Growing Cannabis in Desert Environments

The hot temperature of 120* F doesn’t seem like the ideal growing conditions for marijuana, but this is misleading. Most plants die in those temperatures due to a lack of water, not the heat itself. The plant may also have shallow roots that are burnt in the hot upper layers of the soil.

If a marijuana plant gets enough water in hot temperatures, the water gets down to the roots of the plant. The deeper layers of the soil don’t have the extreme temperature changes that the top layers due in the heat.

In the summer months, you don’t want the soil to dry out. The roots draw up the water, and this is transferred to the leaves of the marijuana plant. If the soil gets dry, then the cells in the leaves don’t get the water that they need. Leave will wilt and lose turgidity. As the plant dries out, more cells die off. Plants face a lot of stress even if there is a little bit of wilting. The lack of water causes damage to the plants. Plants can die in just a few hours if they don’t get water at the first sign of plant stress.

Leaves may droop during the hot test parts of the day even if enough water is present. This is a protective measure by the plant and not necessarily a cause for concern. Plant leaves wily slightly when they get intense sunlight, so the leaves get less of it. Partial shade is ideal for marijuana plants in intense heat. The soil doesn’t go through extensive changes, and the plants are more protected. The plants get enough light to grow. Indirect light in some area gives enough light intensity if no cloud cover is present, and yields can be decent enough.

In dry and hot climates, the grower can use commercial products. You can buy Anti-transpirant sprays that help reduce water loss when there are periods of plant stress. The sprays indicate that they are ideal for stressful climate changes like dry and hot winds of when you’re transplanting. Most nurseries have these sorts of products to help protect your marijuana plants.

You can also use water holders made from polymers and starch. These look like corn flakes, and they are quite lightweight when dry. These are mixed in with the soil, and when they meet water, they balloon up in the water to hundreds of times the weight. One single tablespoon of these flakes holds 6-8 ounces of water. The flakes release their moisture when the soil starts to dry out. The soil holds its moisture for longer, and there is less loss of water.

Hot Weather Growing

Hot outdoor conditions can be ideal for the growing of marijuana. The crops can be cultivated year long without having to worry about problems such as mold developing. The plants benefit from the intense light which provides better growth for the marijuana buds. There are challenges in these environments, such as extreme heat and the lack of water. The dry soil is not ideal for the growth of marijuana plants that love water.

Without the right preparation and knowledge, you’ll face problems. A lot of heat can easily ruin your crop, and you’ll have nothing that you can harvest. The trick is to keep the roots which are heat-sensitive hydrated and cool in the heat.

Hot Weather Problems

The extreme heat is a problem for cannabis plants. The young plants are more susceptible to the heat. In dry paces there is more evaporation, and the soil may be cracked or hard. The dry upper soil and the heat can cause the roots to burn and the plants to die.

Heat stress is another problem in hot climates. When there is heat stress, the leaves will curl up or start cupping. Leaves may start to droop if they are undergoing heat stress. If this is left for too long, the plants stop the growing process.

In dry and hot climates there are more hours of daylight and fewer hours of darkness. Marijuana plants need at least 12 hours of darkness to flower properly. Since hot climates have unsuitable dark and light cycles with more hours of light than darkness this can cause stress to the cannabis crop. (1)

Protection of Your Cannabis Crop from the Heat

When you grow in hot climates, you don’t want the growing medium to dry out. The plants drink plenty of water in a hot climate. If the plants don’t get enough water, they will dry out by the end of the day. Water the plants early in the day and ensure that they are hydrated throughout the day. You don’t want to get the leaves wet as the water droplets can magnify the heat of the sun and burn the leaves.

Marijuana Seeds

The seeds that you use plays a role in the cannabis that you harvest. You want to use good seed strains that can resist the heat of the sun. Ensure that the seeds get enough water, so the plants grow properly. Here are the seeds that you should be using as they have good heat resistance. (2)

Hawaiian, African, Haze, and Sativa

These strains are from hot climates. They can resist the hotter climates. They can resist the heat and a lack of water. These strains can go for days in temperatures that are 38°C or 100°F and higher. These strains can produce high yields despite the high heat and lack of water. The sativa strains can adjust to shorter dark cycles. Some of them even have high levels of THC. Recommended strains include THC Bomb, NYC Diesel, Jack Herer, Afghan, Headband OG, and Kaya Gold.

Exposure to the Sun

Plants should have some partial shade to protect them from water evaporation and heat. The plants get the darkness they need, and they are protected from sun burning. You can create shade by making a mesh shade to put over the plants if you don’t have natural shade or put a cloth cover over them. The cloth cover should allow for some airflow so the plants can be kept cool.

Desert Plant Guides

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