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Cannabis and Sunlight

Understanding Sunlight With Your Weed

by Neal Brown . Updated: February 9, 2021

How Much Sunlight Is Needed for Marijuana Plants?

When it comes to growing marijuana, sunlight is an essential element. Without sunlight, photosynthesis cannot occur, and plants will end up dying. While growing cannabis plants outside is a natural way to produce a healthy crop with a high yield, controlling the amount of light your plants are exposed to is not always easy. With this guide, you will better understand how much sunlight cannabis plants need and how you can control the amount of light they are exposed to during each phase of growth.

Understanding the Importance of Sunlight

While marijuana plants are highly durable and able to thrive under many conditions, this does not mean they can grow without light. Although the soil you use and how much water the plants receive is highly essential, sunlight is most critical and makes the most significant difference in the growth and final yield of cannabis plants. This is hardly an issue when growing in the sunny states of California or Hawaii, but those in Alaska or North Dakota may have a narrower window of time to take advantage of the sun’s energy.

A marijuana plant cannot produce stems and leaves without adequate sunlight. The leaves are the part of the plant that help it take in critical energy from the sun. If sunlight is lacking, the plants will grow “leggy” and will not produce many leaves because they are looking for an energy source.

Cannabis plants use a process called photosynthesis to create food. Without this vital process, plants cannot thrive. Cannabis plants, like all other plants, use their leaves to trap energy from the sun. Once this energy is absorbed, the plant goes to work on converting water and carbon dioxide into glucose, which is the food source for all the cells in the plant. Glucose is a critical element of producing the healthiest cannabis plants because it plays a role in the cells’ manufacturing cellulose and starches.

Placement Is Critical for Sun Exposure

It takes considerable thought to determine the best place to plant your cannabis. Without the right arrangement, the plants will not receive the full sun they need during each stage of development.

Cannabis plants need a lot of sun exposure, so it is essential to plant them in a sunny location where they can receive up to twelve or more hours of full sun each day. Those living in the Northern hemisphere are going to want to plant their cannabis at the south end of their property. If you live in the Southern hemisphere, plant them at the northern end.

The area you plant in must be free of objects and other plants that will hinder sunlight absorption. It is wise to check the area throughout the day to see if there are any periods where shade could become a problem. Remember, the more sun your plants receive, the higher the yield, so it is worth investing time in the process of finding the ideal planting location.

For some reason, perhaps because of legal concerns, many growers attempt to hide their crops by growing them in wooded locations. If you understand anything about the science behind photosynthesis and plant development, it is clear to see that this is problematic and will result in stunted growth with much less yield.

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