Cannabis flowering time lapse videos
Interested to see what your next strain will really look like when it’s grown? This collection of Dutch Passion time lapse cannabis grow videos allows you to see each strain grown from seed to harvest. This allows you to observe growth rates at various points during cultivation and see precisely how tall, bushy and heavy these strains become. Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching some of Dutch Passion’s most popular autoflower seeds and photoperiod feminised seeds grown to harvest!
Auto Cinderella Jack time lapse video
With independent laboratory measured THC levels of over 25%, Auto Cinderella Jack is quite possibly the world’s strongest autoflower. A perfect choice for any grower wanting a guaranteed killer harvest of insanely potent buds.
For pure potency, you won’t find many more powerful autoflower strains! Just like the rest of the Dutch Passion autoflower seed collection, she is easy to grow under a wide range of grow conditions and grow techniques. This hybrid strain is equally at home indoors or outdoors. Indoors she takes around 75 days to grow from seed to harvest.
Auto Blackberry Kush time lapse video
If you like heavy harvests with some beautiful blue and deep purple hues to your buds then Auto Blackberry Kush is just what you’re looking for! With very high THC levels around (and perhaps above) 20% this is also a supremely potent strain that can satisfy even the most experienced smoker.
Auto Blackberry Kush may be one of the most visually stunning autoflower seeds you have ever grown. She could also be the quickest!, sometimes ready to harvest in as little as 9 weeks after planting the seeds. Pay attention to humidity towards the end of bloom, these heavy dense blooms benefit from lower humidity levels and good air circulation.
Auto Orange Bud time lapse video
Auto Orange Bud is part of the exclusive Dutch Passion Extremely High THC seed collection. This is reserved only for those exceptional strains which can approach 25% THC in good grow conditions. On top of that you get to enjoy the world famous original tangy Orange Bud taste of Mandarin and Orange.
The high powered anti-anxiety high combines with a mouth watering zesty flavour of freshly picked citrus fruit. Home grown cannabis simply doesn’t get much better than this! Auto Orange Bud is just as easy to grow as the rest of the Dutch Passion autoflower strains. Expect a straightforward, easy grow and a harvest around 10-11 weeks after seed germination.
Auto Lemon Kix time lapse video
Another member of the elite Extremely High THC seed collection, Auto Lemon Kix is one of the most potent autoflower strains currently available. The mind-numbingly powerful THC levels suit the more experienced cannabis user aiming for maximum potency.
One of the best features of Auto Lemon Kix is the unique, sweet multi-layered candied fruit flavours. It really is an unusually rich and delicious taste. Combined with the sky-high THC levels, the deliciously sweet taste completes the perfect all-round package. She’s easy to grow with heavy yields. What are you waiting for?
Auto Glueberry OG time lapse video
Auto Glueberry OG is part of the USA Special cannabis seed collection. She combines very high THC levels with exceptionally heavy harvests. She can take a week or so longer than other auto strains (typically 12 weeks from autoflower seed to harvest) but the wait will reward you with real XXL yields.
Auto Glueberry OG seeds suit the grower with the space to accommodate her tendency to grow tall and wide. She responds well to LST and training if you need to control her growth. In the right hands this strain is superior to most high-performance photoperiod strains in terms of yield and potency
Auto Banana Blaze time lapse video
If you like sweet, tropical fruity banana flavoured buds with heavy yields then Auto Banana Blaze is a perfect selection for your grow room. This auto strain suits the grower needing a plant with numerous chunky blooms, fast growth and no complicated grow room maintenance. Auto Banana Blaze reaches around a metre tall and is ready to harvest in about 11 weeks.
Auto Banana Blaze is a good auto to grow in the natural way, no special grow techniques are necessary to get the best out of this lady!
Auto Colorado Cookies time lapse video
Auto Colorado Cookies uses connoisseur quality parent genetics from Auto Blueberry and Girl Scout Cookies. This strain shows remarkable consistency, with all the plants generally showing similar XL growth structure and the same consistently very high THC levels. If you want predictable excellence from your grow room then Auto Colorado Cookies is a great way to achieve it.
It isn’t recommended to top/FIM this auto since you will lose out on the colossal main bloom. When harvesting, we recommend waiting for a few more amber trichomes than usual. This allows the buds to really deliver their very best high!
