If you’re a novice grower or you don’t have a lot of experience with growing cannabis outdoors, it may be difficult for you to determine when the right time to put your plants outside is.

This is especially true if you’re growing photoperiod strains, as a lot of things can go wrong if you decide to take your plants outdoors too early or keep them inside for too long.

While generally speaking, you should plant your cannabis in mid to late May, meaning you should get your seeds by the end of April and start the germination process, this time period can vary a lot from one location to the next, so it’s always more important to follow the conditions closely focusing primarily on daylight length, so you can pick the right period.

When to Grow Cannabis Outside

While cannabis plants that are grown in indoor conditions require 12h of light and 12h of darkness to start flowering, when it comes to outdoor cultivation, photoperiod plants will flower when they start getting 14h of light and 10 hours of darkness, which some believe is due to the addition of nautical and civil twilight. 

What this means is that once you have at least 14h of light throughout the day and no more than 10h of dark, your outdoor cannabis will start producing buds. However, before that you need to give them enough time, at least a couple of months, for the vegetative stage, to grow strong and big enough for bearing buds.

Calculating this is pretty easy!

All you need to do is find a sunrise and sunset calculator online, put it in your location, and check the day length for each given day in the summer. Once you find a date where the day length is 14h, you can safely plan this date as the approximate start of the flowering phase. Now you need to bring your plants outside or plant them outside, in spring when temperatures don’t drop below 12-15° C (54-59° F). Note that you should not stick to an exact date every year, and you should always look your location up before you take your plants out.

You can choose to blast your vegging plants indoors with lots of light, and only bring them outside to flower. Alternatively, if you want to bring your plants outdoors so they can continue growing in their vegetative state and not flower right away, you can take them out sometime during March if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and September if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While we covered the basic requirements you need to stick to when choosing the right time to plant your outdoor plants, we’d like to offer you a few tips on how to avoid common mistakes that can take you back a lot and can affect your harvest in a detrimental way.
Let’s check them out.

1. Taking Plants out too Early

If you place your photoperiod strains outdoors before the days are long enough for them to continue vegetating, they’ll start flowering, and then as the days get longer they’ll try to revert back to the vegetative state, which is a process known as re-vegging. When this happens, it can take months for the plants to recover and get back to their vegetative state, which can be quite detrimental.

2. Seed Quality

Another important factor that will determine the success of your plants is the type of seeds you buy. This is the heart of cannabis cultivation, as good seed quality guarantees high germination success as well as high-quality buds and cannabis products. If you’re looking for well-established breeders and seedbanks, check out retailers with a long history of successful cannabis seed sales, like Herbies, where you can find high-quality outdoor feminized seeds that will get you great results and awesome yields.

3. Choosing the Right Strain

Another important part of the process, particularly when growing outdoors is to select a strain that will go great in the conditions you live in, since not all strains are created equal, and not all of them can adjust to almost all conditions easily.

What this means is that if you live in a colder climate, you should look for strains that adapt great to those conditions, like Indicas or auto-flowers, and if you’re located in an area where the climate is warm and humid, you will need to search for a strain that is designed for warm temperature climates, for example among heat-loving Sativas. Make sure to pick a strain that will finish growing before the temperatures in your area become too cold for cannabis. Otherwise, you may risk losing your harvest.

4. Starting Your Plants Indoors

If you have the option and conditions to start your plants indoors first, for at least a few weeks, you will do your plants a favor by not exposing fragile seedlings to the outdoor conditions, pests, insects, and other aspects too early and allowing them to grow a bit stronger so they can take on the outdoor conditions better.

This is especially useful if you live in an area with a shorter growing season, as starting them indoors will give them an extra bit of vegetation time.

We hope you can use these tips to improve your outdoor growth and get the most out of your plants! Happy growing!