How to Start Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Growing cannabis at home can be a bit challenging, but it’s also a rewarding experience. While indoor growing is possible, it can be expensive and complicated for beginners. If you have a sunny, private outdoor space, it’s easier to grow cannabis since it needs similar conditions to a tomato plant.

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Best Time to Plant Cannabis Outdoors

The timing of planting is crucial. Plant too early, and your plants might die from the cold. Plants are too late, and they might freeze when summer turns to fall. Knowing the life cycle of the cannabis strain you are growing, whether from seeds or clones, is essential. The most important factor is your location since climate affects plant survival. Unlike indoor growing, where you can control conditions, outdoor growing depends on natural elements. Generally, summer is the best time to grow cannabis outdoors, but this varies by region.

Growing Cannabis in Different Regions


The climate in Oregon varies greatly. Near the coast, you can move plants outside as early as March or April if you can protect them from extreme weather. In Central Oregon’s high desert, it’s safer to move plants outside in May or June and protect them from late frosts.


California’s climate also varies. In Northern California, watch out for rain, cool temperatures, and mold. In Southern California, the sun is abundant but the soil may not be as rich. Apply the Oregon guidelines: Northern California is like the Oregon coast, and Southern California resembles Central Oregon’s high desert.


Washington’s climate is wet and cloudy. Plant in early spring, but ensure your garden gets maximum sunlight and protect your plants from excessive moisture.


In Arizona’s high heat, start plants indoors early and move them outside in March or April. Use larger pots with nutrient-rich soil and mulch to retain moisture.


Colorado’s four-season climate means a short summer growing season. Plant outside in May or June and watch for frost.

Tips for Outdoor Growing


Watering needs vary by location but expect to water every other day in summer. Ensure the plants aren’t too wet to prevent root rot. An adult cannabis plant can need up to 10 gallons of water daily, so using a garden hose is efficient. Adjust the pH of your water to between 5.8 and 6.2 for optimal nutrient uptake.

Soil Conditions:

Cannabis needs a balance of nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Use pre-mixed soil for young plants and amend the soil with compost teas and bokashi if planting directly in the ground. Feeding the soil properly is crucial for strong crops.

Additional Tips:

– Growing in containers allows you to move plants for better sunlight and protect them from extreme temperatures.

– In windy areas, use windbreakers to protect plants from breaking and pest infestation.

– Keep plants healthy to help them fight off pests naturally.

– Use cannabis-specific nutrients instead of general fertilizers like Miracle Grow for better THC levels.