Auto Brooklyn Sunrise time lapse video
Auto Brooklyn Sunrise is a hybrid USA auto strain which takes around 11 weeks to grow from autoflower seed to harvest. The genetics come from a New York elite AK clone combined with Diesel. It’s a powerfully fuel flavoured strain with a fast acting and hugely pleasurable high.
The main advice when growing Auto Brooklyn Sunrise seeds is to go gently with the nutrients. This strain is happier with feeds on the light side. All in all, this is a real champion auto that delivers an enviable all round performance, combining speed, potency and yield with a complex but truly delightful diesel-taste.
Passion Fruit time lapse video
For any strain to carry the ‘Passion’ name you know it has to be exceptional! Passion Fruit is just that, a top-shelf photoperiod feminised strain made by hybridising original Orange Bud with Sweet Pink Grapefruit. The taste is citrus with pure Passion Fruit. THC levels are very high and bloom time is around 8 weeks.
In terms of grow latitude, Passion Fruit can handle cooler temperatures well. Cool night temperatures can produce some beautiful autumnal blue/purple hues in the buds and leaves. Not only does this increase bag appeal, this can also increase resin levels making her even more potent and sticky!
Auto Night Queen time lapse video
Auto Night Queen is a compact indica autoflower strain which takes around 10 weeks to grow from seed to harvest indoors. The short, stocky growth profile suits the indoor grower with limited headroom. The highly potent buds suit the experienced smoker who can handle very high THC levels and heavy indica effects!
These tough Afghani Kush genetics can take a beating. This makes her easy to grow in a range of indoor conditions. She also does well outdoors. The buds are particularly hard, dense and resinous. One small nugget goes a long way!
Auto Blueberry time lapse video
Auto Blueberry is a real connoisseurs delight. The sweet fruity blueberry taste is complemented by a smooth, powerful and long lasting high. What’s more, she is perhaps the fastest autoflower seed in the Dutch Passion collection. Some phenotypes are ready to harvest just 8-9 weeks after autoflower seed germination. Cannabis cultivation doesn’t get much faster than that!
With a short life cycle, in order to get the most from Auto Blueberry a fast growth system such as a Hydroponics method can deliver good results. Coco fibre may also help deliver large plants. Enjoy the great taste and the blissfully enjoyable high from this repeat customer favourite!
Auto Mazar time lapse video
Auto Mazar is a classic indica autoflower strain with cannabis cup winning Afghani Kush genetics. She delivers a powerful effect, a strong high with a powerful body stone which medical users adore. The taste is rich, deep and hash scented. Yields can be exceptionally high.
The best taste comes from organic growing, but the use of hydroponics allows the experienced grower to push these classic cannabis genetics right to their limit. Auto Mazar seeds are equally at home indoors as well as outdoors.
Auto StarRyder time lapse video
Auto StarRyder is another fast autoflower strain. She can be ready to harvest around 9 weeks after autoflower seed germination. She delivers heavy, rapid harvests of THC rich cannabis indoors but is also very highly rated by outdoor growers. This is a tough, robust but fine quality autoflower.
Auto StarRyder grows in an Xmas tree structure with plenty of side branches. These should yield heavily in good grow conditions. The plants often tend to remain on the compact side, making her a convenient indoor and outdoor strain.
Forest Dream time lapse video
Forest Dream is an outdoor variety developed in The Netherlands for growers with climates similar to the Northern European average. She is often ready to harvest in early October and uses robust, proven sativa genetics.
Forest Dream is easy to grow outdoors with good weather resistance. She usually reaches around 2m tall outdoors but can reach 3-4m in good conditions. A reliable and consistent choice for any guerrilla grower!
Watch more cannabis-related videos
These time lapse grow videos show you the type of result you can expect from Dutch Passion cannabis seeds. Great care is taken with the development of our prize-winning cannabis genetics, therefore we aim to give growers the best information about the type of grow they can expect.
Time-lapse videos are a great way to show you how the plants grow. Serious growers may also be interested in checking out the full Dutch Passion archive of grow reviews. You can find them here…
What was your favourite time lapse video? Please let us know your suggestions for new cannabis time lapse videos in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our online cannabis seedshop. You can buy the best autoflower and feminised cannabis seeds there as well as keep track of our latest promotions.
Leafly’s cannabis homegrow
Welcome to Leafly’s cannabis homegrow! Watch as our writer Johanna Silver grows a set of marijuana plants from seed to harvest in her backyard. Follow #Leaflyhomegrow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
All right, everyone, here we are, weed is grown, dried, and cured. I had some wins. I had some losses. I thought we could talk about it all here and maybe learn a thing or two for next year.
