a great way to stress-test genetics to see if they’re worth holding on to and working with for the future. Good luck and happy growing!
You said when the plants regenerate and then flower again the product is of lower quality. What about clones from a flowered plant? Do they produce lower quality than clones from plants always grown with continuous light since germination?
Dani Alchimia 2017-08-14
Hi Phineas, Taking clones from plants in flowering is hard, although it can be done. Once your clones have rooted and start growing (once they’ve switched from bloom to growth), they should produce the same product than the mother plant. Hope it helped!
I received some indoor plants from a friend. I left them in the shade for 5 days and I now want to get them into the ground. The plants are about 3 feet tall and were potted in a black soft material( it is not a hard plastic). Do I need to cut this mesh off b4 transplanting or do I keep them in the original housing. Thanks
Dani Alchimia 2017-06-30
Hi shel, I guess you have your plants in some sort of fabric pot. Simply remove the plant from the fabric pot and transplant it into the ground, just as you’d do if your plant was in a plastic pot. Of course, if you find it too messy you can always cut off the fabric and transplant your plant. Best!
Thank you he will be relieved that his plants will bud out and not go to waste !
Thank you for responding to all the mail to help everybody out ! My friend bought some plants at a dispensary and planted them outside to soon and started budding out , then they went back to growing . My question is will they start budding out again in August or not bud out at all ? He lives in live in nor cal ! The plants have changed leaf size to big and fat and some have curls on the ends but are still growing ?
Dani Alchimia 2017-06-26
Hi Newby, Re-vegging plants often have curled leaves, do not worry. Just let her do her thing and she’ll flower again in August. Basically, and when taking indoor plants outside, you must think about your outdoor garden as an indoor grow room with the following photoperiod: From June to August: 18/6. Any plant you take outside during these months will grow From August to June: 12/12. Any plant you take outside during these months will flower This works for the northern hemisphere. Hope it helped!
Hello, I just took clones and I want them to grow outdoor, whats the best time to move them if I just want them to flower. Its mid june I live in co. I do not want to use my halide light because of electricity cost.
Dani Alchimia 2017-06-19
Hi Freddy, If you move them outside now, they’ll grow and start flowering just as any other outdoor plant. The more you wait to move them out, the less they’ll grow before bloom. No need to use artificial lighting now (you’d have needed it if you’d have moved your plants outside before mid May/June). Hope it helped!
I have a growing question that is need of your expertise. I’m vegging under 24/7 light and I want to get the plants closer to what the natural light cycle is outside 14/10 or so. How big of a jump can I make without risking them flowering early on me. Can I drop to 18/6 for 2 wks and then stop with the supplemental light altogether, or do i have to do it gradually? Just curious what the best way to get inside plants on 24 hours of light ready to go outside for full season. Its is may 27th 2017 and I love in California. I know you would know the answer to this with depth so I hope you don’t mind me quizzing you on it 😉
Dani Alchimia 2017-05-29
Hi Benjamin, I’ve had plants under 24/0 photoperiod and put them outside without problems, always from June onwards. Still, and as you say, it’d be better if you drop it to 18/6 for a few days and then take them outside. In this way, those plants specially sensitive to light/darkness hours will have it easier to adapt to the new environment. Hope it helped!
My clones have been on an an 18/6 schedule since the beginning of April. Do I need to reduce them gradually to say 14/10, 12/12, etc. before planting them outdoors, or can they go directly under shade cloth away from the lights for a couple of days before putting them in the ground without the light reduction. I am E., slightly N. of San Francisco. Alessandra
Dani Alchimia 2017-05-08
Hi Sandra, I assume you want your clones to grow outdoors until they start the bloom phase naturally in summer. If that’s the case, you should NOT reduce the photoperiod, but put them on a shady spot (outdoors) for a couple of days so they gradually adapt to sunlight. After these 2-3 days you can plant them in the ground and they’ll start growing until they detect a decrease in daylight hours, when they’ll start the bloom phase. Best of luck! 😉
Thank you Tim.
Thanks tim! I have many options and im not sure which will be the best for producing the most buds. I would have to make shift a green house which is possible or I can acclimate them to the sunlight and plant outdoor fully. Which do you suggest would be the best for my plants, they have been in veg too long over 5 months, but if possible to keep them in veg and grow even bigger outdoor then flower, maybe that would work? Thanks for a speedy response you guys are helping me already.
Hi John, maybe the easiest thing to do would be to move them outside to a semi-shaded spot for a couple of days to acclimate them to the sunlight, then you can put them in their final spot in full sun so they can get even bigger over the growing season and begin to flower in mid-august. I think at this stage of the year (Mid May) the plants will be okay outdoor and not start to flower, but any additional hours of lighting that you can give them over the next week or two will ensure they don’t start to flower early and mess up your plans. Good luck!
My plants have been in veg for 5 months and they are outgrowing. They are lemon skunk. I have various options for planting outdoor. Maybe a green house with a dim light?
