When deciding what kind of cannabis seeds to buy, you need to take a number of factors into account. First and foremost, you should get acquainted with your own climate. This alone will make the biggest difference in the success of your plants’ yield. Marijuana outdoor seed varieties come in different shapes and sizes. These variations are from their successful growth in a very specific type of climate. Light intensity and length of exposure, temperature, altitude, and seasonal changes all influence your cannabis plants.
Best Outdoor Seeds For Your Climate
- The Outdoor Marijuana Grow Cycle
- How to Choose the Best Marijuana Seeds
- Selecting the Best Strain
- The Best Climates for Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis
- Hybrid Marijuana Strains
- How to Grow Weed Outside in the Winter
- The Best Seeds for Hot Climates
- The Best Seeds for Cold Climates
- My Personal Favorites
- Seasonal Considerations
- Regional Growing Tips
Having a thorough understanding of your climate is most important at the start and finish of your cannabis plant’s life. This is because marijuana plants are the most fragile when they are seedlings. They have not yet had the chance to build up a resistance to outdoor changes.
It’s your job to find out which strain is perfect for your particular climate, but I’ll help you with that. In my online seed shop, you can select marijuana seeds by type, climate, yield, and much more.
The Outdoor Marijuana Grow Cycle
First, let’s review how a marijuana plant grows.
The marijuana plant lifecycle begins as a seedling. During this time, it is very sensitive to its environment, because its roots are not firmly set into the ground. Seedlings must be protected from frost when growing outdoors.
In some places, a late Spring frost means it’s a good idea to use pre-grown seedlings or clones. You can also use seeds and create your own ‘starts’ indoors or inside a greenhouse. Once your plants are strong enough, and the chance of frost has passed, you can transplant them to their outdoor location.
Download my free Grow Bible for more on growing outdoor cannabis seeds
During the summer, the plants enter the vegetative cycle. This is when cannabis plants grow big – as long as they maintain the proper temperature and have plenty of water. The Fall is when marijuana plants typically begin their flowering cycle. Flowering plants aren’t as sensitive to their environment as seedlings, but you still need to protect them from frost. A heavy frost at this time can interfere with bud production and reduce the potency of your harvest.
Growing outdoors doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult. By understanding your climate, you can pick the best seeds for growing outdoors.
How to Choose the Best Marijuana Seeds
So how do you choose the right strain for your growing preferences and climate? If you know where certain marijuana strains are typically grown, you can get a good idea of what type of strain would work well in your own climate.
People who want to grow their plants in Florida, for instance, should choose tropical weed strains. The same goes for other similar climates, such as Louisiana, Texas, and anywhere along the Gulf Coast.
Weather is not the only factor that is important to consider. You also need to look at any other differences between your seasonal changes and the marijuana strain’s native seasons.
For instance, a strain that originated in Hawaii thrives in its long Hawaiian growing season. This means it might not reach its full potential in your own climate, as it most likely has a shorter growing season. You would still end up with a yield that is perfectly smokable and will get you high, but the size of the plant will be smaller, so your yield will not be as high.
What about the specific strain? If you’re an experienced weed smoker, you’ve probably tried a wide variety of strains. You know that some will put you into a happy or dreamy state right away, while others might take longer and result in a sleepier state.
You probably also know that not all highs give you a good feeling; sometimes headaches, sore throats, or paranoia can be the type of high you feel. Use that knowledge to choose your perfect marijuana seeds. No one wants a bad high, do they?
You’ll also want to get good quality seeds. Seeds that won’t germinate are worthless. Seeds that germinate into unhealthy plants are also useless. No matter what strain you choose, bad genetics are bad genetics.
Of course, you don’t have to buy your seeds. You can always find seeds from a marijuana plant. However, most commercial weed is very careful to remove their seeds nowadays. Should you decide to buy marijuana seeds online, make sure you find a reputable source. In my webshop, I guarantee delivery, germination, and high-quality genetics.
Selecting the Best Strain
Choosing to grow a specific strain because you like the effects, does not mean it will grow well outdoors where you live. If you are researching strains for your region, the first thing to understand is that there are many types of marijuana plants. Due to grower’s preferences and the surrounding climate, marijuana has evolved differently in different geographic locations.
For instance, tropical locations often have Sativa marijuana plants with very small leaves but many flowers. Middle Eastern and Central Asian strains, on the other hand, usually have Indica plants, which have larger leaves (both in breadth and length) and denser buds.