To recap, I grew five plants. I sowed seeds on March 26th and harvested at the beginning and end of September.
How the plants did
The Sweet Annie was the best of the lot for me. She grew tall and strong. Colas were dense and trichome packed. I ended up losing an unfortunate amount to bud rot because I can’t seem to follow through with weekly sprayings of BT, but all told, I still harvested eight ounces of this one-to-one cultivar from Humboldt Seed Company. The big lesson here is to spray your damn plants.
I taste-tested her, and I will say it’s really nice. Flavor was really sweet, and the one-to-one was a really nice match for me. I laughed for a few minutes and then felt mellow.
The Chem Lemon crossed with Cherry Pie in that bed turned out to be a male. I hate it when that happens, but it happens. I sexed it wrong. It is super unfortunate because this cultivar turns out to be the one this year that smells and tastes the best to me. So I wish I had more of it.
The other Chem Lemon Cherry Pie I had, grew in a container and yielded three ounces. That is more weed than high school Johanna ever even saw, but grown-up Johanna thinks that’s pretty pitiful. Grown-up Johanna will also never consume all three ounces, so I’m not totally sure why she cares.
In the graves, I grew another Sweet Annie, and interestingly, this one performed totally differently. Seeds were started on the same day, soil was incredible, but I don’t think it got as much sun as I was expecting it to, and the buds were just kind of airy. They never got dense. It seemed a little bit wimpy, all in all, four and a half ounces from this one.
Lastly is Freakshow. I was so excited to grow this cultivar for its mutant leaf shape that looks more fern than cannabis. Sad to say, I loathe the smell. It’s been described as diesel with grapefruit and hints of thyme and eucalyptus. For me, it is just a no. It smells like something I would use to wash my floor. I got four and a quarter ounces from this containerized plant, and I’m wondering if you want some?
So at the end of the day: two in the ground, two in containers, one male, no supplemental fertilizer (because I’m lazy) and I got one pound and just about three ounces.
My biggest lesson of the year is definitely to spray my plants with BT every week. The wildfires were hell around here, and it was definitely raining ash for a few weeks, so I’m also curious to try a bud wash next year. I know a lot of people who seem to have a lot of success with it, while others tell me it is certainly not worth the effort.
Lastly, the temperature in my drying room was a little bit high, so I’ll probably get some more fans out next year to keep things a little cooler.
But that’s it. All in all, I’m super pleased with my grow. The new smells are always so exciting, and I definitely see some more cherries and lemons in my future.
I’d like to thank those of you who’ve reached out and let me know that you’re following along. Some of you have even told me you grew the cleanest weed you ever have, which is awesome.
I really believe there’s something to be said for a total fuss-free approach, not fixating on chemicals and fertilizers, etc. No matter the case, I hope you grew some great weed and, even more importantly, that you had a blast growing this plant.
Drying and curing weed
How to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest
We’re in the final stages of growing weed in the garden. Today, I’m going to do some dry trimming and show you how to transfer dried herb into containers to cure and store.
Plants are ready for the next step when most branches snap, not just the smallest ones, and buds sound like popcorn to your ear. Literally, hold your ear to a bud and take your fingers and smoosh it a little, and it should sound just a little bit crunchy, like popcorn. Not too crunchy, just a little bit crunchy.
Hanging here is another plant I harvested. I left all the leaves on this one, so I could show you how to dry trim. It’s really not so dissimilar from wet trimming. It’s a lot less sticky, but the trichomes, now hardened, are much more likely to break. So proceed with caution.
Again, you want to use narrow-bladed shears to trim off excess plant material, snipping leaves from the stem, if possible. Just as with wet trimming, this weed is for my own personal use, so there is no reason to go as extreme in trimming as the buds you see in the dispensary. A few extra leaves actually help protect the buds in storage.
Next, buck the buds into smaller chunks by snipping them off the main branch and place them in airtight impermeable containers.
I use a mix of mason jars, locking stainless steel tubs, and vacuum sealing glass jars.
Air degrades weed, so you want to fill your containers full, but make sure buds aren’t super smooshed, and then store containers in a cool, dark place.
This is the final step. Curing removes any excess moisture from deep inside buds, ensuring an evenly dried crop.
For the first few days, open the lid of your jar for about 30 minutes, “burping” it to release any extra moisture or gas buildup.
Going forward, I’ll open it once a day for a few minutes for the next few weeks, and then call it a day.
