Cannabis plants are extremely versatile creatures when it comes to their ability to adapt to a wide range of conditions in order to flourish.
However, growing marijuana in cold weather can prove to be challenging, especially for growers who are not that experienced in cannabis cultivation.
But on the bright side, there are actually some huge advantages to growing ganja in cold weather. Whether you need to deal with marijuana growing in cold climate, a cold room or a cold garage, as long as you are equipped with the right know-how you can enjoy fantastic yields despite the low temperatures in your indoor or outdoor marijuana garden.
Join us below to learn how to grow marijuana in cold weather embracing some friendly assistance thanks to the top 10 hottest tips we have compiled to help you out. Because, hey, a friend with weed is a friend indeed but the best friend with weed is the one who shares, and therefore, cares!
Ideal Grow Temperatures for Cannabis Plants
For a start, it is truly important to understand the ideal grow temperatures for cannabis plants because doing so it the best way to learn how to act accordingly in order to make your green ladies flourish.
The most favorable temperatures for growing young marijuana plants fall into the 70 – 85 Fahrenheit(21 – 29 Celsius) range.
If the temperatures are kept within this particular range from the beginning of seedling to the end of the vegetative stage, then young marijuana plants will develop vigorously and robustly.
While fluctuations in temperatures are not young marijuana plants’ best friends, this doesn’t mean that your green babies won’t be able to survive and make it forward into their grow journey even in the case they are faced with unfavorable weather.
The thing is, if having to deal with higher or lower temperatures than the optimal range, cannabis plants will develop much more slowly. Plus, they can become less healthy and recover harder from issues such as pests’ attacks, under or over watering, among others. This can further decrease yields while increasing the efforts you’ll need to spend in paying close attention to your cannabis garden in order to cope with possible threats and disease.
The most favorable temperatures for cannabis plants in flowering fall into the 70 – 80 Fahrenheit (21 – 26 Celsius) range.
This range is very close to the optimal temperatures for young marijuana plants. However, the small difference in the ideal temperatures for your cannabis plants vs. cannabis plants in flowering actually plays a huge role in boosting yields and keeping your marijuana plants healthy and happy because temperatures above 80 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) or below 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) can be very damaging at this point of the grow process.
Then again, your marijuana plants stand a very high chance to survive even when temperatures during flowering fall lower or higher than the optimal range. But the thing is, the less favorable the temperatures, the more decreased the quality, as well as the quantity of the green medication upon harvesting.
To make sure your green ladies will thrive during flowering, you must keep in mind that at this point of their growth journey cannabis plants are very vulnerable to fluctuations in temperatures. Yet this is a factor that cannabis enthusiasts trying to grow marijuana in cold weather can make work in their best advantage. Instead of trying to keep temperatures as close to the 80 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) range as possible, you need to strive to keep temperatures consistent within the 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) range.
In fact, it might be interesting to find out that according to a study published in the Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants cannabis plants demonstrated an increase in photosynthetic photon flux densities when exposed to temperatures at the lower range of 68 – 77 Fahrenheit (20 –25 Celsius).
Ultimately, maintaining a steady warmth that doesn’t fall into extremes but is consistent within no more than 10 degrees difference between nighttime and daytime temperatures can be a tough task but this doesn’t mean it is impossible to accomplish successfully.
The optimal temperatures for cannabis plants in late flowering (last two-three weeks of flowering) fall into the 60 – 75 Fahrenheit (15 –23Celsius) range.
HAs a rule of thumb, when temperatures fall below 60 Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) the crucial process of photosynthesis no longer occurs at optimal rates.
In fact, if temperatures fall below 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) for a couple of consecutive days, the process of photosynthesis can be totally blocked.As a result of low temperatures cannabis plants’ lose vigor and become more susceptible to pests and diseases. This is especially tricky if you happen to grow cannabis in a rather humid environment (such as a cold garage or basement) because root rot, powdery mildew, spider mites, and mold thrive when introduced to high humidity.
