Anyone trying to grow cannabis outside is heavily dependent on the weather. In Northern Europe, but in fact all around the world, climate conditions have been highly unpredictable in recent years. But does that mean it’s best to skip outdoor growing altogether? Sure, bad weather can cause many problems ranging from bud rot to other types of fungi and disappointing harvests. However, that shouldn’t frighten growers into opting for indoor methods. Cannabis is a tough plant that can take a bit of a beating. So what is the best weather for growing cannabis seeds, and what can you do if it takes a turn for the worst?
What Is The Best Weather For Cannabis?
Rain or shine is quite an accurate description of Northern European weather in recent years. We’ve witnessed some surprisingly hot and dry spring seasons followed by long, grey, and cool summers. Indeed, it never rains but it pours was another apt climatic cliché, as gentle summer precipitation appeared to be replaced by bucketload downpours on a regular basis. Not the best weather conditions for growing cannabis, to put it mildly.
Obviously, anyone planning to grow cannabis outdoors had best take the weather into account when ordering seeds. But how do you deal with unpredictable conditions like these? If bad weather means bad harvests, it seems all garden ganja growers are screwed.
Fortunately, however, cannabis is a hardy little crop. These plants do well in a surprisingly wide temperature range. Averages between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius are ideal for maximum growth, but it is good to keep in mind that we’re out for more than big bushes alone. Genuine weed horticulturalists try to use the weather to maximise a plant’s THC content, along with other cannabinoids and lovely fragrant terpenes. Only then can we harvest the finest, best tasting, sun-fuelled natural highs of true outdoor cannabis!
Best Cannabis Weather For Each Life Cycle Stage
From the very first step of germination down to the final act of the cannabis life cycle, the Weather Gods can either be our most powerful allies or our most fearsome adversaries. Which of these two they become partly depends on the knowledge and skills of growers – and we’re happy to help out when it comes to that!
For seedlings and plants in the vegetative stage, daytime temperatures should ideally range between 20 and 30 degrees. In the flowering stage right up to harvest time, anything between 18 and 26 degrees is great. At this stage, higher temperatures result in degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes accumulating in the flower bud trichomes. This will lead to less aromatic and less potent weed in the end.
At night, temperatures ought to be some eight degrees below daytime averages, regardless of flowering or growth stages. These temperature drops force pants to kick back and take a breather, literally. However, transitions between day and night must not be too drastic, because that could cause unhealthy levels of stress.
Does that sound like a utopian ideal to you? Well, you’re only partly right… Admittedly, we can’t control the weather, and outdoor cannabis growers need to make the best of what the Weather Deities provide. Only indoor growing allows us to adjust all parameters to control freak levels of perfection. Still, even garden growers get their fair share of wiggle room. As mentioned earlier, cannabis is a tough little species: in theory, you could even grow her outside in winter.
What Temperatures Can Marijuana Plants Endure?
Actually, cannabis is a fairly easy crop to grow outdoors. She’s a tough one, able to cope with cold as well as warm weather. As long as temperatures remain between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius, she’ll keep on growing and flowering. And even if temperatures drop or rise beyond these points, there’s no need for immediate panic. Cannabis plants don’t die easily; bad weather may reduce their overall flower mass to below their maximum potential, but in most cases, they’ll still be harvestable at the end of the season.
What Can Heat, Cold, Or Rain Do To Weed Plants?
Of course, the consequences of weather effects depend on the developmental stage a plant is in. In unexpected summer heat, photosynthesis tends to slow down while THC production decreases. Warmth will also speed up evaporation or degradation of terpenes, causing buds to lose some of their flavour. In addition, elevated temperatures can harm bud texture quality by making them less full and compact. Clearly, then, warm weather does not necessarily make for the best cannabis growing conditions.
Long-term damp weather can also harm cannabis plants. Too much rain causes autoflowers to remain in their vegetative stage longer, for instance, refusing to auto-switch to flowering. Any strain increases its risks of root rot, while buds can easily be affected by fungal problems.
Cold weather, however, is probably the most harmful climate no-go for growers. Daytime temperatures lower than 15 degrees will slow down or halt all metabolism and growth processes. If the fall below 13 degrees, certain strains may even enter into shock. Once the sun returns, plants will need some time to recover before they continue towards growing their flower buds.