Hello John and thank you for your questions, If you have the option of moving your plants to a greenhouse with additional lighting, I’d do that. Just give them additional lighting until the beginning of June and from that point the natural photoperiod (hours of daylight) will mean they will grow normally throughout the season and start to flower as the hours of daylight reduce in late summer. If you’re going to grow out the male plants, you’ll need to move them away from the females before they start to flower, unless you want all your buds seeded. If you want to make some seeds, keep the males in a location as far away from the females as possible, collect pollen from the males and apply it to selected branches of your females for a controlled pollination. Remember that seeds will need between 4-6 weeks to fully mature, so be sure to time the pollination to allow for this. You also mention that you have a few fragile and unhealthy plants, this could well be stress due to the 24 hour light schedule you’re using. Plants don’t need, or want 24 hours of light, it’s completely unnatural. In future try using 18/6 or 19/5 schedules, that way the plant gets maximum growth but also gets much-needed darkness to enable it to break down the carbohydrates/starches produced by photosynthesis to fuel their metabolism and promote healthy growth. I hope that’s helped, good luck with your grow!
So glad I found this site. First time grower and im running into a pickle. I have plants growing indoor 24hr light and they are ready to flower, but I want to move them outside. Some of the plants are fragil and possibly unhealthy. I live in colorado. Some of the plants are male and im thinking of growing them too. Advice? Peace and love
Hi Dani, So glad I found this site. I am a first time grower and am having issues of course. The strain is Amnesia Hashplant. Here are strain specifics: Genetics: [(Amnesia Haze (Hy Pro cut)/Danish Gold) X (Amnesia (Hy Pro)/Danish Gold x Blue Satellite (Breeder Steve)] Not recommended for indoors. Indica/Sativa: 25/75 very sativa Flowering period: ~ 50 days. Outdoor Harvest: 1st to 2nd week of September ( ~ 46 N. lat, northern hemisphere) I germinated in straight coco coir. All popped and started off great. They are seven days old now. In that time, they stretched about 2 – 2 1/2″ and two have collapsed. I am repotting them today and burying the stems deeper to hopefully prevent any more of them collapsing. I started these indoors to transplant outdoors as soon as possible. I have no indoor lights whatsoever. I have them in solo cups on a window sill that has direct sunlight from around for about 6 hours a day. I’m hoping to use the sun and not any artificial light if possible. We are having 13 hours days right now. I could put them outside, but temps are in the mid 80’s and a bit windy and they are still very fragile. My question is, I’m worried they are stretching because of the need for more sun. I feel they are too fragile to move outside yet. Should I get some CFLs and put them on an 18/6 cycle, or put them outside? I’m very confused. Any help would be truly appreciated. Thanks.
Hi Jason, thanks for trusting us with your question. The temperature sounds pretty good for your latitude and time of year, and a bit of wind won’t do seedlings any harm as long as you can ensure that they don’t dry out. In any case, Spring has definitely sprung and conditions will quickly improve. You’ve chosen some very hardy and resistant outdoor genetics there, and they ought to do really well outdoors in almost any conditions, I grew some a couple of years back, they’re originally bred outdoors in Denmark and can take almost anything you can throw at them! If your plants have germinated under natural light then I wouldn’t change them to 18/6 light schedule under artificial lights, as it may stress them. As you’ve deduced, they are probably stretching due to lack of light, so personally I would move them outdoors but if you’re really not sure about the conditions, maybe invest in one of those cheap plastic mini-greenhouses sold for use on balconies or patios, that should give your plants the protection they may need over the next few weeks until you feel conditions are good enough that they can be outdoors without any shelter, and it’s also probably cheaper than getting CFLs, and certainly uses less electricity! I hope that helps, good growing!
Hello Dani, Great Article. I’ve been growing indoors for two years with great success. Now that Maine has legalized marijuana I want to try outdoor this summer. In Maine June 20th is about 15/9. Days start getting shorter. We get our first frost around late September. I could never go from seed to bud outside in our summer because our last frost is around the first week of June. If I start them inside May 1st, 3 weeks as a seedling and 4 weeks of vegging, then bring the outside around June 20th, will this work? Thanks
Dani Alchimia 2017-02-01
Hi Larry, Yes, it should work. With a 15/9 photoperiod your plants will start flowering as soon as they adapt to the outdoor environment, a few days after you put them outside. They should be ready before the first frost comes unless you’re using strains with very long bloom period. All the best!
I planted my seedlings on january 5th and they are on a 12/12 cycle, 7am to 7pm. Can i keep them on the 12/12 cycle until april 1st and put them outside without flowering? Thank you for your time.
Dani Alchimia 2017-01-23
Hi BDOwen, You’re using a photoperiod for flowering plants, so your seeds will start flowering as soon as they reach sexual maturity. You should use a 18/6 photoperiod in order to keep them growing (18 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness). If you don’t want your plants to flower outside, you should wait until late May to remove them from your indoor garden, otherwise they’d start flowering since the natural photoperiod is still too short. Put them outside on late May / early June and they’ll grow and bloom like any other outdoor plant. Check this post about off-season crops for further information. Hope it helped!
Hi Dani, I live here in Costa Rica, by the beach so the weather is great. We have 12/12 light cycle all year around here. Since the weather is so good, do you think I could veg my plants by leaving them outside to receive 12hours of light and as soon as that’s done each day I bring them Indoor under CFL lights for another remaining 6 hours, so it completes 18hrs of light each day (veg cycle), and when I want to flower just put them outside for 2 months without bringing them in? Pura Vida
Dani Alchimia 2016-11-08
Hi Carlos, That’s perfect mate, it will work without a doubt!! All the best, pura vida! 😉
Hi Dani, I live in Chile and i have a biddy early growing indoors under 18/6, it’s a 3 week seedling (just grew up its 5th set of leaves) and I want to move it outdoors now that the climate is better here. The doubt I have is that right now we have 13 hrs 30 min of light during the day and will increase from now on until february when it will start to decrease again. What can I do to make the transition easier and less stressfull for my plant? Should I change my timer from 18/6 to 13,5/10,5 now? Do it gradually? Hope you can help me thank you!!