When it feels like bud you want to smoke, it’s ready.
If you’re curious, you can get a small hygrometer and place it in your jar. You want the relative humidity to hang out between 53-63%.
I don’t dip into my stash that often, so I usually go without a two-way humidity pack, but if you’re going to be opening the lid of the jar a whole lot, consider throwing in a Boveda pack to keep things nice and steady.
Here’s some Sweet Annie that I already dried and have been curing, and I got to tell you, it smells real good. And here’s the Chem Lemon x Cherry Pie, which smells, and I will tell you tastes, very cherry, very lemony and very chemy.
How to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest
There are various different methods to check for ripeness. I want to remind you that we are going for the most general fuss-free approach.
- First, keep your eyes peeled on the stigmas, those hairs that come out of the flowers. When about half of them have turned amber, it’s getting really close to time.
- The other method involves squeezing the nug: If it’s spongy, wait, if it’s firm, cut.
By the way, if you’re a first timer and you’re asking, “Are my plants ready?” The answer is usually to wait. First timers are generally jump the gunners. Just chill.
One of my Sweet Annies, still has way too many white stigmas and the buds are still super spongy, so, I’m going to wait. But this Sweet Annie, over half the stigmas are amber, and when I squeezed the buds they’re firm; no more sponginess. It is time to chop her down.
Real deal farmers harvest before sunrise to prevent any evaporation of terpenes and cannabinoids. Real deal farmer I am not, so we are going to harvest right now.
- Make sure your drying room is all set to go
- Have clean pruners on hand
- Have something to transport your harvest from the garden to the drying room, either a clean tarp or clean plastic bin
And it’s super important to go one cultivar at a time. I know they’re your babies and you swear you can tell them all apart and it’s easy when they’re fresh, but when they’re dry it is anyone’s guess, trust me.
There’s no one right way to do this—you can chop down the whole plant, or you can go branch by branch.
Cannabis tends to ripen all at once, but if you have a super big or dense plant, you might find that some of the flowers closer to the bottom or more tucked in aren’t ripe yet. So feel free to keep those standing until they’re ready.
Whenever possible, I like to cut the plant in a way that gives me pre-made hooks for hanging.
I use this opportunity to give each branch a once overlooking for any gray spots which are a sign of botrytis (mold). If I find any, I cut it out with a wide margin.
Theoretically, you clean your tools between cuts, but I don’t.
The drying room
I hang the branches on hangers, using clothespins as needed, and fill out the pre-made labels marking the cultivar and date of harvest. It’s fine for branches to be close, even touching, you just don’t want them all smooshed together. Airflow is as important as ever in the dry.
The goal is a slow, steady dry: 10-14 days is ideal. Too quick and you’ve zapped all those cannabinoids and terpenes too slow you’ve got a moldy mess. Keeping the temperature 50-60°F and humidity 50-65%. Use whatever equipment you need to keep it within those windows.
Another way to moderate the pace of the dry is to trim, or manicure your plant, the process by which you remove excess plant material like fan leaves and sugar leaves.
Some people just have a personal preference about when they like to trim.
Wet trimming tends to be easier and much stickier.
Dry trimming tends to be way less sticky, but you’re more likely to break those fragile trichomes.
But beyond those personal preferences, it’s important to understand that trimming can actually impact the pace of the dry—if you live somewhere super arid and need to up the humidity, for sure, wait to dry to trim. All that excess plant material will help slow things down.
Vice versa, if you live somewhere super humid, trim now. Way less chance for trouble.
The Bay Area is typically well within those windows of temperature and humidity all on its own, so I can take my pick. I usually do a little bit of both because, why not?
For wet trimming, grab your favorite pair of narrow bladed scissors, that can be spring loaded, not curved, straight, whatever.
Start by getting all the fan leaves off and then as many sugar leaves as possible, trying to grab them by their stems.
I usually stop there because I’m not actually trying to turn my weeds to look like the turds sold at the dispensary, a little bit more in their natural form is A-OK. Also they store so nicely like that.
When it’s time to use, you can pull out a bud, trim it up a little bit more exposing perfectly preserved stigmas, and the crowd goes wild!
You should know that this activity is sticky. Like really sticky, like soap won’t do anything.
So you should either have some rubbing alcohol and rags around to clean both your hands and your tools or you can go the more natural route, mix up some oil and some sugar, which makes a moisturizing get exfoliating way to get your hands clean.
