how to grow white widow

How Does White Widow Auto Cannabis Grow?

If you are just curious or are currently growing the White Widow and want to compare it check any problem you might have, this is just for you. Here you can see how this strain develops, what to expect week-by-week, and take a look at this beautiful old-school strain.

We’ve come up with a week-by-week grow guide, starting off with the world-famous classic White Widow. This beloved old-school strain will make even avid consumers fall in love with it due to its insane trichome production and potency.

1. History

White Widow is one of the most successful commercialized strains, this strain has won awards since it’s appearance in 1994. This cannabis variety was created by Dutch breeders and became known all over the world for it’s potent high and extremely resinous buds, becoming present in almost all respectable seed banks even nowadays.

Despite its fame, no one knows exactly where it originated, but there are two theories.

Shantibaba’s Version

Shantibaba is a very respected Dutch breeder, it is said that he got a couple of seeds in one of his trips to India in the ‘90s. After he returned to the Netherlands, Shantibaba crossed one of them to a unique Brazilian landrace called Manga Rosa, the cross resulted in the famous White Widow, which he stabilized and developed for years before making it available to the public.

Ingemar’s version

The other version comes from another well-known breeder from the Netherlands, he says the seed that originated the White Widow was found accidentally in a hand-rubbed hash. After cultivating it and seeing the gem he had in his hands, he continued to develop it for 6 years until he met the owner of a very famous Dutch seed bank. He became very close friends with Arjan Roskam and after seeing the potential his seed bank had gifted the original White Widow to him.

2. White Widow Myth

Even though it’s known by growers that if you leave your plants up to 48hrs in complete darkness before harvest they will produce more trichomes and fatten the buds in one last attempt to preserve the species before dying, it’s said that if you leave the White Widow in complete darkness you’ll be able to hear her cry and in one last attempt to preserve the species before dying, it will produce an insane amount of resin and end up completely covered in trichomes before harvesting.

You’ll probably won’t hear your plants cry but this practice is common when growing cannabis knowledge and you will surely see a huge difference when doing this, when you leave your plants in the darkness they realize winter has come and focus all the energy on the buds, ending up with fatter and more resinous buds.


The classical and beloved White Widow has been upgraded to an auto version by the Fast Buds team.

We’ve been developing this old-school autoflowering strain for some time and the results are amazing, you can expect to harvest up to 500gr/m2 of extremely dense silver coated buds in around 9 weeks from start to finish.

Our auto version of this classic strain grows up to 110cm with super resinous large-sized buds produced all throughout the main cola and long side branches.

The 20% THC translates into dark green buds which are extremely sticky and can develop pink and magenta hues near harvest, where the trichome production will be at its peak and will reek of a pungent spicy, earthy and sweet aroma with mouth-watering fruity undertones.

3. Week-by-week guide

In this grow cycle, the White Widow has been grown under specific conditions, as you can see, the temperature, humidity, and pH were controlled closely.

Grow Specifications
Light Fixture: HPS/LED
Light Cycle: 20/4
Humidity: 60% – 40%
Temperature: 20-23 °C
Grow Space: Indoor
Nutrients: Synthetic
PH level: 5.7-6.2
Seed to Harvest: 9 weeks

In the table above you can find exactly how this cultivar was grown and you’ll see more information in the timeline per each week. Obviously, you don’t have to follow it when growing this same strain but can be helpful for those who are starting to grow cannabis now.

Week 1 – Germination

In this week-by-week grow journal one seed of our White Widow Auto was germinated in a cup of filtered water for 12hrs until it sank to the bottom when your seed is germinating you’ll see a white taproot (radicle) coming out, and after it has around 2-3 cm you can place it in the medium of your choice.

Height : 4cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 60%
Temperature : 20-22 °C
Watering : 100ml

In this case, after the seed showed the radicle it was moved to a rapid rooter plug, you don’t necessarily need a rapid rooter plug to do this, you can plant it directly into the soil or any other medium you prefer, even in hydroponics.

At this stage, you shouldn’t water with nutrients, but you can use rooting hormones or mycorrhizae if you wish to, this will help your plant develop the roots faster and start with an advantage.

Once your seed has come out of the medium, the first thing you’ll see is two little rounded leaves, these leaves are called cotyledons which absorb sunlight and hold the nutrients your seedling needs to start growing.

In this stage you should maintain a 60% relative humidity and a temperature around 23° C, a high humidity is ideal for baby cannabis plants because it helps them develop the roots better.