Differences in leaf size reflect differences in sunlight strength and consistency. Larger leaves have evolved in locations with weaker light, in order to absorb as much sunlight as possible. The greater the leaf size, the more sunlight they can be exposed to at one point in time.
These differences may seem superficial at first, but in fact, they can make a huge difference when you are deciding what to plant. If you live in a climate where there is not much sunlight, or it is particularly weak, then you will want to choose a strain that has a tendency for bigger leaf sizes.
Here’s a bit more about the different types of cannabis plants.
The Best Climates for Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis
The indica variety can grow in a variety of climates. It features broad leaves that capture a lot of the sun. This subspecies originated in places such as Kashmir, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Tibet. These areas are well known for hash and kief, potent cannabis byproducts.
Indica plants tend to be short and wide, making them better suited to handle colder temperatures. Unfortunately, the densely packed leaves do not do well with high humidity and heavy rainfall. When growing during the summer, this is problematic since Indica strains are not the best strains to grow in high heat.
Thankfully, they won’t need to be in the heat for long. This form of cannabis flowers quickly – some can flower in as little as 7 weeks. This means it can be grown in cooler areas that tend to have shorter summer. They also make an ideal second harvest once the summer heats calm down in areas with enough sunlight and a late frost.
Cannabis Indica plants can produce remarkable color depending on their environment. Some maintain a vibrant green color, while others can turn a dark bluish-green that can appear purple. The leaves feature patterns that look like marble; the buds are dense and give off a skunky aroma.
Sativas, on the other hand, are a tropical variety originating out of places like Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand. Many tropical weed strains are pure Sativas or Sativa dominant hybrids. The plants tend to be taller and thinner, with thin, pointy pattern-less leaves.
Sativa plants love the sun and can grow up to 12 feet tall. In general, the buds are airier than indicas. This fact alone makes Sativa genetics the best strains for hot humid climate conditions. Sativas are also fairly versatile. They can thrive in hot, rainy environments, such as tropical rainforests, but also adapt to colder temperatures.
The one downside to this subspecies is its long flowering cycle. In tropical regions, there are no cold seasons and plenty of sunlight. Because of that, these plants evolved into taking their time – sometimes as long as 14 weeks. For some places, the sun isn’t around long enough for these plants to fully mature.
Cannabis Sativa plants tend to have light green or golden leaves. Mature leaves may turn shades of red (or purple is growing in a colder region). The buds give off a spicy, fruity, or sweet aroma.
There’s a third type of cannabis, but it isn’t typically consumed as marijuana. Ruderalis plants are used in clothing, rope manufacturing, and breeding plants for producing autoflowering marijuana.
Ruderalis is typically cultivated in the northern Himalayas and in a few of the southern former Soviet states. Wild ruderalis is also prevalent around Latvia, Belarus, Lithuania, and other nearby nations. These short, small plants grow in a scant, weedy pattern and are highly resistant to pest problems and disease. They are known for their hardiness. Of all the cannabis subspecies, Ruderalis survives in the most conditions.
Most people do not grow Ruderalis plants because they are not a good source of marijuana. These plants have relatively low THC when compared to Sativa and Indica. However, Ruderalis plants are still high in cannabidiol, which is a less potent cannabinoid than THC. This makes these plants desirable for therapeutic use.
The real draw of ruderalis is the potential to create autoflowering Indica strains by breeding the two. The end result is a THC-filled plant that doesn’t rely on a change in sunlight.
Hybrid Marijuana Strains
A hybrid combines a Sativa and an Indica to create a strain with specific desired qualities. Hybrids are designed for easy growing, therapeutic benefits, increased potency, or unique flavor and taste.
If you want to gauge how much of a Sativa or Indica your hybrid plant is, then just take a look at the fingers on the fan leaves. If the fingers are wider than normal, then you have a “mostly indica” plant. If the fingers are thinner than a normal leaf, then you’ve got a “mostly sativa” plant. Sativas generally take longer to mature than Indicas, but with cloning and breeding, many Sativa dominant strains can grow much faster.
Remember to think about your unique situation when selecting seeds. For example, before you search for “the best strains to grow in the northeast,” start by asking yourself this simple question: “What kind of weather do you expect during the growing season?”
Consider the average temperatures in your area at the start of Spring and Fall. Tropical and southern locales will usually provide plenty of light and warmth for marijuana plants. Northern locations will have to prepare differently.
If the ground is still frozen at the start of Spring or if early winter frosts are an issue, it’s vital to have a strain that grows in a shorter amount of time. This is usually something that is indica dominant. You can start later in Spring and harvest earlier in the Fall so that the cold temperatures do not affect the yield or potency.