Dani Alchimia 2016-10-31
Hi Sergio, If you take your plants outside now they’ll start flowering. Being a Biddy Early you’ll probably be harvesting it by mid January. There’s no need to switch the photoperiod, just take your plants out and put them on a shady place for a couple of days. After that you can put them under direct sunlight. The point is: you want to put the plants outside as soon as possible, otherwise they could start re-vegging during bloom. This post about off-season crops could be helpful for you, just keep in mind that it was written for the northern hemisphere.
Hi Dani, I got some great advice from you before, hopefully you can help me again! I have some Durban Poison outside flowering and nearly ready to harvest. They still need another week or two but the night temperatures are getting low with some as low as 5 degrees, but mostly about 7. Day temperatures are about 12 to 15 degrees. Would it be best to harvest now or hold off for another while until they are finished flowering?
Dani Alchimia 2016-10-03
Hi Peter, We have several options here. The ideal would be using a small greenhouse and some type of heater for greenhouses. You can also try to put your plants inside every night (if they’re planted in pots), but it is hard and you can have issues with molds if the interior space is not properly ventilated. However, and keeping in mind that you’ll be harvesting in about a week, I don’t think you’ll have any problem if you leave them outside. Either way, and if you have a good space for growing, I’d really think about building a greenhouse, it is something that will help you every year. All the best!
Hi, I have a problem. My outdoors ak47 are 6 feet tall now, last weekend of August. No buds in sight. I live in a northern climate and now our frost is getting close. Goi g down to 10 degrees at night. I do have a green house 15 min drive from the plants. How do I safely move them. I really don’t want to kill them.
Dani Alchimia 2016-09-12
Hi Jana, Normally, your plant should have started to develop buds a few weeks ago. Do you have some type of light source near your plants at night? Plants need uninterrupted night periods to start flowering. Are your plants in pots or planted directly in the ground? If they’re in the ground, I guess the only way is digging a hole around the main stem (the larger the diameter, the better) and transplanting the plants into containers (just as you’d do with a small tree). Then you can move your plants with a vehicle to the greenhouse. Hope it helped!
Need to move plants just starting to flower landlord wants them gone.will they survive suggestions ?
Dani Alchimia 2016-08-30
Hi Carl, We’d need some more info on your plants. are they planted outside? On pots, or directly in the ground? If there is a way to move them to another spot, there won’t be any problem. If they’re planted outside in the ground, you can try to make a big hole with a shovel and put the root ball in a large container. Some roots will die, but if the hole is big enough (50-70cm diameter) I think your plants will survive. Just transplant them into larger pots and move them to a safe spot. Hope it helped!
Need your help for sativa grow outdoor for gud buds.
Dani Alchimia 2016-08-17
Hi Crystal, I’d need some information about your growing conditions. Still, keep in mind that Sativas take longer to ripe than Indicas, so they need more care especially during the bloom stage. You probably won’t have to worry about fungi since Sativas are usually resistant to fungal infections, although take care of temperatures especially at night. Here you have an article on the main characteristics of Sativa strains. Hope it helped! 😉
Mike Bryant 2016-07-28
What the FUCKKKKK. Great job
Richie Rich 2016-07-23
Flower during summer it gets really hot.
Dani Alchimia 2016-07-25
Hi Richie, Flowering indoors during summer is really difficult unless you have a good a/c. This is what I’ve made several times: I took my mother plants out on early June so they keep on vegging. On late July I take clones and, depending on what I want, I put the mother plants inside again or I root the clones inside and leave them in my veg room (which is what I usually do). I don’t want huge plants, so after taking clones I normally prune and train my mother plants and leave them outside, always trying to keep them below 5 feet tall. About your question: your clone is now growing outside, if you leave them in total darkness for 24 hours you’ll send them a signal to start bloom. BUT, if you take them out again now, with the current photoperiod, you’ll send them another signal to grow again. You should a)Leave them outside until they start bloom. b)Put them indoors and take them outside when the natural bloom photoperiod starts. c)Use light deprivation techniques so that your clones start flowering outdoors asap. This last option means covering your clones (at dawn or dusk) for 2-3 hours, enough to add a few dark hours to the natural photoperiod. As soon as your plants detect longer nights, they’ll start to bloom. Logically, as the natural bloom photoperiod comes you can stop covering your plants and they’ll keep on flowering until harvest. Hope it helped!
