Growing Outdoor Cannabis Plants: Our Best Tips and Tricks

outdoors cannabis

Provided that cultivating cannabis is legal where you live, and you consider yourself new or relatively new to the growing game, then these tips for successfully growing outdoor cannabis should serve as a handy guide. For those of you who are experienced cultivators, it’s always useful to have a resource to direct friends to in lieu of having to essentially operate a cultivation school for free.

Advantages and disadvantages of growing outdoor cannabis


First, let’s address the disadvantages of cultivating cannabis outdoors, as it does have its challenges. 

Weather: One big challenge is that unlike inside, you cannot control the climate and temperature, which is to say, you are at the mercy of the elements. 

Pests: Another thing to be aware of when growing outdoors is that your plants being exposed to the elements include pests, such as mites.

Security and local laws: Furthermore, depending on where you are growing and how much you are planning to grow, you might need to consider how to keep your crops safe and secure, and if need be, discreet. The best advice here is to find out what the laws are where you live to see what requirements exist as i.e., in the U.S., some states require that it is not visible from the street, which could even include if you are growing a few plants in pots on a balcony that is easily visible from below.

Height: Outdoors, some strains can reach as tall as 10 feet. While this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, it is a factor that can affect your privacy and security issues.


Now, onto some of the myriad of advantages of growing outdoor cannabis!

Cost-effective: With free access to the sun, rain, wind, and fresh air, unlike indoor operations, you don’t need to invest in much equipment to grow marijuana outside. Unless you decide to build a greenhouse, the only real costs will be soil, nutrients, seeds, and your water bill–where even with watering you could eliminate those costs by collecting rainwater.

Good for the planet: Growing cannabis outside is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Little to no energy is wasted or required and nutrients can be reused if properly regenerated.

Consumer-oriented: Users tend to prefer agriculture that is organically grown outdoors. In the case of outdoor cannabis, the plants are able to achieve their full potential and as a result, have a full and natural terpene profile.

Yields: Depending on the strain, one plant can yield anywhere from a half to an entire pound of dried marijuana. Grown outside, you are generally less restricted by space.

Tips for outdoor cultivation

Environment and strain match: It’s of the utmost importance that you have a good understanding of general weather and seasonal patterns where you’ll be growing, and then select your strain(s) based on how well they match with your outdoor growing environment. For example, if you live in the upper Midwest of the U.S., attempting to cultivate a plant that takes 10 weeks to flower and requires a consistent Mediterranean-like climate is not going to be your best bet.

Germinate indoors: If you’re able to, it’s generally best to germinate your seeds inside to keep them from being eaten by insects and birds. When you’re ready to transplant them outdoors, it’s advised to put them through a time of “hardening off” for about seven days. All this entails is placing your plants in an area outside where they are more protected from the elements for a matter of a few hours a day. After this, they should be strong enough to be left outside full-time.

Soil matters: Whether you opt to grow your plants straight from the ground or in pots is relatively inconsequential in that one option allows you to grow more and the other is easier to move and conceal. What really matters is having the right kind of soil, which means it’s highly unlikely that you can just go dig some holes in your backyard and expect healthy plants to grow. The things to be aware of with soil are as follows: pH levels, consistency (outdoor cannabis tends to thrive best in loamy soil), and fertility (if the soil is of poor quality it’s easily remedied by increasing its nutrient levels by adding manure or mulch.)

Location: Location. Location. Let’s say you are planning to cultivate in your backyard. Before planting, you’ll need to know what kind of climate and setting your strain will thrive in, and things like which part of your yard gets the most sun, shade, wind, protection from the elements, etc., and then plant accordingly. If you are wanting to grow on your balcony but it doesn’t get the best light or good wind, you might want to reconsider that spot.

Timing: As the saying goes, it really is everything. Two things to consider when planting are: the best time of year for your plants to grow and the best time to harvest your plants!

When it comes to the best growing time, you’ll need to consider the average temperatures where you live for the season(s) your cannabis plants will be maturing, and the daylight and rainfall amount that time of year. In regards to determining the best time to harvest your plants, one easy guide is to refer to the information that comes with the seeds as they will usually tell you how many weeks or what month they should begin flowering. Paying attention to the colors of the pistils and the trichomes will also alert you to your plants being ready to harvest.


Hopefully, these tips have you feeling more prepared, confident, and less intimidated to cultivate your outdoor cannabis plants outdoors. Just don’t forget to enjoy the process and remember that the reward is going to be worth the work!

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