How to Grow Weed Outside in the Winter
The cannabis growing season goes from Spring to early Fall, but creative growers can grow year-round, even outdoors. When growing weed outdoors in winter, you’ll need to do a little extra work. First of all, there’s the lack of sunlight. This is solved by using autoflowering varieties. These types of marijuana seeds do not rely on a specific amount of sunlight to begin their flowering cycle. That means that even in winter, the plants can bloom and produce resin-filled flowers.
Growing weed outdoors in winter also has an additional drawback – cold temperatures. Unless you are growing near the equator, your plants will be exposed to frost, which can ruin your harvest. Growers can get around this challenge by growing in heat- controlled greenhouses or building temporary structures with heaters.
If you are in a climate (or can create one) that does not experience major freezes, growing weed outdoors in winter is a definite possibility. However, you will not have the same result. The winter sun is not as strong as a summer sun. Even if the soil, water, and light supplies are all good enough, the plants will be shorter and produce less potent buds.
The good news is, in certain areas, the winter sun is enough to stimulate plant growth. Once Spring rolls around, your plants should be ready for harvest.
The Best Seeds for Hot Climates
Many marijuana strains originated near the equator, so it is no surprise that plenty of strains can thrive in hot climates.
However, some of the best outdoor strains for most growers thrive in a Mediterranean climate like you’d find in Southern Europe, many of the southern parts of the United States and Australia. If you are looking for the best strains to grow in high heat, you must first consider whether that heat also includes humidity.
Warm-Wet Coastal Climate
A Mediterranean climate rarely experiences extreme shifts in temperature, which makes it the ideal growing environment. However, very few places can provide this stability for growing cannabis plants.
Instead, many growers, especially those in an area like Florida or Australia, must seek out tropical weed strains that can survive extreme heat and high humidity.
Here’s one of the best strains for hot humid climate conditions.
The Amnesia high is mostly in the head. It has a flowery and hazy smoke, and it is ideal for a strong yet mellow high. The dark lime green buds are steady and densely covered with crystals. This classic Amnesia marijuana seed strain has spawned dozens of crosses. Like many tropical weed strains, it grows best in Southern states like Texas, or countries like New Zealand or Colombia. More on Amnesia
Hot-Dry Southern Climate
Excessive humidity can be challenging for marijuana plants, but high heat also makes it difficult. When temperatures remain high, while humidity stays low, most plants will not have enough moisture to survive. However, some strains are more up for the challenge than others. Unlike tropical weed strains, these hot dry climate strains can survive on less water.
Here’s one of the best strains to grow in high heat:
Sour Diesel is a mood-boosting Sativa dominant strain with relaxing effects. This tall plant loves the sun and dislikes wet climates. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to flower; northern hemispheres can harvest around early November. Sour Diesel is one of the best because of its high yield. Although it will take a while, you could be rewarded with as much as 25 ounces per plant. This strain grows best in sunny desert climates such as Nevada, New Mexico, Southern California, and the Australian outback. More on Sour Diesel.
The Best Seeds for Cold Climates
For the most part, cannabis plants prefer warm temperatures; however, some marijuana strains thrive in northern latitudes. These strains can survive the occasional cold spell. They may also do well in warmer climates (as autoflowers) when growing weed outdoors in winter.
Here are some of the best strains to grow in the Northeast and Northwest United States, Western Canada and Northern Europe:
Northern Lights is a classic strain that is deeply relaxing while also putting you in a good mood. This indica dominant strain typically harvests around mid-October and prefers a climate that isn’t too hot or too cold. Northern Lights plants have an average height and are very resistant to disease. This strain can thrive in Western Europe and the Pacific Northwest. More on Northern Lights.
This flavorful Indica-dominant hybrid originated in Europe and is well known for its happy couchlock effect. Besides being easy to grow, Blue Cheese likes it cool. It also has a short growing season, with a harvest as soon as late September. This makes it one of the best outdoor strains for places subject to an early fall frost and low humidity, such as the Great Lakes region. More on Blue Cheese
The famous White Widow is well known in nearly every Dutch coffee shop. This high THC strain is slightly indica dominant and produces an energetic yet relaxed high. White widow takes a while to flower (end of October); still, it is effortless to grow and can handle colder temperatures quite well. This high yielding strain can handle colder temperatures, making it suitable for Midwest grows. More on White Widow
My Personal Favorites
The one question I get the most is, “Which marijuana seeds are the best for yield and easy to grow where I live?” Each strain maintains its own unique characteristics, growth processes, and flavors. But, if you asked me to choose my favorite indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, and ruderalis-dominant strain, here’s what I’d choose:
Indica – Super Skunk
Super Skunk is one of my favorites because of its well-balanced high, and flexible growing environment. This Indica dominant hybrid qualifies as one of the hot dry climate strains and one of the cold climate strains. It’s super easy to grow and is very resistant to disease.
