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How Much Weed Can You Really Produce Per Plant?

Wondering how much weed you can produce per cannabis plant? Here’s everything you need to know about the variables affecting your yield.

Cannabis growers love to boast about huge harvests, but just how much weed can inexperienced growers expect to harvest from a single plant? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cannabis yield and what influences it, and much more.

  • 1. Light and nutrients
  • 2. Genetics
  • 3. Medium
  • 4. Indoor VS outdoor
  • 5. Skill
  • 6. How to estimate yield
  • 7. How to improve your cannabis yield: quick tips
  • 1. Light and nutrients
  • 2. Genetics
  • 3. Medium
  • 4. Indoor VS outdoor
  • 5. Skill
  • 6. How to estimate yield
  • 7. How to improve your cannabis yield: quick tips

YIELDS VARY… A LOT

If there’s one thing that’s certain about growing cannabis, it’s this: results vary. A lot. There are many different variables that affect your plants, their health, growth, and the amount of flower they produce. And frankly, trying to guess the size of your yield before harvest is really difficult.

Most rookie growers estimate their yield based on the height of their plants. And that makes sense—at least in theory. Unfortunately, plant size isn’t a very accurate indicator of final yield. In fact, it’s really hard to estimate the size of your yield just by looking at a single aspect of your plant (like height, for example).

Cannabis buds develop on what growers refer to as “bud sites”. These are the spots on branches where pre-flower structures form roughly 4–6 weeks into a plant’s life cycle. Once a plant enters its flowering phase, it stops dedicating its energy to developing foliage, instead focusing on producing healthy buds on these sites. How big and dense these buds become depends on a lot of different variables, including light, nutrients, genetics, substrate, and more. The size of a plant, on the other hand, says little about how many bud sites it will develop, or how big/dense its buds will be come harvest.

LIGHT AND NUTRIENTS

Light is arguably one of the most important factors affecting your yield. To maximise output, you should maximise light exposure to your plant early on by using training techniques to manipulate growth. One popular training technique is low stress training (LST), which involves bending and tying down branches to optimise light exposure and encourage a more horizontal structure. The screen of green (ScrOG) method takes this further, situating a mesh screen over plants, upon which new growth is woven in an effort to boost final yield. There are many more techniques where these came from, including high-stress tek like topping (in which the main growing tip is cut off) and defoliation, to name just a couple.

Nutrients are also really important, and you’ll want to make sure your plants always have access to the macronutrients and micronutrients they need at each stage of growth. When it comes to nutes, your plants require different ratios depending on their phase. During veg, plants require higher levels of nitrogen, whereas flowering plants require more potassium, phosphorus, and micronutrients like calcium and magnesium. In addition to the nutrients themselves, plants need to be able to uptake these nutrients to develop huge hauls of big buds. In order to do so, the pH level has to be dialled in for the type of grow you’re conducting.

GENETICS

Arguably the most crucial factor that determines final yield are genetics. And just like there are some strains that taste better than others, there are also those that produce better harvests than others.

Remember that cannabis strains have been bred to meet the demands of growers and consumers. And with yield being so important, there are countless strains out there that have been purposefully bred to produce numerous bud sites and develop bigger, heavier flowers. Make sure to check out some of our XL strains if you’re looking to really rake in the buds.

MEDIUM

There are many different grow media out there, and they all have different effects on the overall yield of your plants.

While soil is easily the most common medium used to grow cannabis, hydroponic media like perlite or coco coir give growers a lot more control over the nutrient intake of their plants. And while that kind of control may be overwhelming for rookie growers, experienced growers can use it to really push their plants to the next level and produce massive yields.

INDOOR VS OUTDOOR

Whether you grow indoors or outdoors will have a big impact on your plants.

Indoor growers generally have less space to work with, which means they’ll usually grow fewer, smaller plants than someone growing outdoors. However, indoor growers also have much more control over their plants’ environment. Hence, they can play around with things like lighting, temperature, and humidity to fine-tune their growing conditions and optimise yield.

Outdoor growers, on the other hand, usually have much more space to work with than indoor growers, meaning they’ll be able to grow more plants in a single season than indoor growers. Plus, outdoor growers also have the benefit of growing under the best possible light source in the world—the sun. However, outdoor growers don’t have the same level of control over their environment, meaning their yield is subject to the season, which, depending on where you live, may be unpredictable.

SKILL

This is another important factor that affects your overall yield. The more fine-tuned your skills, the more control you have over your plants. And the more control you have over your plants, the better your yield.

HOW TO ESTIMATE YIELD

While yields vary a lot, there are some ways you can get at least a rough estimate of how much weed you’ll produce.

ESTIMATING YIELD BASED ON POT SIZE

Remember that cannabis plants will only grow as large as their pots allow them to. And while size is, as we saw earlier, far from the perfect indicator of how much you’ll harvest, it can help you get a ballpark estimate of what your harvests will look like.

