Outdoors, photoperiod cannabis plants will flower after the summer solstice, when the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer. In the Northern Hemisphere, this happens gradually after the June solstice, which usually occurs on June 20th or 21st, depending on the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, cannabis plants will gradually start flowering after the December solstice, which takes place on December 20th or 21st.
Whether sunlight “beats” artificial grow lights is an age-old debate in the cannabis community, with proud, loyal legions on either side. At RQS, we’re firm believers that there’s no replacement for Mother Nature, but we understand that growing indoors under artificial lights also has a lot of benefits.
Keep in mind that outdoor plants will start flowering gradually, as the daytime hours will diminish much more gradually than indoors, where you will flip your plants from veg to bloom with the flick of a switch.
When Do Cannabis Plants Flower Outdoors?
Read through a few grow forums and you’ll find plenty of growers who swear they’ve made it to harvest with just 1 or 2 hours of direct sunlight per day. Cannabis is, after all, a hardy plant that can withstand some pretty rough conditions when growing in the wild.
The Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, on the other hand, receive up to 10.5 and 13.5 hours of sunlight per day following the summer and winter solstices (respectively). In these areas, you might also be able to grow cannabis all year round, depending on the weather, and might find your photoperiod strains to flower based on age rather than a change in light cycle.
The equator, however, continually remains at the same distance from the sun. Hence, it gets a constant 12 hours of sunlight all year round.
As interest in CBD as a medicine has grown, many breeders have crossed high-CBD hemp with cannabis. These strains have little or no THC, 1:1 ratios of THC and CBD, or some have a high-THC content along with significant amounts of CBD (3% or more).
As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.
Go easy on nutrients
A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.
In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space.
Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.