Don’t worry too much about one night of mild frost: that’s unlikely to prove fatal. Still, even a brief cold snap can damage leaves and branches, turning them yellow or even brown. All in all, it certainly pays off to keep an eye on the weather forecast. If there is a chance of frost, it is time to intervene.
Best Cannabis Bad Weather Protection
Summers can get hot even up north in the Netherlands. Take this into account when you pick a grow spot for your cannabis seeds. You can protect your plants from heat by providing shade (avoid places where the midday sun scorches the ground) or a shading net. Obviously, providing enough water is equally critical. An old gardener’s trick is to protect potted plants from evaporation by adding a layer of straw around the base of the stem. Avoid using materials like tree bark, as these may ruin soil pH levels.
If spring turns out colder than anticipated, initially planting cannabis seeds indoors by the window may be a good idea, or even in a greenhouse if available. Allow the seeds to grow into seedlings and keep them safe until the chance of late spring frost drops to near zero before taking them outside. Should early May turn out colder than expected, the layer-of-straw trick will help act as a buffer too.
Generally speaking, rain is an outdoor grower’s friend, as long as it’s not the cats and dogs variant. Proper drainage is crucial here. This is easier to manage in open soil than in pots, but with the right mixture of potting soil, compost, and pellets like perlite, it’s not that hard to manage. Do keep in mind that any pots you use should have holes drilled into the bottom, to prevent rain and any water you add from accumulating down in the pot and damaging the roots.
Relative humidity (the moisture percentage the air is able to contain) is also a factor to watch closely. Are thing getting hot, damp, and sticky outside? Time to tone down your watering routine compared to dryer days. Remove any wind cover if possible, to allow that gentle breeze more room. A bit of tactical pruning using defoliation techniques can help, but don’t overdo it as your plants need leaves to catch the sunlight for energy.
If the evenings and early mornings start to turn misty by the end of summer, watch out! Keep an eye out for bud rot and if necessary, give your plants a gentle shake to lose any condense dewdrops while you are making the rounds in the morning.
Wind is also a grower’s pal. The best cannabis weather comes with a gentle breeze; especially during the flowering stage when the buds need to be blown dry to prevent fungi from taking hold. Be mindful of stormy weather, though. Keep your grow out of harm’s way by shielding it from the full force of any summer gales, and remember that strong winds usually come from the South-West. If you know a storm is coming, bring your pots to safety before the weather turns. It’s usually a good idea to support your young plants with sticks of bamboo stuck in alongside the stems (careful with those roots!), possibly using gardening wire for extra gust protection.
To Pot, Or Not To Pot?
The best solution for unstable weather conditions is growing cannabis in pots rather than planting them out in open soil. Pots are easy to relocate, allowing you to put them wherever conditions are best: out in the sunshine or safe in the shade. And if worst comes to worst, you could even decide to bring them inside for a bit.
The big drawback of pots is the increased risk of soil drying out, but keeping a close watch on moisture levels will solve that problem. Regular moisture checks usually work fine: just stick your fingertips into the earth and you should be good. As said, drainage os usually better in open soil. That vegetable patch grow spot also allows for easy companion planting, although the same can be achieved in a sizeable mortar tub. Another aspect worth considering is security: a plant in a pot is easier to steal; so either put them away safely or start your grow season by digging a moat with some crocodiles in it.
As you can see, anyone can grow cannabis in just about any climate type. This beautiful, strong plant can handle herself pretty well, and with a bit of help here and there, weather damage is not hard to avoid. Don’t let the wind, the rain, or the heat keep you from trying an outdoor grow. You always have a fair shot at a nice harvest, no matter the weather.
The Best Cannabis Harvest, Even In Bad Weather
In most countries, the final stage of the outdoor cannabis season doesn’t come with the best of weather conditions. An early, misty fall or a soggy summer can prove fatal to lovingly grown ganja crops. Be sure to keep your beautiful grow from crashing just before the finish line! This special blog gives growers some useful tips to protect their harvest until it’s safe for trimming, even if the weather takes a nasty turn!
With that said, though, any grower who manages to appease the Weather Gods can enjoy all the marvels of a great start to the outdoor grow season. With the right kind of prepping, a bit of grow knowhow from our Grow Blogs, and the right kind of planning in hand, you’re all set to get those green thumbs going. About time to order the perfect cannabis seeds online – let’s grow!