All right, I’m going to give these branches 10-14 days to dry. I’ll check them every day because OMG how could I not? And I’ll see you when they are dry.
Preparing for harvest
The weed is almost ready. So today I’m going to make sure you’re all set up with the drying room.
A proper dry helps retain all those cannabinoids and terpenes and gives you an evenly dried bud with no mold.
Your drying room should be set up well in advance of harvest day, because it can take some time to identify the right spot and get everything that you need. So you want to be ready and waiting.
A lot of growers make a whole lot of fuss about having the exact precise conditions. I find this to be a little bit of overkill. It’s a plant. If you’ve ever dried some sprigs of rosemary, a bundle of chamomile, I’ll tell you, this isn’t so far off. I dry in my semi-unfinished laundry room, which is a total eyesore. I am so excited to show it to you. Come, let’s check it out.
The drying room
You need a dark room. It needs to be cool.
And it needs to be semi-cleanish; just give it a sweep. And you need a place to hang those beautiful branches and it should be something that can support a little weight. I use a free-standing wardrobe that I bought from a popular home goods place that rhymes with “marget” and I just ditched the cloth cover and added a few extra dowels to increase space.
I also use hangers. I hang these on the wardrobe and then hang branches directly on these to exponentially increase space. On each hanger, I put a little masking tape label, pre-made, so that I can quickly and easily name the cultivar at harvest time. I also have clothespins on hand in case I don’t get perfectly hookable branches. For little baby buds, I have an herb-drying rack where I can lay them to dry.
You’ll also want a small oscillating fan to keep the air moving. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I’ve had this one for decades. You’ll want to keep it pointed down and not directly at the plants.
You’ll also want to keep the temperature somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees and the humidity between 50 and 65%. Depending on where you live, you might need some extra gear to help make that happen like a humidifier or a dehumidifier.
Here in the Bay area, we tend to have pitch perfect conditions and I get by with nothing except that oscillating fan. A great way to keep track of the conditions inside your dry room is with the handy-dandy hygrometer. One of these costs a few bucks at an internet store. This one’s magnetic. I just snap it to the top of that wardrobe and I’m set.
Supplies for harvesting
And looking forward to harvest you’re going to want to have a few other things on hand.
- Tarps or clean Rubbermaid bins to easily transport your harvest to your drying room
- Clean pruners or scissors to cut down your cannabis
- Trimming shears, spring loaded, or not, they just need to be narrow-bladed
- Rubbing alcohol and some rags because everything is going to be real sticky (or the hippie alternative, which I quite like, is to mix some almond oil with some sugar as an abrasive and that will also get everything sticky off your hands)
Weed flowering and plant anatomy
Today, we’re going to talk about flowering. Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. The flowers, they are here.
In the garden, we’ve got all these unpollinated female flowers, and they are just trying to get pollinated. They’re making themselves as attractive as possible to male pollen that floats in the wind. They’re getting stickier and stickier, just trying to get covered in pollen.
But with no males, ain’t going to happen, so you’re going to have all these super sexually frustrated, sticky flowers that eventually give up and die. Except, we’re going to kill them before they killed themselves.
First off, fan leaves. Don’t worry if these are starting to turn yellow and fall off. The plant is much more focused on flower production now. It gives up on the leaves, and you should too. Just relax, and it’s fine to take off the dead ones.
Here are the flowers. I know it’s strange to call them flowers. They don’t really resemble any other flower in the garden. Densely packed together, we call them colas.
The leaves that gets super packed in there are referred to as sugar leaves, named for the heavy dusting of trichomes. Those trichomes, the resinous glands, pack all the terpenes and cannabinoids, the goodies of the plant, and they basically cover every part of the flower.
Calyxes are the tear-shaped parts that contain all the reproductive stuff, including the stigma, the hair-like things that will ultimately start turning amber and help tell you when the flowers (buds) are ripe.
That’s sort of it. The plants are going to get weirder and weirder from here on out: The colas start extending upward, and the plant takes on a weirder shape.
You’ll also probably start smelling them from farther and farther away. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors start peeking over the fence or if your husband says you need to get a new career.
Again, there’s not much to do. I don’t prune anymore, because you’re doing nothing except removing flowers, and I don’t fertilize anymore. I just let the plant do what it’s going to do, which is make really pretty flowers until I kill it (at harvest).
Troubleshooting common weed problems
Johanna here, still in my backyard in Berkeley, California, still growing weed. We are well into summer. Some flowers are blooming. Everything’s growing. Weed may be flowering. I’ve got some pistils shooting up. Don’t worry if you don’t notice anything yet, it’s coming, I promise.
