How to Grow Weed Outdoors

learn how to grow weed outdoors
June 23, 2023

It isn’t difficult or costly to learn how to grow weed outdoors as long you follow some basic guidelines. You only need to know what cannabis seeds/strains to choose, when to plant, what containers to grow in, what soil and fertilizers to use, and how frequently to water and feed your plants.

But relax, after you’ve mastered these fundamentals, your cannabis plants will be top-notch, as you’ll soon find out from following our guide. So, let’s get to it, here is our best advice for growing marijuana outside.

First, to get rid of common concerns, you do not need to grow weed in a warm environment; one can grow in colder temperatures which certain marijuana strains are actually used to. Cannabis can survive in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Celsius. Plenty of growers have had fantastic results in these conditions, so don’t be discouraged because it’s cooler in your location.

But, in order for marijuana to grow at peak performance, we must provide it with what it loves. Sunny or warm locations are preferable to colder, less sunny locations. These little factors among others are essential to optimizing your crops for bigger and better results.

Below, we touch base on all the important aspects that contribute to an amazing harvest when growing cannabis outdoors.

Orange colored weed strain grown outdoors
An orange colored cannabis strain grown outdoors

3 Quick Secrets for Growing Insane Weed Outdoors

For those who already know most of what we will be discussing and just want to skip to the juicy bits, here are our 3 Quick Secrets for Growing Insane Weed Outdoors:

  1. Seeds: If you already know the ideal conditions for cultivating weed plants, you might just be wondering what the best marijuana seeds are for the outdoors. Here’s the best strain that thrives outside that everyone on the internet is raging about – Skywalker OG, which yields up to 17oz per plant. It’s mainly an Indica with a THC percentage of 26% and has an earthy, herbal and sweet taste.
  2. Grow Mediums: You may want to know what the ultimate growing medium or soil mix is for outside cultivation; seasoned growers swear by a 60/40 or 70/30 ratio of coco coir/perlite mix. That means that 70% of your soil mix is comprised of 70% coco and 30% perlite. This combination is very popular because of the amazing aeration coco coir provides and the efficient drainage perlite adds.
  3. Nutrients: Perhaps you might be curious to know what the secret sauce is in terms of nutrients or fertilizers to apply to your weed plants for crazy growth outdoors. Experts and first-time growers suggest the ILGM Marijuana Fertilizer set due to its complete formula perfect for growing cannabis outside. According to growers, this fertilizer set produces exceptional results during the seedling, vegetative and flowering phases due to the correct levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) ratio.

Let’s dig a little deeper

Your first objective should be to get the ideal weed seeds for the outdoors right away. If you want cannabis plants that are more resilient, grow faster, and produce larger harvests outside, you should choose an outdoor-adapted strain.

You might be able to get an outdoor-loving marijuana strain from a buddy who has grown the genetics you’re looking for before or you can opt to buy weed seeds adapted to outside growing online.

If you want our honest opinion, we believe that purchasing seeds online from a trusted cannabis seed bank is the wisest option. By sourcing strains from a reputable seed bank online, you’ll know the genetics you’re getting allowing for a more measured end result.

You will be able to see crucial information about a strain such as THC and CBD content, difficulty in growing, climate preference, potential plant size, vegetative & flowering times as well as taste and smell of the plant.

It is astounding to see the difference in growth when cannabis plants are cultivated in ideal conditions. To find a seed bank that informs you of the strains ideal conditions e.g. climate preference, a wonderful site to drop by is ILGM. They are one of the most reputable, discreet, and affordable marijuana seed banks in the USA. Check their reviews if you want honest feedback from other growers.

What advantages do outdoor adapted marijuana strains have?

Cannabis cultivars designed specifically for outdoor cultivation grow faster and larger. They are also more resistant to cold, mildew, pests, and diseases than non-outdoor varieties.

Outside-loving marijuana strains are better for cultivating outdoors in the USA. Pot seeds with genetics that are suited for the outside environment are more accustomed to the conditions. This will result in faster growth and bigger yields at harvest time.

Outdoor cannabis strains, as previously said, will be more successful in defending against the potentially harsh outdoor climates of the United States. Cold, mildew, pests, and diseases are all things to keep an eye out for when growing outside, so it’s best to get an outdoor strain to be on the safe side.