Super Skunk plants are average height with light green leaves that are covered in brown hairs. The buds are dense but easy to maintain. Flowering times will depend on the environment, but it is typically ready in late September. However, it may take as long as late October.
Although it is Indica-dominant, Super Skunk is still a good daytime strain. It’s known for boosting moods and appetite, and it can stimulate creativity while simultaneously relaxing the body. Super Skunk’s yields are impressive as well. You can harvest up to 21 ounces from a single plant! Buy Super Skunk marijuana seeds
Sativa – Super Silver Haze
Everything about White Widow could be said about Super Silver Haze. It’s simple to grow and produces outstanding yields and fantastic highs. I’m always amazed at how fast Super Silver Haze grows and how much quality bud the plants can make. It’s perfect for humid areas with short growing seasons.
Super Silver Haze is a blend of notable strains that include Northern Lights, Haze, and Skunk. The scent and taste pack a fragrant, skunky, and spicy punch. The aroma alone can improve moods and relax the body.
There isn’t much stress with this plant. As long as you provide the roots with plenty of room to grow, you should end up with excellent yields. Buy Super Silver Haze marijuana seeds
Ruderalis – Super Skunk feminized autoflower
As I’ve noted previously, autoflowering seeds are bred from Ruderalis plants – giving them their fast flowering time. Marijuana generally starts to flower when the seasons change, and the light cycle diminishes. Autoflowering plants, on the other hand, start blooming in only a few weeks.
The problem with many autoflowers is that the yields are small, and they don’t always produce the highest quality bud. However, certain strains, such as the autoflowers in my store, continue to produce a good quality product even when bred with ruderalis. When the season starts, I like to grow a few Super Skunk autoflowers so I can enjoy a smoke while the standard seeds grow.
This super skunk strain provides all the benefits of the world-renowned super skunk genes combined with the quick flowering time of cannabis ruderalis. You can plant this strain after the final frost in any region and still have enough time to flower. It may not be one of the best strains to grow in the Northeast, but if you keep an eye out for mold, it can work. Buy Super Skunk autoflower marijuana seeds
Selecting your ideal marijuana strains starts by identifying the correct seeds for your climate, but it’s not the only consideration. A strain does well in its native region, not just due to the environment. The length of the seasons is also essential. This is very noticeable with Savita strains, which generally take a longer time to mature than Indica strains.
Since many growers do not live anywhere near cannabis’ native lands, a hybrid mixture of the two will likely be a lot easier to grow. Most of the award-winning strains are also hybrids, giving yet another reason to grow them.
When choosing strains, think about the weather throughout the entire growing season. Find out the average temperatures, especially at the end of the Fall and start of spring seasons. This essential step can help you identify the best outdoor strains for your area.
Many growers who live in northern, colder locations have some trouble at the beginning of the season. This is when they might experience frozen grounds when they should be planting their seeds. At the end of the season, they must also watch for an early winter frost. The end of the season tends to be more forgiving since the plants are near maturity.
Marijuana growers who live in colder climates should choose strains with a shorter growing time. That way, they can avoid the first frost and remove their plants well before it comes. If you have grown plants of any kind, you already know that a freeze can lower your potency and yield. One exposure to frost is typically okay, but multiple times can ruin your plants. If you are growing someplace prone to an early fall frost, consider using autoflowering plants or triggering early flowering
How do you ensure you aren’t surprised by frost? If you’re a first-time grower in your climate, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the sun. You can also get some advice on spring perennials from nurseries and other resources.
Spring perennials include crops such as tomatoes and corn. By paying attention to when these plants grow, you can figure out when frost often happens, as well as the best time to harvest your plants. Of course, after a few harvest seasons, you will have an excellent understanding of timing.
Tip: Make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more on growing outdoor cannabis seeds
Growers in southern or tropical regions do not have the same problems. Instead, the sunlight is consistently strong, and the weather remains warm during all parts of the growing season. This allows the plant to continue growing until they start receiving less than 12 hours of light per day. When they do, they know to stop growing and begin flowering.