Ideally, you’ll want to grow in at least 18-litre pots. With this amount of soil, some decent nutrients, and some light pruning/training, you should be able to grow large, healthy plants that reach at least 90cm in height. Given they get a full 4–5 weeks of vegetative growth and solid lighting that penetrates right through to the lowest bud sites, plants of this size should be able to produce at least 100g of dry bud per plant.

ESTIMATING YIELD BASED ON LIGHTING

Some growers choose to estimate their yield based on the strength of their lamps. And while this is far from an exact science, it can be a bit more accurate than calculating your yield per plant, especially if you choose to grow multiple smaller plants, rather than just a few larger ones.

If you’re growing indoors and have at least a few harvests under your belt, you can expect to harvest roughly one gram for every watt of light. If you’re a newbie grower with little-to-no experience, expect yields of around 0.5g per watt.

GO HYDRO FOR BIGGER YIELDS

Growing hydroponically gives you a lot more control over how your plants feed. With the right equipment and experience, this can greatly improve the size and quality of your yield. Experienced hydro growers, for example, can encourage yields of up to 1.2g per watt of lighting. By this logic—and using a 600W lamp—a good hydro grower can harvest over 700 grams of bud (genetics depending)!

A NOTE ON DRY VS WET YIELD

Remember, the weight of your buds will drop dramatically after drying and curing. So don’t get too excited when you weigh your buds right after trimming. Instead, multiply your wet yield by 0.25 to get a rough estimate of how much dry bud you’ll end up with.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CANNABIS YIELD: QUICK TIPS FOR GROWERS

Growing cannabis can be challenging, but there are plenty of things you can do to improve your yield as a novice grower. These include:

• Start with the right genetics. Professionally bred strains will always produce better yields than bagseed.

• Read up on training techniques. Training your plants to grow a certain way maximises their exposure to light, which will ultimately improve your yield.

• Know your nutrients. Use the info on our blog to learn more about how to use nutrients to really maximise your plants’ potential.

• Experiment. Don’t be scared to try new grow techniques and push yourself as a grower.

• Go hydro! Once you’ve got a few harvests under your belt, consider immersing yourself in the world of hydroponics, where you’ll have even more control over your plants and their growth.

• Keep growing! The more experience you have, the better you’ll get. Hence, make sure you grow consistently to hone your skills and become evermore in tune with cannabis.

Cannabis yields vary. A lot. Click here to learn more about the factors affecting your yield, and some simple tips for heavier harvests.

How To Maximise Yields Growing Marijuana Outdoors

Growing Marijuana outdoors is one of the best pleasures in life. The local climate plays a big part along with many other variables, below is a list of key points and tips to consider when growing Marijuana outdoors.

Growing Marijuana Outdoors: Location

The location where you are growing marijuana seeds is a big player in the outcome of your yields. We have a clear overview on our website of which zone is most suitable for each outdoor strain and auto flowering strain. There are certain strains that are better suited for hot sunny climates and some that will perform just as well in colder climates like The Netherlands.

When Do Most Photoperiod Plants Begin To Flower?

Indica varieties will begin to show signs of pre-flowering and stretching earlier than varieties that are more Sativa dominant. Plants need certain light cycles to induce the hormone production that triggers flowering. A plant can be kept in a vegetative state as long as it receives more than 12 hours of light. In nature the daylight hours are at their longest during the months of June and July. As August gets closer, many varieties will display a burst of white pistil pre flowers whilst stretching, indicating that the blooming cycle has been induced. Sativa varieties can take longer to show initial signs of flowering and also naturally take longer to bloom and ripen. If you are growing Marijuana outdoors in a tropical environment that receives a lot of light, both Indica and Sativa varieties will start flowering around August. Indica varieties will finish their flowering cycle by mid September. Sativa varieties will take 12 weeks to finish flowering and fully ripen, these can usually be harvested towards the end of October.

South Facing Is What You Want

In the northern hemisphere, the sun will always set in the south, so if you can grow Marijuana outdoors in a south facing location you can ensure your plants receive the most light possible. The hottest part of the day will be from 12pm until 3pm, after this point you want the plant to receive as much light as it can. In the evening the light will be less intense than throughout the day, however an extra few hours of sunlight every day will make a huge difference over the upcoming months.

Growing Marijuana Seeds Under Direct Sunlight

If you are germinating Cannabis seeds directly into the soil or growing medium and begin to grow directly in the sun, this can be the perfect start in many ways. Firstly the soil is gently heated to an optimum temperature to promote root development. Another reason is that the amount of lumens the sun produces is the highest you can achieve. Therefore as long as the actual temperatures are not too cold or too hot, seedlings can be grown under direct sunshine in any of the zones indicated on our website.

What Temperatures Are Too Hot And Cold For Growing Marijuana?

The temperature of the environment is a huge factor in root growth, plant growth, vigour and overall yield. When growing Marijuana indoors, the objective is to replicate the outdoor environment indoors. Therefore your daytime temperatures during the growing phase should be 22-25 °C and 17-19 °C at night.

Growing Marijuana outdoors can be more difficult depending on where you live. Temperature can strongly affect root growth if it is too high or too low. Avoid temperatures below 10 °C if you are in a colder climate, especially if the plant has just been watered. In hot climates, temperatures over 30 °C can cause serious stress and humidity issues and slow down plant growth. High temperatures can also encourage excess transpiration and can cause the plant to adapt to these dry conditions by slowing down its metabolism.