Growing weed outside – Let’s get critical

In the sections below, we will outline information that is key to a successful outdoor cannabis cultivation experience. Here’s a numbered list of what we will cover;

  1. Choosing outdoor weed strains
  2. Germinating cannabis seeds
  3. When to plant marijuana
  4. Ideal location for weed plants
  5. Containers for cannabis plants
  6. Soil mix for marijuana
  7. Watering weed plants
  8. Fertilizing marijuana plants
  9. When to harvest weed
  10. Cannabis yield amount
  11. Culling male marijuana plants
  12. Marijuana mold

1. Choosing outdoor weed strains

Selecting a cannabis seed for growing outdoors
A purple colored cannabis strain grown outdoors

There are many cannabis strains that grow well outdoors. Some great examples of strains that are adapted and thrive outside are Skywalker OG, Super Skunk and White Widow. As mentioned above, Skywalker OG is voted to be the best outdoor strain due to its incredible yield and resilient genetics. It packs a punch too.

If you have a good friend or are near a cannabis shop of sorts, you may be able to get outdoor seeds from them. Just make sure to ask about the genetics of the strain so you know what you’re getting.

2. Germinating cannabis seeds

A cannabis seed germinating in coco coir and perlite soil
A seed in germination

Don’t germinate seeds until you know when to plant, what soil mix to use and what containers to grow in. This is covered below.

To germinate cannabis seeds, use either the wet paper towel method or soak them in water.

The seeds will eventually split open, revealing a white-ish green sprout. When you notice this, it is time to place them in soil.

Place your seeds in a cannabis seedling soil mix at the start of spring for the greatest results. Try to germinate twice as many seeds as you need because some will die or turn male. We’ll talk about male plants later.

3. When to plant marijuana

Best month to grow weed April
April, the best month to grow weed outdoors (mid-May in some cases)

Cannabis, like all plants, goes through a life cycle. It will reach its maximum height from spring through the early part of summer. This is known as the vegetative phase.

You should plant marijuana in the spring because it will grow larger and higher all summer.

After summer, the plant will undergo the flowering phase (bud development).

Some strains are ready for harvest in just 8 weeks after the flowering phase begins, while others take 14 weeks. The length of time it takes to fully develop is determined by the strain type.

If you buy cannabis seeds online, the length of the flowering phase for seeds will be listed on the strain page.


Cannabis and many other plants are fragile during the younger stages of growth which means ideally, you should keep them indoors for the first 3 to 4 weeks of their lives if possible.

During this period, you can maintain the young plants near a window, grow them under lights inside, or place them somewhere else that gets some light and is safe from harm.

Cannabis plants should be a reasonable size when placed outside to grow in America. After the seedling stage is finished, wait 2 weeks into the vegetative phase and the plant should be of decent size to be able to handle the outdoors.

What marijuana looks like in the seedling phase
Marijuana in the seedling phase

When your ganja plants have grown to a suitable size…

Take them outside!

After 2 weeks in the vegetative stage, it is generally safe to take weed plants outside. Remember, plants will not grow the best if temperatures fall below 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The start of spring, when the weather is beginning to get warmer, is the optimal time to grow cannabis outdoors. You need to resist planting too early in the year when the temperatures are still too chilly for marijuana to thrive outside. Because of the low temperature, your cannabis plant may perish as a result.

4. Ideal location for weed plants

An area abundant in light and water for outdoor cannabis cultivation
An area with abundant light outdoors for marijuana growing

Well-Lit Cannabis Growing Area (Nice Water Location)

In terms of the most appropriate location, aim to find a spot with plenty of lighting and is close to a usable water source.

You’ll need at least 4 hours of light per day to produce a reasonable yield at the end of your grow. The more light your plant receives, the more bud it will produce. Ideally, you should aim for a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you are unable to obtain this, at least 4 hours of light will provide an adequate crop.

For a higher yield, look for a spot that receives at least 6 – 10 hours of sunlight per day.

Remove any other plants that could potentially grow over your cannabis plants. You must ensure that your plants receive as much light as possible in order for them to grow big.

Remember, put your plants in an area with enough light to help them develop bigger and faster. More light equals quicker and more sizeable growth. This is something that many growers overlook. In order to successfully grow cannabis outdoors in the U.S., a lot of light is required especially if you want huge yields.

Why choose a location close to usable water?

If you are growing far away from home outdoors, being close to a usable water source for you’re crop is convenient as you don’t need to carry water too far (hopefully) to get to your marijuana plants. This saves you time and energy.