After your seedling comes out of the soil, the leaves should be completely green, if you see the cotyledons yellow or if you don’t see the one-fingered cannabis leaves, then something’s wrong.

Week 2 – Vegetative Stage

As soon as your plant starts developing, you’ll see one-fingered leaves start to develop. You’ll see the number of fingers gradually increase throughout the vegetative stage until they reach 5-7 “fingers” (or even more with some strains). When you see the first true leaves developing it means they have already adapted to the pot (especially if you transplanted) and now the roots will start to grow exponentially.

Height : 7cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 55%
Temperature : 20-22 °C
Watering :150ml

Depending if the medium is amended or not, you will have to start feeding lightly and maybe use a root stimulator, letting the medium dry a little bit in between waterings so the medium gets oxygenated.

Once the roots have established, you’ll see one pair of leaves completely developed overnight, this means your plants are happy and growing as they should.

It’s crucial you maintain the humidity quite high and provide air circulation from an early stage so your plant can strengthen the stems, this will facilitate plant training techniques like LST, Scrog, and SoG and the second week is when you should start to do it.

Week 3 – Vegetative Stage

In week 3 from germination, your plants have already established the roots and should be developing a lot of foliage, this is when you want to start increasing the nutrient dose. To better develop the leaves and branches you should provide a higher amount of nitrogen, in an approximate ratio of 3-1-2.

Height : 16cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 50%
Temperature : 20-22 °C
Watering : 250ml

At this stage you can clearly see the traits your plant inherited from its parents, Indica-dominant strains develop short and bushy and Sativa-dominant develops long and with less leaves, this means your plant will develop according to its genetics, but because the White Widow is a hybrid, the difference will be more visible in the leaves.

Around the third week, you’ll clearly see the leaves develop a number of apexes (“fingers”), with this strain you’ll see the leaves developing between 5-7 apexes.

Your plant is now growing so fast that you’ll be able to see the difference from one day to another, you’ll also be able to notice the bud sites slowly starting to turn light green, this means your plants are getting ready to enter the pre-flowering stage.

“Plants had their first nute feeding after the week of PH’d water. So far so good and they seem to love it. The WW’s are bushing a lot, more than what I expected – FrankieBones “.

Week 4 – Pre-flowering Stage

The pre-flowering stage is when your plant will show it’s sex, all of our autos are feminized so you’ll see white hairs appearing, this means your plant is officially in the pre-flowering stage and it’s transitioning from the vegetative to the flowering stage, when this happens you should start to slowly change from growing nutrients to bloom nutrients.

Height : 42cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 50%
Temperature : 23-25 °C
Watering : 400ml

The transition from growing to blooming nutrients should be done slowly throughout the pre-flowering week in an approximate ratio of 1-2-3, increasing the blooming nutrients a little bit per day and decreasing the growing nutrients at the same rate.

Even though it may take a couple of days for the bud sites to start developing fast, as soon as you see the stigmas you know you’re on the right path.

Remember to always look for signs of overfeeding or deficiencies , these signs will help you adjust the nutrient dose you’re giving your plants.

This stage is when your plant will start the trichome production so even if it’s not smelling too much now, it’s better to install a carbon filter or other method to mask the smell because it will start to get stronger and stronger as the days pass.

Also, make sure you’re gradually decreasing the humidity levels, you need to lower the relative humidity throughout your plant’s life cycle, starting at around 60% for seedlings, 50% for vegetative plants and 40% for flowering cannabis.

Week 5 – The flowering Stage

On the fifth week, your White Widow Auto is officially flowering and you will start to see trichome production, during this week you should be feeding only blooming nutrients, although you should control the environment throughout the entire growth cycle when the buds start to form you should be especially careful because the right combination of humidity and temperature can attract bugs and mold.

Height : 60cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 50%
Temperature : 23-25 °C
Watering : 700ml

Bugs and mold feed on cannabis plants and the buds, rotting not only the leaves but the buds also, making them unsafe to consume and easily spreading to the plants around, that’s why you need to check every day for insects or signs of mold.

If you’ve fed your plants properly and don’t see any signs of deficiencies, you’ll see a big difference in the development of the buds from one day to the other.

This is also when you’ll see your plant grow exponentially, this is called the “flower stretch” and it happens after the pre-flowering stage, how much your plant grows will depend on the genetics but it’ll definitely grow a lot, some strains even doubling in size.

