How to grow cannabis in hot climates
To many outdoor cannabis growers a hot, sunny climate can seem like the perfect environment to grow cannabis. With hot weather you may be able to grow all year round and even get several successive crops from autoflower seeds. Mold and bud rot might seem to be an unlikely threat. Bright, intense sunshine is perfect for bud production. However a hot climate can bring it’s own problems, some of them serious.
Not all cannabis strains cope well in intense heat and for some growers, drought can be a threat. So can extreme heat when temperature reaches soil-scorching temperatures in excess of 30ºC (90ºF and above). For water loving plants such as cannabis, growing in hot climates can bring some real challenges. Here are our top tips for growers facing the various problems of growing cannabis in hot climates.
Growing cannabis in hot/dry vs hot/humid climates
Hot and sunny weather can be a blessing to cannabis growers… in moderation. When the heat gets too much it can restrict the ability of the cannabis plant to grow. In the worst cases, extreme heat can cause cannabis plants to wilt and die. There are two main types of heat for outdoor cannabis growers to consider. Both types of hot climates come with their own respective challenges.
Those growing in tropical heat may often find that their high temperatures are accompanied by high levels of humidity and moisture. This can significantly increase chances of mold or bud rot, especially for some strains. Those growing in dry, desert-like heat will find the opposite problem of low humidity levels which can have a harsh drying effect on your plants. Last but not least, low humidity levels combined with heat can also be attractive for certain pests such as spider mites.
Hot and dry climate cannabis growing basics
Hot and dry climates can be found in many desert-like regions of the world where summer rainfall levels can be very low. In North America, these conditions can be found in some of the southern and south-west states such as Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. European growers in parts of the mediterranean will also be familiar with these hot and dry conditions for growing cannabis, as will growers in parts of Australia, Africa and elsewhere.
Cannabis will have a very high demand for water in such conditions. The combined effects of constant heat and dry, low-humidity ambient air will tend to sap the moisture from your cannabis plants. In such conditions growers often monitor their plant throughout the day for signs of wilting and will provide nutritional feeds at morning, night and sometimes at additional points too.
If temperatures really start pushing towards extreme levels of 100ºF/40ºC then growers may be forced to move their plants into the shade (if they are transportable). Or they may wish to cover them with a tarpaulin (or similar) to protect them from the worst of the heat which is often around midday/afternoon.
The attentive grower will also closely monitor their plants for signs of pests such as spider mites. In extreme conditions, which can kill their natural predators, these pests can thrive.
Where the hot and dry climate has a punishing and severely drying effect on outdoor cannabis plants some growers set up an outdoor water misting system. These have controllable timers and allow the grower to artificially introduce some atmospheric moisture where it wouldn’t otherwise be possible. With a hot and dry climate at least the grower has the option (if they choose) to artificially increase relative humidity. Growers in hot and humid climates have very little they can do to change the conditions.
Top 5 strains for a hot and dry climate
Hot and humid climate cannabis growing basics
Humidity brings it’s own set of challenges to cannabis growers in hot climates. Hot weather can seem twice as oppressive to humans once humidity is pushed to the max. Sweat sticks to the skin for longer without evaporating. Therefore evaporative surface cooling effects are more difficult for humans….and plants.
For cannabis, the presence of high humidity levels can present the perfect environment for ever-present fungal and mold spores in the atmosphere. Any small areas of damage on your plants, for example areas of infection at leaf removal points, can be rapidly colonised by mold or bud rot (botrytis). If this isn’t spotted quickly it can spread rapidly and in the worst cases decimate your harvest.
Many cannabis growers in hot and humid climates get the best results with sativa strains, or sativa-dominant hybrids. The slightly more open, less-dense bud structure is more resistant to some of the issues seen in hot and humid conditions.
One issue for growers in hot/humid grow conditions is the rapid increase in humidity/dampness which can occur if night time temperatures drop. This can allow large amounts of dew to collect over your blooms – something to be aware of. If you select the right cannabis seeds for hot and humid climates then you should be OK. But if you have some e.g. indica strains with dense buds the regular presence of damp, humidity and heavy dew could increase your chances of mold/bud rot.
What strains are best suited to be grown in hot climates?
