If you grow your cannabis plants indoors, you may decide to take your cannabis pots outside once in a while so that they can enjoy the summer sun just like you do. But is it okay with the plants? Does it bring more health than damage?
The answer is yes—growing under the natural sunlight is healthy for any plants, including cannabis. But it does not mean that you can just pick up your pots from the basement and put them directly in the center of the backyard.
First of all, such a radical change of environment may stress your plants. It is a bad idea to leave your cannabis under direct sunlight for the whole day. Remember how painful it may be for a pale person if they stay at the ocean beach all day long without sunscreen or without preparing the skin for such heat. The same goes for leaves.
Natural sunlight contains a wide spectrum of light, much wider than any indoor grow light can provide. It has visible light, infrared, and also ultraviolet rays. All of them are important for photosynthesis, but the spectrum that gives people a suntan, may “tan” leaves as well. That is why it is important to let the plants get accustomed to the new environment.
It would be great if you could set the plants in partial shade for the first 2-3 days. Do not leave the plants outside for long, one or two hours would be enough. This may look like a lot of fuss for carrying your pots outside and back for such a short time, but luckily, cannabis plants adapt to the new conditions quite fast. Already by the end of the week, you will be able to leave your plants under direct sunlight for half of the day.
If the weather is fine, you can move your plants outside for the whole day already by the end of the second week.
Light is not the only thing you should be aware of. Cannabis that grows outdoors in the open ground rarely has problems with high soil temperature. But since your plants probably grow in pots, you should take this moment into consideration.
Shading your plants on the first day can also prevent the water in the pot from heating. If you leave your cannabis under the scalding sun, the soil temperature in the container can rise up to the 140ºF or even more. It can damage the whole root system: roots will start to rot, the moisture will attract disease bacterias, and the plant can die just within a couple of days. If the temperature in the pot is too high, you can simply cook the roots, and the plant will die immediately.
We bet you do not want the situation to be so dramatic. We would recommend you to shade the pot from sunlight during the whole time it is outside. You can also dig a hole in the ground and put the container inside it. It will not let the sunlight heat the container, and it will be easier for you to cover the soil.
Once your plants leave the safe growing room, they enter the world full of danger. Indoor plants are usually very tender and unaccustomed to having to fight with different diseases and insects. It may take the plants time to get tough and become more resistant to the enemies. In most cases, it will take them about two weeks to adapt. Once they do, pests and diseases will find your plants less attractive.
However, before this time comes, you need to pay extra attention to every single leaf on your plants and make sure you do not bring any pest inside. It is better to prevent the contamination than to deal with the problem. Buy some organic pesticides and fungicides in a flower store and spray the plants while they are still inside. We would not recommend you to spray the plants when they are already outside under direct sun as it may hurt the leaves.
It would also be nice if you protect your plants from strong wind. Light wind is good for cannabis, but if the airflow becomes too strong, it may easily break the weak stems that are used to the calm indoor environment.
It may take about two months before the stems get significantly stronger to resist the wind, so you had better not risk it. If you put the pot with cannabis somewhere close to the fence, it can already be much easier for you to save the stem and branches from the wind and to give them the necessary support if the plant is too high.