Temperatures below or above the optimal range mean your cannabeauties won’t be able to reach optimum potency levels as trichomes production will be significantly decreased.
One of the benefits of exposing cannabis plants to lower temperatures than the optimal ones in late flowering is that you can get to trigger the full spectrum of alluring purple coloration in some strains such as Purple Kush.
The Secret of Growing Cannabis in Cold Weather: Strain Selection 101
The golden rule for growing marijuana in cold weather sums up to a pretty straight forward combination of words: strain selection.
With a little bit of planning, choosing the right strains to grow in cold weather can take you a very long way in harvesting multiple, dense, potent, sparkling THC coated buds despite the challenges of growing cannabis when low temperatures seem to be working against you.
As a rule of thumb, no matter if it comes to growing cannabis outdoors in regions where the climate is cold and the summer season is rather limited, or whether it comes to growing cannabis indoor in a space that is hard to warm up efficiently, pure Indica, as well as Indica dominant strains make the best choice.
Heavily Indica dominant strains and pure Indicas are naturally well adapted to cooler environments. That’s because many Indica cannabis varieties originate from cold climate areas such as the mountainous countries of Nepal and Afghanistan, among others, where low temperatures are often the norm, especially late in the evenings and early in the mornings.
The winners in the category of strains suitable for growing in cold weather are hands down, autoflowering cannabis varieties.
Autoflowers can be cropped within as little as 8 weeks from germination to harvest which makes up for the invaluable opportunity to get the most out of the short summer season if you happen to be an outdoor cannabis cultivator. That’s possible thanks to the sturdy Ruderalis genetics.
Of course, indoor cannabis growers can also highly benefit from opting for autoflowering marijuana varieties, although for some indoor growers, fast flowering might not be the biggest goal despite having to deal with low temperatures. For instance, some indoor growers may prefer to stick with non-autoflowering Indica varieties for the sake of yielding more.
It remains a must to stick with pure Indica or Indica-dominant strains for best results, though, regardless of whether a cannabis cultivar dealing with cold weather would prefer to grow autoflowers or regular cannabis strains.
Top 5 Strains to Grow in Cold Weather
1. Northern Lights (Autoflower)
Oh, what a legendary strain to head this list! Northern Lights is one of those strains that only become more famous and beloved as time passes by, no matter how many modern-day hybrids are born. And the truth is, many of the most popular and widely favorite hybrid strains would have never been created if it wasn’t for breeding the genetics of Northern Lights with other all-time favorite cannabis varieties.
A 70% Indica-dominant hybrid strain, one can successfully grow Northern Lights from regular, feminized, or autoflowering seeds even in cold weather with awesome results upon harvesting. However, we can’t help it but fall crazy in love with Northern Lights autoflower because when it comes to growing weed in cold climate, this particular cannabis variety is hard to compete with.
Northern Lights is a strain of high medicinal value and it has become a staple in many in-house-marijuana-collections or kits with homegrown green medication. Northern Lights plants grow into very compactly structured creatures that are very easy to grow and very forgiving towards any of the possible mistakes of the less experienced cannabis cultivators.
Yields are very decent, too, and the buds are nothing less but enchanting with their frosty coats of sticky resin, ready to harvest after only 8 weeks of flowering.
Northern Lights can be a beautiful choice for those who favor moderate levels of THC as this strain features about 15% THC content.
2. White Widow (Autoflower)
There are some solid reasons behind White Widow’s wide popularity among cannabis connoisseurs. Apart from being an extremely well-suited strain to grow in cold weather, White Widow is not your average Indica-dominant strain.
Those of you who have been lucky to travel to the Mecca of Cannabis in Europe – Amsterdam – did most probably get a taste of White Widow while roaming the notorious coffee shops where White Widow has turned into a cult-classic cannabis variety and a staple in every cannabis menu in the Netherlands.
There is something about White Widow’s beautifully well balanced effects that combine the best of the world of Indicas and the best of the world of Sativas that simply makes you crave for more.