Richie Rich 2016-07-23
Hi it’s me again. I started in March and transitioned outside smooth and safe with minor light burn. I have huge TREES and I had made clones too that are outside. It’s late July and I wanted to know if I put my vegging clone inside total darkness for 24 hours and force it to start to flower can I bring it back outside to continue flowering under our All Mighty SUN. I wanna flower clone before the other cause I’ve got quite a few huge TREES in 15 gallons smart pots. Thanks again next time will veg in autumn and flower in winter if I decide to go inside because flowering during winter it gets pretty hot. a/c was a must
Hi, I’ve got several different strains that I started in February and March in a greenhouse and put outside in April and May when they outgrew thier pots. All of the plants were mature and I used light interruption for about 20 minutes a night until June 1st, then I left them to the natural light cycle. Everything stayed vegging, but In the first week of July about half started flowering. So this was a month after I stopped shining lights on them in the night. It’s been about 2 weeks and they’re budding some are half veg half flowering, but most are full flowering. I guess the light would be low enough now that they’ll all flip to full flower and finish in September? Do you think this was just a very early strain? Plants here usually start in August. What are your thoughts? Thanks!
Dani Alchimia 2016-07-19
Hi Frank, If your plants stayed vegging during June, then they probably have started flowering as soon as they’ve detected shorter nights. No problem at all! Luckily, you’ll be harvesting by September and won’t have to worry about autumn rains! 😉 Since you have a greenhouse, I recommend you this post about off season outdoor crops, it will help you to perform up to 3 outdoor harvests per year!! All the best!
I’m surprised to hear you say that it would reveg , I’m new to the game but I’ve got a few others outside that have sexed, not flowering the way the one under the 12/12 is. but they have sexed. I live in ohio btw. I’ll keep them under the lights inside untill Aug, One thing I thought about and I wanted to get your opinion. What If I kept it in the 5 gal bucket, and Brought it ouside at 8am. then put it back inside the shed at 8 pm, keeping it on the 12 hour cycle. would that keep it from reveging? Thanks man.
Dani Alchimia 2016-07-12
Hi Jason, Well, it obviously depends on strains, but I wouldn’t take this risk and I’d wait for a couple of weeks. One the other hand, of course you can do as you say, this technique is called light deprivation and is widely used in large crops with automated greenhouses. I’ve used it to start the bloom of plants before they should start it, so I can harvest them much earlier than the rest. Works great! All the best!
I’ve Got a plant inside. veged it for like 6 weeks. I’ve had it under the 12 / 12 light cycle for about 20 days now. It’s flowering nicely. It’s July 8th, could I put it ouside now for it to finish off it’s flowering cycle or is it to early? Also, since it’s a few weeks into flowering, do you think it would finish earlier
Dani Alchimia 2016-07-11
Hi Jason, If you take your plant outside now it will start re-vegging. You should wait until early August to make sure that the natural photoperiod will induce your plant to continue flowering. When you take your plants outside, they normally need a few days to adapt to the new environment, but yes, if you take a plant out that is half into bloom (for example, into the 4th week of a 9 week strain) it’ll need about 5-6 weeks to ripe. If you have a nice climate, you can try off-season crops during spring and autumn to supplement your main summer harvest. Hope it helped!
Hello there, I’ve got a greenhouse full of boo berry with a few (3) hash plants and deathstar. I put them outside the middle of may. Coming from 18/6 indoors. All of the boo Berry’s are flowering but the hashplants and dstar is not. They all went out at the same time. Should I be switching the nutes on the boos to flower at this point? Or am I at a loss?
Dani Alchimia 2016-06-27
Hi Curtis, Some strains are more sensitive to others to photoperiod changes, especially in regard with night length. To make sure that your plants won’t start flowering, put them outside by June. If they started flowering on mid May, they must be almost done, aren’t they? If they’re about to be harvested, I’d try to end their bloom by using the light deprivation technique (put them 2-3 of hours on the dark every day at sunset/sunrise, making their nights longer until they’re done). If they still need some weeks and, at some point, stop flowering and start re-vegging, you can remove the “buds” and leave the plant growing throughout summer. All the best!
Hi Dani, Great article l, thanks. I’m in the UK and have a few plants ready to go outside but have mistakenly had them on 24hrs of CFL light. I want them to keep vegging until they naturally flower. Should I gradually reduce the amount of light they are getting until its the same as outside before I plant them out? Or will they be ok to go out now? Thanks.
Dani Alchimia 2016-06-23
Hi Peter, With the current natural photoperiod, all plants that you take outside will grow untill late July-August, when they’ll start flowering. If you plant them out now, they’ll have less hours of light than they had indoors, but anyway the nights are still too short for plants to bloom, so they’ll keep on vegging. Try to put your plants on a shady area for a couple of days before planting them under the sun. Best of luck! 😉
I have 6 beautiful plants all have 3/4 inch buds on them it’s two weeks into June is it to late to put them outside. Live in NY
Dani Alchimia 2016-06-10
Hi CUrtis, If you take your plants outside now, they’ll stop flowering and start re-vegging. What you can do now is putting clones outside so they grow until August, when they’ll start to bloom. Hope it helped!
I’m growing god bud again this year trying my best to produce my own yearly supply. I wish I had read this thread early, and now feel like I may need to start one more batch of plants from seed to replace my current plants. I was growing indoors using 18/6 light/dark cycle, and as the weather improved and frost was no longer a danger I brought my plants into my hothouse. Some of my plants had started to flower but I thought this was because they were root bound. It now seems obvious this was just triggered by the change in day night periods. I was already on a second group of younger plants they seemed to be unfazed and growing really well. Now of course I have they very beginnings of flowers on my best plants outdoors. Firstly I want to know if I should pull those plants now and save the good soil for another younger crop? I can get new seeds in now. I’m just wondering if it’s possible that my God bud strain has become auto flowering and I just didn’t know better in the past? I have never had an amazing year with it but I have also always tried to get my plants out in May. The bud I do get is very good quality so I haven’t given up it. Last year I had a late start only got clones growing in July and grew start to finish in 3 gallon pots. The plants topped out at 3′ high some of them got really bad stretch because my hothouse is not temperature controlled properly(I also didn’t know above 36C was too much even for pot). I still got way over 7g-14g a plant which is all you can expect from an auto-flower right?