OK, this is the slow part of growing. There’s quite honestly not a ton to do:
- Keep them watered
- Prune out any branches that will never reach the light of day
- Maybe fertilize, if you’re into that—I’m not, and too much can actually cause problems with disease.
We’re going to talk about the dark side. Everything that could go wrong.
Common weed problems
There are a bajillion potential pests, and almost all of them can be minimized if you just give the plant what it wants from the start:
- Enough sunshine
- Plenty of air flow
- Right amount of water (not too much)
Example: marks from spider mites. Earlier, this pot was closer to the wall. Airflow was a little bit limited, and instead of panicking, I just moved the whole thing out a few inches from the wall to increase the airflow.
Don’t assume that drastic measures need to be taken. The idea of integrated pest management is helpful: The approach that you take the time to make a proper diagnosis, then use the least invasive solution first to see if that helps (rather than just reaching for some giant jug of chemicals).
Up first, bud rot, aka gray mold, aka botrytis. Outdoors there are lots of butterflies and moths, like the stupid white cabbage moth. In caterpillar form, they lay their eggs in the buds. The caterpillars hatch and grow in the buds. They shit in those buds. And when it rains, which it does around here, right before the crop has finished, that shit turns into mold. Voilà, you’ve got botrytis in those buds.
In years past, when I see a bud that has a little bit of gray mold on it, I just snip it out and toss it. But I realize that you, might give a shit about how much weed you harvest. So let’s talk about some solutions.
BT, or Bacillus thuringiensis, has been around since the 1920s. It’s one of the safest biopesticides around. It’s a species of bacteria that lives in the soil. It is very toxic to caterpillars and not at all toxic to you. Don’t panic, it’s organic.
Take preventative measures, not reactionary.
When buds first start to set, around end of July, spray once a week with BT, all the way through August, until those pretty little hairs come out of the flower or any time after there’s a big rain.
And if you get hella lazy, you can just cut out rotten buds at harvest time.
Powdery mildew is a super common fungus that shows up on your plants’ leaves looking like white powder. I know it mostly from growing cucurbits—the squash family—squash, cukes, pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon, any of that stuff, super common.
With weed, powdery mildew can seep into those flowers. And then come use time, you are ingesting or smoking fungus, which is not ideal.
Best advice: prevention. Full sun, plenty of airflow, water the soil level and not the leaves.
If you do start to see some powder on those leaves, you’ve got a couple of options. If you feel like spending a little cash, get yourself a bottle of Serenade, another Bacillus-based biopesticide that’s super safe and been around a long time.
Or go the DIY route:
- 1 TBSP baking soda
- 1/2 tsp non-detergent liquid soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
- 1 gallon water
Spray that once a week.
A really good idea (it’s my buddy Jamal’s only rule and he’s a pro grower): Don’t plant anything from the squash or cucurbits family next to your cannabis since everything from that family is super susceptible to powdery mildew. It is a disaster waiting to happen.
How to prune your weed plants
Today, we are going to learn how to prune plants, which means making cuts, which means I’m going to cut the plant, and you’re going to get really uncomfortable. But it’s going to be OK, I promise.
Indoors, they compensate for using top-down static light that doesn’t move, so they have to do all sorts of crazy shit with pruning to get the light to hit all the branches.
You don’t have to do any of that outdoors. Why? The sun. It moves across the sky all day, hitting different parts of the branches, different leaves, different flowers. You don’t have to do much at all.
Now, left un-pruned, your weed will grow into the shape of a Christmas tree with one giant cola (which is the weed word for flower bud). That sounds like the coolest thing in the world, but in practice, is not. All that dense, moist growth, with no light in there, is just a recipe for mold, disease, disaster. It will be a nightmare to dry and cure evenly, which is the whole goal with weed.
So you’ve got to make some cuts. The question: which? We’re going to keep it crazy simple.
Making the cut
You’re going to count one, two, three sets of leaves, and cut.
You can do this in the ground, or you can do it while it’s in a pot, it doesn’t matter.
I’ve been growing this beautiful plant for 10 weeks, and I’m going to cut right above where the next set of branches are growing.
Why topping is important
Why did I just cut the whole top off this beautiful plant? Well, topping the plant, or cutting off the terminal bud, tells the plant to instead put all of its energy into growing lateral branches and grow a lot more bushy and form a lot more reasonable and more manageable sized buds, putting you in a lot better shape come harvest time.
