Cannabis Guide: Sativa Growing Conditions

Finicky sativa plants; this is the description that most sativa growers use to pertain to tall, slender sativa plants. Cannabis sativa is one of the major types of cannabis aside from its sibling’s cannabis indica and cannabis ruderalis.  It’s not enough to just buy Indica sativa seeds for sale from a local or online seed bank. You need to learn how to grow these strains so you can provide the best growing environment for your plants.  

 What is Cannabis Sativa?

Finicky means something that’s hard to please or hard to maintain. Most growers agree that cannabis sativa strains are very hard to cultivate. These plants are known for their longer flowering times and very demanding growing environments.

But almost all growers who say that sativas are very hard to grow also agree that it’s worth cultivating this strain. Cannabis sativas are plants with the following characteristics

  • Sativas will grow large yields as long as you cultivate these plants in the right growing environment. 
  • Sativa strains are among the most flavorful strains. Almost all sativa strains will develop a strong but satisfying scent and aroma that’s distinct from the type of strain. Examples are Kush varieties with the strongest and boldest scents and tastes. 
  • Sativa plants will grow taller and wider like a Christmas tree when grown outdoors. 
  • Sativa plants will grow best in warm climates.
  • Sativa strains have impressive psychoactive effects. 

Sativa Plant Growing Needs

You must provide the following to your stately sativa plants. Your crops will grow healthier and yield more when you follow these techniques. 

The Ideal Growing Environment for Sativa Plants

Sativa plants prefer warm, Mediterranean-like climates to grow healthy and tall. Sativas will grow well in a warm environment indoors or outdoors but make sure that your plants are grown this way, otherwise, you won’t be able to grow your own sativa plants at home.  

Sativas will also grow better outdoors. The tall and lanky plants require a lot of space to spread its branches and to grow taller. This is actually the first thing you need to consider when growing sativas. You’ll risk cultivating healthier, high-yielding plants if you grow this indoors. 

But can you Grow Cannabis Sativa Indoors?

A lot of cannabis growers will tell you that sativas can be a handful indoors. Not only will you need to keep these plants small to fit your growing space but you also need to provide the ideal growing environment that the plants are used to. 

Growers, therefore, use a larger indoor enclosure or a greenhouse for sativas.  Consider the mature height of your plants and get ready to prune and train these early. Proper training will be discussed later.

Therefore, control lighting, humidity and the temperature of your indoor growing environment and you’ll be good to go.

The Best Type of Soil or Growing Medium

There are three ways to grow cannabis plants: you can grow these in soil, in water or hydroponic medium and aeroponic or growing plants in air. Sativas are mostly grown in soil because of the size and structure of sativa plants.

Sativas are mostly very tall and large so these need strong, well-developed roots to stay upright. It can only develop strong roots when grown in soil. And there is an ideal soil to grow hungry plants like marijuana plants.

Despite a number of soil preparations available, sandy-clayey soil remains to be the best soil for growing most cannabis strains. By the name, it is a combination of sandy and clay-type soil which means it enjoys good characteristics of these two types.

Sandy clayey soil can absorb water and nutrients better and will drain any excess better as well. With this soil, you can prevent nutrient lock in the roots and the possible growth of mold. This soil also allows oxygen to pass through the soil to get to the roots. Oxygen is needed by plants too to grow food and to enhance nutrient absorption from the roots as well. 

Most growers use peat pellets to germinate sativas and then transfer plants, plants, and pellets, to a large pot with good soil once the young sativas are ready. Make sure to use the ideal pots with adequate holes so that excess water and nutrients may drain easily.

Pots or Ground?

Usually, it’s a debate when you’re growing sativas outdoors. However, growing in pots is more convenient because you can lift your plants and take these anywhere especially when there’s a storm or the weather becomes too hot. 

Growing from the ground is something very natural but make sure to grow your plants in a shaded part of your garden and not directly under the hot sun. A shaded area with trees or near your patio would be a good spot. 

The Right Nutrients for Cannabis Sativa Plants

During the life span of cannabis sativa plants, it needs varying amounts of nutrients. From the time a plant sprouts from the seed and grows to a juvenile plant, these require a specific kind of fertilizer mix.

During germination, using peat pellets will not just support plants but the peat pellet has nutrients that your new plants can use. There’s no need to fertilize sativa plants at this stage. As your plants finally outgrow these small pellets, and you transfer these to larger, individual pots, it’s time to give your plants some food. 

Plant nutrients are available in commercially – prepared formulations with the letters NP and K on the label. NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, three important nutrients cannabis plants need.

During the growing or vegetative phase, your plants need more Nitrogen. This nutrient helps cannabis plants like sativas to develop larger and healthier plant parts. Nitrogen supports the growth of plants but at the same time, your sativas will also need Phosphorous and Potassium. 

During the flowering phase, your plants will cease growing and will use all its energy to grow larger and denser buds. These won’t need Nitrogen anymore but will now require a fertilizer mix with more Potassium and Phosphorous to support bud growth. 

You can see on the fertilizer packaging how muck NPK your plants will get. Follow these formulae and you won’t make a mistake when feeding your hungry sativa plants.

And aside from feeding, watering is also something to keep in mind. You may over water or under water your sativa plants and this can cause serious imbalances that may cost the life of your plants. 

To water properly, water only when the soil is dry. There shouldn’t be any pool of water near the plants and your plants must not look too dry despite moist soil. These are signs that your plants are suffering from a deficiency and should be treated right away.

Water more when the weather is hot and humid. This is because water will likely evaporate faster than being absorbed by your plants. When watering plants in pots, water until you see water coming out of the potholes. Check for overwatering and under watering as well.  


Always check soil and root pH. This test will determine if the soil and roots have a normal pH. As much as possible, maintain the right soil pH of 6.6. This will allow nutrients to be absorbed by the roots better and will prevent conditions such as nutrient deficiencies or toxicities. 

High or low pH readings? You may use pH correctors, special products that correct soil pH. These are available in most garden supplies shops. Always follow the instructions on how to use these products closely to prevent further complications.      

When is the Best time to Train your Cannabis Sativa Plants?

Sativas have to be trained early because these tend to grow larger and wider as weeks go by. If you are growing indoors and have limited space, you can train your plants to grow small and still give you good yields. 

One such way to train plants is by using the screen of green method. This technique lets you grow plants through a screen. The screen controls the growth of plants so that the buds can receive a lot of light. This method keeps sativas small while growing larger buds because only the buds are permitted to grow through the screen. Therefore, you don’t just maintain the height and size of plants but you also increase your yields when you use this method. 

Pruning is also necessary so that all the parts of the plants receive good lighting and ventilation. Removing large fan leaves will also help your large sativas to move all the nutrients from the soil to the buds. Your buds will grow larger and denser come harvest time. 

Where to buy Cannabis Sativa Seeds?

Sativa seeds are available from legit seed banks locally and online. Local seed banks will have a good selection of sativa strains to choose from. Make sure to choose wisely and study the background of these plants first before you grow them. Read reviews, check recommendations so you will find reputable and legit online seed banks.

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