Or maybe White Widow’s fame has something to do with the magic of the piney undertones you get to experience on the inhale, making you forget about single care in the world as if roaming a pine forest in some form of a hazy yet fully aware, cheerful walking meditation.
Or maybe the fact that so many recreational and medical marijuana users alike praise White Widow has something to do with the towering levels of THC that easily reach 21% making this strain live up true to its name as you get to lay your hands on the sparkling, heavily trichomes coated nuggets that look as if a widow is mourning over her lost beloved one but instead of tears she’s dripping resin that makes you want to shed a tear from joy instead of grief.
Both non-autoflowering White Widow, as well as White Widow autoflower, can make an excellent choice to grow in cold weather, however, our vote goes to White Widow Autoflower.
With a super short flowering phase of 8 weeks, White Widow autoflower promises yields that are way above the average with a potency that exceeds moderate THC levels while also being a strain that is fairly easy to grow.
3. Early Miss Autoflower
Another out-of-this-world Indica-dominant strain that can offer fantastic yields even when grown in a cold climate, Early Miss lives up true to the very first associations one can get at the very mention of her name.
Like a real Early Miss, this strain is ready to harvest within as little as 7 weeks, so if you are looking into a faster harvest as possible, make Early Miss your Mrs. and you won’t regret it.
Early Miss is known to produce very satisfying yields that go well above the average. Most importantly, as long as temperatures do not fall below 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius), this amazing Indica dominant autoflowering cannabis variety will thrive and flourish.
Interestingly, Early Miss is one of White Widow’s daughters because Early Miss is a cross between White Widow and Big Bud.
A brilliant strain for pain management and stress relief among other physical and mental issues, Early Miss autoflower packs a solid punch of 20% THC content.
4. CB Autoflower Cheese
For the aficionados of high-CBD strains, CB Autoflower Cheese can become a favorite cannabis variety to grow and enjoy even when faced with a cold climate.
Originating from the United Kingdom, CB Autoflower Cheese is a relative of the notorious UK Cheese varieties that have earned worldwide recognition for their majestic blend of balanced effects, unique aroma and ease of growing.
With a short flowering of about 8 weeks, CB Autoflower Cheese strain comes with an exquisitely balanced THC to CBD levels of 8%:8%.
For anyone who is looking to grow a strain like no other, the cheesy characteristics of CB Autoflower Cheese should not be underestimated for this is one extra savory strain to cultivate and proudly watch flourishing.
5. Dwarf Low Flyer Autoflower
A rising star on the global scene of cannabis cultivation, Dwarf Low Flyer autoflower strain has been a blast among marijuana growers of all levels of experience in the niche.
An absolutely unique strain to grow and consume, Dwarf Low Flyer autoflower can feel like a blessing from above when it comes to strains that are suitable to indulge in during any time of the day.
With a low THC potency of 10% Dwarf Low Flyer Autoflower plants grow only up to 2 feet in height and they finish flowering with the speed of light: within as little as 6 weeks!
For growers dealing with growing cannabis in a tiny space or those who want to keep their outdoor marijuana plants as far away from the public radar as possible Dwarf Low Flyer autos are sure to become your new best friends! Altogether with this strain’s high resilience to cool temperatures and ease of growing – what more could you possibly wish for?
Just keep in mind that with the small size and ease of growing there comes a minor downside: yields below the average. If high yields are your biggest goal, you should better put an eye to some of the other strains on this list since Dwarf Low Flyer can grant you no more than 75 – 85 grams on an average.
Hot Tips for Growing Marijuana in Cold Weather Outdoors
1. Head start young marijuana plants indoors
If you happen to live in a region where the summer season is short, outdoor cannabis growing is all about careful planning in order to prevent low temperatures from causing hard-to-tackle damage to your green queens.
With this in mind, it can be a wise idea to head start young marijuana plants indoors, thus, protecting them from the ravages of cold weather successfully and further boosting their robust, healthy growth.
