How Much Sunlight Does Cannabis Need Outdoors?

Like any other plant, weed needs light to grow. Of course, after harvesting, you want to fill your storage jars with an abundance of fat buds. To do so, however, you need to give your cannabis plant plenty of light, much more than other plants. The power of the sun encourages robust growth, allowing your cannabis plants to develop buds with incredible vigor and flavor. But how much sun do cannabis plants need? Is it even possible to overdo it? And what if they don’t get enough? Let’s find out!


Of course, good genes, a suitable substrate and the right nutrients are important when growing cannabis. However, lighting is even more important for getting healthy cannabis plants. That’s why indoor growers often invest heavily in powerful lamps. Without light the plants cannot flourish. The science behind this is that light provides plants with energy needed for photosynthesis. Or, less scientifically, light means weight. So lots of light translates to bigger, healthier plants and fat buds! Besides photosynthesis, light has another important function. In fact, photoperiodic cannabis plants go through the vegetative phase and flowering based on the number of light hours. As light hours decrease in late summer and fall, the plant will begin to flower.


Unless you often struggle with heat waves, you should place your cannabis somewhere where it gets as much sun as possible. Want a little more control over the location of your plants? Then plant them in large pots that you can move around if the weather conditions change. In this way it is always possible to place your plants somewhere where they get more or less sun. Seedling Geotextile (183) View Before deciding on the ideal location you should first determine whether your plants will get at least five hours of direct sunlight there, plus a few hours of indirect light. If this is not the case, it will often have a negative effect on your harvest. Remember: more sun leads to fatter buds!


Autoflowers flower under almost all conditions. This makes them ideal for beginners. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need light! Just like feminized photoperiodic plants, you should give autoflowers as much light as possible. This is because by doing so you encourage healthy growth and an optimal harvest. Since autoflowers also tend to yield less weed than their photoperiod counterparts, increasing sun exposure can really help improve yields. Most autoflowers vegetate for 3-4 weeks. After this, they start to flower automatically. In doing so, the life cycle is much shorter than feminized photoperiod plants. With a little planning, autoflowers allow you to harvest several times in one growing season. When you put autoflowers outside it is wise to do this at the beginning of the summer. This way they benefit from sufficient daylight and intense sunlight. Most autoflowers can be harvested 60-70 days after germination, so they really race to harvest. Just germinate a few every few weeks and you’ll have weed until autumn!


Compared to autoflowers, feminized photoperiodic weed plants will vegetate as long as they get more than 15 hours of sunlight a day. So if you put this weed outside in the spring, the plants will be in the vegetative stage for several months. After the summer solstice, however, the number of daylight hours decreases. The cannabis plants will then begin to flower. The flowering of feminized cannabis plants varies by species. Some grow and bloom faster, so you harvest by the end of summer. Other varieties, such as long-flowering sativas, require much longer. You may not harvest these until November. So when you grow feminized cannabis plants outdoors, sufficient light not only ensures robust growth and a potentially good yield, but also that the plants successfully pass from the vegetative stage to flowering. Growing at the right time is therefore more important in this case than with autoflowers. You have to make the most of the season for optimal growth and give your plants enough time to bloom before rain and frost become a problem.


Are you growing weed outdoors in a northern climate, such as the Netherlands, the UK, Poland or Germany? Then the intensity of the sun is probably not a problem for your cannabis plants. However, if you live further south, such as along the Mediterranean Sea, the sunlight is sometimes quite intense. And that’s potentially a problem. Instead of worrying about whether your plants are getting enough sun, you should often protect them from it sooner. You have a couple of options here. First of all, if you are planting directly into the soil, find a spot where your plants get plenty of sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Is your weed protected by a shed or some trees? If so, this may prevent light and heat stress. Do not plant your weed on the south side where the hot sun at noon will burn your plants. Rather, choose an east or west-facing spot so they are in the shade during the hottest part of the day. You can also create your own shade around your plants if this proves necessary. Another option has already been described above. For example, you can also avoid too much heat by putting your plants in pots that you can move around. You still have to find a suitable place for them, but if the temperature really rises in the summer, you just have to move them.


Unfortunately, it is much harder to add light outside than to take it away. That’s why it’s important to choose a spot where your plants will get as much sun as possible. Take advantage of large pots to move your cannabis plants around so they are in the sun all day. If you have the means and the plants really hardly get any sunlight, you can use supplemental lamps to improve productivity. By providing your cannabis plants with extra light indoors, such as at the beginning or end of the day, it is possible to boost development and production. Do ensure that you maintain the right amount of light for the specific stage. It is very annoying when a flowering plant returns to the vegetative stage.