Lots of people grow superb quality cannabis in hot climates year after year. The presence of strong sunlight means that one of your main requirements will be present in abundance! All you need are some high quality cannabis seeds can grow in hot conditions with sufficient latitude. Not all cannabis seeds can do this. The following Dutch Passion strains should all deliver particularly good results, even in demanding conditions.
Best cannabis seeds to grow in hot climate with high humidity
The best cannabis seeds for growing in areas with hot climates and high humidity comprise a mix of sativa and indica strains. These have all proven themselves to be particularly tough and resistant to hot and humid climates. The plants are able to grow through the challenges better than other strains and still deliver good harvests.
Some highly recommended hot climate/high humidity strains include:
Desfrán, purest sativa strain from Dutch Passion
Desfrán is perhaps the purest sativa strain in the Dutch Passion collection. Well adapted to steamy jungle conditions! Fans of pure sativa strains will find few better. With an incredibly powerful ‘up’ high and unbeatable euphoria. Rapidly growing and with plenty of stretch you can expect large plants. This variety is also available in autoflower seeds as Auto Desfrán.
Skywalker Haze, easy-to-grow THC monster
Skywalker Haze was created from two THC powerhouse strains, Original Skywalker and Amsterdam Amnesia. The open and airy bud structure copes well with high humidity. Extreme THC levels make this popular with quality focussed growers. Auto Skywalker Haze recently exceeded 26% THC, so whether you prefer feminised seeds or autoflower seeds this strain delivers professional quality results.
Power Plant, classic heavy yielding sativa
Power Plant is a classic sativa strain with notoriously heavy yields. Bloom time is also rapid for a sativa. This combination of winning features have ensured that Power Plant feminised seeds remain best sellers. Fans of autoflowering cannabis seeds should check out Auto Power Plant. These use the same cannabis cup winning genetics but in autoflowering cannabis seeds format.
Best cannabis seeds to grow in hot climate with low humidity
Often growers in hot and dry climates assume that sativa strains would give great results. True enough, many sativa seeds will deliver high quality results. But so will many indica strains. The dense, firm buds cope well in low humidity conditions. Provide the best cannabis seeds at the start and you can expect some seriously powerful results. The following strains are highly recommended for growers in hot climates with low humidities.
Mazar, highly reliable heat resistant indica
Mazar is a particularly reliable heat resistant indica that can be relied on even in brutal conditions. She is available as feminised cannabis seeds, regular seeds and autoflowering seeds (in the form of Auto Mazar seeds). These cannabis cup winning genetics are superb at coping with high temperatures in low humidity environments. This means that Mazar will handle outdoor conditions better in parts of Europe (or North American) in a heatwave better than she might in steamy, humid jungle conditions.
Banana Blaze, proven Afghani Kush genetics
Banana Blaze is an old school indica with a unique sweet banana taste and a blazingly powerful high. Like Mazar, Banana Blaze is a proven member of the Afghani Kush cannabis seed family. These strains stand for durable and tough genetics that can survive well even in demanding conditions. If you like the speed, convenience and ease-of-growth that comes with autoflowering cannabis seeds then you should check out Auto Banana Blaze.
Auto Blackberry Kush, fast top-shelf buds producer
Auto Blackberry Kush is one of Dutch Passions most visually stunning auto strains. She often produces blooms with deep purple and blue hues. She is truly beautiful to look at and produces rich dark berry aromas and a sweet dark fruit Kush taste. She is also one of the fastest autoflower seeds you can grow. Some phenotypes can be ready in as little as 9 weeks after seed germination. If you’re growing in a hot, dry climate then Auto Blackberry Kush seeds is one of the fastest options to deliver top-shelf buds.
