If you live in a climate with exceptionally hot and sunny days, shade cloth can be used to prevent your plants from overheating. In cold areas, natural enclosures and cement or brick walls can be used to help retain any available heat to keep your plants warm.
Avoid clay pots as they can be costly, heavy, and retain heat that could dry out the plant’s soil and roots. Fabric pots are the least expensive and most effective solution, as they allow for ample drainage and plenty of oxygen to get to the roots. Plastic containers are also light and inexpensive, but tend to retain more heat than fabric pots. Flowering plants need a container that is at least 5 gallons, or 18.9 liters, or larger to prevent the plants from outgrowing their containers and becoming rootbound.
Seeds vs. clones
Cannabis is a hardy plant that has adapted to climates all over the world. From the cool and arid mountains of Afghanistan to the humid regions of Colombia, the plant has been forced to adapt over time to build its defenses against a host of conditions. But cannabis is still susceptible to extreme weather conditions. Whether it is heavy winds breaking branches or excessive rain causing mold, the great outdoors presents challenges to growers that can be avoided with sufficient planning.
Greenhouse structures range from inexpensive polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubes, often called “hoop houses,” to highly engineered, fully automated, and purpose-built steel greenhouses. Due to their efficiency, greenhouses are quickly becoming the preferred growing method for many large-scale cultivators.
Plants grown from seeds are typically heartier and more vigorous than clones, as they produce a sturdier taproot that clones are not able to replicate. The vigor that comes from deep roots can be an advantage when dealing with harsh environmental conditions and pest pressures. The disadvantages of growing seeds is the additional attention required to germinate the seedlings, the necessity to eliminate any males before they pollinate the females, and the high variability in growth characteristics that results from their genes.
If it’s well past the spring equinox, monitor the number of daylight hours in your area by checking the time the sun typically rises and sets. Timeanddate.com tracks the sunrise and set times in various places around the globe. Don’t move your plants outdoors if they’ll get less than 14 hours of daylight.
Gradually familiarise your indoor plants to the amount of light they’ll receive outside by gradually decreasing their daylight hours for at least 1 week. Remember that your plants may start flowering during this period.
If your plants are young, consider moving them into partial shade for 2–4 days. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t show signs of heat or light stress (such as upward-curling leaves).
Prepare Plants for a New Light Cycle
For the best results, move your plants outdoors just after the spring equinox when daylight hours are at their longest.
If, on the other hand, you want to bring your indoor plants outside to flower, you’ll want to do so after the summer solstice (June in the Northern Hemisphere; December in the Southern Hemisphere) when the days naturally get shorter. If you’re bringing your plants outdoors long after the summer solstice to far shorter daylight hours, you’ll want to gradually familiarise them with their new photoperiod.
If you follow the tips outlined above, you shouldn’t have any issues moving your plants outdoors, be it to continue vegging, start flowering, or simply soak up some sunlight. Keep in mind, however, that carelessly moving your plants indoors or outdoors does carry the following risks:
Below, you’ll find some tips on how to safely move your indoor cannabis plants outdoors in different scenarios.