Starting Them Off Right

As spring approaches, it is a good idea to start your plants off indoors for the first week rather than planting directly outside. This is to give them the best possible start and to ensure they are protected from any insects or bugs that may want to harm the plant in this early stage. When growing Marijuana outdoors, there is nothing worse than discovering your freshly germinated seedlings have been eaten overnight. A good way to ensure that the young plants stay protected is to place large plastic cups over them during the night. This way you can sleep knowing that during this important time in the plant’s life, there are no unnecessary setbacks caused by nature.

Pot Size And Growing Medium

If you are growing Marijuana in pots then selecting the final pot size can usually determine the final size of the plant once flowering. A good way to think about this is the bigger the pots and root ball size, the bigger the yield. It is a good idea to prepare a final medium you will transplant into for the flowering stage. Ensuring excellent drainage is a big part of forming healthy roots that can breathe inside the medium. Below is a list of all the potential growth media that can be incorporated when growing Marijuana outdoors:

  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Perlite
  • Coco
  • Vermiculite
  • Worm Castings
  • Bat Guano
  • Volcanic Rock
  • Dry seaweed

Training Your Plants To Grow Right

Growing Marijuana outdoors means you will not be able to completely control the environment, which can cause your plants to grow into shapes and sizes that are not desirable for your current grow and may affect yield. Fortunately there are numerous methods to modify the appearance, growth pattern and yield of the plant, a list of these plant training techniques is provided below:

Low Stress Training (LST): When tying down the plant, it is a great idea to use metal wire to anchor the plants down into the ground. The closer to the ground the plant is, the more room you have to play with. Many plants that grow taller should be pinned back down and spread out to grow openly.

Super Cropping: A good time to supercrop and snap the plant stem, is at the same time as the tying or pinning. Alternatively you can tie the plant to a support like a piece of bamboo or fence. Once the plant has a support, you can snap the stem and allow it to recover and form a thick knuckle over the breaking point of the stem.

Topping: This means reducing the plant height and promoting more lateral growth. The best time to pinch and top the plant is during the vegging phase. When growing Marijuana outdoors, this will refer to the stage from April to July.

Air Pruning

Something that is often overlooked when growing Marijuana outdoors as well as indoors is managing the root ball, air pruning is the way that existing roots grow new roots and create a large root mass. When a root detects there is low humidity, it will split similar to a plant forming a new shoot after topping. Root pruning is done naturally but using felt pots or any pot with a lot of holes in the side can really make a difference in terms of growing a heavy feeding plant. The roots will naturally be pruned as long as there is fresh air circulating in and around the pots.

A simple way to air prune roots is to take a plant pot and add a hole every inch of the pot. Air pruning should be done throughout the grow, from the start of the grow until the final pot.

Growing Marijuana Outdoors: Genetics

Now that you have discovered the many techniques that can be used when growing Marijuana outdoors , the other big player is which genetics you will be growing. This is the part where you need to calculate which strains can finish flowering before the weather turns bad during autumn. When growing Marijuana outdoors, short flowering Indica strains will be best suited for people who have shorter summers whereas almost any strain can bide well in the generous climate around the Mediterranean.

Tip: Spend time to research the genetics of the strains you want to grow. Outdoor growing is a long term commitment and it is best to know everything about a strain before spending time and money, certainly considering the added risk factors compared to growing indoors. Everything you need is only a click away and it could not be easier to start your venture of growing Marijuana outdoors. Because Spliff Seeds is a Dutch company, we take pride in the fact that we have bred many different lines of Cannabis that are suitable to grow outdoors even in our suboptimal climate.

A Recommended Indica To Grow Outdoors

Our Lemon Cream Kush Automatic is a Medical Kush x Dutch Automatic cross that has very strong resistance to mould and bud rot. Similar to the Medical Kush, this very reliable variety will smell pungent and have a powerful skunk and kush aroma. Expect yields of fluffy kushy buds in 10 weeks and a low profile plant of 60-80 cm tall. Yields of 40-60g per plant can be achieved with this medium difficulty strain in all three climate zones.

A Recommended Sativa To Grow Outdoors

Gold Rush Outdoor is our top seller and is a cross of Purple Power x Polm Gold x Afghan. Similar to the Polm Gold, this variety is a rock hard producer that is ready to harvest between the start and the middle of September. This is one of the earliest flowering varieties we have made thanks to the notoriously early flowering Purple Power, expect the best traits from Polm Gold and Purple Power to come through. Gold Rush Outdoor grows to a height of 2m and has an earthy diesel aroma, it can be harvested early to mid September. Very high resistance to cold, mould and damp environments. Outdoor yields from this medium difficulty Sativa are 350-450g per plant with great results in zone: A/B/C. For more information read our growing marijuana guide.

Growing Marijuana outdoors is one of the best pleasures in life. The local climate plays a big part along with many other variables, below is a list of key ]]>