The goal is to let your marijuana plants reach a decent size of about 2+ feet before you transfer them outdoors. Provided you transfer them outdoors in the right time depending on the climate patterns in your region, your green ladies will immediately start producing buds and get ready to be harvested within as little as 1 and up to about 2 months depending on the specific strains, you choose to grow.
2. Move marijuana plants indoors when necessary
If you are well aware of the cold climate in your region, every move of your outdoor marijuana grow operation should be planned accordingly. This rule is perfectly applicable to planning how to plant your green ladies in the most favorable way possible.
Your best move is to avoid planting your emerald princesses directly into the ground because doing so will deprive you of being able to act quickly if and when the temperatures fall lower than the optimal levels.
Simply put, you want to place your cannabis plants in suitable containers that will allow you to move them indoors whenever necessary.
Sometimes, you may need to move your marijuana plants indoors overnight while sometimes, you may want to move them indoors in the case the weather patterns become unfavorable all of a sudden which is typical for many regions across the globe such as, for instance, Central Europe.
As a rule of thumb, fabric containers or air pots are superior to plastic-made containers because the latter is heavier and hence, harder to move indoors and outdoors, especially if this happens frequently.
3. Grow cannabis in a greenhouse
Growing cannabis in greenhouses is steadily becoming the hottest trend among cannabis cultivars of all levels of experience.
A cannabis greenhouse grow operation can be as budget-friendly or as lavishly high-tech as you choose. What is important is that a greenhouse can truly bring your outdoor cannabis growing journey to a whole new level, regardless of the cold weather since a greenhouse makes it very easy to maintain a steady temperature to keep your green ladies nice, warm, and cozy.
Do mind, though, that humidity levels should be kept under eye when opting for growing cannabis in a greenhouse. Despite the cold weather, greenhouses tend to “accumulate” high humidity and this can spell disaster to your crops if left unattended due to a higher risk of nasty issues such as powdery mildew, mold, and root rot. However, a simple, decently-sized dehumidifier can work wonders.
Equip your greenhouse with supplemental heat and light, and your green ladies won’t be the least affected from cold weather.
4. Stick with autoflowering strains and fast flowering hybrids
There is really no better way to combat the challenges of growing cannabis in cold weather than sticking with autoflowering strains and/or fast flowering hybrids.
Remember that the seed is the thing, so you can’t afford to make any compromises when it comes to selecting seeds from reputable retailers. Genetics are key to every successful harvest. Also, it is up to the genetic inheritance of a strain as far as the exact time spent in flowering is concerned, among other crucially important factors such as yield, potency, and flavor, to name a few.
As a rule of thumb, growing marijuana in cold weather requires you to stay away from pure Sativa or heavily Sativa dominant strains as they are known to require plenty of light and warmth to reach their fullest potential while also spending an extended period of time in flowering as compared to Indicas.
However, if you are about to grow cannabis in a well-equipped greenhouse, cultivating Sativa strains even in cold climate can prove to be fairly successful and enjoyable.
5. Harvest earlier
Ultimately, it is possible to make the most from growing weed outdoors even in cold weather provided you choose to harvest your cannabis plants a bit earlier than you typically would if it is not for the unfavorable weather.
Harvesting weed earlier does not mean harvesting too early, though. It simply means that you can take the best advantage of the favorable, natural conditions such as sunlight, warmth, and flow of fresh air all the way into the fall season before you finally transfer your marijuana plants indoors for the last week of flowering or so.
You can either let your green ladies fully mature indoors or you can harvest the juicy buds before more than 40% of the trichomes have turned amber, thus, enjoying a more THC potent harvest with a more of a euphoric, lasting high.