Sativas in southern climates can grow for a long time. For a quicker harvest, some growers intentionally restrict the amount of light to speed up the flowering process. They might move potted cannabis plants, or else cover them up with a cloth. These intentional light limitations can create the same effect as natural light changes. You are basically “convincing” the plant that Fall weather is coming, and it needs to begin flowering. This, of course, isn’t necessary with autoflowering plants.
You can see when your plant is mature enough for a change in sunlight exposure by paying attention to its branching. In the third or fourth week of growth, you should see the secondary branching starting to begin. This is a sign of mature plants that are ready for light manipulation.
Regional Growing Tips
Are you looking for a shortcut to picking the best strain for outdoor cannabis growing? Well, your specific region can be a useful guide. Although they aren’t precise and do not cover every scenario, areas within the same climate region tend to have similar temperatures and humidity.
Here’s how to best grow marijuana outdoors in these United States climate regions:
|Northwest: The Northwest includes the Cascade Mountain Range that separates it into two distinct climates. West of the mountains, there is constant rain and overcast, which leads to a lack of sunshine. This makes it difficult to grow marijuana due to the increased risk of mold during most of the growing season. However, the nutrient-rich soil makes using a greenhouse worth the extra effort.|
East of the Cascade Mountains, the climate has near-desert conditions with plenty of sunshine. It is excellent for outdoors growing. Autoflowers or indica dominant strains are best due to a shortened growing season. The soil isn’t as nutrient-dense as it is west of the mountains, but there’s enough rain to keep your plants happy.
|Southwest: The Southwest is known for its incredibly hot daytime temperatures and warm nighttime weather. There isn’t much rain, and the soil typically lacks nutrients. Outdoor growers should plan on purchasing soil or nutrients. Sativa dominant strains are best for growers in this area.|
|Midwest: The Midwest is full of unpredictable weather and extreme temperatures. Summers are typically very hot, and they sometimes can be very wet. Add the occasional early winter or spring frost, and you also must deal with a very short growing season. Midwest growers should watch for mold near the end of the flowering cycle due to possibly wet, cold conditions.|
When growing outdoors in the Midwest, you’ll want to use nutrients or purchase soil. At one point, this area was very fertile, but years of heavy farming has depleted much of the region of its nutrients. Because of the potential cold temperatures during the flowering stage, indica dominant or autoflowering strains are best for growing outdoors in this region.
|Northeast: Short summersand highhumidity are the trademarks of the Northeast. Surprisingly, this is perfectly fine for cannabis plants. The native soil has plenty of nutrients, but it may be very rocky or filled with clay. Because of the humidity, you’ll want to avoid densely packed indica genetics. Instead, the best strains to grow in this region are fast finishing or auto-flowering Sativas dominant hybrids.|
|Southeast: High humidity and temperatures mean you should avoid growing indica genetics outdoors. Indica plants will struggle with the high temperatures, and the dense buds will likely mold. The soil in this area tends to be rich. Most Sativa plants will have no trouble growing here.|
|Mountains: The mountain areas include multiple regions; however, they all share the qualities of being difficult to grow outdoors. Not only will you experience extreme temperatures, but the soil is often infertile. If you are growing outdoors, choose valleys for the best soil. Plant on the south side of a mountain for the most sun exposure. Due to a short growing season, the best outdoor strains for most mountain areas are quick flowering.|
Choosing a strain that fits your climate is perhaps the most crucial first step in growing successful cannabis plants outdoors. If you select a strain that thrives in an environment different from your own, you will be sorely disappointed in the results.
If, on the other hand, you choose a strain that matches your climate well and care for your plants properly, you will be rewarded with exceptional yield. You may even have some lovely seeds for future planting. To get started, choose wisely and start with my marijuana seeds for the best genetics.
FAQ About Cannabis and Climate
Marijuana plants can be damaged in cold temperatures. The main advantage of cool weather is simply the ability of deter pests. Plants grown outdoors require daylight temperatures that are at least in the mid-60s (18C); otherwise their growth will begin to slow dramatically until it essentially stops. Temperatures in the evenings must be in the 40’s at least (5C), otherwise tissue loss can occur. You can have a potential problem whenever the weather drops below 45F (7C)
Marijuana plants love humidity, but too much of it can cause problems.
If you are growing in hot weather, it is essential that you do not let your growing medium dry out. Marijuana plants drink a lot of water when it’s hot. If they don’t have anything to drink, they’re going to dry out by the end of the day.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible
The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]