When you reach week 5 you should stop training your plant and remove the ties (if you used the tie-down method), your plant should already have the desired structure, training it while it’s developing the buds can stress her so it’s better to avoid it.

Week 6 – The flowering Stage

The sixth week is where your plant will start to smell the most, if you haven’t installed a carbon filter at the beginning of the flowering stage, now it’s the time.

Height : 75cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 50%
Temperature : 23-25 °C
Watering : 1200ml

You’ll start to see the flowers starting to take form and an abundance of trichomes all over them.

At this point, you should already be feeding a full dose of nutrients and you will see your plant absorbing more and more water, this happens because your plants need quite a lot of water and nutrients to develop the buds.

From a week to the next one you’ll see a lot of white hairs appearing and getting quite long, those hairs are where the buds will form and are a sign that the buds are growing correctly.

Week 7 – The flowering Stage

When growing our White Widow Auto the seventh week marks the beginning of the second half of the flowering stage.

Height : 80cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 45%
Temperature : 25 °C
Watering : 1500ml

This is the last week of nutrient feeding before starting the flushing process, as your plant gets closer and closer to being completely mature you will be able to see the pistils turning brown, the trichome’s cap starting to swell, and your plant reeking of a super pungent and delicious smell.

It’s super important you check your plants for bugs every day because at this stage a bug infection can affect your buds and seriously affect your harvest.

At this stage, you won’t see much plant growth other than an increased trichome production and fattening of the buds.

Week 8 – The flowering Stage

This is the week before the last week of your White Widow’s life cycle, you won’t see much growth but the buds are almost done so you will see the flowers a lot fatter than the week before, the trichomes should be slowly starting to turn cloudy and you’ll see most of the stigmas turning brown.

Height : 80cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 45%
Temperature : 25-26 °C
Watering : 1500ml

In this stage of plant growth is when you should start the flushing process, if you wish to, you can use flushing products but using dechlorinated tap water works well too.

To dechlorinate tap water you can fill up a bucket and leave it under the sun or leave an oxygen pump in the water for up to 48hs to dechlorinate it.

“She’s grown another inch and has started going trichome crazy, along with showing brown pistils, which means she’s getting close to finishing up, at this point she’s doing nothing but adding mass to her bud sites – Mr_Weeds_Autos “.

Week 9 – Harvesting

The ninth week is the last week of the entire grow cycle, if you followed this grow report and you took good care of your plants, your auto should be extremely dense and resinous, at the end of this week is when you will harvest your White Widow so you should keep flushing until the last day, this will help you get a better aroma and smoother flavor.

Height : 80cm
pH : 6
Humidity : 40%
Temperature : 25-26 °C
Watering : 1500ml

A couple of days before harvesting you should also prepare your drying room for the amount of plant’s you’ll be harvesting, it’s also a good time to plan how you are going to harvest and trim, you can choose to harvest partially, cut branch by branch or cut the whole plant, and depending on the conditions of your drying room you will have to decide between wet trimming and dry trimming.

If you flushed properly, you will start to see the leaves yellowing, this is not a problem before harvesting but it is a problem if you’re not near harvest.

4. Terpene profile

After harvesting this beauty, it’s now time to enjoy the long-awaited White Widow flowers.

We had a lot of growers cultivate this classic strain and have collected their reports.

When smoking our White Widow Auto, you can expect a delicious combination of sour, citrusy, earthy, sweet, spicy, herbal, floral, and piney flavors which are composed of the terpenes described in the chart.

5. Type of effect

That old-school combination of terpenes results in a slightly Sativa-dominant effect, consumers can expect a 70% Sativa and 30% Indica type of effect.

The Sativa heritage offers consumers a really uplifting effect, users have reported feeling happy, energetic, giggly and creative after consuming our White Widow, while the Indica heritage slowly turns the slightly euphoric effect into a more relaxed type of high, with some users have reported feeling a little bit hungry.

We haven’t received reports of paranoia or other negative effects other than dry eyes and mouth.

6. In conclusion

The White Widow is a trichome machine, without too much hassle you can successfully harvest trichome-drenched and extremely potent buds in around 9 weeks. We hope this autoflower grow journal helps you in future grow cycles or at least provides the information you were looking for about this classic old-school strain.

If you have grown our White Widow before or are planning to and have any doubts, please leave a comment in the comment section below!

We've created a week-by-week guide on how White Widow auto cannabis grows so you know what to expect, and ensure a resin soaked bud upon harvesting.