Dani Alchimia 2016-06-07
Hi Mobios, Although your plants started flowering, the natural photoperiod in June will cause them to re-veg and grow again. Here you have a post about off season outdoor crops. Basically, if you use indoor plants (18/6) you have to put them outside in late February (so they can finish the flowering stage before June) or late May/early June (they’ll grow until August, just like any other outdoor plant). If your plants have nice buds, the best thing you can do is put new seeds and harvest your “old” plants as soon as they start re-vegging. Hope it helped!
Jason cubio 2016-05-18
Hey I need some advise assp! I have 7 clones that were extra that I’ve had sitting under a T5 light for about 2-21/2 months The light is on 24/7. I originally thought about just using them for moms. They are about 3 1/2 to 4 ft tall right now but not bushy. I’m thinking about putting them in 30gal geopots and putting them outside? If I do what do I need to do so they will hit good? Or is it not worth putting them outside? Thanks in advance! P.s it’s may 18th today so daylight starts at about 5am and dark isn’t until about 8:30-9pm
Dani Alchimia 2016-05-19
Hi Jason, Many people grow mother plants during the year and they take them outside in May-June, no problem at all. Although some strains are very resistant, I’d transplent them into your geopots and then put them a couple of days in a shady, humid area so they acclimatize. After 2-3 days you can put them directly under the sunlight. Try to use some kind of rooting stimulant after the transplant so your plants start growing asap. I’d also prune the tops of the plants so they develop more bushy. Hope it helped!
I want to put some plants outdoors June 1st. Daylight is 15hrs 40mins darkness is 8hrs 20mins on June 1st. Should I have my timer set to match this time or do I need to match it to the outdoors during the entire period it’s indoors from seedling by keep adding time to the timer as daylight outside increases. Right now outdoors it’s about 13.5 hours daylight and 10.5 hrs darkness. Is this enough hours of light ? Or should I just match the timer to June 1st at 15hrs 40mins light and 8hrs 20mins dark?
Dani Alchimia 2016-04-04
Hi Logan, You can keep a 18/6 photoperiod indoors and move your plants outdoors in June without problem, they’ll continue growing and start flowering like any other outdoor plant. No need to match timers, your plants will be ok. Remember to put them on a shady spot during the first 2 days after moving them outside so they can adapt to sunlight. All the best!
In a modified indoor greenhouse set up in house ( think greenhouse with windows which have c. 1 foot wide supports/sheetrock/wood, paned French doors, two overhead skylights facing, 18 degrees South facing and West-facing, what woud be an appropriate indoor overhead lighting (florescents) schedule to apply for the month of April, sunlight coming from east, south and west somewhat from overhead skylights too. I do have a sunrise/sunset schedule for April, but don’t know how I can relate this to appropriate lighting for April, preparatory to setting them outside in May? Suggestions? Thanks!
Dani Alchimia 2016-03-15
Hi Sylvia, I understand that you want to grow these plants in this greenhouse now and take them outside in May. With the natural photoperiod, plant would now bloom, so what you need to do is using some lighting system (Fluorescents, CFLs, LEDs. even MH or HPS) to force your plants to grow until May. You can do it by switching on the lamps a couple of hours before the sunrise and a couple of hours after the sunset, so your plants have longer days. Another option would be using the lamps in the middle of the night to “break” the uninterrupted night period of plants so that they don’t bloom but continue growing (they’ll grow less than with the first method though). Hope it helped! 😉
Hey Dani. Thanks for your reply. I recently started growing weed again. It’s been about fifteen years! I always started in February with “bag seed,” and never had a problem with pre-flowering. Maybe just a couple of pistols here and there with indica dominant strains? I did some research yesterday, and found out that cannabis can flower with just slightly less than twelve hours of darkness. Over the the years growers have selectively bred plants to flower earlier and faster. Thus, many strains purchased through the internet have become more sensitive to light and darkness. In the future, I’ll start germinating in the first week of April!
Dani Alchimia 2016-03-10
hi David, Glad to read that you’re growing again! Nothing like a good homemade bud!! The photoperiod subject is truly interesting, if you look make some research you soon realize that the typical 12/12 photoperiod is just a standard, a way to know for sure that your plants will bloom. Some plants will flower with 13h of darkness, others will flower better with shorter nights (10-11 hours). I see you’re a curious guy, google “critical night length” for more info. 😉 All the best!
I have two plants that popped in the first week of February in Southern California. It’s the first week of March and they are approximately one foot in height. They have been growing outside all this time, and are now showing signs of flowering. They are both hybrid plants. My question is, will they continue to flower or revert to a vegetative state?
Dani Alchimia 2016-03-08
Hi David, What happened here is a bit strange, but happens sometimes. Probably, you started your seeds too soon; they have grown during February and, due to the natural photoperiod, have started flowering in March. I don’t think they’ll finish this bloom, I think they’ll start growing again in a few weeks. To avoid this, try to sow your seeds a bit later, by March. Hope it helped!
