Cannabis is unquestionably one of the world’s most resilient plants. That explains why a once indigenous plant to South Asia can now thrive in virtually any region around the world.
Cannabis is informally known as weed, a name that resonates with the fact that the plant can flourish on its own, even in the wild, just like regular weeds.
But despite its remarkable resilience, there are still certain growing conditions considered ideal for cannabis cultivation. It’s important to understand these conditions, especially if you’re planning to produce the plant on a large scale.
Read on as we uncover the seven tips for growing cannabis in an ideal setting.
Understand the cultivars
Cannabis is a broad plant genus that comprises different species. These species are also sometimes known as cultivars or strains. Examples include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis hybrid.
Understanding the different cannabis strains will go a long way in helping you determine the right plants to cultivate.
When choosing the right cannabis plant to cultivate, try to evaluate the plant-based on factors like weed- and drought-resistance, maturation period, and yields. Also, try to understand the dominant cannabinoids in the plant.
For instance, Sativa species generally produce marijuana cultivars, whereas Indica species produce hemp cultivars. Hemp cultivars are famous for producing higher cannabidiol (CBD) yields, the primary non-psychotropic compound in cannabis. On the other hand, marijuana cultivars generally give higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) yields, the most popular psychoactive cannabis compound.
Choose the right seeds
Choosing the right cannabis seeds depends on your specific needs as a grower.
While some people desire cannabis seeds that mature faster, others don’t mind waiting for months to harvest their hybrid weed. For fast maturation, your best bet would be to opt for auto-flowering seeds.
Another best practice when choosing suitable cannabis seeds is to evaluate your end-goal in addition to the maturation period.
If you’re growing cannabis for medical purposes, you should generally opt for Indica seeds. Sativa seeds will be ideal if you’re cultivating marijuana for recreational needs. And if you want the best of both worlds, you might consider hybrid seeds.
Consider the soil consistency
Too much clay soil translates to poor drainage. During times of heavy downpour, the soil could become oversaturated with water, leading to the death of your cannabis plants.
On the other hand, excess sandy soil means rapid drainage, which denies your plants the opportunity to absorb enough water.
For maximum yields, consider loamy soil. Alternatively, grow your plants in soil that primarily consists of sand and silt, with a lower clay ratio. As a general rule, the ratio of sand: salt: clay should be 40%: 40%: 20%.
Maintain ideal pH
pH, or the power of hydrogen, refers to measuring the acidity or basicity of a substance. The figures are usually interpreted on the pH scale, which has values ranging from 0 to 14.
Values closer to 0 denote strong acids, while those closer to 14 denote strong bases. 7 is neutral.
Now, cannabis thrives best under slightly acidic pH conditions. So, strive to ensure that the soil’s pH ranges between 6.2 and 6.9.
Most importantly, always have the necessary reagents that you can use to stabilize the soil’s pH whenever necessary.
Take care of air supply
Like any plant, cannabis flourishes in environments with enough air supply. There are times when the plants produce more oxygen or carbon dioxide than they consume.
So, they’ll continuously require a robust air exchange system. This shouldn’t be a problem for outdoor growers.
For indoor plants, you may need to invest in special equipment to regulate air movement. A fan might be handy for this purpose.
Besides expelling stale air and replenishing it with fresh air, a fan might also drive away from some pests that ordinarily thrive under still environments.
Ensure ample light duration
Marijuana requires more than 18 hours of light a day. Again, this shouldn’t be a problem for outdoor growers, as there’s probably already plenty of sunlight and daylight to get by.
But if you’re growing your cannabis plants indoors, you may need timers to regulate how much light exposure the plants get. Ideally, the timer should only remind you to turn on or off your artificial light sources, such as LED grow lights.
In the same breath, it’s recommended to delay outdoor germination until you’ve exposed your cannabis seedlings to at least 12 hours of daylight and at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Regulate the temperature
You don’t need to have attended agriculture classes to know that extreme temperatures kill plants. And ‘extreme’ in this case refers to both sides of the spectrum.
So, as a responsible cannabis grower, the onus is on you to ensure that your plants stay within the ideal growing temperatures despite the prevalent temperature conditions in your region.
Now, cannabis plants generally thrive at temperature conditions around 27-degrees centigrade. It’s easy to achieve indoor plants’ conditions, using fans, heating/cooling mats, or air conditioning units.
However, for outdoor growing, you’ll need to study your climate carefully to plan your planting and harvesting effectively.
That cannabis is a highly resilient plant beyond doubt. Even better, growers can leverage that resilience by implementing the above-reviewed tips to ensure they cultivate their plants under ideal environments.