Cannabis Cultivation: Choosing Which Strains to Grow – Part III

cannabis cultivation

Part III – Taking into Consideration Outdoor Climate, Greenhouse or Indoor Growing:


In the first part of this 3-part series about cannabis cultivation, we discussed origins, landrace strains and cannabis varieties. We learned about several factors, which come together to influence the makeup of cannabis qualities. We looked into the history of the lesser-known Cannabis ruderalis and acknowledged the rarity of pure Indica or Sativa strains, as almost all strains are hybrids. ­

The second part included an exploration of the chemical qualities of cannabis to break down how they factor into different feels and flavors. Cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids were each discussed and the roles they play in the cannabis experience.

For the final section of the series, we’ll look at determining whether outdoor, greenhouse or indoor growing is the best approach for cannabis cultivation.


Outdoor Growing

Much like other plants, cannabis grows with more success in specific climates. However, cannabis is a hearty plant and has spread with a great deal of success all over the world from its origins in Central Asia. If you’re considering growing commercial cannabis outdoors, be sure to research the specific hardiness zone of your location, in addition to:

  • The length of the grow season
  • Average precipitation
  • Day length
  • Average temperatures
  • Altitude
  • Soil quality

The hardiness zone will define the number of outdoor harvests and yield potential you can expect per year. Although, by manipulating the environment to increase your potential harvests and yields, it is possible to grow cannabis outdoors in various grow zones. This can be done through additional watering or soil drainage, adding lighting or creating light deprivation, choosing shaded or full-sun locations, and adding nutrients to the soil.

Specific strains tend to do better in various outdoor climates, so choosing zone-specific strains will also help your success. Here are some suggested strains for specific climates:

  • Tropical – Super Silver Haze or Bob Marley Sativa,
  • Mediterranean – Jack Herer or Blueberry
  • Subtropical – Auto Candy Kush or White Widow
  • Arid – Durban Poison or Yoruba Nigeria
  • Temperate – Holland’s Hope or Light of Jah
  • Continental – Northern Lights or Amnesia Haze
  • Subarctic – Lemon Haze Auto or Purple Power


Greenhouse and Indoor Growing

When choosing strains for greenhouse and indoor commercial cannabis cultivation, the biggest issues to account for are the height and girth of each plant. Depending on the available space at your facility, the size a plant grows to can influence your strain choice. Growing techniques, such as supercropping and no-veg aeroponic growing, can open the possibilities of growing notoriously tall plants more easily indoors.

New greenhouse and indoor technologies can easily maintain room-specific climate controlled settings. The degree to which your greenhouse or indoor facility is controlled will also influence the strains you can grow. For example, if you cannot keep your rooms cool enough, you may want to consider strains that grow better in hotter climates.

If you are using grow techniques in facilities that afford you more range of strains, the last set of attributes you might consider is each strains’ resistance to disease and pests, yield potential, and potency test results. As the commercial sale of seeds and plants increases, and genetics stabilize, informative label information is more readily available to help you when choosing strains.


Producing Healthy, High-Yield Crops

Inevitably, commercial cannabis cultivation will be influenced by data on what strains have consistently sold well over time as well as what strains are trending in the market; however, many factors influence strain and breeding choices. Knowing the origins of cannabis and its complexities will help commercial cannabis cultivators grow a product both fitting to the needs of their consumers and that produces healthy, high-yield crops.



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  • James Schwartz on January 21, 2017 at 5:34 am Reply

    I’m not sure who Whole Plant technologies is, I will have to research you, but I appreciate your info and insight. As a cultivator your info was straightforward and inciteful. It caused me to really think about strategies and how not to try to force a particular strain to grow in an environment that may not be ideal for that plant.

    • Abbie Testaberg on January 23, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Thank you! We appreciate you taking the time to leave us a comment. We enjoyed writing this series to understand the broader points of the cannabis plant!

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