If you want to be done there, be done.
If you want to do a little more, wait until each of the remaining branches grow three sets of leaves, and cut it again. That will encourage more branches and more reasonable sized buds.
With the cut-off branch, you can do so many things:
- Throw it in the compost pile
- Use it in a flower arrangement
- Juice the leaves
- Get a flower press and do some botanical crafting
- Whole lot of things except get high
Transplanting your weed plants
I’m going to show you how to transplant your weed from wherever it’s been growing straight into the ground where it’ll grow big and tall and beautiful, until you kill it (at harvest).
When to transplant
How do you know when they’re ready?
- I’ve already sexed my plants, so I know that I’m going to only be growing females from here on out
- It’s nice and warm—evening temperatures are staying above 55 °F , which for summer annuals is the total magic number
- It’s before the Summer Solstice, so there’s still plenty of sunshine going on and these babies still have plenty of time to pack on vegetative growth, getting real nice and big before they start flowering.
The best time to plant any transplant is on an overcast day or in the evening—the plant will have some time to acclimate to its new home before getting blasted by sunlight the next day, and it helps minimize shock.
How to transplant
Preparing the hole:
- Nothing is dry: The ground and container have both been given a splash so nothing goes into shock
- Check on it every day for the next week because it’s a brand new baby
- It only needs to be watered when the soil is dry two inches down: Best way to figure out, stick your finger down two inches—if it’s dry, time to water
- Add compost (rake it smooth before digging)
- Add two amendments:
- Bat guano—high in nitrogen; will help leafy vegetative growth
- Bone meal—high in phosphorus; will help it flower later on
- Take the plant out of its container, tip it upside down, take off the container (admire those beautiful white roots, and don’t mess with them)
- Put the root ball gently into the hole, making sure the soil level is flush with the soil level of its new hole
- Backfill with soil—just scoot back all that dirt and fill the hole back up
- (optional): I add a sturdy tomato cage for trellising—as the plant grows, she will get real big and get real heavy flowers; I want to make sure branches don’t snap later in the season if there’s a rainstorm or really windy night
Having some amount of structural support will go a long way, and for me, a tomato cage does just the trick. I put it in at planting time so as not to disturb the roots later.
Don’t forget the last step: Never forget to put your label back in.
Sexing your weed plants
Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning males and females are on separate plants—that is super rare in the plant world. This is the most fun part of the process, sexing the plants: learning to tell the difference between those males and females.
When you buy weed from a dispensary, you are always buying female flowers—ideally unpollinated female flowers. That is how you get beautiful bud without seeds. So long as you’re after a crop of unpollinated female flowers, you’ve got to learn to tell the difference and you’ve got to chuck the males.
Of course, you can hang on to a male if you’re looking to try your hand at backyard breeding, maybe for some seeds for next year’s crop (but it’s very difficult). There is no guarantee they’re going to come out anything like either one of their parents.
So just know that if you hang onto a male plant, you are going to pollinate your entire crop, probably your neighbor’s, and your neighbor’s, neighbor’s crop. You’ll have weed full of seeds.
Identifying weed sex organs
Flowering won’t kick off in earnest until after the Summer Solstice, but with plants just over two months, you can most certainly sex them from their pre-flower.
Helpful tools : magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe.
When you’re growing outside, they will be ready to sex around 8-10 weeks.
- Find a node (between the stem and the branch—it’s like the armpit of the plant)
- There you’ll find a flap that looks like a flag, and that’s called a stipule
- Peel back the stipule, right where the next branch is starting to grow out, and you’ll find a sex organ
Males = Balls
Females = Round thing that’s not quite a ball and has a white hair (that white hair is a pistil)
If you think you see all balls, or you can’t quite tell, give it another week or so. Female sex organs are round, but they don’t scream “ball”—they look like something’s about to grow from them. In another week’s time, you’re likely going to see a hair or two.
Not everything is going to be a male—there’s no way you started all your seeds and they’re all males.
If you want to keep a male, give it a snip, strip it of its leaves, and put it in a glass jar inside. Grow it like you would a cutting or a flower and it will continue to grow.
When the pollen is released, it won’t get everywhere so long as it’s not near an open window. Once released, you can scoop up a little and selectively pollinate some flowers that you’ve got outside for seeds next year. Be careful not to pollinate your entire crop!