Hi mate, This was a handy article, thanks for that! I live in Australia where the longest day is 13hrs 40mins so i was wondering what advice you would give someone who wanted to start a few plants indoors and move them outdoors to veg as long of the spring and summer as possible? Should i have them on approx 13/11 until outside matches up with this light cycle, or should i maybe try 16/8 and drop the light cycle until it matches up with outside? I wonder if this will induce a sort of vegetative rejuvenation. thanks a lot for your help.
Dani Alchimia 2016-03-04
Hi David, From my experience, when I have days of 13hrs and 40min is in late April. This makes your question even more difficult, since with this photoperiod some strains bloom while others (that were flowering outside since late February) start re-vegging. Here you have a post in which I explain how I grow in spring, taking mother plants outside on late february and harvesting on May (N.Hemisphere). Here’s what I would do: I would try to plant from seed and directly outside, a regular outdoor crop (just to make sure that I’ll harvest some plants). I’d also germinate some Indica seeds indoors (perhaps with the 16/8 photoperiod), and take them outside in late winter (if I wanted them to bloom) or in late spring (if I wanted them to grow as much as they could before flowering). Sativas will probably start flowering as soon as you take them outside. Another option: grow your plants indoors as big as you want and take them outside when you know they’ll have an explosive bloom. (This is what most growers from the Canary Islands do, since they have pretty much the same problem than yours). I’d love to be more precise, but I’m affraid you’ll have to do some trial and error process until you find a strain which grows (and not blooms) with your natural photoperiod. Notice that plants do not start flowering because they have few light hours, but because they have prolongued night periods. With a 13/11 photoperiod, your pants would flower, since the night period is too long. Hope it helped! 😉
Georgia peach 2016-03-01
So when is the earliest that I plant outdoors from seed in ATL with out fear of pre mature flowering early?
Dani Alchimia 2016-03-03
Hi Georgia peach, If you plant from seed, you can start by March without problems. You know that time when you can feel that Spring is coming? Splendid sunny days, milder temps at night. that is a perfect moment to sow your seeds! 😉 All the best!
Usually, when moving plants outdoors, it is better to place the plants.when moving plants indoors from the outside, we have several things to keep in mind.First of all,you must notice that if you take your plants outside now, they’ll stop flowering and start growing again.
Dani Alchimia 2016-02-03
Hi claireolson, If you take your plants outside now, in February, they will automatically start flowering, and that will happen until mid May (approximately). Unless they have a long flowering period, any strain taken outside in February-early March will end its flowering by May, when we can take new plants outside and start again for the summer crop. (All this in the northern hemisphere). Here you have a post on off-season cannabis growing. All the best!
Dani your awesome..I live in new england just moved..I’m starting some plants indoors for the outdoor grow season is there any way I can harvest in sept instead of mid october. When exactly should I put them outdoors so I could harvest earlier or can this even be done
Dani Alchimia 2016-01-25
Hi Chris, You have several options: -Spring crops: you can start plants indoors in December and put them outside (in a greenhouse preferably) by late February/Early March, so that they’ll start flowering as soon as you take them out. Plants will be ready to harvest by late March. If you try off-season crops, always use fast strains (mostly Indica hybrids) and, whenever possible varieties with high resistance to cold temperatures. You need fast strains because they have to be ready by late March, otherwhise they’ll start re-vegging. You can use either plants coming from a 18/6 photoperiod or autoflowering strains. -Summer crops: You can use autoflowering strains, which will be ready in around 70-80 days from seedling. If you plant on June your crop will be ready by September. Another option would be using early flowering strains, many of them are also ready by September. A third option, much harder, is flower forcing: you can plant seeds in March and start decreasing their photoperiod by June, so they’ll start flowering much earlier than with the natural photoperiod. This method is hard and requires plenty of dedication unless you have an automated system, since you’ll have to cover your plants for several hours per day and then uncover them everyday, so they have less daily sunlight hours. All the best! 😉
hey i got a blueberry skunk outdoors really naturally, im in week 2-3 but the climate in australia is a bit weird and i read somewhere that the plants must have some specific temperatures, so, when its raining i put the plant in my room under my desks light until the rain/wind calms down, is that right what im doing? so far my little friend is really healthy about 7-8 cm height/weidth.. im not in hurry or whatever to harvest it, i just want it to grow naturally for medical use
Dani Alchimia 2016-01-11
Hi zaber420, Outdoor plants are much more resistant to bad climate conditions than indoor plants. Still, if outside temperatures drop below 15 degrees celsius, it is a good idea – if you can – to put them indoors until temps raise a bit (also if it is raining hard or there is strong wind). One thing though: as soon as your plants start flowering, you can continue putting them indoors (at nights, for example) as long as you don’t interrupt the night period of plants, so put them away from any light source if they are in their night period. Hope it helped!
Richie Rich 2015-12-18
Wonderful thread ? I would like to start germinating inside till they are ready to be introduced outside. The seeds I have are: Females. Panama, Frisan Dew & Purple Pineberry. I live in Quebec and the due date should be around August or October. I would like to know how early should I start germinating and when should I slowly introduce them to the OUTSIDE world. Hours of light during germinating and then on vegging. Don’t mind having huge plant. All Soil/Organic/Pots. Thanks a TON P.S. First time seed grower. Usual clone grower so very despret to germ around Feb.
