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growing weed outdoors in hot climate

Growing weed outdoors in hot climate

Planting cannabis in groups can help offer a little shade from the sides, compared to one plant by itself in an open field.

Water your cannabis plants in the early morning if possible. As the water evaporates during the day, the power of evaporative cooling helps the roots and the area directly around the plant stay slightly cooler.

5.) Offer Shade

Humic acids have protective abilities and can help cannabis plants deal with water stress and drought. Additionally, there is quite a bit of evidence (mostly with many different types of grass, but also with plants like soybeans and corn), that combining humic acid supplements with seaweed kelp extract actually increases the overall effectiveness of both supplements. They may have a synergistic relationship!

When growing outside, most cannabis growers are either going to be in soil or coco coir. They each have their own pluses and minuses, but coco has root-soothing properties that make plants more resistant to over/under watering as well as heat stress. It can be used by itself as a potting mix, or it can be mixed in with soil.

3.) Take Advantage of Evaporative Cooling

Some growers also recommend adding a layer of light-colored mulch (like straw or dried grass clippings) on top of the soil. The light color helps reflect heat back. I personally caution against bark-based mulch for first-time growers, especially those using liquid nutrients (which are very sensitive to pH), because bark can affect pH as it decomposes.

Environmentally friendly

Climate in your area

Heavy clay soils drain slowly and don’t hold oxygen well, so they will need to be heavily amended. A few weeks before you plant, dig large holes where you’ll be placing your weed plants and mix in big amounts of compost, manure, worm castings, or other decomposed organic matter. This will provide aeration and drainage, as well as nutrients for the plants.

Sandy soils

There are also commercially available soil blends that already contain the proper mix of these types of ingredients.

Growing weed outdoors in hot climate

That being said, some sativas grow short and some indicas grow tall. It’s always important to know your genetics, where they came from and how they’ll grow.

In the fall of 2016, I left the gloomy Northwest for the warmer climate of the Virgin Islands. Originally intending to work on a boat and sail around the Caribbean, I instead got involved in a work-exchange program and set up a self-sustaining farm.

This is where specific genetics will help too, as certain strains fair better in humid climates (more below).

You don’t need much supplemental light on a daily basis—only an additional four or five hours and the sun will provide the remaining 12 hours. You’ll need to spend some money on electricity for additional lights, but not as much as you would in a strictly indoor operation.


For flowering, if your plants are vegging inside, you would move them outside and under the sun when you’re ready to flower.

Even indoor growers can learn from the conditions in the tropics. The light and climate of the region are good examples of what to achieve in an indoor environment. If you’re new to growing, thinking about a tropical climate can help guide how you set up your operation. Just make sure you select strains that will thrive rather than suffer in a hot, humid climate (more on that below).

Although not native to the region, many varieties of cannabis thrive in the tropics. Sativa cultivars tend to grow better because of their tall stature and more open bud structure. Indicas can be harder to grow because they tend to grow short and stout and have denser buds, making it harder for air to flow through them. Indicas tend to mold quicker because of this.

Why Grow Cannabis in the Tropics?

According to farmers in St. Thomas, there are two ways to go about cultivating cannabis in the tropics:

If vegging outside, you’d cut off the additional light you’re giving them and keep them outside.