Why different cannabis genetics have different needs

Why different cannabis genetics have different needs

In this new blogpost for Suzy’s Cannabis World Blog, we go a bit deeper into the fact that different cannabis genetics have different needs. Like every grow from seeds, we start with the best way to germinate cannabis seeds, followed by the difference in light and light intensity for different genetics, the difference in humidity for different genetics, how we went from landraces to hyped up strains, how often to fertilize in the growing phase and the flowering phase and different strains in one grow.

Best way to germinate cannabis seeds

Every grow from seed starts with germinating your cannabis seeds. The best way to germinate cannabis seeds is simply using a glass of water in which you put your seeds, as also explained in our how to grow section. 

The genetics don’t make any difference for how you should germinate.

Difference in light and light intensity for different genetics

When growing indoors, you will still get better results with HPS. But LED is getting better and better every year and is better for your energy bill. However, if you’re living in a colder climate you will have to heat up the growroom if the temperature would otherwise drop below 20 degrees Celsius. Cannabis plants prefer a temperature between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius.

When you are growing outside, your plants will love the sun. But if you are growing feminized cannabis with haze genetics, it’s recommended to cover and darken your plants or bring them inside a dark room to start the flowering phase earlier. This will make sure you plants will be done on time before mold has any chance of getting into your plants. You basically want to create the 12/12 cycle (light/dark) as you would when growing inside.

You know your plant is done if 80% of the hairs have gone from white to brown.

Difference in humidity for different genetics

The humidity and climate is important when choosing your seeds. For example, when you’re in a climate with a lot of long sun days, sativas will thrive here. While in the Northern countries, our Holland's Super Bud is a good choice. This is because it is bred for these countries, climate and humidity.

In the next paragraph, we go a bit deeper into the difference in genetics.

From landraces to hyped up strains

The cannabis landscape has changed rapidly, going from just landraces to hyped up strains. In an earlier blogpost, we’ve gone into detail about one of these landraces: Hindu Kush. As you might guess, this is where the original Kush genetics originate from.

But since we’ve started breeding cannabis, different genetics have come and gone. Like critical genetics which is very common in breeding programs, but lately cultivars like Gorilla Glue and Zkittlez.

All this breeding and using nutrients, makes that genetics lean towards different needs.

Sativas are based on landraces originating from countries with a lot of light and high light intensity. Naturally, this is also what these genetics prefer.

More Indica leaning genetics will thrive better in colder climates, shorter days and thus light.

Hybrids, which most cannabis genetics nowadays are, are a combination of Sativa and Indica genetics and thus will prefer more of a balance.

This goes for indoor and outdoor growing

Nutrients Cannabis

How often to fertlize in the growing phase

The needs before buds appear and thus the flowering stage has started, is a bit different. Recommended for beginners is just using soil, while advanced growers can look out for methods like Korean Natural Farming (KNF).

Starting with good soil, will make your life a lot easier. You’re less likely having to add additional nutrients.

For more about this, check out our section on the growing phase.

How often to fertilize in the flowering stage

One of the questions we get a lot is how often to fertilize in the flowering stage. In general for autoflowers, it is not recommended to use any nutrients in the flowering stage. Because it’s basically flowering from the start, this actually means you shouldn’t use nutrients when using autoflowering genetics. What you can do however, is put effort in your soil.

In our section on the website about the flowering phase, we already talked about how often to fertilize in the flowering stage. In short: if you fertilize your soil, you will not need foliar feeding. You are very quickly bound to overfertilize however, but when you use foliar feeding you are less likely to overfertilize. This makes foliar feeding the best nutrients for cannabis. When talking about timing, the best timing is 30 minutes before you turn on the lights if you’re growing inside. Outside, this is basically 30 minutes before the sun comes up. Or if you can’t, in general early in the day is a good idea when the sun isn’t too strong. If there’s no sun outside, it also doesn’t make sense to give more nutrients. Doing so increases the risk of having mold appear.

Foilar feeding is applied on the top of the leaves and you can do this once or twice per week. As always, watch your plants closely to see how they react.

Interested in autoflowering seeds? Check out our blogpost on why you should consider autoflowering cannabis seeds.

Different strains in one grow

But what if you want to grow different genetics at once for different needs of your own? There are some pros and cons to this.

In short:


  • Learning quickly
  • Yield can be increased
  • More variety


  • Labor intensive
  • Space issues
  • Harvest times

To go into more detail about the pros, let’s start with learning quicker. Yes, it is more difficult to grow different strains in one grow, but it’s also the best practice. You could also see this as a con, depending on your perspective. Because you’re growing different strains, you can opt to choose for a balance between plants with a high yield and plants that are more flavorful, but yield less. As such, this will also increase your variety. And after all, variety is the spice of life.

About the cons: yes, it is more labor intensive having to check up on different plants. You will have to, because you might run into space issues. You don’t want plants to reach out or over and through other plants. Plants are very sensitive to this. Make sure there’s always some room left for when you have to move them more apart. Harvest times is mentioned here as a con, but depending on your perspective could also be named as a pro. You will not harvest all of your different plants at the same time, but depending on your reasons to grow cannabis, this could be a huge advantage. Or disadvantage, of course.

We hope this blog has been useful in helping you choose the genetics for your next grow and you will have a wonderful harvest every time again!

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