Cannabis Strains

17 February 2022

Best Strains to Grow Outdoors

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a country, state or province that has legalized marijuana, you’re likely itching to try growing some cannabis plants of your own. The same could be said for those living in rural, open spaces who don’t have to deal with the prying eyes of nosy neighbours.

Embarking on your own cannabis growing venture is a highly satisfying experience from beginning to end and one which will save you a good amount of money! While it may be tempting to jump into indoor growing for its secrecy and level of controllability, the initial cost of setting up a grow room can quickly escalate into the thousands.

Outdoor growing, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive. The grower will initially have to fork over some cash for the cost of containers (fabric grow bags are a favourite among outdoor growers), high-quality soil, and of course, some marijuana seeds. Depending on the soil quality where you live, you may or may not have to amend your natural soil. However, most growers prefer to, especially with perlite or vermiculite, to promote drainage and aeration of root zones. Other popular amendments include blood meal, bone meal, oyster shell, bat guano, and compost.

Outdoor growing comes with its own unique set of challenges that indoor growers do not face. While indoor growers must concern themselves with pests, the likelihood of an infestation is far less significant than for outdoor growers. In addition, outdoor growers must take steps to prevent attacks from below by such subterranean predators as moles or gophers. Most growers surround their plants’ root zones with chicken wire, landscape fabric, or some other underground barrier to keep these vermin at bay.

Despite a few extra necessary precautions, outdoor growing can be extremely productive, with some weed strains reaching 3-4 meters in height. Monstrous plants of this size are easily capable of supporting many ounces, and sometimes even kilos, of top-quality smoke. Additionally, cannabis is a sun-loving plant and tends to grow with incredible quickness when exposed to full sun.

Outdoor marijuana, also known as “sun-grown,” tends to possess a greater spectrum of compounds and cannabinoids than its indoor counterpart. The exposure of marijuana plants to full sun allows them to take in the full spectrum of visible light, as well as some ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light. Providing a plant with the full light spectrum, as only the sun can, boosts the development of many compounds that can be lacking in indoor cannabis. For this reason, many medical marijuana patients tend to favour outdoor, sun-grown cannabis over indoor.

Shop our favourite Marijuana seeds

Banana Blaze

Feminized | Medicinal

Dutch Passion’s best-kept secret, Banana Blaze, is an epic indica-dominant cultivar that’s been hidden away since the early 90s. With its tempting tropical fruit flavour, it´s certainly been well worth the wait. 

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Skywalker OG Auto

Autoflowering | Medicinal

An autoflowering version of a veritable classic, Skywalker OG Auto is brought to you by the legendary Barney’s Farm. An indica-dominant hybrid, Skywalker OG is famed for its big buds full of orange and red tones and is now available in easy to grow autoflowering seeds.

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Godfather OG

Autoflowering, Feminized, Regular | Medicinal

With an immense THC level and an epic lineage, this easy to grow, High Times Cannabis Cup winning cannabis strain provides a potent, yet relaxing full body buzz full of euphoria. Strap in, because Godfather OG makes you an offer you won’t want to refuse!

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Sour Cookies

Feminized | Medicinal

Sour Cookies by Guru Seeds is a sativa-dominant hybrid with explosive growth, that is suitable for any kind of garden. Effects of this strain include a buzzing head-high that soon gives its place to an intense couch-lock. With a THC count of 20-26%, you should respect this strain if you’re a beginner.

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What Type of Cannabis to Grow Outdoors

There are a few things to consider when growing marijuana outdoors, such as the climate, the surroundings, and the soil, but perhaps none is more important than the strains you choose to grow. Different strains respond differently to the same conditions, so it’s important to understand the characteristics of the strains you are growing to determine whether they will grow well within your climate and growing season. There are a few essential factors to take into account when deciding on outdoor strains to grow:

Flowering period – Some strains finish flowering earlier than others, which is neither a good nor a bad thing, but something to be mindful of. It’s a good idea to grow various strains with various finishing times, as the workload of drying and trimming an entire harvest can be very overwhelming.

Mould resistance – Growing outdoors, plants can be subjected to drastic temperature and humidity fluctuations, as well as rain and snow, making them susceptible to mould, mildew, and other environment-related diseases. Picking a naturally mould-resistant marijuana strain will help your odds.

Sativa vs indica – While many types of marijuana grow well outdoors, sativa plants, in particular, thrive. As they tend to grow taller and lankier, sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids love to have the room to stretch in the sun. Don’t discount indicas, though, as many of these shorter, squatter varieties love to fill out under the sun as well. There are many popular high-CBD marijuana strains as well, but here we’ll be sticking to indicas, sativas and hybrids.

Autoflowering strains – Here, we’re discussing standard cannabis strains, but autoflowering strains also work very well outdoors. Often started indoors, these fast-flowering varieties will finish up in weeks, allowing a grower an opportunity to harvest twice in a season if they choose. Autoflower varieties combine indica or sativa genetics with those of ruderalis plants to create strains that don’t require long vegetative periods. Autoflowering strains are quite popular amongst growers with a shortened season.

