Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
As cannabis legalization sweeps throughout the country, more consumers are interested in trying their hand at at-home cultivation. Beginner growers may face some hurdles at first. Still, once you get the hang of it, home cultivation is possible and enjoyable in indoor and outdoor gardens.
We’ve curated our list of the top seven easiest strains (cultivars) for beginner growers and what to remember when kick-starting your cannabis cultivation journey.
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Considerations for Beginner Growers
There are many factors to consider as a new cannabis cultivator. Most importantly, what are the legal regulations that govern growing cannabis in your state? Is cultivation allowed, how many plants can you raise, and where? Different marijuana programs have different rules, so it’s important to know what the law says in your state.
In medical-legalized states, you’ll likely need a medical marijuana card to grow your own weed. Most medical and adult-use state cannabis programs also limit how many plants you can grow at one time, with the former often dependent on the dose specified by your medical marijuana doctor.
Once you’ve determined whether it’s legal to grow cannabis in your home, there are other factors to keep in mind. Growing cannabis indoors or forming an outdoor garden have different growing requirements and best practices. Different strains (cultivars) do better in different environments with more or less space. The smell is also essential – some cannabis cultivars are more pungent than others, which you’ll want to be mindful of if you have neighbors.
Cost also factors into choosing your first marijuana plant to grow. How much do you want to spend? Seeds, soil, water systems, and other growing materials cost money, and most novice growers don’t want to spend too much as they’re learning. Before starting your grow, it’s essential to figure out what growing method and process may work best for your starting budget.
Beginner Tips for Growing Cannabis
The best way to grow cannabis as a beginner depends entirely on your goals and what strain you’d like to cultivate. Still, new cultivators can produce beautiful plants in indoor and outdoor gardens with the right materials.
Growing marijuana outside allows nature to do a lot of the work, providing light, water, and soil that helps your cannabis plants thrive. However, it can be tricky to raise and protect your cannabis in outdoor settings, which have more variables with which to contend.
You need to be in the right geographical location to best raise cannabis outdoors, with most cultivars preferring temperate or Mediterranean climates in the spring and summer seasons. Outdoor gardens are also more exposed to pests, molds, and bacteria, which can decimate your plants if they’re not protected.
However, outdoor cannabis gardens are satisfying and enjoyable to raise. Many claim the outdoor environment produces a more natural blend of terpenes than strains grown indoors. If you live in a suitable climate, sunlight-grown cannabis simply grows and requires nothing more than a bit of pruning along the way.
Indoor cannabis cultivation spaces, conversely, require more setup materials. Without the sun, your cannabis plants require specific indoor lights, soils, a filtrated watering system, and other growing materials and tools to help your plants thrive.
An enclosed space, however, also protects your plants from the elements, is less dependent on a favorable climate, and allows growers to take advantage of yield-boosting techniques like the “sea of green” (SoG) and “screen of green” (ScrOG) methods. Some states also require you to grow any cannabis plants indoors, which may be a moot point, depending on where you live.
Finally, make sure to purchase feminized seeds if you can. While these are not required, you want to grow female cannabis plants if you plan on smoking any bud. Male plants are essential for breeding, but females are what produce the trichome-laden, smokeable flower.
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Best Strains for Beginner Growers
Blue Dream is an easy cannabis strain that practically raises itself. The cultivar flowers in around 10 weeks for indoor cultivation systems or by early October when raised outdoors, growing up to 5 feet tall. Blue Dream’s easygoing nature and bounteous harvest make it an excellent choice for beginner growers, producing a high yield of approximately 21 ounces per plant.
For outdoor growers, Durban Poison flourishes in natural sunshine with little effort. With sativa-leaning genetics, Durban Poison grows up to 9 feet tall in sunlight and boasts a natural resistance to molds and pests. Its height may make it more challenging for indoor growers, but if you have the outdoor space and sunshine to spare, this cultivar is sure to delight with a good yield of up to 16 ounces.
Easy Bud Auto
It’s no wonder a strain with a name like Easy Bud Auto would be simple to grow. Easy Bud grows from seed to harvest in about nine weeks indoors, and though it produces more modest yields of 11 ounces, it requires little fuss. Easy Bud Auto will bloom when it’s ready without adjusting to the lighting cycle as an auto-flowering strain.
GG4, formerly known as Gorilla Glue #4, is a unique hybrid strain with a pungent nose, best suited to indoor grows but perfectly happy in natural light. GG4 is often recommended to aspiring cultivators due to its flexibility, short flowering period, and resilience to pests and environmental stressors.
The strain is also an excellent choice for testing the “screen of green” (ScrOG) growing method. In this technique, cultivators weave the plant’s stalks in a screen canopy to allow more light to hit branches, produce higher yields, and increase airflow.
Green Crack is a sativa-leaning cultivar with shorter flowering periods and favorable yields. While it can grow to taller heights and produce up to 20 ounces of flower outdoors per plant, beginning cultivators may want to raise Green Crack indoors to protect it from developing mold or powdery mildew.
Northern Lights is a short, squat plant highly resistant to most diseases or pests. The strain is simple to grow, preferring an outdoor climate with warm, sunny weather. Northern Lights reaches harvest time in mid-October when raised outdoors, and the crop can produce 22 ounces of flower per plant.
Sour OG is an off-the-cuff strain for beginner growers. A mix of OG Kush and Sour Diesel and its pungent terpene profile may make it a better candidate for indoor cultivation, where the smell won’t bother passersby. The strain reaches flowering in about eight weeks and is tough against would-be diseases and molds.
Wedding Cake produces short and wide plants with dense, compact buds that look like popcorn. The cultivar produces vanilla, citrus-forward smells that make it a welcome addition to any garden. You’ll want to regularly trim the top to prevent mold from growing on its lower branches.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good strain for beginner growers?
The best strain for beginner growers depends on many other factors such as laws, space, available growing environments, cost, and tools required. Others may seek a specific effect and need a variety that’s not too overwhelming. Read our above list for a few recommendations.
Which is easier to grow, sativa or indica?
Sativa plants are typically taller and branching and produce high yields outdoors. Indicas are great strains for indoor gardens, thanks to their short stature, which may make them a good size for new growers. Indicas are generally easier to grow, but this is not always the case. 100% indica or 100% sativa varieties can be difficult to grow for novices, so a hybrid is often ideal for beginners.