Dani Alchimia 2015-12-22
Hi Richie, Basically, seeds have the same behaviour as clones when vegging. They’ll grow non-stop under a 18/6 photoperiod, but will need around 3-4 weeks to reach sexual maturity and be able to bloom. If you want a regular outdoor crop (to be harvested in August/October), I would start my seeds indoors at around Feb and let them grow indoors until June. By the end of May you can place them outside on a shady area for a couple of days, after which you can put them under the sun. You can also perform a spring crop before the summer crop by germinating your seeds in December and put them outside in late February (you’d harvest by late May-early June). Here you have a post on off-season cannabis crops. Hope it helped!
I have blackjack feminine seed just planted using coco coir.my room has two window which sunlight shine into the room 8 hour on day time and i use LED and CFL light for another 9 hour . I may have a problem as the plant grow taller i may need to close the window mirrors and sunlight light will not be enough and i have to add on with the lights. Room will be hot 33c and will use aircond to cool the air down .all year round my place is like summer and a lot of rain so planting outside is impossible.Night will be around 25/26c. I was told because the uv sun that have been giving the plant it will be big and tall .
Dani Alchimia 2015-12-22
Hi Anthony, I suppose you will stop using the artificial lighting as soon as you switch your plants to flowering and use only sunlight. Try to keep your room as ventilated as possible while you are not using the air conditioning. Ever thought of building something similar to a greenhouse? A plastic roof for your plants to grow outside? All the best!
Hi! We live in Northern Cali and just got a bunch of Dr. GreenThumb’s ECSD (feminized). I was wondering if we can start the germinated seeds Feb 1st inside at 13 hours of light and then take out to a green house in March (has a heater so frost isn’t an issue) when the photo period reaches 13-ish hours such that the plants are not shocked from a change in hours of light. Would they flower since it is only 13 hours of light outside or are they not sexually developed enough and we would be okay? We would official plant outside May 14th and hopefully finish October. We are just trying to start as early as possible as this is our retirement year :-/
Dani Alchimia 2015-12-10
Hi Mollyj, If you start your seeds indoors at 13 hours, they’ll not have a growth period but start flowering as soon as they reach sexual maturity (3-4 weeks). If you want really big plants, you should germinate them under a 18/6 photoperiod and keep them inside until May, when the natural photoperiod allows us to take our indoor plants outside to grow them normally, as any other outdoor crop. Another option, especially if you have a heated greenhouse, is germinating the seeds in March and place them in the greenhouse until April/May (depending on temperatures). When starting your seeds directly outdoors, it doesn’t change much starting them on February or March; if they have enough space for a nice rootball, they’ll grow big and tall even if planted later. Hope it helped! 😉
I have plants veg inside it is now Oct 9 2015 can I take them outside to start flowering or just flower inside the temp are 70-80 degrees outside temp drop to 40 at night in Colorado I know I won’t yield a lot but will they finish to harvest smoke able bud
Dani Alchimia 2015-10-09
Hi Nick2323, 40F is a really low temperature. You could use a heater for greenhouses at night (of course with a greenhouse), or try to put the plants inside at nights. You can also try products like Evoponic’s Liquid Heat, which greatly help plants to deal with colder climates. Hope it helped, All the best!
What’s the Best Time to Start an Outdoor Cannabis Grow?
I t’s amazing how quickly the world can change, isn’t it? In the past 25 years, cannabis has moved from an illicit substance relegated to the shadowy corners of the illicit market to an “essential” industry amid COVID-19. In many states, local cannabis laws allow you to grow your own, and why not? When you grow your own, you can do your own quality control, know the purity of your product, and manage your own supply.
Luckily, you can start your own grow in a container as small as a flower pot. If you’ve got some space in your yard to grow weed outdoors, even better. So this may leave you wondering, when should I plant my cannabis outdoors? Luckily, there are some general date ranges to help guide your growing plans.
Regardless of which climate you’re starting in, when Spring Equinox comes around, start germinating your seeds. Make sure those plants get outside by Summer Solstice in June, then harvested around Fall Equinox.
For more specifics about how to protect your outdoor cannabis grows from the elements or whether you should grow indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse, check out the linked articles. Better yet, look into a book by celebrated cannabis growers like Ed Rosenthal’s Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, and of course, every green thumb’s favorite, The Farmer’s Almanac.
For a (shallow-ish) deeper dive into what to expect when growing cannabis outside, here’s a look at optimal grow times for regions across the U.S.
When to Grow Weed Outdoors by Region
Northwest (Northern CA, OR, WA)
When you grow outdoors in this loamy region you’ll never have to worry about getting enough rain. However, mold development and lack of sunshine can make growing outside a more difficult proposition.
Hybrids that flower earlier are suggested as the most successful grows, especially in Washington and Oregon. California plants can be put in the ground earlier due to the region’s warmer weather. Your best clue indicating that it’s time to start your outside grow is when daylight hours increase and the temperature starts to warm.
- Preparing Your Colorado Soil for an Outdoor Marijuana Grow
- How Long Does it Take to Grow Cannabis Plants?