Now that we’ve determined a few qualifiers let’s discuss which strains actually grow the best outdoors.

Marijuana strains best for growing outdoors

Best Outdoor Strains

While it’s true that many cannabis strains grow well outdoors, there are a handful that have become legendary for their ability to thrive beneath the sun.

Afghani – Afghani is a pure indica with genetics reaching back to Afghanistan’s famous Hindu Kush region. A classic landrace strain (meaning its DNA has not been crossbred with newer hybrid strains), Afghani is a short and squat producer that is easy to grow and oozes with resin as it finishes up. To boot, Afghani has a rapid flowering time and is usually ready for harvest no later than October, making it perfect for temperate Mediterranean and northern hemisphere climates. Its incredible resin content and high THC levels make it a good choice for hash makers.

Super Silver Haze – Another classic, Super Silver Haze retains many of the characteristics of the haze family, including its citrusy, earthy flavours and unbelievable yields. As a pure sativa, you would expect it to be a great outdoor grower, which it is. Super Silver Haze is mould and pest resistant but still requires a watchful eye when cultivated outdoors. The returns are well worth it, though, with a single plant capable of producing over 25 ounces per harvest. Its relatively short flowering period means that it won’t run deep into the fall before harvest, offering a great crop in mid-September.

Blueberry A classic blend of Afghani, Thai and Purple Thai genetics, Blueberry is a chunky, flavourful sun lover that will thrive under full sun in a cool climate. Like other Afghan relatives, it loves a cool mountain region, but thanks to its Thai lineage, it also thrives in more humid, warmer climates as well. A very versatile strain, Blueberry has given rise to many of the standard hybrid strains that we know and love today, such as Blue Dream and Blue Cookies. In addition, it’s a heavy producer, capable of churning out a full kilo per square meter when properly cultivated.

Durban Poison Durban Poison is a classic landrace sativa strain hailing from South Africa, which produces the epitome of sativa buds, resulting in an energetic, clear-headed high that makes it a legend. A real stretcher, Durban Poison plants will grow up to two meters high with thick stalks capable of supporting high yields. Its roots grow wide, so it needs room to expand and reach for the sky, giving it a fairly distinct profile from above. Grown under the sun, this strain will produce thick, sticky buds with high THC Levels that can reach above 20%.

Jack Herer – Another early finisher, Jack Herer is an absolute favourite amongst outdoor growers. As a sativa-dominant hybrid (60%), Jack Herrer plants grow tall and produce bountiful harvests when grown in a dry and cool climate. Naturally, mould and pest-resistant, this hardy grower will reward you for your efforts, producing heavy, resin-laden buds with a high THC content and a harvest time of late September/early October.

OG Kush – Hailing from Florida, OG Kush is a classic hybrid kush strain drawing on Chemdawg genetics from California and a Dutch seed bank’s Hindu Kush variety. This legendary strain can grow up to two meters high and gives off thick, resinous flowers reminiscent of its indica heritage, but possesses many characteristics of a sativa as well, such as its height and plant structure. It can be a bit touchy to grow, but flourishes in the right, slightly tropical environment.

Skunk #1 – One of the most legendary outdoor cannabis strains in the marijuana lexicon, Skunk #1 is an indica-dominant hybrid that possesses many characteristics of both types. It will stretch like a sativa once flowering but produces dense buds like the indica dominant strain that it is, complete with a famously skunky odour that gives it its name. Skunk #1 is mould and pest resistant naturally, as well as being very hardy, making it a natural choice for growers in colder climates or with shorter seasons.

Super Lemon Haze – Winner of many awards, Super Lemon Haze is a delightfully fruity sativa-dominant hybrid that possesses the earmarks of a beautiful hybrid. It’s an easy cultivar to grow, with tremendous resistance to disease and pests, and it grows well in both cold and hot climates. Boasting a flavour profile that is widely regarded as second-to-none, Super Lemon Haze is a favourite for its euphoric, uplifting effects, great taste, and ease of cultivation. A definite must for beginners!

White Widow A true legend, White Widow is an easy-to-grow sativa-dominant hybrid that rewards growers with beautiful, frosty harvests. Ready to harvest by early October, White Widow makes an excellent strain for growers just starting out; it’s hardy and resilient against mould and pests and produces a lovely, trichome-laden crop that keeps it on this list, despite its older lineage.

While it may seem tempting to run out and plant some seeds underneath the free light of the sun, it’s always important to consider local regulations regarding cannabis. While many strains grow well outdoors, you cannot go wrong by sticking to those mentioned above. Many have been around for generations, while others are newer hybrids, but all have been time-tested for viability in an outdoor garden.

Be sure to check out the wide variety of regular, autoflowering and feminized cannabis seeds available from Marijuana Grow Shop, and be sure to check back for the latest updates on cultivating your own cannabis at home.

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Post author
Michael Richey
Michael loves to grow cannabis and write about what he learns along the way. His best friends are his dogs and marijuana.
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