Winter Cannabis: How to Grow It and Keep It Alive

photo of a branch of a pine tree with snow weighing it down, showing how growing winter cannabis is different

If you know how to grow cannabis, then you already know the basics of growing winter cannabis. You buy your seeds or clones, let them grow, and eventually enjoy a successful October harvest of all your favorite strains. The general idea behind winter cannabis is exactly the same, with a few minor adjustments: the grow must be indoors, lighting and heat are even more important, and humidity is a crop killer. If an expensive electricity bill doesn't bother you, then winter cannabis is entirely possible, if not preferable. No more trimming your weed plants under the hot sun in the middle of September, or losing your clones to heatstroke. Growing winter cannabis requires work, but at least the work can be done in the shade. And since Canada legalized recreational cannabis right in time for their cold North American winter, knowing how to grow winter weed may be a valuable skill. Wherever you are, make sure to read up and get ready to grow some fabulous winter cannabis.

How is Growing Winter Cannabis Different? 

The difference between growing cold-weather cannabis and growing warm-weather cannabis is more about work than quality. It takes a lot more work to sustain an indoor grow, especially when the weather outside is frightful. You are artificially replacing the sun, after all. Weed enthusiasts who are accustomed to doing outdoor grows will find winter cannabis growing to be a change of pace since any and all cold-weather grows should happen indoors. Instead of worrying about heatstroke and too little water, winter cannabis growers should concern themselves with all things wet and cold. Mold, frostbite, and undernourishment are far more likely issues you’ll face when growing winter cannabis. Another difference that many growers may not consider is the holiday schedule of winter vs. summer. If you plan to grow weed during the winter, make sure that you don't have any plans for extended vacations, visits, or trips since you can't leave your weed alone for too long.

Tools for Growing Winter Cannabis photo of the woods in winter with trees covered in snow and the ground covered in snow

Growing winter cannabis requires certain tools that are either optional or not-at-all necessary for warm-weather grows. First and foremost, you'll need to compensate for the lack of sunlight and warmth, which takes a lot of energy (figuratively and literally). Winter cannabis should be grown with special attention to lighting and heating, so expect a spike in electricity bills. Solar panels are a great place to start if you want sustainable tools for growing winter cannabis. Expect to invest in indoor lighting rigs as well as a fan or two to keep your indoor grow warm, dry, and happy. Otherwise, growing winter cannabis requires all the same tools that growing weed in any other season does: nutrient-rich soil, a large pot, water, fertilizer, and trimming equipment.

The best, underrated tool for growing winter cannabis is the plant itself. Be selective when choosing your cold-weather weed and invest in a hardy strain. Also look into purchasing autoflowering cannabis plants that have been genetically modified to flower without lighting changes. While normal weed strains require specific lighting management and reduction, autoflowering plants flower automatically as they grow. Autoflowering plants are perfect for winter cannabis grows and should definitely be considered if you're looking for helpful tools.

Tips for Growing Winter Cannabis close up image of grass covered in snow with a few pieces sticking out

Growing winter cannabis is a lot easier when you know the right tips and tricks to keep the operation running as smoothly as possible. The last thing you want is to start an expensive grow without making some contingency plans. The biggest enemy of winter cannabis is the cold, so make sure to plan for an indoor grow. An attic, basement, closet, spare bathroom, greenhouse, shed, or any other place will work so long as it is protected from the elements. Not only does growing indoors allow for the plants to stay warm and away from the elements, it also keeps them dry. Mold is the enemy of any cannabis grow, especially when the weather is less than ideal. Winter cannabis is more at risk for molding than at other times of the year due to increased humidity levels.

Winter also brings the risk of power outages, which can wipe out an entire indoor crop if they last long enough. Before starting your winter cannabis grow, make sure to plan for power outages and other unexpected disasters. Where you live can drastically change the obstacles you'll face growing your winter cannabis, so make sure to consider all the options before investing your money in a cold-weather grow. A smart move for successfully growing winter cannabis is to start with a strain that does well in cold climates. With so much weed strain diversity, you should easily be able to find a winter cannabis strain that suits you.