How to pot up your weed seedlings
Hey, this is Johanna and we’re back talking weed in my backyard, and we are going to pot up the babies into their next home.
I am potting these from their 4-inch containers where I sprouted them into gallon-size containers, where they will live for a little bit while longer.
You know your plants are ready for a bigger home when they’ve grown past the seed leaves—the cotyledons—and they’ve sprouted a few sets of their first true leaves. You want them to be looking healthy, not stressed out, so they can handle being moved to a new home.
These are about five inches tall. That’s great. You just want to have a few sets of those true leaves.
To transplant your weed:
- Give the weed seedlings a splash of water
- Use fresh potting soil—always fresh, do not reuse potting soil
- Everything should be moist, including potting soil—it doesn’t need to be dripping wet, but you want to minimize the shock for the plants
- Fill up the gallon with potting soil—you can sink the 4-incher in there to see how much to fill in advance (you want to submerge the cotyledons and even go a little deeper)
- Hold the plant upside-down in your hand
- Gently take off the 4-inch container
- Place it in the middle of the container
- Fill in the rest of the gallon with potting soil
I like to give mine a little shake to get them level and a little pat because potting soil is pretty fluffy. It will settle a bit. You don’t need to tamp it down with your hand.
I’ve left a little bit of a gap, about an inch at the most, for water to have a place to drain.
Important: Label goes back into the plant.
Give the new container a sprinkling of water to help everything feel real good in its new home. Keep them in the shade the rest of the day and throw them back in the sun first thing in the morning.
How to pop (germinate) your weed seeds
Wondering when you should start your weed seeds? Use the Farmer’s Almanac to find out dates for starting tomato seeds in your region and use those.
Before you get started, you will need:
- 4-inch containers (left over from whatever other stuff you’ve grown in your garden)
- Tray (for moving them around)
- Fresh potting soil—important: it says “potting” on the bag and you haven’t used it to grow other stuff
- Optional: Sharpie Extreme (it’s permanent and weatherproof)
- Weed seeds
I’m growing three cultivars this year:
(Humboldt Seed Company)—1:1 THC:CBD, also a beautiful plant (Humboldt Seed Company)—a crazy cannabis leaf that does not look like any other weed leaf
- Cherry Pie x Chem Lemon—given to me by my buddy, Jamal (he told me it was a beautiful plant and I like pretty things)
The legal limit in my area is six plants. I’m only looking to grow three. So I am going to pop a few seeds of each cultivar and trust that one or two is a lady.
Make sure you know the laws in your area.
How to germinate weed seeds
- Fill up 4-inchers with fresh potting soil. Fresh, has not been used for other things
- Write labels. I’ve made the mistake of only writing one label for a row—inevitably, you mess yourself up and you don’t know what your plants are
- Place labels in containers.
- Plant one seed in each container.
- Rule of thumb: Plant a seed twice as deep as the seed is wide
- Make a little indentation in the soil with your finger, drop the seed in, and pinch it shut
All you have to do from there is make sure the little containers are watered thoroughly for the next few days. You want to see water coming out the bottom and see that they’re thoroughly wet. They don’t need to be soggy, but you don’t want them to dry out.
They can germinate anywhere between 3-12 days.
In no time, you’ll see little green sprouts pop their way up.
How to pick a spot to grow weed
What’s up fellow weed growers!
I’m Johanna, coming to you from my Berkeley, California backyard. I grow fruit, veggies, herbs, cut flowers, and yeah, weed. I grow weed entirely outdoors, in the sunshine, no fancy equipment, not a lot of fuss. And I’ve actually found that information for that type of a grower is incredibly hard to come by. So I’m here to help show you how to do it.
And what’s the very first thing you need to do when growing weed? Find a spot to grow it.
What to look for when picking a spot to grow weed
Full sun. In the outdoor world of gardening, full sun means at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Just six to eight hours of direct sunlight and nature is going to do the rest. Morning sun is always a little bit gentler and more loving than afternoon sun.
Super good soil. When you’re gardening you’re actually cultivating soil more than you’re cultivating the plant. So you want some nicely amended, well draining, yummy soil.
Plenty of room. Weed is pretty variable in size so allot five to six feet of width.
Other considerations: If you live somewhere crazy windy, you’re going to want to plant them with a barrier—either a wall or other plants.
Privacy. In many locations, it’s only legal to grow weed behind super tall fences. You also don’t want your neighbors stealing your stuff.
Access to water is absolutely key. Plants need water to grow.