- The Best Strains to Grow Outdoors
- The Flowering Stage Of Cannabis Week By Week
Midwest (IL, MI, Eastern CO)
This region is tricky because the weather is highly variable; rainy and muggy, and/or hot and dry. Winter may come early to this region, so choosing an indica-dominant hybrid strain might be your best bet, since their flowering times are shorter. Try to shoot for germination after the final frost of spring has passed in these regions.
Northeast (NY, MA, ME, VT)
With its rich soils and abundance of water, the northeast region can be a great place to grow cannabis outdoors, especially if you choose an early harvest strain that can finish up before fall kicks in. The best time to move your plants outside in this region is the middle of April, when days are longer.
Southwest (Southern CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO)
If you choose to grow outdoors in this scorching climate, be prepared to pay attention to the temperature, where highs that regularly exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit will slow your plant’s growth. Sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids do well in this environment because of their lineage tracing back to the equator, where the weather is uniformly hot.
However, the dryness of the region means you’ll also have to carefully monitor your watering routines. Before moving your plants outside, make sure the last frost has passed. This last note is especially important in this region, as sudden, sporadic snowfall is common, so keep an eye on the weather.
Though home cultivation is not yet allowed in the Sunshine State, many new medical producers getting into the industry are starting to grow outdoors, and there are a few things to be aware of if you’re licensed in the industry. The temperatures in Florida might be good for cannabis growing, but the humidity definitely is not.
In fact, because of all that moisture in the air, it’s best to avoid indica strains and grow sativas instead to avoid the mold that inevitably comes along with humidity. In this region, you could start the germination process as early as February. Just make sure that the last frost has passed before moving plants outside.
Of course, there are many different factors that go into the timing of an outdoor grow, and the weather will shift year-to-year. Use these estimates as rough guidelines and adjust as needed. Happy growing!
What’s the best time to plant outside in your area? Share in the comments!
Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.
Erin’s work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let’s Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedIn, WordPress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.
When is the best time to plant cannabis outdoors?
A number of states now allow cannabis cultivation for adult use, and even more states allow cannabis cultivation for medical purposes.
The increase in cultivation reform has resulted in a rise in interest in growing cannabis among cannabis consumers.
Cultivating cannabis can be one of the most rewarding activities that a person can do, and with a pleasant reward at the end of all the hard work (assuming the cannabis is grown right).
If you are thinking about cultivating cannabis, one of the first things you will need to determine is whether to cultivate cannabis inside or outdoors.
Why cultivating cannabis outdoors can be better than growing indoors
Cultivating cannabis outside has the following advantages over cultivating cannabis indoors:
- Reduced equipment costs
- No increased electricity bill
- Larger harvest
- Lower carbon footprint
- Often easier to incorporate organic cultivation methods
- Cheaper nutrient/input costs
Growing cannabis indoors has its benefits too, but for people that want a lower maintenance garden, cultivating cannabis outside is the way to go.
An obvious question – when is the best time to plant cannabis outdoors?
One of the first things that a grower needs to determine when planning a sun-grown garden is when to put plants into the ground.
A one-size-fits-all approach does not work. A number of factors are involved:
- What is the latitude of where the garden will be located
- What is the altitude of where the garden will be located
- What is the precipitation level where the garden will be located
- What will the temperature be like while the plant is in the ground
Ultimately what a grower needs to try to avoid is planting the plant(s) too early in the year, which could result in the plants dying due to the soil/air being too cold.
Also, the grower needs to avoid planting the plants too late in the season so to ensure that the plant(s) has enough time to go through a full growth cycle.
Generally speaking, you want to plant your plants in the ground outside in early to mid-May, similar to when it’s recommended to plant tomatoes.
Tomatoes do not grow exactly like cannabis, but for planting purposes, they are almost identical. With that being said, each part of the country is different.
A great resource to look up the recommended planting date for where you live is the Farmer’s Almanac.
Simply enter your location and it will tell you when is the best time to plant tomatoes outside, which can double as the date for when to plant your cannabis too.
Getting started ahead of time is key
If you are growing from seed, you will want to germinate the seeds at least 6-8 weeks before planting.
A way to cut down on the prep time is to use a clone if you are able to. Clones are often harder to find than seeds. Each route provides its own advantages.
Growers can get a head start by letting their plant grow indoors for a few weeks prior to putting them inside. This obviously requires a greenhouse or indoor garden.
By allowing your plant to grow in a controlled environment while the air and soil outside is warming up, you give your plant some additional growth time, resulting in a larger plant.
Other tips that can help
If you live in an area where the warm season is shorter than in other parts of the world, there are two tricks that can really help.
The first is growing your cannabis plant in a container rather than planting it into the ground.
This allows you to move your plant to the most favorable parts of your yard to get the most sunlight as the season goes along.
Putting your plant in a container also allows you to bring the plant in at night when the temperature drops below a desirable threshold.
The second tip is using a concept known as light deprivation, or ‘light dep.’ This method involves cutting back on the sunlight time that a plant receives by cover the plant up after 12 hours of sun.
It’s a tricky method that requires using a tarp over a greenhouse or building a box that can go over your plant.
When you first plant your cannabis plant outside, the amount of daylight at that time is usually around 14 hours.
As the season goes along, and your plant is big enough, you can cap the amount of light it is exposed to at 12 hours and your plant will start to bloom faster than it normally would, thereby helping your harvest come sooner.