5. Containers for cannabis plants

A plastic grow container with soil for easy outdoor marijuana cultivation
Plastic container with soil for growing cannabis outdoors

Planting cannabis in containers not only helps conserve soil content but also keeps other plants roots from stealing your plants nutrients. Containers are useful because they may be moved to where the warmer sun shines. It is also easier to move your plant around if you feel someone is aware of your grow.

A cool tip to keep in mind is; don’t be afraid to strategically place your plants with other plants in the wild to help them blend in. Cannabis is a green plant that blends in well with other green vegetation. Simply position your plant so that it receives enough light and is covered from sight on all sides.

If you have the space, a backyard or a balcony/terrace, that would be better to grow at as you can provide care to your marijuana plants more readily. You can keep an eye on your crop anytime, and correct any problems sooner than later so you can increase the odds of a successful harvest. You will also get to experience the joy of seeing your plants grow on a day-to-day basis as it is near you.

As a general rule, the larger the container, the larger the plant.

Add better airflow

For cannabis to grow without limitation, consider improving the airflow to your plants roots. For example, you may drill a few holes into the sides of the container you use to facilitate air movement. Consider using fabric pots, which allow ventilation through the cloth if you don’t want to do this.


Many gardeners may plant their seeds directly into the soil outside, only to be disappointed when their plant does not perform well or has been adversely affected by something. This could be due to the soil composition, coldness, dampness, wild animals, or snails consuming the sprouts.

6. Soil mix for marijuana

Outdoor soil mix for growing ganja
Soil mixture for growing cannabis outdoors

A lot of beginner growers think that any soil is good enough for cultivating weed. However, some soil just doesn’t cut it as it does not have the correct composition, aeration, nutrients etc.

You need good soil for good growth

Certain soils that are dark in color may be useable especially if you see signs of other plants growing well in it. If not, we recommend going for a coco coir and perlite grow medium to get the best soil mix with great composition, aeration and drainage. You can even grow just by using coco coir alone but you need to be careful.

Get well-aerated, fluffy-like soil like coco if you want the best results. Because roots need to breathe, do not compact the soil. Fluffy soil allows air to travel through more easily, allowing oxygen to reach the roots. Alongside airflow is drainage, which perlite is perfect for. Together, they are a powerful combination.

If you’re not sure what to do about soil, you can make things easier by visiting a gardening store and simply buying potting mix for flowers. You may even use vegetable potting mix. Just make sure to get a Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) ratio of 3:1:1 or the closest. This is displayed on the packaging of the soil you may buy.

7. Watering weed plants

Green watering can for growing weed outside
A watering can suitable for small weed grows outdoors

Water your cannabis plants on a regular basis, but don’t overwater. Cannabis benefits from dry feet (dry roots), therefore water only when the soil appears entirely dry. You may tell if the soil is still wet below the surface by pushing your fingers down into the soil. If there is no dampness 2-3 inches in or little to no dirt sticks to your finger when you pull it out, it is probably time to water. Water and minerals deplete over time, so top up on these regularly to get the most out of your gardening efforts.

8. Fertilizing marijuana plants

Great marijuana fertilizers from ILGM
The ultimate marijuana fertilizer set for outdoor growers

*Secret Sauce: Fertilizers*

If you’re looking to grow monster plants with massive yield and maximum hit potential, get a set of ILGM Marijuana Fertilizers. You can use this complete fertilizer formula during the seedling, vegetative and flowering phases of the cannabis plant. The instructions to use these nutrients are included in the products packaging. Inside this set, you will get Seedling, Growtime, Flowertime and Plant Boost Fertilizers all in one cheap bundle.

For all of the seedling stage, to get the best start possible, use the seedling fertilizer from the ILGM Marijuana Fertilizer set.

For the vegetative phase, a couple of weeks in (around 1 or 2 weeks after being planted outside), begin feeding the Growtime Fertilizer, since your soil will run out of nutrients.

As soon as you notice buds appearing, even if they are tiny, you can begin feeding the Flowertime Fertilizer.

As for the Plant Boost Fertilizer, please refer to ILGM‘s website for more details on how to use it.

There is a huge variety of fertilizers available, but for outdoor grows specifically to do with weed, we recommend ILGMs Marijuana Fertilizers. It has the perfect nutrient ratio for outside marijuana plants in the seedling, vegetative and flowering phases.

