Photo courtesy of Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Guides | 03.17.2024

The Best Outdoor Cannabis Strains For Successful Growth

Ready to let nature ripen your buds to perfection? Discover the ten best outdoor strains to grow and our expert tips for getting top-tier sun-grown yields.

Outdoor cannabis cultivation offers numerous advantages over indoor growing. By harnessing natural sunlight, outdoor gardens deliver highly potent buds bursting with cannabinoids and terpenes.

Outdoor strains also exhibit resilience to pests and mold while requiring fewer resources to cultivate. This comprehensive guide explores exceptional outdoor varieties, cultivation tips, and the benefits of sun-grown cannabis. 

Why Grow Cannabis Outdoors?

Outdoor cultivation provides several compelling benefits that make it an increasingly popular choice among home growers and commercial cultivators alike. 

Boosted Potency Through Natural Sunlight

Photo courtesy of Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Unlike indoor setups relying on artificial lighting, outdoor growers can capitalize on natural sunlight’s unique light spectrum and intensity. Studies have demonstrated that UV rays in sunlight trigger greater cannabinoid and terpene production, boosting potency.

The research found that sunlight exposure directly correlates with higher levels of THC and other medicinal compounds. 

Lower Operating Costs

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By leveraging natural light, outdoor cannabis gardens eliminate the need for high electricity costs associated with indoor lighting and climate control systems.

Less infrastructure and fewer mechanical components lead to dramatically lower operational expenses. Outdoor cultivation also does not require ventilation or dehumidification investments. 

Enhanced Sustainability

In addition to slashing energy consumption, outdoor grows minimize the overall carbon footprint of cannabis production.

An assessment by the American Chemical Society calculated that outdoor systems emit fewer greenhouse gases while utilizing fewer non-renewable resources. The study deemed outdoor cultivation an environmentally friendly alternative aligned with sustainability goals. 

Genetic Diversity For Climate Resilience

Having evolved for millennia across varied global environments, outdoor cannabis strains exhibit exceptional genetic diversity.

This enables the plants to withstand temperature swings, humidity levels, mold threats, and pest pressures. Outdoor varieties readily acclimate to local conditions, delivering success across diverse climates and regions. 

Top Performing Outdoor Varieties

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While most cannabis strains can thrive outdoors, given the right climate, certain genetics deliver exceptional returns under natural cultivation. These include:

Northern Lights

Cool Climate Champion Originally bred in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Lights thrives in cooler northern temperate climates. Its Indica-dominant lineage and short, stocky profile help the strain tolerate wind, rain, and temperature dips.

Northern Light’s accelerated flowering period allows it to mature fully before fall frost. The dense, crystal-coated buds emit a sweet, earthy aroma. 

Durban Poison: Equatorial Evergreen Powerhouse

Hailing from South Africa, Durban Poison is ideally suited for tropical and subtropical outdoor cultivation. As a pure sativa, the plant exhibits vigorous growth, reaching towering heights in peak summer.

The elongated colas offer profoundly uplifting and energizing effects with a sweet, spicy scent. Durban Poison also demonstrates mold, mildew, and pest resistance — necessary traits for humid equatorial regions. 

Blue Dream

West Coast Cult-Favorite A descending from DJ Short’s Blueberry and Santa Cruz Haze, Blue Dream shines in Mediterranean climates like its native California.

The hybrid cross delivers large, sticky harvests of fruity buds tinged with floral undertones. Its propagating nature enables abundant transplantable offshoots. Blue Dream’s balanced euphoric and relaxing properties make it an easy crowd-pleaser. 

After a short flowering season, buds are frosty and reach maturity in early October. Outdoor yields surpass 32 ounces per plant.

Success Factors For Outdoor Cannabis

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While selecting suitable genetics forms the foundation, several other critical factors determine the success and scale of outdoor cannabis grows. 

Sunlight Exposure

Choosing an optimal outdoor site directly impacts sunlight exposure, airflow, drainage, and other plant health and yield variables. Southern exposures offer more direct sunlight. Areas sheltered from wind prevent damage to plants.

Proper spacing and orientation also boost light interception. When sitting in the garden, consider the sun path, tree cover, and prevailing winds. 

Building A Living Soil System

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The soil ecosystem influences mineral uptake, pest management, and microbiome interactions, determining cannabis health. Prioritize soil improvement through regular compost inputs, worm castings, cover crops, and organic fertilizers.

Fostering a biodiverse soil food web boosts yield while reducing environmental impacts. Based on strain requirements, conduct testing to optimize pH, nutrient levels, salinity, and organic matter.

Integrated Pest Management

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While outdoor strains demonstrate climate resilience, pests and mold remain prevalent threats. An integrated pest management plan combines controls like row covers, trap crops, predator insects, and sprayed oils to minimize risks before using synthetic pesticides. Monitor the garden closely and respond rapidly when threats emerge.

Catering To Regional Conditions

Outdoor cannabis performs best when strains suit local growing conditions. Equatorial sativas thrive in warm southern regions, while cool-weather indicas prosper in northern climates.

Match varieties to latitude, temperature range, humidity, wind, and precipitation patterns for optimal results. Prioritize mold and pest-resistant genetics for humid, tropical areas. Seek quick-flowering strains for regions with shorter summers. 

Planning An Outdoor Cannabis Growth

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto/ Pexels

By leveraging natural sunlight, outdoor cannabis delivers substantial advantages over indoor cultivation. Beyond boosting potency, sun-grown methods slash energy costs and environmental impacts.

While climate resilience comes innate to most strains, carefully selecting regional varieties and catering to local conditions ensures abundant, quality harvests.

With the right planning and protections, outdoor gardens can offer supremely rewarding and sustainable cannabis cultivation for all skill levels.

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