Stage by stage cannabis growing guide
If you are growing in extreme conditions then you can expect some challenges. You may be fighting to provide decent conditions for your plants in difficult climatic situations. Starting with the right cannabis seeds is a tremendous advantage. But there are some other tips which may help.
|Avoiding the hottest months and growing autoflower seeds|
|If you live in a region where it’s possible to grow several successive autoflower crops in a single year then you also have the possibility of avoiding the hottest summer months completely. Instead you could consider an early season (spring) autoflower seed grow and maybe a late season (autumn/fall) grow. Using autoflowering cannabis seeds allows the grower the option to skip the months with the most extreme temperatures/weather.|
Hot climate cannabis seedling stage tips
If outdoor conditions are very hot then you may be doing your cannabis seedlings a favour by delaying their exposure to outdoor conditions for as long as possible. Having an extended indoor seedling stage allows them chance for healthy and extensive development both above and below ground before they have to face the challenge of life in the great outdoors. Development indoors under optimised conditions is always going to allow the best start in life. When you do put your seedlings outdoors do so gradually to slowly acclimatise them to the outdoor heat and low humidity.
Hot climate cannabis vegetative stage tips
Some growers in hot, dry climates will keep their plants indoors under vegetative conditions for as long as possible to maximise the plants exposure to an optimised indoor environment. However most growers find that space limitations force them to put their plants outdoors sooner than they would like. Some useful tips include:
- If growing in containers, use large containers so that the grow medium (e.g. soil) can carry large quantities of water. This allows the plant to survive longer between waterings.
- If growing your plant directly in the ground water regularly. Some growers prepare the earth with water absorbing crystals (available from garden centres) which lock in extra water and hold it at root level until required.
- Never place your grow container directly on a hot (e.g. tiled) surface. This can raise the temperature of the root ball to damaging levels. Some growers find that placing their grow container onto a try of wet gravel create a slightly cooler micro climate for the root area.
- Avoid black coloured grow containers which get very hot and bake the root ball. Use white containers. Where possible, cover the plant container so it isn’t exposed directly to the sun, this helps minimise root heat-damage.
Remember, the cannabis plant is tough and can recover well even after severe wilting. Just allow your plant chance to recover in a cool, shaded place and provide water to assist the plant rehydrate. Signs of heat stress, such as curling leaves or wilting, should eventually disappear.
Hot climate cannabis flowering stage tips
Blooming your cannabis plant in extreme heat conditions can be a nervous time for the grower. The harvest is within sight, yet the threat of heat damage remains which could compromise both quality and quantity. There are no magic wands that can solve all the threats. Instead you will need to retain faith in your original cannabis seeds and do what you can to make conditions a little more bearable for your plants.
- In the worst heat waves you may need to remove your plant completely from the sun to prevent severe dehydration. If your plant is suffering heat stress and dehydration provide water. Also try spraying your plant with water, the leaves can absorb water rapidly and directly in a process known as foliar feeding. This also allows surface evaporative cooling effects which help the plant.
- You may need to occasionally put a cover, e.g. tarpaulin over your plants around midday or early afternoon to protect then from the fiercest heat.
- Growers often water both at morning and at night. Note that it’s important not to over-water your plants as well as ensuring that they don’t dry out. Cannabis doesn’t grow well in soil with waterlogged roots, they also need oxygen to survive.
- Some growers will sit their plants in a shallow tray of water. So long as the roots are not left in waterlogged conditions, this technique allows the plants to gradually ‘sip’ water.
- Seaweed kelp extract. Many growers feel the nutritional benefits of seaweed-based nutrients helps to fortify the plants and better protect them from heat stress.
Hot climate cannabis drying and curing tips
Drying and curing your cannabis buds in extreme heat can degrade the taste and potency. Many growers prefer a slow and gradual drying process over a week or so. If your freshly harvested buds are drying out in a couple of days then you need to dry at lower temperatures.
Many outdoor growers dry their harvest indoors in carefully controlled environments. Drying your blooms at temperatures of around 20ºC (around 70ºF) over 7-10 days is quite typical. Note that any indoor drying area needs to have carbon filters and extraction to deal with the inevitable aromas.
Get ready to grow cannabis seeds in hot climates!
Just because you face high summer temperatures doesn’t disqualify you from trying to grow your own cannabis. People in some of the hottest regions of the world are able to successfully harvest their own buds. You will need to carefully consider which are the most reliable strains for you, but a good quality cannabis seed company should immediately know which of their strains deliver the best results in hot climates. Furthermore, they will also have plenty of grow experience and feedback from satisfied customers which will increase your confidence in the seeds you eventually buy. Some of these tips may allow you to cope with the more difficult conditions and can be the difference between a successful harvest and a failed crop. Good luck with your next grow!