how to grow clones outdoors

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Outdoor Cannabis Consulting

Planting clones outdoors in the PNW

All too often, home growers new to cannabis will simply buy a clone from a dispensary in the Spring and immediately plant it outside. Unfortunately, that will stress the plant and initiate a flower cycle prematurely. This is because novice growers don’t know about photoperiodism. You will either end up with a very small flowering plant or a light-stressed plant that pre-flowers, reverts back to a vegetative state and doesn’t grow well during the season.

Something to remember is that a clone (a cutting from an older “mother” plant) is the same genetic age as the mother. Therefore, a clone will initiate her flowering phase if it’s not given enough light. Since clones are started with artificial light, typically under 18 to 24 hours a day, putting your clones outside before May 15th in the PNW may cause the plant to initiate flowering.

Therefore, keep you plant inside under lights -at least 16 hours a day – to closely match the sun’s natural photoperiod of your planting date (around May 15th). You may experience some bug issues which are common when buying clones from a dispensary. Fungus Gnats are the most typical issue, but you can potentially introduce more difficult pests like spider mites or worse, russet mites. I recommend dunking clones in a pyrethrum based pesticide and then start using compost tea foliar sprays soon after.

A week before you are ready to plant your clone outside, you should “harden it off.” Do this by bringing the plant outside during the day (typically in some dappled light or use a shade cloth) and back in at night. If you can do this slowly (a few hours the first day, a few more the next and so on), this will be the most effective process. This way your plant slowly gets use to the change from an indoor environment to an outdoor one. Don’t put them in direct sun or a in a windy location as they are just babies.

Another thing to remember as a beginner cannabis grower is to use really good soil. The difference between a poorly growing plant and an exceptional plant starts and ends with the soil. Either buy good potting soil or use some quality fertilizer. Dry fertilizer will be less expensive but you still may need to supplement with some liquid fertilizer. Be careful not to use too much as that’s often a rookie mistake. If you add too much fertilizer, you will see the tips of the leaves dying back and look like it’s been “burned.” If that happens, stop fertilizing and flush with large amounts of water until the plant looks healthy again.

On planting day, choose a nice sunny spot. Simply put your plant into a large hole or large pot with the pre-mixed potting soil or amended soil and water it in. If you have wind, add some trellising right away. If it’s going to get cold at night, add a cloche. Don’t let to dry out too much and if using liquid fertilizer, feed once to twice a week according to your fertilizer’s suggested schedule.

All too often, home growers new to cannabis will simply buy a clone from a dispensary in the Spring and immediately plant it outside. Unfortunately, that will stress the plant and initiate a flower cycle prematurely. This is because novice growers don't know about photoperiodism. You will either end up with a very small flowering plant or…

Cultivation A Guide to Transplanting Hemp Clones Outdoors

A Guide to Transitioning Clones Outdoors

Know the Law in Your Area

As the laws around industrial CBD hemp change, your first step is to take the time to fully understand the legal aspects of growing, storing, transporting, selling, or consuming CBD products in your area.

Starting Indoors, Growing Outdoors

Although starting your cannabis clones indoors and then moving them outdoors takes a little planning and some extra work, many growers think it is well worth it.

They suggest that cultivating outdoor hemp plants can result in:

  • taller plants with a higher yield
  • a product that has a unique flavor and scent
  • a lower cost of production

To ensure that your plants make a healthy transition from indoors to outdoors, there are a number of best practices to follow.

Growing Season

As you plan your outdoor growing season, there is key information you must take into account, including:

  • When you will have daily temperatures that will not dip below 55 degrees F for sustained periods of time: You don’t want to transition your plants outside early and expose them to too much time below 55 degrees that could stunt their growth or even kill them.
  • How many hours of daylight per day you will typically have during your growing season: This is important information to help you plan the cycle of light exposure while you are starting your clones indoors.

Indoor / Outdoor Photoperiods

Many indoor growers give their cannabis plants an 18 hour photoperiod every day (18/6 cycle). However, growers starting plants indoors then moving outdoors often use a cycle with a shorter period of daylight.

This shorter period is matched to the natural light exposure the hemp clones will get once they are moved outdoors.

For example, if your growing season starts with 14 hours of light per day, give your cannabis plants 14 hours of light a day when they are indoors.


The ideal soil for outdoor cannabis plants is:

  • Well-drained
  • Rich with organic matter
  • Slightly acidic

A month or more before they plant, many growers dig large holes for their plants and mix in compost and other organic matter.

You want a pH in the 5.8 to 6.3 range (ideally 6.3) for:

  • The growing medium used to start your clones indoors
  • The soil that you will be using for your cannabis plants outdoors
  • The water you are using to hydrate your plants

Although you don’t want to overfeed your plants, to be healthy, they need nutrients such as:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sulphur
  • Zinc

A good cannabis plant fertilizer is typically sufficient, but you might need to strategically supplement to avoid nutrient deficiencies that can lower your yield. Learn more about: Diagnosing & Treating Cannabis Plant Deficiencies

Hardening Off

Plants moving from indoors to outdoors need to be hardened off — a process of gradually introducing plants to sunshine and cool nights by moving them outdoors for a portion of the day, for a number of days, before transplanting.

  • Because natural sunlight contains a broader spectrum of light than most indoor grow-lights, start your plants in partial sun to limit the amount of full sun they get before they are hardened.
  • Start them in shade or partial shade for a few days and then, over time, progressively move them to get more direct sun.
  • Start leaving the plants outdoors for a limited time, progressively leaving them outside for a longer period of time each day until they are acclimatized and ready to be outdoors full time.
  • Make sure your plants are properly hydrated.
  • Inspect for diseases and pests. The leaves are more vulnerable before they harden off.
  • Monitor the container when the plants are hardening off, direct sunlight can overheat the container and soil — and thus “cook” the roots.
  • Start your plants with an hour or two outside the first day. The next day bring them out for an hour or two more than the first day. Keep doing this until the leaves toughen up (about 10 days).

Industrial Hemp Strains

Talk to one of our Hemp Consultants about the feminized, lab-tested CBD and CBG clones in our inventory to determine which would be the best choice for growing cannabis outdoors in your geographic region.

Our inventory changes often, and we may have access to new hemp clone strains not currently posted on the website.

Send us a note about the CBD or CBG clones you’d like to buy and we’ll be happy to help you source vetted, stable genetics.

No middlemen, no hidden fees, no reselling.

We proudly serve industrial hemp and smokable flower buyers and growers in San Diego county and nationwide!

Clone Connect does not sell marijuana. All marijuana related content is for informational and educational purposes only and intended to help our users understand the difference between marijuana and hemp.

Read our Guide to Transplanting Hemp Clones Outdoors for handy tips for making sure your plants have a healthy transition from indoors to outdoors.