How Much Sunlight For Outdoor Marijuana Plants

Of all the elements that marijuana will need to be successful, light is by far the trickiest one to control. You might be asking – do plants need direct sunlight or just light? This is especially tricky with marijuana that is grown outdoors, as we cannot control the sunlight ourselves.

The best way to make sure your plants receive the proper amount of light at the correct times is to choose a great location in the beginning. Picking this site is something that can only be done successfully with a careful understanding of how light and other elements will affect your marijuana plant, and why they have these effects.

The importance of sunlight

Cannabis can grow to great heights if treated correctly. This usually involves plenty of sunlight, but it is also possible to grow it using just a skylight. This is possible because of the durability and hardiness of marijuana plants. The size of the plant and buds will be much less though.

So why is sunlight so important? It is essential for marijuana plants to produce their stems and leaves, which are important for taking in even more sunlight – and this helps them gain more energy that is used for further growth.

When you maximize your plants’ growth, you maximize your yield and quality of weed. There is no better way for your plants to grow than to make sure that it is receiving the proper amount of sunlight. Soil and water are also necessary, but they won’t make as much of a difference as sunlight will. The more sunlight, the higher the yield.

Also read Increase Your Marijuana Yield

Aside from getting enough sunlight, there are many other factors that can lead to successful yields that every grower should know to maximize their crop.

Increase your cannabis yield
Increase your yield

Contrary to what may seem logical, it is the darkness after daytime that starts up the flowering in cannabis plants. This, of course, is a crucial part of maximizing your weed yield. After a certain amount of consistent darkness, a mature plant will receive the message to start diverting its energy from being used for flowering instead of growing. For this reason, it’s important to start growing the marijuana plants as early as you can in the spring, so they can absorb the most sunlight and use the most of their life cycle for growing.

Choose a sunny growing site

Because of this natural process, it’s important to choose a growing spot in a place where it can get the most sun exposure possible. The days are the longest during the middle of the growing season – the sun could shine for longer than 12 hours a day during this time of year.

You need to find a location that is free from objects or other plants that might block your plants from receiving the most amount of light possible. Never forget: your plants need as much sunlight as possible, so they grow as much as possible. Also read this article The Best Places To Grow Marijuana Outdoors

If you live in the northern hemisphere (United States, Canada Europe), the best location is most likely a spot that is facing the south. The opposite is true for people living in the southern hemisphere (Australia). Because of water access and concerns about security, however, this may not be doable for everyone.

How much darkness for outdoor plants

At the bare minimum, make sure your marijuana plants are receiving five hours of direct sunlight, as well as five additional hours of indirect sunlight. If you must make a decision of whether to use mainly morning sun or afternoon sun, it is generally better to choose the morning sunlight, as it will stimulate growth more effectively.

If you live in the north, you will probably have some problems to deal with that southern growers will not. For instance, darkness makes a big difference in regions that are further north. During the growing season, nights are short. This means that cannabis might not get enough time to flower before the first fall frost occurs.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for northern growers to get a good yield from their crop. It simply means that they will probably need to simulate a longer night in order to get the plants to start flowering earlier. This is tricky because even the briefest amount of light will make plants start growing again and put off flowering. Therefore, it needs to be a complete, uninterrupted darkness.

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    The opposite problem occurs in the south, near the Equator: they have very long periods of darkness. Nighttime will last more than 10 hours. When this happens, marijuana plants can flower too early. While this is something that needs to be dealt with, it is much easier to give a plant more light than to try and reduce the amount of daytime it is exposed to.

    In both cases, remember to look at a plant’s relationship with light in terms of its full life cycle. Light is integral to everything from germinating to growth, to flowering so it cannot be taken lightly. Because marijuana fares so well outdoors, it should be fairly simple once you’ve successfully gotten them started. All that is required is picking the perfect place to grow them, and then the changing amounts of sunlight and the turning seasons should take it from there.

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    How much sunlight for marijuana plants

    The final thing to consider is the amount of light your planting location is going to be exposed to. This isn’t to say it’s impossible to understand: you just need a place with as much sun exposure as possible. The more sun, the more successful your harvest will be.

    People who don’t know what they are doing often choose to plant their cannabis plants in the middle of a forest. For people who have a good understanding of the importance of light to their harvest, this is clearly not the best choice. Your marijuana plants would need to fight for light, competing with tall, mature trees.

    You need to find a place that gets not only morning sun, but also further sunlight as the day continues on. This can be the most challenging part of finding a location for your plants since areas that receive good lighting are also more noticeable or vulnerable to be discovered.

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    Just remember that without a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight (and quite a bit more hours of indirect sunlight), you will not be happy with the result of your marijuana harvest. Find more than one site to plant your marijuana plants so you can figure out which one of these sites is best for cultivating cannabis of large sizes and quantities. It will also help you more efficiently care for your plants in the future since they will all be in one superior location.

    All in all, do not rush through these important details about light for your cannabis. It is a steep learning curve and takes a lot of careful planning, but in the end you will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the result of all your hard work. It will definitely be worth the effort.

    FAQ for Outdoor Marijuana Plants

    What Is The Highest Yielding Outdoor Strain?

    Gold Leaf is the highest yielding outdoor strain, mainly known for its huge colas, its incredibly high yield, and THC level. This strain also gives you an ecstatic, relaxing high, making it ideal for treating anxiety, ADD or ADHD, stress, and even insomnia.

    Can You Grow Indoor Strains Outdoors?

    You can grow any indoor strain outdoors and vice versa, achieving incredible results all the same. All this thanks to research efforts, plant modification, and the amount of data that is readily available when it comes to cannabis strains.

    How Tall Do Indica Plants Grow Outdoors?

    Indica plants grow to about 3-6 feet tall. They are short, fat, and ideal for growing indoors. Because Indicas have a shorter flowering period of about 6-8 weeks, indoor growers can have more annual growth cycles, and outdoor growers can confidently cultivate in climates where fall quickly turns to winter.

    Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


    Avatar for Robert Bergman

    Robert Bergman

    Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]


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