Hot Tips Growing Marijuana in Cold Weather Indoors
1. Choose your grow lights carefully
It is no secret that HID lights have the highest energy output, as compared with LEDs, fluorescent tubes, and CFLs. While taming the heat emitted from HIDs can be quite challenging, you can actually make this heat work in your best favor if you are about to grow cannabis indoor in a cold room, cold garage, cold basement, or just about any other grow space that tends to be rather cold and/or hard to heat up efficiently.
In the case you choose to work with HID grow lights, though, it is good to consider growing regular, non-autoflower cannabis varieties with a mind to save some cash from paying high electricity bills. That’s because autoflowers require to be exposed to prolonged hours of sufficient access to light, even though they do not require a particular photoperiod to induce flowering.
In a nutshell, opting for HID grow lights when growing marijuana in a cold environment can allow you to skip on using heaters.
However, you can stick with LEDs, CFLs or fluorescent tubes, too, but you will also need to install additional heaters to keep cold temperatures at bay.
If opting for high-quality LEDs, your initial investment can seem quite high but do keep in mind that LEDs will save you a small fortune in the long run. In the case of using LEDs in combination with heaters, you can grow autoflowering strains without having to feel bothered by spending much on electricity while dealing with a cold grow room.
2. Seal your grow room tightly
A well-sealed carefully insulated grow room can increase temperature rates with at least 20% on an average.
It’s a seemingly small trick but it can make a huge difference when growing cannabis in cold weather.
Not only will proper insulation keep your green ladies comfy and toasty but it will help you save from paying high electricity bills since you will be able to prevent warmth and light from leaking out of the grow room.
3. Use heaters
As straightforward as it sounds, using common heaters that are available for sale in so many different stores both online, as well as offline, is an old but gold, tried-and-tested method for growing ganja in cold weather.
4. Keep humidity under control
As briefly mentioned above, you need to keep humidity under control when trying to make your green ladies feel like queens away from the cold.
The thing is, it is easy to get humidity levels out of control when growing cannabis indoors and fighting to maintain higher temperatures since as temperatures rise, so do water evaporation rates, too.
A simple dehumidifier can help you control humidity levels effortlessly but it is also a good idea to avoid overwatering your cannabeauties as stagnant water left behind in their trays will inevitably increase humidity while also becoming a perfect environment for nasty bacteria to thrive.
5. Skip on training your marijuana plants
Last but not least, it can be an excellent move to skip on training your marijuana plants when trying to grow weed in cold weather.
To be more specific, you’d better stay away from high-stress training techniques because applying such techniques will increase the time your green ladies spend in recovering from the stress, which will make you wait more before harvesting kicks in. Waiting might not be an issue when the growing environment doesn’t require dealing with cold temperatures, however, every extra minute spent in waiting for cannabis plants to finish flowering when trying to protect your ladies from low temperatures can spell disaster.
However, low-stress training techniques such as Screen of Green or bending and tying branches can work great without increasing the time your green ladies will need to finish flowering.
How to Grow Marijuana in Cold Weather: Final Notes
As cannabis enthusiasts, we know perfectly well that growing marijuana is so much than merely a hobby. Cannabis cultivation is an art form, it is a passion, it is an incredible journey, and nonetheless, an inspiration, and it is only fair that the numerous benefits of growing cannabis are not to be restricted to the summer season.
Of course, it also goes without saying that trying to battle Mother Nature can be quite a challenge. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that it is impossible to grow marijuana during the winter months.
It really doesn’t matter whether you want to grow cannabis in a cold climate zone outdoors or in a cold indoor space: there is always a way, as long as you are willing to do some proper research, select the right strains to grow, and enjoy the ride.
Ultimately, if you want to learn how to grow marijuana in cold weather like a pro, we highly encourage you to skip the rush and to study the best growing options in your area of residence. Once you’ve done ample research and keep that positive mindset about your cannabis grow journey, cold weather can actually become your ally and not your enemy as it can teach you invaluable lessons about cannabis cultivation. All in all, remember that it is not cold weather that determines the outcome of your marijuana grow mission because there is a bigger killer than the winter’s chill and that’s the lack of patience and careful planning.