However, if you’re short on funds, many gardeners have had success with tomato fertilizers as well. Other fertilizers will also work, but make sure they are for fruiting plants and have an NPK ratio of 3:1:1 or close. To cultivate cannabis outdoors successfully in the USA, it is best to invest in fertilizers formulated for marijuana.


Read the instructions on the bottle/packet to determine how much fertilizer to use and how frequently. Don’t use too much fertilizer as you may notice nutrient burn or nutrient lockout on your plants. Excessive watering can also destroy your cannabis plants. Be wary of fading or pale green leaves. Watch for yellowing or browning leaves. When you detect these indicators, there may be nutritional deficits or surpluses, add/decrease fertilizers and/or water.

Please read this for a list of marijuana-related issues to watch out for.

When you’re good…

Keep an eye on your plants as they grow!

You don’t have much to do from here. Nature will take its course with the plants. If you experience any problems, take action and take notes. You will discover more the more you grow even if it takes learning from mistakes.

9. When to harvest weed

A small cannabis harvest
A beautiful handful of marijuana buds after harvest

Here are some key indicators of when to harvest your marijuana plants.

  • When the buds are big and swollen,
  • The resin on the flowers darkens and turns brown,
  • The leaves turn yellow and wilt.

If any of these things happen, your marijuana plants are ready for harvest. Another way to find out if they are ready to harvest is if you use a magnifying glass to examine the trichomes of the buds. It is ideal for half of the trichomes to be a milky white color and the other half to be a bright amber colour. However, if the trichomes are still clear, it’s best to wait a bit longer before harvesting.

Take note that some strains develop buds that are larger than other strains, so don’t be discouraged if you see this. Only personal growing experience and time can educate you on this.

When you’re ready to harvest, consider investing in a Bud Trimmer. This will separate the leaves and flowers making trimming buds faster.

10. Cannabis yield amount

Cannabis yield after an outdoor grow
Resinous cannabis buds yielded after growing outdoors

You can expect to get up to 17oz of bud per outdoor Skywalker OG plant if you take in what we’ve said on how to grow cannabis outdoors in the USA. If you aren’t growing this strain, just make sure to get seeds with genetics built for the outdoors and choose a location with plenty of light, get movable containers to plant in with holes for airflow and plenty of room for the roots and don’t skimp on quality soil, water, and/or fertilizers.

Without these considerations, your plants will not thrive as well as you want.

11. Culling male marijuana plants

Female cannabis plant
A female cannabis plant develops buds like this

The culling of male marijuana plants is a painful moment when growing outdoors. Male weed plants do not develop buds, but instead grow pollen sacks. You can still smoke the male plants, but because of the low THC content, it will have little effect on you.

If you do not remove the male cannabis plants, the pollen sacks will ultimately open, pollinating your female cannabis plants. When this occurs, your buds will produce seeds. A result that few gardeners want unless they are breeding.

How do you tell if the weed plant is male?

During the early vegetative phase, there is no way to tell a male from a female. Some claim that male plants grow taller and faster, but you won’t know for sure until the plant develops hairs or balls. Crossing whitish hairs indicate a female, whereas balls indicate a male. Here’s a video that explains how to tell them apart.

When you find a male, get rid of him. Don’t be alarmed; most people’s cannabis plants are normally half male and half female. This is understandable. However, growing using feminized marijuana seeds guarantees a 99% female output.

12. Marijuana mold

A disadvantage of growing weed outdoors is the issue of mold. Outside, it may rain excessively or the dampness in the environment could affect your grow. So, even when your buds are looking nice, inside, you may find a nasty surprise of mold breeding. To check for this, you can slice your bud in half to see if there is a dark greyish shade within. You don’t want mold on your produce, therefore remove any infected buds as soon as you notice them.

American Outdoor Cannabis Growing Guide End Notes

To sum things up, you need a marijuana strain adapted to the outdoors; with seeds only from a reputable and trustworthy source.

You need an area with lots of light and is close to usable water.

You need big movable containers (to relocate if necessary) to grow in with holes for airflow to the roots or use fabric pots.

You need good soil like a coco coir with perlite mix.

You need ILGMs Marijuana Fertilizer for the seedling, vegetative and flowering phases of cannabis.

You need a magnifying glass to check trichome colors on buds.

And finally, you may want to invest in a bud trimmer to remove leaves from flowers after harvest.

That’s it #420 fam. We hope you discovered something new here today. Please leave a comment for any questions, advice, tips, tricks or hellos.

Peace ☮

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